Artist Burnout

Is the new model for success in the music business leading to artist burnout?

At least in for some artists, this may be the case. The money isn’t in the albums anymore, it’s in the performances and merchandise. Instead of going out on tour in support of a new album, artists are finding it necessary to always be in the public eye.

The strenuous nature of this type of exposure can lead to physical problems such as vocal nodes, hip surgeries, and cancelled tours due to exhaustion. In other words – artist burnout.

CD sales no longer are not what they used to be and many live shows are physically exhausting dance extravaganzas.

If  artists burn out at an early stage in their careers, how will they continue to perform (and make a lucrative income) in their later years?

In an article on digitalmusicnews.com, Paul Resnikoff writes:

So what’s going on? Meat Loaf thinks this is what the modern music industry is doing to artists. Instead of embarking on grand tours to support lucrative album releases, the collapse of the recording is forcing artists to be ‘always on,’ constantly gigging, recording, and making appearances.

Add the intense demands of digital, and artists are frying themselves. “That’s the problem with a new artist,” Meat Loaf recently observed. “They don’t sell records like they used to.”

“So they’re forced to do a lot more than just tour. TV shows, interviews, all that talking and doing extra stuff between shows, that’s when you rupture your vocal cords. Overwork, over-tired and then bam.”

Toya Glasgow, an R&B-focused blogger, pointed to an appallingly overworked Rihanna. Back in 2011, the non-stop, never-take-a-break rush included a full tour and upcoming album. “Rihanna has been overworking herself like mad. She’s been touring excessively with not much of a gap in between so-called breaks. When she does get a day or two off, she uses it in the studio to finish recording her upcoming new album.”

“It just seems like she’s working herself into the ground just to meet the deadline… Is all this excessive workload causing Rihanna to become ill?”

And remember, these are the wealthiest, best-supported, most mainstream artists around. So what about everyone else? For developing and less-lucrative acts, touring now seems closer to a survival exercise than a good time. And part of the reason is that selling recordings (ie, pressed CDs) on tour is no longer a viable option. “That kept a tour going,” one source with experience in the van told us, while pointing to newfound pressure on less-lucrative items like specialty vinyl, hats, and yes, t-shirts.

Check out the original article for more on this topic.

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