There’s no denying that juggling a budding music career and a 9-to-5 job is tough; between creating music, preparing your promotional materials and booking a studio to actually record everything, it’s difficult to work out much more time in the day for actually making money. With time determined by the 40-hour work week, taking an afternoon off to record a track in the studio might not be feasible; more often than not the music slides, until suddenly it’s six months down the line and you’re no closer to finishing that LP.
As a result, more and more serious musicians have started to buck the trend, ditching the daily grind in favour of freelance life so they can make their jobs work around them. You might be wondering: how exactly does this all play out? Alt-Mu finds out more.
Meet Leanne – Freelance Web Developer and Bassist
Leanne is a freelance web developer and bassist who has just recently moved to Brighton to develop her music career. She decided to go freelance after being chained to an office chair at a telecommunications company for three years – and had had enough. As more session work and touring opportunities arose, going freelance was a no-brainer for her.
“The biggest pro of freelancing is being able to set work and rates on your own terms,” says Leanne. “Being successful requires a strong sense of self-discipline and determination. You need to know how to withstand the volatility of not knowing where your next pay is coming in.”
Meet Annie – Freelance Teacher, Writer and Performer
Annie – or Austel, as you may know her musically – is involved in a multitude of musical projects. Though a Devon girl at heart, Annie now pursues freelancing and music in the Big Smoke.
“I had a couple of jobs but, to be honest, I’ve always had freelance work on the side,” says Annie. “I think that side-hustling comes with the territory of being an artist.”
A private piano and singing tutor, writer and musician, Annie can certainly teach us a thing or two about freelancing. “I like being my own boss and creating my own schedule,” she continues. “There’s nothing more inspiring than connecting with other people through music.”
Meet Galina – Freelance Event Assist, Administrator and Rocker
Galina is a feisty rocker who performs vocals and guitar in the band Death Ingloria. Additionally, she freelances as an event assistant and administrator in live events and festivals, ranging from Boomtown to the World Sci-Fi Convention.
“I found it increasingly difficult to care about a day job,” she admits. “I’m still in my first year of freelancing, however I can honestly say that I’ve never been happier!”
A side hustle without the stress
As one of the industries to be hit the most by the effect of digital on the economy, musicians can no longer rely on hard graft and a lucky break to make the big time. However, instead of relying on a regular day job to finance their artistic endeavours, musicians could benefit hugely from a freelance role where they can showcase their existing talents – and make more contacts in the industry.
In spite of the challenges that come with such an unconventional lifestyle, Leanne, Annie and Galina are determined not to lose sight of their true calling in life.
Feature by Janelle Borg