Does age matter in music? Are you ever too old or too young to make a successful music career for yourselves? Today we’ll look at that, and delve into common conceptions about the music industry and age.
Many people feel that once you hit a certain age, let’s say 30 onward for this article, your chances of reaching commercial success lessens. On the other side of things, many feel that being a younger teenager means less people take your music seriously.
There’s no doubt that depending on your age you will have different advantages and disadvantages in the music industry. Your target market will change, the kind of exposure you get could change, and you might even find it more likely you’ll end up in a different income bracket. That said, regardless of age, it is possible to make an income from your music; you just need to know how to play to your strengths.
Your age will affect your path in music. Still, make and market good music and you’ll see success – Tweet This
Below we’ll look at how age can make a difference in the path you take, whether you’re older or younger than the 16-29 age group. Please go to the relevant section for you.
A Quick Note On Age And Music
As you’ll see below, each age group has advantages and disadvantages. That said, anyone of any age can find a path for themselves in music where they can make an income. There will be some people and companies which ‘shut you out’ because of your age. That said, there will always be other ones who will welcome you with open arms regardless of your age. In fact, there will be some which will prefer a older or younger musician.
Lastly, there will always be exceptions to the rule. None of the below is set in stone, so never feel you can’t do certain things because of your age.
Younger: I’m Under 16, Does My Age Matter In Music?
So if you’re under 16, you may be wondering if people will take you seriously in music. Maybe you’ve tried to reach out to a few record labels or big music websites and not gotten very far. Either they didn’t respond or they rejected you. Is this because you’re too young?
Chances are, no it’s not. Rejection happens to musicians of all ages. The simple truth is there are a lot more musicians than there are slots to showcase them all.
Each place you contact probably gets contacted multiple times a day by musicians like yourself. If they were to reply to each of them individually, they wouldn’t have the time to do their core job properly.
Advantages Of Being A Younger Musician
The truth is, gaining true talent takes time. Most people don’t start singing / playing an instrument / rapping and become a world class artist in a matter of weeks. This usually takes years of perfecting your sound, talent and style. You can become good in a matter of months with a lot of dedication and practice, but to take things to the next level you need time. And experience.
As a young musician, you have time to improve your talent without the distractions of a job, kids and other such responsibilities. Many adults don’t have that luxury, so use that time to your advantage. Become the best musician you can be while you have an abundance of time, and find your style.
When Being A Young Musician Has A Disadvantage In The Music Industry
While time is on your side so to speak, being under 16 can also have its disadvantages. The thing is, to get yourself out there enough you need money. Recording your songs, distributing them to the people that need to hear them, paying for advertising, getting artwork and the like all cost money. This can be a problem for many younger musicians.
If the bank of mummy and daddy are always open, this won’t be an issue for you. But for most, building the funds needed to move your music career forward can be an barrier. Those who are old enough to work can tackle this problem by getting a job, but of course time is traded for this, meaning less time being spent on your music career. But it can be worth it.
While being under 16 can have it’s advantages and disadvantages, you can still make things happen for yourself. Make good music, market it well, and get a supportive network around you. Do these things and you’ll be taken more seriously regardless of your age.
So that’s the under 16s sorted out, now let’s look at age and music for those 30 years old and above.
Older: I’m Over 30, Is That Too Old To Make It In The Music Industry?
Let me start out by saying NO! You’re not too old to make it in the music industry. There is a strong notion that once you’re over a certain age you can’t make a living from music. This is so not true.
So why did this idea start? Is there any truth in it?
Well to be honest, there are some companies out there which do prefer acts which fall into the 16 – 27ish age group. Some record labels and talent scouts who want a singer who will reach a commercial market. These companies may have had prior success with acts that fall into this age group, or they may have just seen other record labels do well in that niche. Either way, they want to bring out new acts who also fit into this mold.
To these companies, age is an issue.
That said, there are still many companies out there who don’t have these beliefs. They will help and play you regardless of age. To them, your level of talent is more important.
Bare in mind, much of the talk about age and music is based on one type of musician:
When it comes to record labels and others with wide influence, they usually aren’t as picky with age when with regards to rappers and producers. Producers because they’re largely behind the scenes anyway, and rappers because… Well, I’m not 100% sure why.
But singers? They’re often more picky as they’re in the spotlight a lot.
Remember though, even if you are a singer who’s over 30, that doesn’t mean your music career is over! Far from it. We’re in an age where you no longer have to rely on the gate keepers to make money from your music. It’s possible to make moves independently, make money independently, and generally shape your music career regardless of whether you get a record deal or not.
Sure, it’ll be harder to network with some people. But it’ll also be easier to relate with a new more profitable target audience that the late teens can’t. An audience that grew up buying music, and will still spend money on music they enjoy (a trend which is fast disappearing among young music lovers).
Furthermore, new companies will become open to collaborating with you. I’ve talked before about getting companies to sponsor and collaborate with you; as you get over 30 you’ve new companies which would suit you and the market you’re aiming at. This is true no matter what your age; 30, 50 or 70.
Age is no where near as much a barrier in your music career as it was 20 years ago. It’s possible to get your music out there and make money from it as you no longer have to rely on record labels who only want to sign younger acts.
If you can make a good song and get it out there, regardless of your age, people will become fans of yours. So keep plugging away at your material.
Does Age Matter In The Music Industry? Conclusion
So does age matter in the music industry? Yes, it does. Will it stop you getting your music out there or making money from it? No, it won’t.
Depending on your age, you may have to target a different audience or work with different companies. But there will always be opportunities and the chance to build up your fanbase and income.
So, have you found that your age has impacted your music career? And if so, in what way? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.