Chris Salce

| July 29, 2020


The way we get music and listen to it has come a long way since the phonograph cylinder was invented in 1877. You can literally listen to just about any song or artist you want with the touch of a button in the palm of your hand. In the modern-day of music and technology, an artist can create music, put it up on YouTube, Spotify, and Soundcloud, promote it themselves on Instagram, and make a good amount of money. The documentary InstaBAND takes a look at the artists who have taken the more traveled digital route and examines how that ride really is.

Breaking into the music industry may be easier than it was twenty years ago, but also, it has its difficulties just like it does in many other industries. The amount of music being made and put out is astronomical. There are more musicians attempting to not just go viral but to be able to live off of the passion they have. When you are on any music streaming service, and you’re looking for new music, you often have to siphon the good from the bad. And you do that by liking and disliking, swiping, etc. This also determines where an artist stands on the charts and can also determine how often their music gets played. It is crazy to think about the amount of power a consumer can have over the person putting out the product. Topics such as this are discussed in InstaBand and go a little more in-depth with the positives and negatives of the music industry. Although, it does seem like the documentary leans more towards the positive side of things.

“…an artist can create music, put it up on YouTube, Spotify, and Soundcloud, promote it themselves on Instagram…”

What I wish was included in the doc is more thoughts from musicians that did it the traditional way of touring until a higher up discovers them, rather than those who strictly went the digital route. They do have some insight from Lala Anthony, who spent some time as an MTV VJ back when music videos were actually played on the channel (we all miss those days). This is a nice touch because she definitely has experience in the music industry and knows what she’s talking about. But that’s not to say that the musicians/artists involved in this documentary do not know what they are talking about. They absolutely do know because they have firsthand experience with the digital age of music. I just am not familiar with any of the musicians in the film. I would have also liked to hear from people that were behind Napster, which we could blame for better and or worse for the way the music industry has changed and how music executives conduct business these days.

Overall, InstaBAND is a film that does what it sets out to do – informs with inside sources and facts, makes an artist think about how they want to go about their music career, and gives a bigger platform for DIY artists that despite more open doors, are still hustling to make their dreams come true. It’s a hard business to break into, but there are more ways to do so, it’s just standing out among the million other starving artists that are the harder thing to do.

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