BEST CITIES FOR EMERGING ARTISTS
Michael Barber asks:
I was wondering, what is your opinion on the best cities for an upcoming artist to excel and succeed in the US? There are numerous cities that I personally believe would be perfect for upcoming artists, but would like to hear your thoughts and opinions as to where you believe this goal could best be accomplished.
Every city has the potential to be the source of the next music wave. The least likely are cities that have had music waves in recent times. Seattle for example would still be vibrating in the aura of the "Grundge" movement that produced Nirvana ad Pearl Jam. San Francisco is fondly remembered as the center of the psychedelic era spawned by Jefferson Airplane and The Grateful Dead. L.A. offered The Byrds and Buffalo Springfield in the sixties. Boston gave us Aerosmith and Boston. The best markets for the next "big thing" would be New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit, Cleveland, Denver or virtually any other major market. A large population helps. The most important ingredient is of course the talent. A single artist can emerge from any place at any time. However, to create a major music wave it usually requires two or more talented acts surfacing at the same time from a common source. The primary ingredients are an active night club scene and a large fan base from which to draw an audience. College towns are particularly good spots as there are students of drinking age and lots of fake IDs that facilitate the process. Austin, Texas has a vibrant music scene and a populace in tune with the cultural pride of being a music center. These music movements are organic, grass roots based and talent driven. Generally, they cannot be artificially manufactured, but a creative entrepreneur could develop a live event program at a specific venue that might kick a new music movement into high gear. A great act well presented is a requisite ingredient.