The NYC Music Scene and How It Has Changed In 20 Years

The New York City Music Scene and How It Has Changed In 20 Years

The music scene in New York City has long been known as a thriving bed for some of the biggest bands in the world. For years playing Madison Square Garden was seen as a career highlight and the NYC music scene is still going strong. However, over the last 20 years, there have been many changes with some people considering them good and others considering them bad.


The Hip Hop Scene Of New York City

At one point, New York City was one of the most significant music scenes for the world of hip hop. Many hip hop artists were able to rise to fame after success on the NYC music scene. The successful release of a mixtape to the New York audience was once seen as the best route to prominence.

However, the hip hop scene has faded in New York City and no longer has the strong presence that it once did. Of course, this does not mean that the scene is completely gone from the city. However, there are other cities which now hold the title of the most important for the hip hop scene.


The Closing of Important Clubs

Certain music clubs in New York have long been considered the route to fame and fortune. Many bands attribute their rise to fame to playing at some of the city’s biggest music clubs. One of these clubs was CBGB’s which has been strongly associated with the fame of bands like The Ramones.

The problem is that with the rise in rental prices in the city, many of these clubs could no longer stay open and were forced to close. In fact, many important and influential music venues in the city had to close. This means that many of the bands who would like to replicate the success of their inspiration by playing these special venues will never be able to achieve this dream.


The Rise of The Internet

Two decades ago, bands and other musicians would head to the major cities like New York to make it big. A famous example of this was Bob Dylan who left his small Minnesota town to head to New York to start his career. Fast forward two decades and this is no longer the case because of the increased use of the internet.

With the internet, there is no need for a band or artist to leave their home town to start their career. There are many ways that a musician can start their career online. Websites such as YouTube provide a platform for bands and artists to get their music out to an audience without having to travel. An example of the internet career starter is Justin Bieber who posted videos on YouTube and was then offered a record deal.

Of course, there are still many talented artists who continue to travel to New York to create their music. However, the number of people traveling to the city for this purpose has decreased, and this has had an impact on the overall music scene.


The Changes to Radio

Since the launching of radio, the radio market has significantly changed. There is more consolidation of the market with a handful of companies now controlling all of the stations across the country. This has led to a difficult market for new artists to break into. Most radio companies will only play music that is considered mainstream because they know that people want to hear it.

This has caused a lot of people in the New York music scene to give up on trying to break into the radio market. These artists have turned to other means of starting their careers such as the internet. There is also the fact that New York is not the best place for a project such as this. Even established musicians find that they are a small fish in a rather large pond when they come to the New York music scene.

Most artists will focus on markets that they are more likely to crack compared to the radio. Smaller cities such as Nashville with a very focused music industry may seem more appealing to these artists today when compared to New York City. The value of being in New York for the radio exposure no longer has the appeal that it once did.

A Focus on The Fundamentals

Most people believe that the music scene in New York City has deteriorated. However, there is more focus today on the fundamental elements with more musicians mastering the instruments they play instead of playing by ear like many bands of the past. There are a lot of students in New York City that have been learning their instruments from a young age and have a added incredible music to the New York music scene.


Author Bio:

Vincent Reina began teaching piano lessons as a high school student, and has continued to do so ever since. He received a Bachelor of Music Degree in Piano Performance from Purchase Conservatory. He then earned a Masters of Arts in Teaching Music from Manhattanville College. Today, Vincent is co-founder of Music To Your Home, a New York City based music school. He’s the proud winner of many significant piano competitions, including the Westminster Choir College Artistic Excellence in Piano Award.

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