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Written by: Matt Lillywhite
Many people within the music industry hold a common belief that in order to be successful, it is essential to be living in Amsterdam, Los Angeles, or another cultural hub for electronic dance music. Despite that, more & more people are achieving their dreams from far-flung corners of the globe. For example, a producer from Kuala Lumpur, or a record label based in Rio De Janeiro. The internet has allowed a multitude of opportunities for literally anybody with an internet connection. During this article, we’re going to discuss how you can be a successful music producer whilst living literally anywhere on the entire planet.
The combination of work & travel is a dream for the majority of producers. After all, it opens up a lot of opportunities to meet associates within the music industry, network with club owners & promoters around the world, and to ultimately chase their dream no matter where they are. But with rent costs in Los Angeles (and many other cities) ludicrously high, it comes as no surprise to learn that many people within the music industry are turning to alternative lifestyles. For example, instead of having to get $5k a month to live in LA, you may only need $1k a month to live in a villa over in Thailand.
As many producers are able to produce music directly from their laptops, the exponential rate at which people are moving to the likes of Thailand, Indonesia, Mexico, and other low-cost countries is staggering. Due to being able to work whilst “on the go”, it frees up any limitations regarding physical location within the music industry. Need to have a business meeting? Skype. Want to take a flight to play in a new country? Parts of southeast Asia can let you fly internationally for as low as $20. Because of the opportunities that the internet provides, the entire music industry is opening their eyes as to what lifestyle can truly be achieved for (almost) any producer earning a somewhat reasonable income.
In addition to streaming & publishing revenue etc, there are also many other opportunities for producers to create additional income surrounding their musical talents & abilities. For example, sites such as Fiverr & Upwork allow you to freelance for companies, and potentially make a few hundred dollars extra a week from activities such as sound design, mixing, and audio editing. For the majority of producers, that’s easy money if they have the skills.
But how does a music producer actually find somewhere in which they desire to live that genuinely benefits their music career? The most efficient explanation is to look for cultural hubs around the world which you can visualize yourself staying for several months. For example, Singapore & Hong Kong are both rising business hubs providing a lot of entrepreneurial & musical talent to the Asian regions. Likewise, Colombia has raised music industry legends such as Nicky Jam – whilst still having a relatively low cost of living, and cheap flights directly to North America. The other strategy would be to look at where your fanbase is and expand your attention to further develop your brand in those locations. eg. If you have a strong fan base in Europe, move to a cheap city such as Budapest (due to European flights being as cheap as $20 return), and then collaborate with as many musicians and influencers on the continent as possible.
Due to technological advancements, and the ability to use laptops to produce music anywhere in the world, location is not as important as some may originally think. Ultimately, you, the producer, are in control of your life & destiny within the music industry. However, it is certainly not difficult to create a luxurious lifestyle on a relatively low income if you are willing to travel the world.