Skip to main content

Oddisee Gives "Make A Living Off Music" a Completely New Meaning

There's a big difference between living and surviving.
DJBooth_logo2x

When you hear the expression "I need to make a living," it's commonly associated with the idea that one has the earning potential to support themselves and/or their family. 

According to veteran emcee and producer Oddisee, however, there's a difference between making a living and living

In a new interview with Passion of the Weiss, when the D.C. native was asked if his goals or his definition of success have changed since he began working as an artist professionally, he used the opportunity to separate scraping together money every month to pay your rent and bills and earning enough coin to have a fair amount of financial freedom.

"I don’t want to make a living doing anything but music, and every year I take steps to keep that in place: creating albums, licensing, touring, etc., to make a living. And I don’t necessarily just mean generating money, but living. Eating what and when I want, sleeping when I want, traveling where I want whenever I feel like it. I want music to provide that freedom for me."

It's not easy to make money as an independent artist, certainly not in 2017. Music is no longer commoditized in a way that is fruitful to creators—most artists makes pennies on the dollar in streaming royalities—and artists are no longer competing only with other artists but with the free time of consumers.

Scroll to Continue

RECOMMENDED ARTICLES

5-Albums-Header--16-

5 New Albums You Need to Hear This Week

Press play on new albums from Wizkid, GloRilla, SleazyWorld Go, Sarkodie, and SoFaygo.

Best-of-the-Week-Header--18-

5 Songs You Need to Hear: Best of the Week

Tap in to the best new songs on Audiomack this week.

Header--33-

Polo Perks Is Building a Future From Pieces of the Past

We talk to the Surf Gang artist about microdosing alternative music in his raps.

Oddisee is fresh off the release of his 11th full-length album The Iceberg, but back when he released his first mixtape in 2005, Instrumental Mixtape Volume One, the music industry was a completely different animal. Just how different, you might ask? According to the IFPI, global retail sales of all recorded music in a physical format totaled $17.6 billion in 2005. Ten years later, in 2015, that number dropped to $5.8 billion. 

Unlike many artists and producers in the world of independent hip-hop, Oddisee has learned through experience over his impressive 12-year career how to generate income through a variety of non-music sale revenue streams—licensing, touring and merchandising—but it's what drives him to make a living, not what he's learned along the way, that has allowed him to truly prosper.

Making music is great, and making lots of money off that music is even better, but for all independent artists, the most realistic goal should be obtaining fiscal flexibility.

Money cannot buy happiness, but making music that generates money to live, not only to survive, sounds pretty damn enjoyable.

***

By Z, who loves to argue with you on Twitter.

Photo Credit: Instagram

Related

Header--33-

Polo Perks Is Building a Future From Pieces of the Past

We talk to the Surf Gang artist about microdosing alternative music in his raps.

5-Albums-Header--15-

5 New Albums You Need to Hear This Week

Drake and 21 Savage, Seyi Vibez, PsychoYP, Surf Gang, and Jucee Froot all have albums you need this week on Audiomack.

Header--32-

Bandmanrill Is Bringing the Jersey Vibe Everywhere

Club Godfather Bandmanrill gets real about the sound he's helped pioneer and his debut album.

Header--31-

BIG30 Towers as the ‘Last Man Standing’

The rapper gets real about carrying the torch for Memphis.

am-world-top10-sept-16x9@2x--1-

10 Rappers You Should Know Right Now

Put Yung Sinn, Kenzo B, FCG Heem, Set Da Trend, Allstar JR, and more on your radar.

5-Albums-Header--14-

5 New Albums You Need to Hear This Week

Bella Shmurda, Blaqbonez, Ankhal, Smino, and Bandmanrill all have albums you need this week.