Chasing Dreams, Finding Nightmares: Exploring the Creative Limits of the Music Career

Nairn, A
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Journal Article
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M/C - Media and Culture

In the 2019 documentary Chasing Happiness, recording artist/musician Joe Jonas tells audiences that the band was “living the dream”. Similarly, in the 2012 documentary Artifact, lead singer Jared Leto remarks that at the height of Thirty Seconds to Mars’s success, they “were living the dream”. However, for both the Jonas Brothers and Thirty Seconds to Mars, their experiences of the music industry (much like other commercially successful recording artists) soon transformed into nightmares. Similar to other commercially successful recording artists, the Jonas Brothers and Thirty Seconds to Mars, came up against the constraints of the industry which inevitably led to a forfeiting of authenticity, a loss of creative control, increased exploitation, and unequal remuneration. This work will consider how working in the music industry is not always a dream come true and can instead be viewed as a proverbial nightmare.

Dreams; Music industry; Contracts; Authenticity
M/C Journal, Vol 23, No 1 (2020)
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Copyright (c) 2020 Angelique of Nairn. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.