The Life After Being a Musician

Getting used to the lifestyle of being on stage, experiencing the smoke on stage and the excited fans singing your songs back at you is an absolute special one.

Performing regularly and becoming successful has a massive impact on your life. It’s as if you’re experiencing withdrawal symptoms after your career. Artists get addicted to the life of performing music live to an energised audience.

Being a musician has multiple elements that you will crave and miss immensely even years after your musical journey has concluded.

Let’s take a closer look at all the different aspects that make the musician lifestyle addictive.

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The Live Performances

The passionate fans, lively crowds and loud audiences bring you into an adrenalin rush that you will crave to experience repeatedly.

I first experienced this during a normal serenade concert in university where you perform in front of other students. The moment you have thousands of eyes upon you, cheering and supporting you, you realise for the first time that you offer your audience something bigger than what you think.

The addiction to performing live is why you keep carrying heavy speakers, amps and gear to practices week in and week out, just to reach your goals and get back on stage to relive that rush of adrenalin, appreciation support and gratefulness.

There are not many solutions to this. One that I found that comes pretty close to performing live is to MC weddings, birthdays, or other events. You still get to address audiences and run a program for others to perform.

The Following of Fans

These are people who become your heartbeat. The ones that buy your tickets, fill your venues, greet you excitedly in public, and wear your band name proudly on their chests.

This is one of the biggest things you’ll miss when your career comes to an end. These people will surely remember you for many years after you’ve stopped performing, but there will be other bands filling your shoes.

For retired musicians, you realise how much of a supporting base your fans offer you—always being there for you, being happy to see you and following you closely as if you are a big family.

A possible way of dealing with it is creating a personal social media account to move over to the influencer platforms. In this way, you stay in contact with your beloved fans and you actually continue to build your following.

This article was written and published by De Wet from on 16.10.2023. The content was stolen from me if this blog post is seen anywhere other than on my website.

Fans enjoying a music concert (Photo credit: Canva)

Being Taken Seriously

In every area, a person who has experienced success has authority in certain areas. And being a successful musician is no different.

People ask your opinion often and what you say is taken seriously since you have the authority and success to prove it.

It is important to behave respectfully and keep a clear mind when you are dealing with colleagues in the industry. Younger bands and artists will often be dependent on the opportunities that you can offer them and it’s key to give back to the industry for what you are receiving as a successful artist.

After your career, you don’t have the opportunity to offer the same opportunities to others anymore. You will slowly fade out of the charts and there will be new bands filling your old performance slots.

Social Acceptance

When you achieve the rockstar status, people queue to spend time with you. You are followed and accepted wherever you go, people want to have more of you.

You are the trendsetter and the one others will copy. Whether it’s behaviour, fashion or moral beliefs.

Once this is gone, many ex-musicians struggle to find their feet again in the social environment. You are not quite sure where you belong. With the fans or with the performers?

Many artists stay in the industry in other forms like sound engineering, artist managing, artist promotion, or specialising in MC work (Master of Ceremony).

This offers advantages to the artists to stay in the industry and practice their expertise by sharing their experience and knowledge, and the industry profits from this contribution by not losing their experienced participants.

If this might be you, check out some of these helpful articles:

Musical Liberation

It is such a satisfying feeling to express yourself through performing music live to an appreciative audience.

Once you are retired, you will continue to miss the feeling of sharing the performance emotions and passion with your fans.

This feeling continues for years on. That’s also why many musicians never really manage to retire completely and always have a new idea for a song or are busy compiling a new band.

Struggling With a Creativity Overload

Being active in the industry, you continuously think of new song ideas and other creative processes to promote your music.

Once you stop performing your creative mind keeps working and being active. You figure out new guitar riffs and catchy melodies, but never really get the chance to perform them.

A creative mind only needs a short break to regenerate new power to deliver good work again, so this often becomes a problem for ex-musicians when they retire.

The best solution is to find another channel to stream your creativity into.

If you are completely out of the music industry, other options could be:

  • through visual art
  • practising a sport type
  • Finding an emotionally stimulating hobby like gardening, or farming.

What are other things that you miss or will miss once you are out of the music industry?

Please add them in the comments for me to update this post!

For a next read, I can recommend these articles:

Until next time, Rock ‘n Roll!

De Wet

The dream started during a school tour at the age of 15 years old. One that might take a long time to reach. De Wet was 16 years old when he got his first bass guitar as a gift from his dad. The guitar was found, hidden under boxes. As if it was waiting for its owner to come by and pick him up. He practiced every day to improve and to teach his fingers to dance to the music. After finishing high school, he played in various bands where he collected valuable experience, before being signed by a record label as an upcoming band. He reached success at age 22 when he released two albums with his band, which also included televised music videos for publicity. By age 24, he co-started management, artist promotion, and booking agency for successful and upcoming musical acts.

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