About star collectives …
Many musicians who have never worked in the accompaniment of domestic pop stars naively believe that this is an undoubted success for the musician, contributing to further professional and career growth. Speaking at the stadium, in the spotlight, surrounded by television cameras is considered more prestigious than playing in a restaurant or a small club. Yes, it’s worth adding to this, many people think that the musicians of the “star” bands receive some kind of sky-high salary. As a result, they have the opportunity to buy expensive tools, professional equipment, as well as apartments, cars, etc. Of course, it is quite logical to conclude that working with the stars is beneficial in that the musician of her team is gradually acquiring acquaintances, connections that give hope for the future. As the saying goes, “do not have a hundred rubles, but have a hundred friends.”
Examining my personal and also the experience of my friends who worked for many years and work in accompaniment with the “stars” of the national stage, I wrote this article. Her goal is to dispel illusions on this score, and also to show, in my opinion, a more correct, honest and, most importantly, more promising career path for a musician.
So, let’s try to consider in more detail those prospects that promise us life in the star team.
1. Improving social status or the pursuit of prestige
Of course, in the eyes of the uninitiated public, the musician of the star collective looks more cool than the unknown jazzman virtuoso, whom only narrow professionals know. Some musicians even get themselves something similar to an identity card, such as, “Mr. X is an artist of the ensemble of the studio SuperStar.” This sometimes works, for example, you can wave a traffic policeman to her, let go, they say, I am late for a government concert. It will act even more effectively on the conductor on the train, on the taxi driver, on the cashier in the ticket offices … However, all these things work, as they say, only on the “sucker”. In the musical environment, musicians of stellar groups have no authority, since in a professional sense they can not prove themselves, even being very talented. The only exceptions are those who won the recognition of colleagues before joining the star group, playing earlier in the ensemble, which really required a high level. The musical material of pop stars cannot be a visiting card for a musician who strives for excellence in terms of performing technique and searching for his musical vocabulary.
In some respects, arrangers, composers and songwriters are in a better position. They can somehow express themselves and make a start for a successful career, working with the stars. Therefore, many musicians, realizing the futility of perfecting their performing skills (it is simply not required in this genre), switch to other activities, while losing purely performing skills.
Thus, the musician does not increase his status in the professional environment, does not gain any authority in the music world, but rather, on the contrary, gradually loses it, forever flying out of real playing practice. Of course, this applies only to those who really strive to “sing their song” in this life. And it often happens that work with stars redefines life guidelines. And this is the main harm to the work of the stars – the musician goes astray … Attached to someone else’s warm “bowl”, getting his “soldering”, the musician ceases to strive to go his own way. And gradually loses talent, which, as everyone knows, requires a special creative environment for development.
2. Material benefits
Most musicians go to work with pop stars solely in order to have a stable income. It is difficult to imagine a real musician who would sincerely love Russian pop music (of course there are exceptions) and would dream of playing in any band for musical or ideological reasons. And the first time, getting into the star collective, the musician really feels material gain. But this is only the first time … Stars pay musicians salaries according to market laws, i.e. the minimum amount at which a person will work without quitting. Of course, this amount is enough to buy food to maintain physical existence and clothing in the Chinese market. But talk about real estate or more or less decent mobility is not necessary! All those pools, houses and cars of the stars with which they boast on the pages of magazines have nothing to do with the musicians of their groups. I say this for those naive who believe that the distance between the star and the musician is less than, for example, the distance between the driller on the tower and the president of the oil company.