Walter is a writer, editor and broadcaster living on Kaurna Country.
Naomi Keyte on COVID-19, streaming and sustainable listening
Adelaide songwriter Naomi Keyte returns with a new single, and a call to think more deeply about how we consume music in this time of disruption and isolation.
With usual models of performance upended, there has been a flurry of adaptation in the music industry with many artists exploring livestreaming via Facebook, Instagram and other video platforms. But as independent artists and larger organisations alike are discovering, such online stopgaps are can help maintain a connection with audiences, they are no substitute for the lost income that is now more important than ever.
“I think the idea that artists want to make work, and will therefore give it away for free, is really problematic. Art is valuable work and it should be valued as such. We need to pay artists whose work we are consuming equitably in support of making their careers long and sustainable,” Keyte says.
“In the same way that there’s been a big movement considering the true cost of fashion, and looking at more ethical models and labels, I think we need to do that with music.”
It’s not entirely unlike the impact of gig economy food delivery apps on the restaurant industry. Like many ‘disruptive’ platforms that provide convenience to the end consumer, and extract a healthy profit along the way, the true cost often is often born by those performing the labor of production. Perhaps then, just as some have recommended using online ordering services as a navigation tool to identify what’s available, before going directly to restaurants, it’s a good time for listeners to be more proactive in making our hard-earned becomes artists’ hard-earned.
“I do love Spotify because it’s user-friendly, and I can listen to music whenever wherever,” Keyte admits. “There’s space for it all, but just be mindful that if you’re just consuming music on Spotify then the artists that you love aren’t really benefiting from that – it’s not an equal exchange.”
Travelling Woman is available now via Bandcamp
While we’ve got you, here are 10 other great South Australian releases worth supporting this Friday
Dyspora – Australien
Lonelyspeck – Abyssal Body
Fair Maiden – Oleander
David Blumberg and the Maraby Band – Gertrude
Keeskea – Find Yourself Alone
West Thebarton – Different Beings Being Different
Ross McHenry – Nothing Remains Unchanged
Bec Stevens – Why Don’t You Just
The Sea Thieves – Disquiet
Elsy Wameyo – Outcast