“If finding success means killing my soul for some likes and comments, then I don’t want it”. Why I 100% agree with Aussie singer, Eves Karydas

Last week, I wrote about an awesome new social media platform for musos started by two Aussie artists.

This week, I still think that platform is great. But I’m about to tell you why I’m fatigued with social media. In general.

And based on Eves Karydas’s recent Instagram post, it looks like I’m not the only one.

PART 122 OF “AM I EVER GONNA SEE YOUR FACE AGAIN?” A RANDOM COLLECTION OF UNKNOWINGLY OBVIOUS FACTS ABOUT THE AUSTRALIAN MUSIC SCENE / THE SILLY & GREEN PROJECT

Just a heads-up that this post will be more of a personal rant than an objective post. That’s because, accidentally, Eves Karydas struck a chord with me. Big time. So let me provide a bit of context for that.

Hannah Evyenia Karydas, who professionally goes by Eves Karydas, is an Australian pop singer and songwriter with Greek heritage, based in Brisbane. She’s been active since 2009, under other monikers as well. (She only began using “Eves Karydas” in 2017.) Her career highlights include supporting Dua Lipa in 2018 and George Ezra in 2019. So far, she’s released four EPs and one studio album, with numerous singles in-between. She’s got over 200k followers on Spotify and nearly 42.5k on Instagram.

On Sunday, October 9th, she released the following statement on her socials:

Before unpacking it here, let me clarify a few things first.

Eves Karydas is a singer (and a great one on top of that). I’m not. She lives and works in Oz. I don’t. I also assume she reps a different generation. And her visibility as a creator is far from being attainable for me at this stage.

But that’s it when it comes to the differences between us. Because we’re both women. And we’re both trying to be relevant in the (Aussie) music business, albeit attacking it from different angles. So I can 100% relate to her frustration.

Here are the main points she raised in her IG post:

  • Her presence on social media has had an impact on her creativity and sense of self-worth
  • She doesn’t post on socials frequently enough for a female artist
  • She’s been tricked into believing that her body is her best asset
  • The music industry seems to estimate an artist’s “worth” based on their social media popularity these days

Sounds familiar?

The singer also posed the question I’ve been asking myself quite frequently in the last couple of years, “When did the music industry become about this?” Because it certainly looks like the level of artistry has been shoved onto the back seat. And it’s all about “selling yourself” online now.

In other words, you could be an artist with one shitty song. But if you’ve nailed your presence on socials, you’re the boss. Reality bites, baby.

As a music blogger, this worrying phenomenon affects me in several ways.

Naturally, I follow heaps of musos on socials. Many times, it’s where I find out about their new releases, gigs and festivals they’ll be playing or collaborations with other artists. More frequently these days as well, and not necessarily voluntarily, about their private lives, too. And sadly, I see this demeaning trend every day, not only concerning women.

To be honest, I sometimes wonder how artists find time to keep up with their socials and the brutal algorithm expectations. I mean, I know they have people who do it on their behalf. But – exactly like Eves pointed out in her post – they still need to generate that content for their teams. It must be exhausting.

Moreover, I know some up-and-coming acts that have released really good music. Yet, they can’t get any traction organically because their name is not something people recognise yet, they don’t have management and record label behind them, or simply can’t afford to boost their content. So they need to heavily focus on those promo efforts and constantly hustle on socials.

“And for what?”, quoting Eves Karydas again. To impulsively and obsessively check the insights, hoping that likes and comments will translate into streaming numbers that, actually, rarely become better because of those efforts. Soz for using the corpo language here, but the ROI (return on investment) is just not worth it, in my humble view.

The social media “rabbit hole” affects me personally, too.

When I started my blog, I wanted to stay anonymous. I didn’t want to share my real name and/or face. That was, obviously, wishful thinking. I was just hoping that with hard work, dedication and tenacity (exactly like Eves Karydas), I’ll earn my reputation and make the name for myself. I believed that my passion, which is blogging about Aussie music, would constitute my merit. How naive of me!

I stayed in the shadows for the first two/three years. But the results were, obviously, less than spectacular. Also because I was kidding myself for far too long, and only recently have concluded that I astronomically suck at social media.

Sure, you could argue that I lack talent, don’t produce relevant content for my blog or don’t post on it frequently enough. I don’t have the resources to compete with reputable publications, either. But only once I started sharing bits and pieces about who stands behind the Silly McWiggles brand have I turned the thing around a little. And I’m not even talking about the staged, promiscuous pics Eves Karydas refers to.

Now, I understand the basic human curiosity and need for connection. When I receive a pitch from an artist, I also investigate a bit about them. It helps me understand the context of their music. But I reckon we’ve taken that visual selling bit way too far nowadays. Especially since what only counts is beautiful, polished, happy content announcing achievements and success.

It also takes away massively from our core activities. I, for example, don’t have a constant need to take photos of myself or film stuff. Nor the time to do that regularly. My friends already think I’m addicted to the phone, so I can’t imagine using it even more. Again, to one of the points Eves Karydas brought up: “I spent more hours doing this than I spent writing music” (or blogging, in my case). Isn’t that ridiculous?

It gets worse, too. Every time I’m at an event that has something to do with music, I already start thinking about all the content I should have from it. Instead of enjoying the gig, I’m already forming captions and hashtags for the posts.

And I’m tired of it. But it’s a vicious circle because social media is all about consistency. If I don’t post for a while, my reach drops dramatically. And everything I’ve been working towards goes down the drain. So I have to start from scratch. It sucks.

Going back to Eves Karydas and her recent observations. Coincidentally, the singer released a very fitting song in 2020 already. Its chorus goes like this, “When did everything here get so fucking complicated?” A prophecy, right?

Last but not least, I commend the Aussie singer for speaking out. Because it takes some balls to go against the flow, especially when your life depends on it.

So all the best, Eves Karydas, on your move towards self-management. I hope to see you less on social media and hear you more on the radio 🙂


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