TALLINN MUSIC WEEK 2019: Contemporary music market in Russia

TMW 2019 music conference - contemporary music in Russia

The discussion that closed the two-day Tallinn Music Week conference was devoted to the contemporary music market in Russia, and it turned out really informative and fact-filled…

As hip-hop is enjoying its unprecedented popularity in Russia over the last couple of years, a lot of curious trends were unveiled by the panelists. Like never before, young artists believe that they have a shot to succeed – through streaming, social media and what not. But they still need promoters, agents, bookers, managers to make it happen, which they often aren’t ready to pay for, only relying on their own efforts, the experts reveal.

A shocking tendency in Russia lately sees new artists hiring their innovative and ambitious peers to manage them, instead of older established professionals:

“Right now I can see that there’re a lot of upcoming hip-hop artists who have really cool management teams who are like [at the age of] 16-20,” says Diana Pashkovskaya, a music editor at Yandex music. “They know a couple of languages, which is very important, so they read a lot in English about foreign industry. […] You’re going to see that they’re going to make it because they learn fast, because they connect on a very cool human level, which is so different from the old generation in Russia.”

These young artists and managers aren’t as experienced but are brave and fearless, so they are breaking the rules. And often it works for them. However, with new rappers and R’n’B artists popping up like mushrooms in rainy season, many of these new artists won’t last for more than one tour. So today more and more musicians look ahead as to what can make them more than a one-hit wonder and dare to cross hip-hop with jazz, electronic and other music genres.

The experts agree that becoming a noticeable name in Russian music and getting tours abroad is still not easy, or quoting Tatyana Makarova, “it’s still a window, not a proper door”, but it’s a land of opportunities, and with the right effort and time invested into your music and believing in yourself, the potential is immense.

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