Kenny Beats: “There is no one dumber than a person trying to get rich by making music”

The producer and DJ describes making music in 2024 as “the worst get-rich-quick scheme in the universe”.

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Kenny Beats performing at Coachella 2023

Credit: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Coachella

The music industry has changed considerably in the last few decades. Once upon a time, hitting the big time, landing a record deal and getting your music heard by millions was a fast-track to fortune. But the system has changed.

That was the pre-streaming era; millions more people were buying records and pumping money into the music-making market. It’s no secret that streaming has dealt an all-but-fatal blow to most musicians’ prospects of making a sustainable income directly through their art – at least without multiple other avenues of income.

Obviously, it’s a relevant issue to every single artist out there today, so there are many varying opinions. Producer and DJ Kenny Beats has weighed in with a new Instagram post, in which he describes the music industry in its current form as “the worst get-rich-quick scheme in the universe”.

“I’ve been making music as a job since I was 16 years old and in my 30s I can support myself and my family comfortably, yes,” he begins.

“I’m telling you as a multi-platinum multi-Grammy-nominated producer that getting rich off music only in 2024 is impossible without many other sources of income. I’m not lying to you to hate on you. It’s a warning that you should be in it for the love.”

“We are talking 2024. Not all the rich artists you can remember in the past. People making music today,” he continues. “I’m talking about making money in music when you need to have more than a trillion streams to make 10 million dollars, deals are structured against your favour in every single way, and there’s 100,000 songs a day uploaded to Spotify.

“You should try because you care about what you are making in my opinion, not try because of the potential profits (which are way smaller than people assume).”

He goes on to stipulate a typical profit-split breakdown between an artist and their management, agents and other parties.

“Every situation is different, but in general: that first million, take out 15 per cent [for management], 5 per cent for lawyer[s], 5 per cent business manager, 30-40 per cent taxes… possibly 10 percent [for an] agent… You might be left with a down payment for a crib if you spend no other money.

“That 10 mil after came from mostly brand deals/shows/other things besides music if I had to guess.

“The point is, do music you love, this is the worst get-rich-quick scheme in the universe.”

In another post on X/Twitter, Kenny Beats adds: “There is no one dumber than a person trying to get rich by making music.”

In other news, earlier this year Kenny Beats recounted the time he gifted a young musician $20,000 in studio equipment, who then started “going live with strippers for 6 hours a day on Insta”.

See more from Kenny Beats via his official YouTube channel.


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