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5 People You've Probably Never Heard of Who Basically Run the Music Industry

We all know the big-name performers in music, but do you know who's behind the scenes making it all happen? From producers to booking agents, songwriters to A&R reps, there are many influential music industry professions that are often overshadowed by the hype of the superstar.

You may not recognize their names or faces, but these five people are just a small sliver of the "other side" of the music industry – those who have contributed to the success of musicians and entertainers around the world and continue to impact the music industry as we know it in a huge way.

Whether or Not You Want a Record Deal, You Must Do These 4 Things to Be Successful

Image by Der Robert via Flickr / CC BY 2.0

In recent years, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis have proven you don't necessarily need a major label record deal to "make it" in today's music industry. That said, the duo had already been performing for a decade in their hometown, so their fanbase has had time to accumulate. When they released their acclaimed album, The Heist, they did so with the help of Warner Music Group's independent distribution company, the Alternative Distribution Alliance. This helped the album expand into markets the pair would have otherwise not had access to or an easy time navigating.

Regardless of whether you're hoping to be signed to a label or navigate your own artistic path like Macklemore and Ryan Lewis did, there are key things you must take the time to do either way if you want to make a living as an artist (assuming, of course, that you've already put in a significant amount of work on honing your craft). While the following are all much easier said than done, they're all completely possible to achieve as long as you incorporate them into your long-term goals and strategy!

How Can an Indie Musician Play 500 Shows Around the Country? Nate Currin Shares the Key to His Touring Success

Photo by Michelle Fader

Singer-songwriter Nate Currin understands the importance of networking and maintaining connections. As a result of his contact-building, he's played over 500 shows nationally. This past year, Currin won three IMEA Awards and released his newest album, You and I Are Ghosts. As he continues to navigate his journey as a DIY artist, Currin took the time to offer us great insight on how he overcomes challenges, understanding when it's time to incorporate a team, and career-changing gigs he booked through Sonicbids.

Curious Quail Raised $10K on Kickstarter – But Here's Why They Wouldn't Do It Again

Image via curiousquail.com

The evolution of Curious Quail from a one-man act to five-piece alternative rock band has been an interesting journey. From humble beginnings to opening for Silversun Pickups and Of Monsters and Men, the group has risen to heights that allowed them to meet their Kickstarter goal of $6,000 in just one week. In fact, the campaign, which funded their last album, After The Lights Failed, surpassed its goal with over $10,000 raised.

So what was their secret to accomplishing that – and would they crowdfund again for a future project? We caught up with Curious Quail's lead singer and founder, Mike Shirley-Donnelly, to find out.

6 of the Most Controversial Women in Music in the Past Decade

Beyoncé and Lady Gaga (Image via evilbeetgossip.com)

Over the course of history, there have been women who've inspired, challenged, and left a lasting impact on the music industry. In October of last year, solo female artists occupied the top five positions of the Billboard Hot 100 for six weeks in a row, a first in history of the charts. The past 10 years have shown us that the strength and power of women in the music industry has continued to grow, paving the way for other females to step up and express themselves through music. Here's a look at six of the most influential and controversial females in music over the last decade.