IPMA 2023 – The Music Festival
Providence, in Rhode Island, United States of America, will be the center of composed music, produced and/or performed by Portuguese speakers or Portuguese descendants spread around the world. The International Portuguese Music Awards are back this weekend (May 19/20).
The 13 categories in competition bring 44 musicians or musical groups to dispute one of the prizes of this year’s edition. On stage, at the Providence Performing Arts Center, a room with capacity for 3100 people, will be José Cid, Pedro Abrunhosa, Diogo Piçarra, Marisa Liz, Plutónio, Toy, Eratoxica, and Ruby Anderson. The show will, once again, be hosted by Ricardo Farias and the internationally known Daniela Ruah.
It seemed to us a great occasion to know the opinion of one of the founders and responsible for organizing the event, David Saraiva, about the state of the music world, complex and extremely competitive, very much dominated by the big publishers and distributors, but dealing (for some years now…) with the “brave world” of new opportunities created by online platforms.
Milénio Stadium: The music business has always been very complex and very determined by the will and choice of the big publishers. Today, with the immensity of opportunities of the online world, is it still difficult to embrace a career as a musician? What are the main obstacles?
David Saraiva: While the internet has opened up new opportunities for musicians, it is still a challenging industry to build a successful career in. With the saturation of the market and the rise of music streaming services, many musicians struggle to earn a livable income from their music alone.
Despite these challenges, there are still many opportunities for musicians to succeed in the industry. Building a strong online presence can help artists connect with fans and gain exposure. Collaborating with other artists and can also help musicians expand their network and build their careers. By staying up-to-date with changing trends and technologies, and constantly improving their craft, musicians can increase their chances of success. Ultimately, succeeding in the music industry requires a combination of talent, hard work, persistence, and a bit of luck.
MS: These days the music world suffers a bit from a kind of bipolarity – on the one hand it is still very difficult for a young singer succeed and get a chance to show talent, on the other hand the online world opens a giant window of opportunity. Do you agree with this vision of the current state of the music world?
DS: The online world has advantages for artists that are starting out and trying to make it. They have much greater reach and accessibility to global audiences, regardless of where they are located. Social media platforms and music streaming services also provide a direct line of communication between artists and fans. The internet has made it easier for artists to distribute their music independently, without the need for a major label.
However, with access to these tools being so widespread, it can create a very saturated market where it is difficult for an artist to stand out. And in terms of compensation, streaming services have changed the way artists are compensated for their work.
MS: When the IPMA was born the intention was to give prominence and highlight to Portuguese musicians spread around the world. After these years there are signs that the IPMA is accomplishing that goal?
DS: Yes, we believe so. Through our online submission process, every year we are introduced to new artists that we didn’t know existed. This tells us our message is getting to them and our overall reach is expanding from year to year.
MS: What are the future plans for the IPMA? What will you do differently to continue to make this event more and more relevant for Lusophone music artists?
DS: We aim to continue to acknowledge the exceptional music produced worldwide by artists of Portuguese heritage. Music plays a big role in our culture, and we think that if we keep putting on an entertaining annual celebration and showcase amazing artists, people will keep supporting IPMA. So, we’re going keep doing our thing and hope everyone enjoys it.
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