Love making music and want the ideal location to showcase your talent regularly? Or do you just want to be inspired and have a locale that suits your creation and writing process? As a musician, you want to seek an environment where your work can be recognized and appreciated. Keep reading to learn about the top 5 cities for musicians to live in.
This one may seem obvious, but Nashville is the mecca for country music and honky tonk fans. However, this city plays home to blues, rock, folk, and pop musicians alike. Even Rolling Stone magazine named it “Best Music Scene” in the United States. With plenty of venues to play in, you could be on the road to success in no time.
Just up the road from Nashville, Louisville has a budding music scene thanks to WFPK, a local public radio station that features alternative artists. While unexpected, Louisville has a host of venues, including the Louisville Waterfront and Headliners Music Hall. Even better, the cost of living is quite affordable, so rent won’t be as big of a worry.
While not the music scene it once was, Chicago still hosts a variety of jazz and blues acts that have lasted over the years. The cost of living in Chicago isn’t as high as New York City or Los Angeles, but the number of music venues and events is still quite high, making it a fair tradeoff. Rappers have also found great success in the Chicago music scene, with acts like Kanye West and Lupe Fiasco topping the charts frequently in the 2000s and 2010s.
Ah yes, the land of the blues. If you’re a serious bluesy rock player, Memphis may be a good place to call home. With a third of living cost of most major cities, you’ll be able to refine your craft and play for crowds all without breaking the bank. Even better, acts like Justin Timberlake have hit it big there, so even pop singers can reap the benefits.
Asheville, North Carolina
While unexpected, Asheville has a gigantic music scene. Though bluegrass and folk remain the most popular genres, plenty of musicians have had success in areas like Americana, rock , and electronica. While Asheville has a number of venues like the Orange Peel and the Mothlight, the street performers are no joke. Most of the buskers in Asheville are top tier, so it could be a good place for a musician to show off their chops.
Despite the fact that cities like New York and Los Angeles will remain supreme with the amount of record labels, venues, and fanbases they have, there are plenty of other budget friendly options for musicians out there. Focusing on the genre that you like to play and where that genre’s fanbase is located may help you make a determination on where to move. However, many well known acts have found success in smaller cities across the United States and got there because of their determination.