The Dark Side Of The Music Industry

In the music industry, there is a lot more than meets the eye; extreme schedules, corrupt managers, severe scandals, and much more. People are forced to meet serious conditions, worked to the bone, treated like objects, and are constantly objectified and forced to stick to their current contracts.  So be ready to learn about this industry and just what happens, and what to know if you want to get into a profession in this area.


The severe requirements that people have to meet within the music industry are extremely drastic.. K-Pop members always seem to have a cheery persona, but there is a lot more than meets the eye for how they get up that classic happy act. Members are supposed to go underneath strict diets, which are so severe that their manager swaps their salad for a bag of gummy-bears, which actually happened to the K-Pop idol Chaeyeon from the group I-ZONE. Her manager would always look over her gifts and just what she got and she would often stand in line with her to check over what she does. When you are trying out to be a trainee, you must have looks as your top priority. People will always choose a prettier person over you and it doesn’t matter if you’re more talented, because they can easily fabricate it.


 Looks are the number one thing managers look for, and if you don’t immediately stand out, it’s easy for them to blow personalities off. Not only this, but it was also common for artists such as Britney Spears. She is under complete court control by her father who has an immense amount of power and who is basically milking her dry for all of her talent while he still can. As a result, it has been clear that her mental health has seriously destabilized. She has gotten skinnier and her voice has changed quite a bit, it is obvious that she is not what she once was. Music artists such as Britney and many other members from groups everywhere are constantly subjected to being put under control and not having complete will over their own decisions. Money always comes first to managers who watch over them. 


We spoke to Raul Sandoval, a former member of Frase Klave, a Merengue band, worked as the lead singer for approximately 4 years., to gain some insight into the darker side of the music industry. The band consisted of 4 members, Blas, José Miguel, Elder, and Raul.


“How did you start or join the band?” 

“…I got a call from one of my friends, he said ‘I’m at a local club, you should come stop in.’ He mentioned the fact that there was a guy there that needed someone to join a band. So I go and I meet this guy, we exchange numbers, follow up etc. Fast forward, I went and auditioned for the band, and I made it.”


“How long were you in the band for?”

“I was in the band..I wanna say between 3-4 years? Yeah, I think so.”


“What were the years the band was active?”

“Between ‘98 and ‘02.”


“Could you give an inside look into what a day in a life was like for you?”


“Especially when you start out, there is no ‘I’m not in the mood’ or ‘I’m too tired.’ It’s ‘Oh, we’re not asking you, we’re telling you that you have to do this interview in the middle of Sunday morning because we essentially own you.’ You just don’t know. I was young and this happens to everybody that’s in the recording industry. They’re young, they’re hungry, they want a record deal, they wanna be famous, or they wanna perform, or they wanna do the music. They just don’t know about the business side of it. And then there’s the ugly business side of it. There’s a lot of backstabbing. All the stereotypical stuff you see, a lot of it is true. It really does exist.


“What were things you wished you knew about the music industry back then?”

“How corrupt it is. Or was. I wish I knew that you were gonna deal with people that were so….. Fake. And I also wish I would’ve known the pressure that you have to face in terms of you having to always be on, always performing, really. You have to be ready to go whenever; radio interviews, TV interviews, sometimes they’ll want you to do a little plug for a radio station, that sort of thing. I wish people would’ve told me how crazy and unstable the lifestyle is.”


“If you had the opportunity to go into the music industry again, would you?”

“No. I don’t like the lifestyle. If I could jump into the status of a big time artist who’s, like, older and established, can tour when they want, and they don’t have to listen to anybody, maybe.”

Many other famous celebrities like Selena Quintanilla have faced similar, if not the same challenges throughout their career. The story of Selena has been heard by millions over the years. Yolanda Saldívar is known as Selena’s former manager who was exposed for stealing money, minutes before she shot and killed Selena. 

The music industry is a lot deeper than it seems on the surface, and it is a large rabbit hole once you look closer into it. Many people are exploited, others are horribly mistreated, and are put on extreme regimes that are almost impossible to achieve. So the next time you want to be someone in this industry, consider all the possible factors and how your life will change once you pursue this goal.