What Does the Trump Presidency Really Mean for Musicians?

Copyright. Net Neutrality. Freedom of expression.  Health care.  Touring.  It’s all up in the air for the music community under Trump.  Here’s what you might expect.

DMN has been partnering with Kill Rock Stars to explore a number of pressing questions facing up-and-coming artists.  In a recent episode of her podcast, The Future of What, Kill Rock Stars president Portia Sabin tackled some tough questions about what the Trump presidency means for musicians.  

Trump’s America poses a number of unknowns for musicians.  And, the music industry.  And the worst part is: most have no idea what to expect over the next four years.  “We have nothing but questions,” said Portia Sabin, head of Kill Rock Stars.

“We don’t know where he stands on a lot of issues that are important to musicians.”

But it doesn’t hurt to at least ask the questions.  In a recent edition of Kill Rock Stars’ podcast, The Future of What, Sabin delved into a range of complex issues.  That includes health care, always a tricky subject for emerging artists.  And, equally complex concerns like net neutrality and freedom of expression.

Are Record Labels Still Relevant?

Another topic that remains cloudy is copyright, especially as tech giants like Google and Facebook continue to ascend.  Could anti-piracy legislation really take hold under Trump, especially given the antagonisms of Hollywood and the music business?

Joining Sabin in the discussion are three in-depth thinkers:

One thing the guests agreed on is that awareness, action, and vigilance are of paramount importance.  “I think that the only possibility is that it will be very different from most of us imagine,” said Jana Hunter.  “And it will happen a lot faster than most of us imagine.”

13 Responses

  1. Remi Swierczek

    Not much for the moment!
    Until music industry will continue UMG induced streaming and advertising around free suicidal business models NOBODY can help musicians! Few mega stars and bureaucrats at labels will continue to eat all the breadcrumbs.

    Music must become merchandise again to bring us $200B music business which will make drastic change in life of the musicians.

    Google is the single biggest roadblock preventing the lock up of the music in virtual walls. I have a big hope for Larry Page at Google to recognize music as biggest opportunity of digital era!
    If it will happen we will see very quickly happy times for music without Donald Trump help.

    If Larry obtains pleasure from sadistic treatment of music then we better hope for new FAIR USE ACT and Donald Trump intervention.

        • Remi Swierczek

          Nice try. Replying to your own comments. You are beyond stupidity. Just die already.

          • Remi Swierczek

            Hey little bustard!

            Before you comment introduce yourself properly.
            You are just peanut brain cuckoo, like the label bosses, eating leftovers of old goodwill with NO PLAN FOR TOMORROW!


  2. Versus

    Musicians should take advice from a company called “Kill Rock Stars”? With friends like that…

  3. Outre Lights

    Well for starters, protest songs will make a comeback. heh

  4. Rick Shaw

    As musicians are also people, the Trump Presidency means that depending on their race and/or gender they will be restricted on travel, be unable to make decisions about their own bodies, realize bullying if they dare go up against Trump or his people and more.

  5. Bob

    Musicians will piss away their time being angry about politics rather than making good music and focusing on entertaining. They always do this.

    Protest songs? Nobody has given a shit about that sort of thing for almost 50 years.

    No matter what you say or do, or what you don’t say or don’t do, it will piss off a fan.

    Stay the fuck away from politics.


    Musicians make things worse.

    • Rick Shaw

      Yet you choose to spend time posting to a site that deals with musicians. Huh? Musicians are people. People are affected by government. Get it straight.

  6. Pie Rate

    Republican presidents have been some of the best allies of piracy, simply by creating national security crises whenever piracy opponents might have found it favorable to move legislation.

    In 2002-2003, when the initial wave of Napster and its successors might have encouraged Congress to do something drastic, Bush/Cheney had the nation wrapped up in the run-up to the war with Iraq.

    In 2017, when it looked like the copyright biz was making some progress on legislation to attack YouTube and others, Trump rolls into town. After the first twelve days, I feel safe in predicting that copyright will not receive ANY attention from Congress while Trump is in office, because there will be too many other crises, some of them threatening war.

    Of course, war is bad for pirates and other living things. We won’t get to enjoy our sweet illicit albums if there’s no civilization left. 🙁