British artist Imogen Heap writes, mixes and produces her own material. She also plays an impressive 10+ instruments and has been nominated for two Grammy Awards, winning one. Heap has spoken of financial difficulties with tour planning and continued, “it’s so difficult to know how well you are doing in any country these days, because you don’t have record sales“. She added that YouTube video stats and Twitter replies have helped her discover large fan bases in surprising places such as Finland and Indonesia.
There’s always been piracy. I made tapes when I was younger, and we’re all probably guilty of it. But kids are used to growing up not feeling guilty about it. They don’t see the connection between the music and the person that creates it. Sometimes you come out of a show and you meet fans and they say, ‘Oh my god, I love you, I’ve downloaded all your music!’ And you know they didn’t download and pay for it. [laughs] And they haven’t made the connection about why you wouldn’t be happy about that. And in some ways I’m not unhappy because otherwise, they wouldn’t have come to the shows. It all evens out in the end, I think. In the past, I sold much [fewer] records, but people paid for them. I don’t know- maybe one in 10 people probably by the record these days? So, actually, the official number on Soundscan is maybe only a 10th of your fanbase out there, in the States anyway.