When first stumbling upon a new musician or band that you love, the first instinct is to try and learn as much as you possibly can about this person. Topping the list of must know facts about your favorite artists is the place where they grew up and where they are living now. There is something about knowing the place that a person grew up that allows you a special insight into who they are and what drives them. The places and people that surround you when you are young have a huge impact on the person you become when you are an adult.
Looking at the geography of where most famous musicians are from drives home the theory that where one grows up has a huge impact on who they become when they are older. Almost two thirds of the world’s most popular musicians from 1950-2014 came from just three cities: New York, London, and L.A. Coincidence? Most likely not. It is clear that there is either something about the people living in these places that have a knack for musical talent or there is something in the atmosphere in these cities that harbors the ability to make it big in the music world.
Another key thing to note is that between New York, London, and L.A., New York has the highest percentage of famous musicians to be born there. However, the highest percent of hits made has occurred in L.A. This statistic implies that musically talented people are more inclined to move to L.A. to pursue their musical career than anywhere else.
One idea as to why the vast majority of famous musicians are born in these three cities is because of the fact that these cities are known as pop culture melting pots. All three of these cities are largely populated with people from all over the world. Being exposed to various ways of life as you are growing up creates an artful and creative mindset that could easily set the stage for musical talent. Also, living in cities with lots of established musicians creates the mindset in kids growing up there that they could also be musicians one day. If everyone around you growing up is a doctor, it is more likely that you will pursue medicine than any other field. And if everyone around you is in the music world, it is likely that you will aspire to do the same.
Another reason why these cities reign as #1 in the music world is because of the fact that so many people live there. Hometown hero status can be everything for an up and coming artist trying to make it big. So, it only makes sense that musicians who are from cities with a lot of people living in them will inevitably get a lot more support from local fans early on in their careers. The Beatles first drew most of their fans from Liverpool because that is the town where they are from. Once they became more well known in Liverpool, they were able to reach the ears of people in London which is really what sparked their immense success. Stealing the hearts of people in a big city like London is going to draw a huge crowd to your music.
While growing up in London and New York exposes you to a lot of artistic role models, it seems that L.A. is the place to go if you want to make a big hit. While one could think of many reasons that this might be, there are a few important aspects of L.A. that have made this city the birthplace of so many iconic hits. L.A. is one of the most advanced places for film and media. When looking for a place that will get your song on the big screen, L.A. is inevitably the top choice. L.A. is also known for all the famous actors and actresses living there because of the booming film industry. It only makes sense then to bring your musical ideas to a place where they can be recognized and discovered by the rich and famous. And who knows, maybe an artist will get discovered when their song is featured in a big film. Getting noticed by important people in the film and music industry is much easier in a place like L.A. than Omaha, Nebraska. After all, L.A. is basically the mecca of the film and music industry.
While one can obviously not choose to be born in the city of their liking, there are things that musicians can do to increase their chances of being noticed for their talent. Sitting at home trying to promote your music from a static location can only get you so far. Sometimes all it takes is moving to a new location with fresh eyes and fresh ears to hear your sound in a different light. If you want to be noticed by music and movie producers, go to the places where they are most densely populated and do everything you can to make them hear you. If you want something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done.