On Monday, music blogger, DJ, event curator and music supervisor Niall Byrne visited UL as part of CSIS Design, Art and Technology Seminar Series 2018.
The event was organised in conjunction with Cabal, where Niall Byrne was DJing on the night.
Better known under his pseudonym Nialler9, the Irishman is at the helm of the most-read Irish music site nialler9.com.
On the evening, Mr Byrne discussed the declining influence of mainstream print media in music, what he feels the Irish music industry needs more of and the struggle of making a living in the music industry.
He was honest about the financial struggle of making money in the music industry and the need to branch out in order to make a living.
“I started writing about music, and that was my first thing, and then I’ve had to expand that in to a business with music discovery at its core.”
Currently, the Dublin writer also presents a podcast, is a music supervisor with Avant Music Port, DJ’s at Lumo Club and elsewhere, manages a band (Le Bloom), curates events, and writes for The Irish Times along with his blog.
“I essentially have five different jobs, and that’s the only way I can manage to keep myself going.”
When asked about whether he believes the influence of mainstream media, particularly print media, was in decline, he stated “they don’t have time for music anymore.”
He noted there was “a lot less criticism” in print media outlets and “music doesn’t make them much money.”
There were some positive takeaways from the talk too, with Mr Byrne noting that independent artists used to be seen as “second tier” but he believes “the independent industry that had disappeared is starting to come back.”
He also believes we are starting to see “more and more support” for homegrown music and praised 2fm for “doing a lot better” in terms of supporting new artists and sponsoring the Choice Music prize.
When discussing what the Irish music industry can do better, Mr Byrne cited the need for more managers.
“We could do with more artists managers, more artists managers that are experienced and can take these artists out of the country.”
The blogger also said, “arts funding is probably about 30 years behind itself” and noted that classical music gets a lot more support than commercial music in Ireland and this is something that needs to change.
“Music modernizes itself and everyone else needs to catch up.”
Music, Media & Performance Technology and Digital Media Design students were advised by Mr Byrne that the best way to get ahead in the music industry is to build collectives and work together.
“The value of collectives is very strong at the moment, you can do a lot together as a group of people.”