BARUCH COLLEGE–When Analea Harris moved to New York City to pursue music, they didn’t know anyone. They did everything that was expected of a burgeoning musician, social media promotion, online jam groups, cold emails. But to their surprise, Analea found their community in an unlikely place: In real life, at an open mic night.
“It’s kind of like dating, you know,” they said. “Spending time with different people and trying to see what’s gonna work, and what doesn’t work.”
Harris, whose stage name is Analea, is not alone in encountering a sense of community from in-person performances rather than social media promotion. In 2017, Sage Journals found that actual online discovery rarely happens and that real-life fanbases have more value to musicians’ revenues.