Memphis is a great place to call home no matter what, but for aspiring musicians, it’s particularly special. Memphis has become a mecca for musicians for many reasons.
We have our share of musical landmarks, as famous artists like Elvis Presley, B.B. King, Otis Redding and more have called Memphis home. But present-day Memphis is also experiencing a musical renaissance that new artists want to be a part of.
A dollar goes further in Memphis
Once you’ve sold a million records, you can live anywhere you want. If you’re just getting your start in the music industry, however, the world isn’t quite your oyster—yet. That said, music industry jobs in Memphis pay fairly well, coming in at around 79 percent of the average national salary. It also helps that Memphis is one of the cheapest big cities to live in, regardless of what you do for a living.
The live music scene
Beale Street is one of the biggest reasons Memphis has such a reputation for being a musician’s city. While the highlight is B.B. King’s Blues Club, the downtown street is lined with venues featuring live music on any given day of the week. And, who knows? Maybe you’ll see your name in lights on Beale sooner rather than later.
An eclectic musical mix
Seattle’s got grunge, New York and Los Angeles have hip-hop and rock, and Nashville is the home of country music. While Memphis is known as the birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll and the home of the blues, today’s Memphis music scene boasts a bit of everything.
For instance, 8ball & MJG put Memphis hip-hop on the map in the ‘90s, then Three 6 Mafia picked up the mantle around the turn of the century. If punk is more your jam, Goner Records is home to a loyal and talented group of punk musicians. Whatever you’re into, you’re bound to find your people in Memphis.
Famous music studios
Electrophonic Records and Goner Records may be the current hot spots, but the studios of old have a major presence in Memphis to this day. Why not take a tour of Sun Studio, which became ground zero for rock ‘n’ roll? Alternatively, head on over to the site of Stax Records, which was home to artists such as Otis Redding and Booker T & the M.G.’s in the 1960s.
A lower cost of living
Compared to Nashville, New York and Los Angeles, the cost of living in Memphis is much more reasonable. What does that mean for you? Less time hustling to make ends meet and more opportunities to focus on your art.
Myriad music studios
The iconic Sun Studio is a cornerstone of Memphis music, but it’s by no means the only recording studio in town. Electrophonic Records and Goner Records are just two of the enterprises putting the next generation of Memphis musicians on the map. Could you be one of those musicians?
A vibrant live music scene
Music has been rated the biggest tourist attraction in Memphis, and it’s not hard to see why. In fact, there’s live music playing on Beale Street pretty much any time of the day that you visit, with countless clubs roaring to life each night. To catch large acts and national tours, stop by the nearby FedEx Forum.
Support for the arts
Music is the heart and soul of this city, so it’s no surprise that the arts receive a lot of support from residents and municipal funding alike. The numerous arts and music festivals hosted in these parts offer ample opportunities to showcase new talent—including your own.
A rich music history
It feels like an understatement to say Memphis has a rich musical history. There’s nothing like looking back at the past to get inspired for the future, and reacquainting yourself with the stories of Memphis music legends who made it big will help you do just that.
A lower cost of education
Memphis colleges charge lower tuition fees compared to many of their counterparts, and the selection of art schools in the city is ideal for upcoming songwriters eager to add a string or two to their bows.
Livability—the balance between work and social life—tends to quickly fall by the wayside in many cities, but not Memphis. If you’re considering a move to Memphis, you can rest assured that it’s a well-balanced city offering both business opportunities and a wide range of social activities.
The people of Memphis are warm and friendly, which will help newly relocated artists stave off homesickness and assimilate into new personal and professional networks. Newcomers to the Bluff City are warmly welcomed and embraced by everyone, but don’t just take our word for it—come see for yourself.
A cultural mix
Memphis is filled with different people from all walks of life, each with their own assorted backgrounds and customs. This yields a social and cultural mix that has inspired many a local musician to experiment with sound and rhythm.
You can find your inspiration
Memphis’ musical past gives the present a profoundly soulful feel. There’s just something about living at the crossroads of an urban vibe mingled with the slow rhythms of southern living that lends itself to the small-town feel and close-knit community that have been inspiring artists in Memphis for years.
Looking for musical inspiration in Memphis? Check this out!