As any experienced musician would tell you, it’s important to keep up with changes in the music industry to stay relevant. You should be aware of different evolutions in music production, yesteryears’ musicians who have aced the game, and the kind of trends expected to come in the future.
Having this knowledge can inspire you as a musician or music producer to produce excellent and soul-inspiring music.
While there are plenty of ways you can stay relevant, watching music documentaries is an entertaining way to learn about the industry. These documentaries can give you the backstories of legendary musicians and the context of their finest works.
We have pulled together some of the best music documentaries from the last few decades in this blog that can help you become a successful musician. These can serve as your base for further exploration of the global music scene.
What music documentaries in London can inspire you as a musician in 2022?
If you are new to music documentaries, here are some of the best programmes to start your binge.
What happened, Miss Simone (2015)
Nina Simone was one of the most gifted singers, pianists and songwriters in the western world. Her story is all the more inspiring because of her challenges as a black musician in the 20th century.
This documentary explores some of her personal struggles against oppression, abuse and mental health problems that she dealt with in her lifetime. While it’s a fairly conventional documentary, the rare archived footage of her music performance makes it special.
This 101-minute documentary recently won an Emmy for Outstanding Documentary and is available to watch on Netflix.
Anvil! The Story of Anvil (2009)
Anvil had a relatively short success span as a band that lasted for only a couple of years in the mid-80s. The documentary catches up with the band, including their lead vocalist called Lips, 30 years after their prime time.
The documentary explores their contribution to metal music and how their work paved the way for future metal megastars like Slayer. It tracks the band’s efforts to get back together after 30 years, including borrowing money to record their 13th album and cold-calling studio executives.
This documentary has won a couple of awards, including the Evening Standard British Film Award for Best Documentary. You can watch this film on Amazon Prime.
Bros: After the Screaming Stops (2018)
Bros was a famous British boy band that took the late ‘80s by storm with their single “When Will I Be Famous.” Three decades later, this documentary follows two prominent band members, Matt and Luke Goss..
The documentary follows them as they make their way back to England after 30 years for a comeback show at London’s O2 Arena. This show was dubbed the biggest reunion in pop history.
The documentary is filled with remarkable quotes that are delivered with honest humour. It also peeks into the minds of the estranged brothers, who still find themselves grappling with the aftermath of stardom. This 98-minute film is available on YouTube.
Amy Winehouse is considered one of the most significant R&B and jazz vocalists of all time. This documentary delves deeper into her rise to fame and subsequent struggle with substance abuse and mental illness.
The film contains many rare moments of archival footage of her stage shows, concerts and personal life. It is a great medium to understand the popular jazz form from the perspective of a musician.
The film was directed by Asif Kapadia and is available on iTunes.
Avicii: True Stories (2017)
Avicii is considered one of the most legendary artists of our generation, who spearheaded supersized EDM tracks. However, the man behind the name, Tim Bergling, was actually battling various addictions and the stress of touring in his personal life.
This documentary includes intimate real-life footage and family archives of this legendary musician. The film is unflinchingly honest about his life mistakes and the impact of his personal decisions. At a point in the documentary, Avicii said bleakly that his musical tours would kill him—a chilling prediction that comes true later.
This 97-minute documentary on BBC iPlayer is one of the most touching portrayals you can find of this musical prodigy.
Here are some more interesting music documentaries in 2022 to watch out for if you want to dig deep into the music documentary genre.
- It Might Get Loud (2008)
- Sign o’ the Times (1987)
- Stop Making Sense (1984)
- Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme (2000)
- Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry (2021)
- Beyonce: Homecoming (2019)
- Searching for Sugar Man (2012)
- A Great Day in Harlem (1994)
- Long Strange Trip (2017)
What else can you do to enhance your understanding of the global music industry?
While these documentaries can spark your interest in music and give you an artist’s perspective, you need to put in more effort to hone your musical skills.
A comprehensive music performance programme can help you acquire all the skills you need to shine as a musician in the entertainment industry. It can help you develop your original style of music creation and teach you to withstand the fierce competition within the industry.
The London College of Creative Media (LCCM) offers a great MMus in Music Performance that can be an ideal fit for you. This master’s degree in music helps you develop specialist music skills as a performer, composer or music director.
The music performance course covers important aspects of music creation such as musical instruments, music composition for different media and score writing. The coursework prepares you for versatile roles like songwriter, music entrepreneur and band member.
Click here to enrol for this programme at LCCM today!