If you are below 25, there are a lot of chances you have heard this: today’s music sucks, what you are listening will be totally forgotten in 20 or even 10 years… Look at the bands we were listening in the 60’s, the Beatles or the Stones, they are still relevant today and they are still selling music in 2015! Which band today is even gonna be relevant next year?
You have heard it a million times and I am guilty of that too… and if I look at the charts, I have a tendency to approve, look at the cover page of Billboard magazine, Ed Sheeran, Charli XCX, Nick Jonas, Macklemore, Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber, Kelly Clarkson, Davis Guetta, Ariana Grande, Rihanna, Bruno Mars, Mr. Probz and other electronic boredom… and it is just an ordinary day. However, it is true that I have omitted PJ Harvey and Hozier who also feature on the first page… but I will get back to this in a moment.
I want to say that, imagining what will stay with us in 20 years is not even relevant, because today’s situation is really different compared to what was happening in the 60s: there is so much stuff, so much music created and exposed to the world these days! In the 60’s and 70’s, there were much fewer bands than today that we can’t even compare. And it’s not because people are more creative today, but it is just much easier to put music out, because of the internet of course,… who needs a label, a manager when Youtube, Bandcamp, Soundcloud exist? During the 60’s, 70’s, it was hard work to get at the top, now you just have to upload a catchy song on Youtube and that may be it!
So how can you compare the 60’s when people had the choice between may be 10-15 bands played on may be 1 or 2 radio stations, with the present days when we have instant access to millions of songs on dozens and dozens of platforms? It is totally the opposite situation, and the more things are out there, the less chances they have to remain in the culture, the less opportunities they have to stood the test of time!
Today, there is certainly a lot of mediocrity, any American Idol, X Factor product is an example for me! But at the same time, there is a lot of excellent music, it is just harder to find it because of the enormous amount of bands formed every year and songs released each day! So this almost infinite choice can discourage music fans and make them opt for the first trite song they hear, but there is reward for those who have patience. I personally find a lot of mainstream music dull and uninspired, even insignificant, but there is certainly very good music, and the fact that PJ Harvey and Hozier are on Billboard’s first page among all the other ones that I don’t care for, just prove you can find it everywhere. I discover good new music all the time, by listening to indie radios, by going to rather underground shows, and by surfing the internet of course… The possibilities are endless, if you don’t like the Beyoncé-Taylor Swift of the mainstream culture, there always is the Arcade Fire-Vampire Weekend-Kurt Vile-War on Drugs hipster combination or the nostalgic brand (didn’t Bowie and Young release albums recently?) or the pre-hipster trend (feel the blank here)… But, there is so much out there that it is really hard to embrace the whole culture, it’s actually impossible, everything exists as a little subculture among our very diverse culture, everything exists as a niche in this huge musical ecosystem.
So which artist will be remembered in 10 years? I don’t know, but I would say it is a totally irrelevant question because no artist can be embraced by the whole culture like Elvis, the Stones or the Beatles did. I know there is the Swift phenomenon right now, but I know a lot of people (me included) who couldn’t care less for her, and find her songs predictable, calculated and especially disposable, like the rest of our mainstream culture… That’s just my opinion, Swift will probably continue to flourish in her large niche of pretty cover-girls with red lipstick who write superficial songs about their never-ending list of boyfriends, I will continue to follow the niche of those who show their heartbreaks and bleed all over the tracks.
It’s not like it used to be since the internet has provided musicians with more options to have their song heard by a large number of people who have a tendency to like the song and turn into fans of the artist. In the following discussion, we will go through the many methods that you…
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