When I first got into playing records and writing music, it was with a great group of artists who were really all about just having fun and creating art. We enjoyed it. It inspired us. Lately, however, there’s an influx of artists into our music scene who donâ€™t contribute much, and it just seems like they’re only about fame and hype, less about art. Perhaps itâ€™s always been like this, and I just didnâ€™t notice those people before. Maybe there are just more of them, or maybe theyâ€™re just getting louder.
I always tried to give people credit in terms of following genuine artists, and eventually not supporting the trite ones, but Iâ€™m finding the opposite to be true. People actually do enjoy hype, and sadly it works for a lot of â€œartistsâ€ (if you can call them that). I understand that in the music realm, sometimes the loudest and most obnoxious wins out â€“ but why is this true within a niche genre world? With pop music, you expect the most flamboyant and flashy artists to be the most popular, but now it’s true in the dance music realm, too.
Iâ€™d blame club-owners/managers and promoters, but their job is to bring in the artists who they think are going to have the most pull. Theyâ€™re not looking for the most talented artist â€“ theyâ€™ll book the local artist group that seems to be the â€œflavor of the week,â€ has the most friends on MySpace, or is a friend of someone at the club long before theyâ€™d consider booking the musically inclined local. In their minds, however, music is only one aspect of what they are providing â€“ theyâ€™re offering an overall experience at the venue which involves many different things. With that said, at many venues, booking quality-control is lacking. Since when did music become the least important aspect of nightlife?
Going out to hear exciting, abstract, and emotionally moving music is the main reason I frequent nightclubs. There is a deficit of that lately, and itâ€™s disheartening as both a fan and an artist. I still go out plenty, but sometimes it’s a painful experience to get through a DJ’s set who is just absolutely blind to the crowd, his music and has zero sense of what key heâ€™s in, or what direction the energy should flow. It makes me wonder why heâ€™s even given the privilege to play â€“ but then I realize that talent isnâ€™t what got them there, it was simply the connection.
Those who are making and playing music for the pure love of itâ€¦they shine. And I hope that not only fans, but also promoters and club owners, eventually see through the smoke and mirrors that too many artists represent. The promoters bringing the wrong kind of artist to their clubs will eventually turn off fans, as mundane artists just arenâ€™t going to inspire your crowds to return week after week.
Club-goers and music aficionados should demand more from their artists. There are some unbelievably talented up-and-coming artists, who should hopefully start to take gigs from some of the larger names. Many â€œbig nameâ€ DJs who have become complacent in their world have stopped pushing sounds of their own, and are simply jumping on trends to be a part of whatever is hot at the moment â€“ and theyâ€™re missing the point. Iâ€™m hoping my generation of artists creates a more authentic culture, where weâ€™re embracing art for the right reasons â€“ not trying to simply have a fleeting moment in the spotlight. If we want to have a positive and enjoyable music culture in the future, our current one needs a big change, a shakeup of the status quo.
In any culture â€“ music related or otherwise â€“ change always breeds innovation, inspiration, and new developments. It’s for it. Those who are at the apex of the previous culture are obviously threatened, but if youâ€™re still on your game and can adapt, you will succeed and be a part of whatever is next. Our current culture, events, promoters and (many) artists are undeniably stale and have hit a plateau of sorts (you can throw your stones now). But the future can still be bright â€“ we must simply follow the right path and support genuine artists, events and venues, and block out or ignore the fake.