2016 MTV Video Music Awards 8/28 NYC Aug 30, 2016 6:29:01 GMT -5
Post by ilikemusic on Aug 30, 2016 6:29:01 GMT -5
I've had the same thoughts. I may make a thread on this in a different forum (feel free to beat me to it), but my hypothesis is this:
In the Internet/social media age, it's easier than ever before for music creators to get their work out there. This has its pros and cons. While many artists now have a platform for exposure they never would've had in previous decades, a lot of mediocrity is oversaturating the system. No talent is really able to stand out anymore; when it does, it's quickly lost to the vacuum of Spotify, YouTube, etc. to make way for the next one. And with such a heavy emphasis on appearance, visuals, and social media engagement, actual musical talent has become sort of secondary.
Of course, this is completely subjective based on my own experience and listening habits. But I am concerned we now live in an age where we will no longer be able to produce the likes of Madonna, Prince, or Stevie Wonder. The superstar is effectively dead.
I've made threads about this topic on other forums before. I 100% completely agree with everything the both of you just stated. I think what it comes down to, is the current music industry's over-emphasis on targeting the tween and teenage demographic. Most of the newer acts that have emerged from this decade have had ok-sized success, but nothing to brag about compared to the popstars that were even debuting in the late 2000's. I think it's because most of them don't appeal to anyone over the age of 25, and that's being generous. Not to mention, adults are the people that actually go out and purchase music, yet, there are far less artists in the mainstream that actually appeal to them. Bruno Mars, Ed Sheeran, and Adele are really the only new universally appealing acts to have risen to superstardom this decade, but even this was in 2010-2011, before the domination of social media really came into play.
Labels no longer develop artists. I know for a fact that they have close to a 0% in the budget for actually taking time to craft someone into a long lasting artist (and product). They're all about quick money, nowadays. If an act is trendy, they'll milk them for all they've got but will have no hesitation to throw them into the garbage bin once the trend is over. People don't buy music, so 95% of what you hear on Top 40 radio is all made by a computer. It's cheaper, more cost-effective, and quicker than hiring session musicians to actually play instruments. I love Adele, don't get me wrong, but she really isn't all that innovative. She just appears this way because she's one of the only mainstream artists to incorporate live instrumentation into the production of her songs, which in turn, appeals to more people. Everything you hear on the radio nowadays is electronic, and it's gotten monotonous. Speaking of monotony, the same two/three groups of songwriters/producers are responsible for almost every Top 10 hit this decade. Because of this, most pop artists' pretty much have the exact same sound. There are far less artists actually responsible for creating their own craft, and are simply just the voice and face of a product that has little to no distinction from the next one. There is such a lack of diversity in not only pop music, but urban music as well. Almost every Hip-hop/R&B song is marked by auto-tuned half-rapping/half-singing and extremely banal lyrics. Gone are the days where you had to actually be somewhat of a clever lyricist (vulgar or not), which brings me to my next point.....
This goes back to the point that "having actual musical talent" is secondary. It's not only secondary, it's no longer even necessary. We have people like Jacob Sartorius charting on the Hot 100 because he acquired a following by LIP SYNCING on some app that's all the rage with today's teenagers. He can't actually sing, which is evident in how processed/robotic his voice sounds on his songs. Although the harsh robotic autotune sound is no longer trendy, pitch correction is mandatory in today's recordings. You will not find one record that comes out today that does not have some sort of pitch alteration on it, even ones with the best of singers. Recently, as in the past three years, pitch correction is applied to live vocals on most of the award show performances, although it wasn't on any in this current VMA's and it's banned for the Grammy's. Certain artists (Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, and Taylor Swift are the worst offenders) have their vocals edited on almost every major performance they've given in the past 2-3 years. It's obvious to me because I produce/mix vocals myself and my ears can detect any slight use of pitch correction, although their use of it is not very slight. But the average kid, teen, even adult doesn't notice it. Some people actually believe Selena Gomez improved her vocals....... LOL
It's unfortunate to what that present-day music industry has resorted to. It's almost entirely style over substance, and even the "styles" are lame. Sorry for such a long post, I'm just very opinionated lol.