Pioneers – in today music industry does it still make sense?
In a few days my fave music act is going to release worldwide their new studio album. My discussion is not if I’m excited or less to get it, after 37 years the guys are on the road, what my expectations on the record are…
The hint for my actual ranting is to what extent the musicians are still innovative!!
We lucky fans got the absolute preview of 1/3 of the new record, I don’t think you get with these premiered songs a whole perception of the album, but their campaign is aimed to let you think so. The recurring thought is “it’s typically theirs, but if you listen carefully you can find the typical elements of their music”: eh? With this thought I can’t figure out if they’re once more innovative.
However, was this premieres campaign a pioneering act? Absolutely yes, they never tried it before and this thing had a certain impact on the audience. While other acts, choose to surprise publish their albums on their websites, or a new studio song, they premiered part of the new material on I Tunes. …. U2 did a similar move last Fall: their new studio album was available for download if you were a ITunes user, my heroes made 5 songs available for download if you pre-ordered their record on ITunes. My heroes made a totally NEW act.
They are labelled as, and Awarded by MTV as, “the kings of video clips”, but the NEW fact is that they haven’t shot a clip at all for any of the new official material out.
So, what’s the real meaning of the term “new” today in music?
Every artist is a record company itself, on the personal sites and social platforms, every artist learnt how to use it to cajole his fans and how to appeal on new ones. His managements are a crew of advisors and maybe lawyers, too, who instruct them on the best steps to take. It’s a daily task of the artist and his entourage to find the NEW move to make, monitoring the rest. So you can imagine inspiration and concentration are supposed to be on the top level, daily.
Fans, which are on the other side, have the highest expectations, because they are free to move, to buy whoever’s records and if they get disappointed, they can shake the NEW fact crediting it towards one or the other artist. So, you can imagine fans are less frustrated, ‘coz they can choose, they have no restrictions, whereas the artists do have borders: financial, copyright, rules of common sense limits.
Who pushes to be original and relevant: the other artists or their fans? Once it was the marketing, the statistics made and provided by companies outside of their record labels, based on often hard-to-be-identified sources, but that made a sense for over a decade. Today the key factor is speed, that is I guess the main instinct to move on is watching the others’ moves. Artists are very careful to get informed by monitoring the environment. I don’t mean they have a right to justify their monitoring, because their eyes watch a whole environment… and although they know what the general approach of the fans is after another artist’s move, they take the risk to fail with their own decisions, they know their next step might be a failure. For, in the end, I don’t think the pioneer is a spy today!
As a fan I feel a little disoriented, when am asked who are the pioneer music acts today: I still have in mind the old concept I learnt in the older years (someone like David Bowie, for example). Like it or not, today the music skill or talent in music doesn’t count that much, to be rated a pioneer in music industry.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t feel disappointed about the change of the way of being a pioneer: I do welcome the “new 2.0” ones.
DD TV xx