Dear Mainstream Music Industry: We Bored.
Just like everyone else, I heard Desiigner and thought it was Future. Don’t get me wrong, I love “Panda.” It jams. However, I couldn’t help but think, “How did this guy get a record deal sounding JUST LIKE Future?!” Then I thought about it: Every artist that comes out sounds like another artist before him/her.
I mean, there was the collective ear pressed to the radio to see if Ariana Grande “loved the way” or if Mariah Carey did. I thought, for a good long while, that Amy Winehouse was trying something new before I learned who Duffy was. And while Kanye West definitely only sounds like himself, I struggled for the longest time to find a song that didn’t include a sample of something my dad and I used to listen to from his old collection.
So what exactly is the deal, Mainstream Music Industry? I know from SoundCloud, YouTube, and Instagram that there is no shortage of new artists with fresh sounds. Do people really have to “create a buzz” to be considered legitimate artists, because last time I checked, prominence and significance were not directly correlated. So have you all gotten lazy? Are the days of popping up at local talent shows and searching hashtags dead and gone? Is money the motive? WE NEED ANSWERS.
My fear is that you all are suffering from what I’d like to call, “Contemporary Christian Syndrome.” I am a self-proclaimed church brat, and I wasn’t even allowed to listen to secular music until…well, I still don’t think it’s OK but I think my parents have given up. Anyway, what happened was contemporary Christian music jammed. It would pop up every now and then on MTV, and I took great pride in informing all of my friends that “This song is about Jesus.” By the time I was in high school, though, a “formula” of sorts had been developed, and if you didn’t fit in it, you weren’t going to make it in that genre. Perhaps this happened in all genres, but that’s where I saw it the most, and it’s still happening. My musical haven, then, was secular music. Now, I don’t know where to turn.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to be inspired by other artists, but when do we stop and ask up-and-coming artists, “Your inspirations are cool, but what do you sound like?”
I know you guys aren’t worried about this because you can keep recycling sounds as younger kids forget or aren’t privy to older artists, but we millennials are getting a little sick of turning radio stations and hearing the exact same song and artist on three different stations.
Please get it together.
Music Consumers Everywhere