Lana Del Ray has successfully crafted her image as a retro 60’s songwriter that glorifies death, gloom, & suicide. Not bad for a millionaires daughter. We often her terms thrown around such as a manufactured & authentic. The manufactured artist is the creation by a machine such as a music company while authenticity is truthful in origin, not a copy, and genuine.
Is it possible to manufacture authenticity? Absolutely. “Starbucks decided to force/encourage their staff to request the names of customers when taking orders and then announce them when the drinks were ready. It was an attempt to manufacture authenticity — to artificially create the social bond that might naturally grow between a vendor and customer in a bygone era when local customers patronized local shops staffed by local employees where everybody was on a first name basis” (Kent Valentine)
“Pop artist Lana Del Rey has sold seven million copies of Born To Die Album. “Her rise to fame was flawless, in spite of constant probing about her authenticity, her penchant for being choked in her music videos and the strength of her voice.
“In 2010, she released one bland album under her own name, Lizzie Grant, before she wiped the slate clean, deleted her old material from iTunes and relaunched herself as a ‘gangsta Nancy Sinatra’ – a heartland bad girl in Daisy Duke shorts with a taste for bourbon and older men. Her music was cinematic, melancholic yet pretty catchy, propelled by 808 drumbeats and glossed with vintage Bond theme strings. She appeared a new cross-over force in pop: glamorous, artsy and ‘real’.
But when music hacks sniffed out her previous material, found out she was the daughter of a dot-com New York millionaire, clearly had major label backing, and, with one crushing Saturday Night Live performance, realised she was seemingly incapable of carrying a tune outside of the recording booth, they smelt a rat.
Del Rey went from blogosphere darling to heretic in a matter of weeks, her rise recast as a rouse to lure hapless musos into liking another manufactured pop princess. But does any of that really matter? From Motown to Madonna, some of the best pop music has been made by committee. And some of the greatest pop icons have built their legends on complete lies. Bob Dylan used to claim he ran away from the circus – he, in fact, dropped out of college. No one believed for a second that Michael Jackson really was ‘bad’. Whether or not Del Rey really did ride around in the back of an Al Camino with drug dealers is beside the point.” (Tom Slater)
Not living up to the hype is the biggest risk when manufacturing authenticity & of course you will always loose to authenticity.
Anyhow, if you attend to manufacture authenticity, these key points are worth considering:
Record contracts are just like — I’m gonna say the word – slavery,” Prince said, according to NPR. “I would tell any young artist … don’t sign.”
“Once we have our own resources, we can provide what we need for ourselves,” Prince said. “Jay Z spent $100 million of his own money to build his own service. We have to show support for artists who are trying to own things for themselves.”
Although record contracts benefit the music label, they can still benefit the artist when it comes to mass exposure. In fact, Prince spent the majority of his career signed to a music label that released his music worldwide.
Today, an artist can release their music without a major record label and garner thousands of fans, and under the right circumstances, millions through social media.
Apple has 11 million trial subscribers whereas Jay Z’s Tidal only has 770,000 signups. The streaming business has become very competitive but Apple has shown a lot of might in an already crowded market. Here is the breakdown:
Spotify has 75 million active users, 20 million of which are paying subscribers. Deezer has 16 million monthly active users and 6 million paid subscribers worldwide. Napster and Rhapsody have 3 million users, while Jay Z’s Tidal service has 770,000.
The first 3 videos that played on MTV which launched 34 years ago in August 1981. The Buggles’ “Video Killed the Radio Star”, Pat Benatar’s “You Better Run” video aired second. Rod Stewart’s video for “She Won’t Dance with Me” aired third.
Today, MTV is barely recognizable. Although they still air a music video awards show, most of the programming is reality based shows.
Everybody is bailing at Jay Z’s Tidal including Jay Z himself according to insiders. A mass exodus is happening even though Madonna recently said “this is just beginning for Tidal” in the beginning of the week. This failed venture has cost Jay Z millions of his own money according to sources. These Hollywood stars may figured out that ‘technology’ disruption has weakened ‘celebrity branding’. Throwing a celebrity behind a product no longer guarantees a successful launch.