America entertainment is polarized with politics. But not in India’s Bollywood or South Koreas K-Pop machine. For them it’s dance, song, and escapism. BTS adds $3.6 Billion to the Korean economy.
In America, many claim the ruling class has curtailed creative freedom. Comedian Chris Rock said entertainment is boring.
Entertainment in America WAS a vehicle for escapism. It took us away from reality into a world of imagination. Today, entertainment has become politicized, polarized, and fueled with debate.
Look at the stir around Aaron Lewis and his #1 country song “Am I The Only One” and the backlash against Billie Eilish, and Olivia’s Rodrigo visit to the WH which stirred backlash.
Decades before, artists were immune to criticism. Now, many are scared and are lying low. Let’s face it, entertainers are either polarized or paralyzed.
Do Americans want to escape? Yes they do. They want to escape from the onslaught of media and negativism.
But for this reason, people disengaged. Everybody is an observer, scrolling through hollow TikTok videos in a near hypnotic state.
The artist that steps up the game will win. Olivia Rodrigo won people over with her emotionally charged songs. To get there, you may need to unplug yourself from the grid and once you have something, plug back in. If you’re not pushing something on social media, there is no reason to be on it. Creativity will manifest living outside, not living on social media which is rigged by marketers.
Break out of the matrix. Live outside. Big things will happen.
Artists need to smarten up. The platforms make it easy to dumb yourself down. This isn’t a criticism against Tiktok. It can be beneficial. Fire is useful. It’s used to cook food but it can also burn down the house. TikTok is all about the daily trend. If you run out of ideas, they give you ideas. But conformists follows trends and individuality is lost in trends, whereas artist is all about individuality, freedom, self examination and self expression.
TikTok tells you what songs to use in your video. Tiktok will give you memes, monologues and challenges, If you don’t know what to feel or say in your video.
TikTok is playing the role of the artist setting trends, and the artist is behaving like a consumer following trends.
Think about it. The labels have a deal with TikTok and not the consumer, unless you are influencer.
Listen, if you want to jump on the algorithmic bandwagon and repost the meme “ You want me, I want you, baby My sugarboo, I’m levitating”…that’s fine. But make a statement, make it stick, and then jump off the wagon.
Olivia Rodrigo, is getting called by the ruling class to deliver a public service announcement. This needs to revert to the time when artists were above the ruling class. But she’ll follow the command like a faithful dog given by the master.
It’s easy to chase a trend and respond to the call. Don’t forget to say NO. Remember, NO is better than YES, and NO can pay dividends.
Stop being used. Use the platform to grow your base, not to embolden THEIR platform.
Members of the UK Parliament are calling for a complete streaming reset to assure artists are paid fairly.
Royalties should be split 50/50, instead of the current rate, where artists receive about 16% according to the report.
“While streaming has brought significant profits to the recorded music industry, the talent behind it – performers, songwriters and composers – are losing out,” said Julian Knight, MP.
“Only a complete reset of streaming that enshrines in law their rights to a fair share of the earnings will do.”
Streaming companies really don’t care who gets paid as long as they get their 30%. They pay out 70% to labels, publishers and artists.
The MP’s are calling for an equal split between labels and artists.
The committee also noted that streaming inequity bolsters the already successful artist and creates barriers to entry for a new artist……33% of the music streamed in the US this year were new songs.
Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’, a song written 40 years ago just surpassed a billion Spotify streams. How many songs that are released today will stream big numbers 30 years from now? Certainly Ed Sheeran’s ‘Perfect’ and Lewis Capaldi’s “Someone You Loved” but it’s slim pickings. Blame culture, technology, and digital distraction.
But Don’t Stop Believin’ lives forever and it’s rediscovered by generation after generation. A great tune has no time stamp nor expiration date.
It’s easy to follow the trends and throw down a 30 second beat hoping some dimwit moves to it on TikTok. But do you want a 30 second rush or a 30 year journey?
If you look at writers today, they want 30 seconds of viral fame. A short term investment mindset. One and Done. A flash in the pan.
But I believe a new crop of artists are growing that are writing songs for a generation because they are in touch with themselves after losing themselves in the digital world. In world grown cold, artists are weary of the data entranced business.
I see it. I believe. Don’t stop believin’
The moment a newcomer has a HIT, everybody wants to crash the party, take a selfie and CASH IN – the songwriters, music producers, and chart topping artists. It’s an open game for the new player, and naively, they let everyone in, and shortly after, they’re squeezed out. Today, this takes the form of artist collaboration and features.
But collaborating is killing artist individuality.
Here is an example. The Kid LAROI is a breaking artist. His track Without You is a hard-to-come-by radio hit. I love the track. Then Miley Cyrus is added to the remix of LAROI’s “Without You”.
The track is just gathering steam. It’s pre-mature for a feature. I barely know The Kid LAROI. He’s a 17 year old that rose up the music ranks in Australia before moving to Los Angeles. I want more of LAROI, but now Miley Cyrus is singing the opening verse. I like Miley too, but maybe not Miley with LAROI. Now, LAROI and Miley are rooted in my mind. Brand association. It’s a marketing mess. The artist is losing individuality that was sacrificed on the alter of audience reach.
And now LAROI has paired up with Justin Bieber for a track titled Stay. This keeps Bieber on the top shelf while LAROI sits in the stockroom, never given a chance to make a first and lasting impression.
I understand the team wants to reach the largest audience possible, but artists’ need more time to develop a face, a brand, a statement before they start attaching themselves to brands and other artists. I hope Olivia Rodrigo is listening.
There are two ways to climb to the top. You can affiliate yourself with others and be a guest at the kings table, or you can dominate and be the king. Eminem came out as a king. He wasn’t releasing remixes with guest vocals by Britney Spears or Nick Carter of Backstreet Boys, instead he aligned himself with Dr. Dre. His name, his brand, his influences were important to him. He didn’t want that tossed for profit, and nobody cashed off of Eminem.