It’s easy to lose yourself in establishment culture.
Pop artist Lorde wrote Royals in her bedroom when she was 16. She had something to say. But she couldn’t recapture the same magic since she wrote her debut album Pure Heroin.
She had a long time to work on the first album. Also, it’s written without obsessing about success. Lorde’s idea of Royals came from an article in National Geographic with a picture of Kansas City Royals baseball. She said “It was just that word. It was really cool. In fact, she didn’t even like the song.
Some of the best ideas come from your childhood when you put no rules on creativity. It’s an innocent time with little barriers. As time moves on circumstances change your Life. Your environment becomes more stressful with daily rituals and there’s more societal demands.
Establishment culture becomes more frightening real. You try to fit in. With Lorde’s success came corporate sponsorships. Olivia Rodrigo is releasing PSA’s.
The label and publisher start demanding more songs. You start getting nervous because you aren’t at a high state of awareness to create.
More parties to attend. You meet new people from touring like choreographers, make up artists, and Tiktok influencers. Everyone is giving you advice. Life becomes a blur.
You start conforming to the people around you.
Not only will you start talking like the people you hang around, but you will start to adopt their beliefs, opinions and world views.
You’ll start questioning everyone you know, your thinking and feelings. Is it real or fake?
You feel disconnected from yourself and reality. Learning to like applause is easier to learning to like yourself.
You’re being swallowed up in establishment culture until you’re accused of being culture vulture like Iggy Azalea. Like Azalea, you’ll quit. The inspiration will be gone. You’ll no longer enjoy music. You’ll hate what you loved.
You must survive the disaster. Remember who you are and don’t forget it. Remember the struggles you went through and give credit to those who helped you in your journey. Don’t forget what connected you to music. Keep your inner circle small with people who know you. Your relationships need to be authentic. Anchor yourself in reality.
Breakup with culture before it cancels you.
Social media has created an addiction of wanting to fit in. It’s terrifying to be the one who is the outcast.
The establishment culture shares the same latest trending news. They post the same thoughts. Type the same things. Share the same feelings. Last week it’s Britney. Now it’s Simone Biles. She’s flooded in LIKES, RETWEETS and FOLLOWERS from singers, actors, rappers, models, activists, athletes, and politicians. Nobody will leave this poor girl alone. It’s not like they care about her. No..No. The media and the establishment simpletons just want to ride on her coattails.
Birds of a feather flock together. Who wants to be a social outcast?
I get it. Fitting in is comfortable. It’s the path of least resistance. It’s more gratifying to open your unfollow app and view 2 new follows than 10 lost followers. Even if you’re lying to yourself, it’s still easier than social conflict.
But if you’re a NEW artist wanting to fit in, consider yourself invisible. We have fewer household names, and even less cult figures. Open your social media app and you’ve entered into a world of “sameness”. It’s easy to fit in, to blend in, and hide. Don’t tell me you’re going to embrace your individuality by posting a photo along with the latest trending hashtag.
The moment you open the app you’re looking for acceptance and validation. It’s very hard to create original art under those circumstances.
Michaelengo painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. But he wasn’t looking for approval. But the artist who overly obsesses with need of acceptance will never produce anything of the ages.
If you’re trying to write songs that appeal to the masses you’ll never be your true self because you’ll be always trying to shape yourself to the preferences of the people around you.
People never make history by fitting in. Ask yourself. How am I going to change entertainment? Or political discourse?
Social media created a monoculture monster. The platforms despise originality. If you’re an artist, take note. It’s time to face the monster and fight against the establishment culture.
Spotify launched the Noteable Releases Playlist that will highlight the collaborative process of making music for established and emerging artists. The playlist will include releases from songwriters and producers around the world.
Today on the playlist are the usual suspects – Jack Antonoff, Zaytoven, Finneas O’Connell, Madi Yanofsky, and Autumn Rowe.
Finneas O’Connell thoughts on Noteable Releases:
“As a person who has always been curious who played what role behind the scenes on every project I’ve ever listened to and loved, I’m thrilled. Wish this had been around when I was 13, I would have eaten it up!”
Jack Antonoff shares:
“I think any way that people can start to understand more about how these records are made and what goes into them and the process is thrilling – I always used to dig up any information I could so the more readily available it is is cool.”
Music found a new competitor. It’s called digital distraction. Music has the ability to evoke emotions and it releases Dopamine, the neurotransmitters associated with reward. Social media also releases dopamine. Music can be addicting, but Twitter and Facebook are more addicting. That’s why you’ll get more likes with your photo in a bikini than a song.
Instead of breeding music junkies, the world is birthing social media junkies getting their dopamine fix from cunning engineered platforms.
The Beatles performing in the middle of a casino couldn’t warrant the attention of a gambling addict playing a slot machine. The slots to the addict are far more addicting than a 3 minute song performed by the greatest band of all time.
Today, you’re competing in the world’s largest casino filled with junkies checking their phones every 5 minutes. Likes, clicks, smiley emojis, and hashtags. Nobody is listening. They are not engaged.
You may even find yourself getting sucked in the digital delusion, hence, must create daily distraction-free rituals.
You thought social media was your friend. You were told it was great way to engage with customers, and develop a brand. The jokes on you. We are the customers. You are THEIR brand. You make up the the 2.7 billion monthly active users that drives the stock price. Ed Sheeran generated $775.6 million from touring, not on Twitter.
Stop trying to communicate with a junkie and take your music to the streets. You’ll be better off than hiding in the realm of social media. You have to be passionate about your art. Wait outside of the hotel rooms for the bigger artists that come to your town. Play your music and find your way backstage.
Start busking and street performing, you’ll never know who you will meet. You’ll have the ability to make people fall in love if you have superstar talent. You’ll know it when people stick around by the end of your first song. If you get 100 by the end of your 3rd, it’s even better. If you get shutdown by the police, you’re going Hollywood.
You couldn’t be more wrong if you think street performing is passé. It’s easy to put yourself online, but street performing requires effort. This is how Tones And I made it. Her breakout hit ‘Dance Monkey’ was the biggest song 2020. But you wouldn’t have heard of her had she not danced herself from the streets to the charts.
Serendipity, and the right place and the right time is still the emperor, not algorithms.
Stop communicating with addicts. Take your music to back to the streets. It’s back to busking.
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.
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.