By Jorge Cantu
What is real music today? It seems real music’s definition has been lost in a world of image based, catchy and money driven hit songs. With their glossy production and team of engineers behind them (not including the actual artist), it seems the perfect formula has been made for so called ‘ear candy’.
In other words these hit songs are usually undeniably catchy, and image driven. The average hip hop video on MTV consists of several different camera shots per minute, each with effects, painting a picture of the life of a ‘rapper’. With bottles of alcohol and money (along with the girls) being tossed around and used like it means nothing to them, these artist project an image as well as delivering their ‘ear candy’ song to the viewer.
So your favorite artist is Flo Rida or Britney Spears? Well here is a quick summary of what you’re actually listening to.
You’re listening to a team of engineers, a few producers, and other songwriters who get together to write these artists songs. Sure some of the songs are left up to the artist, and some artists may come up with a lot of the ideas, but these big music companies don’t tell you to sign big money locked contracts for nothing. They are signing you for the money, and if it means you (the artist) having to accept that your music will change (and may not be entirely written by you), then that’s something the artist will have to accept if wanting to make that much money.
You think Flo Rida really wrote all of his songs, including ‘Get Low’? No, his song goes along with his image, the video being shot in a club and showing specifically what the lyrical content delivers.
It is the world of business, and in business, money is the number one thing. What I feel is lost now-a-days is a person’s own, honest, and real music. Many of the bands I listen to have since become famous, and I usually always stick to their first album. In my opinion, the first indie label albums are usually the best and most raw. They aren’t plagued with the glossy production values and team of musicians (aka businessman) trying to change your music.
I am a musician myself, and have been for a number of years. Being able to appreciate the technical musicianship of some artists, it sort of frustrates me when people buy into the mainstream music scene so much. I understand that some of the top hit songs in the country are catchy, but hey, they don’t spend truckloads of money to produce a record that wouldn’t be catchy, right?
To me these hit songs are not real music, they are not the artists own, they are simply a money making machine, with the artist driving this machine with their image.
I have a band at the moment, named Farewell Austerity. We play progressive metalcore, and it is something I love and never want to give up. My dream is to be signed to some sort of label, just to get some recognition of the hard work we put into the band.
This may seem contradictory to my earlier angry sentiments about mainstream music not being real music, but hey, if Sony Music came up to my band and offered a check for a million dollars (even if it meant having to change our sound), that would be an offer too good to refuse. Don’t you think?