The Price of Fame

Posted: October 14, 2013 in Music
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

As I’ve been thinking about this a lot, it seems to me that today’s music industry is made up of people who are good at being famous.  Many artists from the past were not so.  They were disenfranchised with the whole celebrity lifestyle and society in general. 

Recently I saw an interview with Bob Dylan which showed his dissatisfaction with just about everything.  A life in the spotlight seems to have made Bob a bitter man, who can’t understand why people obsess over his songs to the extent they do.

kurt-cobain-biopic_thumb-500x375

So many artists spring to mind, but Dylan and Kurt Cobain would have to be the two most mainstream examples that seriously tried to jeopardise their fame by subliminally targeting the very industry that was employing them, (or it could be argued, exploiting them).  The press would hound Dylan and ask stupid questions, he’d give stupid answers, though his craft was always serious, and his songs spoke words with conviction.  As for Kurt Cobain, it’s common    knowledge now that In Utero, Nirvana’s third album was deliberately made with the intention of steering away the mainstream following that the band had gained following the success of Nevermind.  This doesn’t mean it wasn’t as good, though it wasn’t made with the intention of emulating success.                                                                                                                                          

Music has always been business, but today the business is greedy, and the artists that could speak up, be angry, and give society a chance to look at itself in the mirror aren’t being given the chance to.  Rather the ones that value money and fame are now the most successful, because being famous, rich and pretty is what sells music now.  

But it’s not just the industry’s fault, it’s your fault as well.  Yes, you the listener.  People would rather stick their heads in the sand and ignore the problems going on by drowning them out with some feel good dance music.  But the problems are still there; they don’t just go away. 

People can claim that music changes with time and we should embrace that.  I can hack that even though I might not like it, but music has lost its self reflective, artistic touch.  Art is about making a statement that challenges thinking, but more importantly helps us to find direction.  I’m sorry but a film clip with some over rated pop star licking a sledge hammer is not challenging us.  The sexual revolution happened 50 years ago people.  What I’m talking about is music that says, stop buying pointless shit, stop burning petrol, stop listening to what some idiot says on TV and wake up to your ignorance. 

Music needs to act as a mirror for society to see all its flaws.  That’s what art is about.

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Comments
  1. Mick says:

    I went bowling and Calvin Harris’ ‘Thinking about you’ music video came on
    I was actually shocked,
    I believe, and i think you’ll find with time that the term ‘music industry’ is actually an oxymoron.
    Pareto taken a back seat on this one

    • That Calvin Harris clip is on the verge of pornographic. And the YouTube followers seem more concerned with ‘arse’ then music. Seriously, the term ‘music industry’ is already an oxymoron in my opinion.

      But don’t be fooled; I don’t speak for all music. Yes there is still good music out there, but I think you get the point.

      Thanks for your comment

  2. Mark says:

    Art is a reflection of society, and due to the over-stimulation of young artists in the 21st century by way of technology, the average attention span of music creators and listeners has decreased; the result of which is the music we have in the charts today. It is a juggernaut too big to overhaul, but staying true to one’s own artistic aesthetic is the path to contentment.

    • couldn’t agree more with you. technology has trully shaped the way people experience the world to the point that attention has been severly jeopardised. I think this reflects a lot on the types of music being created. It takes a long time to learn how to play an instrument well, but today people are less concerned with a long path to success, as the younger generation (which I regretfully am a part of) seeks out instant gratifications.

  3. Lot’s of today’s artists also attempt to distance themselves from ‘the mainstream’ or ‘business’ side of music. Take Lorde, for example. http://musicfeeds.com.au/news/lorde-turned-down-david-guetta-collaboration/

    Just yesterday it came out that she turned down an offer to record a track with David Guetta – one the of the world’s most popular DJs, and a potential collaboration worth millions in sales and exposure. And this was before her song ‘Royals’ blew up. Sure, you could argue that it was a PR stunt, but regardless, she’s distancing herself from what’s deemed ‘commercial’.

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