I’m sorry Jay Z, Lil Wayne, Beyoncé, Drake, T.I., Chris Brown, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, 2 Chainz, and the rest of you artists that rule the charts. I know I used to be faithful to you. I used to buy every cd (I’m lying, I used to bootleg most of you). I used to watch every video. I used to tell my friends about you and we would compare our favorites. I was caught up in everything that you did (and I still am, hell I work for a radio company). You did it big on so many levels and it was so easy to love you. Now I’m not saying I don’t have any love for you and I will always appreciate your work and be there to listen to all of your latest music. But I must admit my eyes have been opened and I have seen that there is a lot more out there for me. Now that I’ve had a taste of this new new I can’t stop thirsting for it.
I don’t know if it’s due to the fact that I’m getting older and more mature and so are my tastes. I don’t know if it’s because of technology and how it connects us to music all over the world but I am constantly finding gems and new artists that have quickly become my new favorites. It almost reminds me of the days before television when it didn’t really matter about image and looks and attractiveness as an artist. It reminds me of a time when music was more about song writing, the message, the melody, and the groove. I believe that there isn’t just one reason for the way the landscape in music is changing. But here are a few things that I know have changed the game for me and maybe you too.
Radio’s Door Is Not Big Enough
I believe any program director or on-air personality at any radio station would agree. There are so many artists saturating the game with copycat music. There are so many labels trying to force their latest artist onto the airwaves. There is so much competition between radio stations and other music services. Radio is a stage for the best music to be played at the best time. There are millions of radio listeners that tune in to a radio station at any given moment and they want to hear the best of the best. So radio provides that. If a song is hot with the masses then best believe it will be on radio but for most artists that day may never come.
Nobody Cares What Big Labels Have To Say Anymore
When is the last time you got excited to hear that a certain record label had a new artist that was about to shake up the music world? I can’t remember the last time I even check for what label an artist was one. I have some really good friends who are record reps for various music labels. I feel that their jobs are the most important jobs in the industry today because they help spread the music organically, which is the best way these days. Big ads in magazines, press events, sensationalized marketing of an artist. All of that stuff is dead. Big labels can’t dictate what sound is hot and what artists are hot like they used too. They are losing ground and power very fast.
New Music Is The New Cool
Just like vintage clothes, limited release sneakers, and boutique restaurants, personal taste is the new cool. From fashion to food to music, people are all about discovering unique experiences and showcasing their individuality. Before people used to say “Hey have you heard that new…” now they’re saying “Hey have you ever heard of…” Exploring the vast world of music and finding and artists with a sound you’ve never heard before then sharing that experience with your friends is priceless and makes for a more exciting listening experience. People now have the power to break new artists one new fan at a time.
Lastly, Have You Heard Some Of This Music?
Have you ever heard of Alex Isely, Gwenn Bunn, Joey Bada$$, Jillian Hervey aka Lion Babe, Chance The Rapper, Vikter Duplaix, Little Dragon, SBTRKT, Gilles Peterson, BJ The Chicago Kid, or James Fauntleroy? Well grab your laptop, plug-in your headphones and journey off the beaten path for a musical excursion that will open your eyes to a world you may never have known existed. Enjoy the hunt!
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