MY REAL BEEF WITH POP MUSIC

The most talented, qualified, and passionate people in any profession, we hope are the leaders of their respective fields. In a musical sense, I believe an artist who composes, performs, and writes their own material should command the most respect and appreciation from their peers, if they are good. So my beef is that there are millions of these artists on earth and they are not the most financially successful people in music. The majority of top earning pop acts from the dawn of music commercialism to present day, are all products of the exact same corporate formula. The heads of major communication channels (who are more powerful than government) own a strategic network of subsidiary companies which create, market, promote, sell, and broadcast content back through the channels they own.

Key takeaway: these dudes and their uber rich families own all the radio/TV stations, news outlets, and record labels. Record labels are half A&R for established acts / half a music factory from hell. The latter uses extremely talented composers, writers, and musicians – and transposes their material onto a persona which has been proven to appeal to the masses of the time. These personas have talent, drive, commitment and years of dedication to their craft. The problem is the material isn’t theirs, its owned by the label, so the artist has extremely limited input in the artistic direction of the content. This music is constructed specifically to sell and make money for the label and the broadcast platforms that tell society it’s good and popular. This music is not art for art’s sake, it’s an amalgamation of art and talent constructed to turn a profit. Being unable to mass market to the whole of a nation as an independent artist, is what keeps this machine functioning, and the artists starving (figuratively ;))

I simply feel the money earned by the music industry is severely imbalanced and partially insincere. Supporting pop music seemingly perpetuates the imbalance so I feel compelled to rant about it sporadically. Truth is, the above applies to all art and creation. Genuine art is equally compromised by artists who become powerful enough to rival the conglomerates and leave their artistic values for profits. So yes, faux artists also contribute significantly to the perpetuation of shitty mainstream music.  Realistically the only practical fight against the plight would be boycotting all forms of mainstream media that is not independently owned by a source trusted to reward talent genuinely. It’s a lot to ask of human beings.

There IS a sliver of good and genuinely composed popular music. Just enough to hide the smoke.. puffing from the smokestacks.. of the music factory from hell.