Jacalan, Tristan A.
POLISCI Final Paper
Term 1, AY 2013 - 2014
The State of Music Today
In my opinion, most of today’s music has no soul. Although opinions may differ, this statement holds true to many people. The music industry is slowly destroying music. It is a sad irony, but it true. Music has always been a lucrative way to make money. Music has always been a business. People paid to hear talented musicians play their music. People pay very large amounts, sometimes too extravagant, sums of money to watch their favorite bands or artists perform at live concerts. People constantly every release of their favorite band or artists. The fact is that, people spend money on music.
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Record companies are often thought of as the main antagonists in the music industry. They are the destroyers of dreams, the business men, the politicians of the industry. The music industry revolves around money. Artists sign with record companies to make money off their talents. These record companies provide an avenue for the artist to become successful. They provide the means for artists to spread their music to their fans. Of course, they have to fairly pay the artist what they are justly due for their work, but these big record companies have the tendency not to. An example of these would be the Beatles. The band felt like they were not being paid enough royalties for the use of their songs and merchandise by their current record label that they decided to create their own record company, which is Apple Records. Many artists soon felt like they were under-appreciated by their record labels that they soon followed suit, which led to what is now known as independent record labels. An independent record label gives complete creative control to the artist, which allows the artist to fully express his music without external influence or control.
This is one of the many problems that new emerging artists have to deal with, since they are new and are in need of support from these record companies, they have to make a deal with the company. This is where the politics begin. The promotion of music is politics. It is not as simple as walking into the studio and recording a record, there are complications. You have to take several things into consideration. In today’s music industry artists have to worry about their image. The record company usually sets the image of what the artist should look like, how they dress, and how they are presented to their fans. Sometimes the record label completely overhauls the image of the artist in order to sell more records. A prime example of this would be the case of Miley Cyrus. Her image radically shifted from a small-town country star and Disney alumni to an out of control party girl. Her controversial MTV Video Music Awards Performance raised many eyebrows and gained plenty of attention. That was her objective. She’s basically just trying to sell more records, by using controversy to gain obtain attention.
Record labels also control the creative direction of the artist. It is the record executives that decide whether the music is good enough or not. The artist can make good music and no one will ever hear it because it was never approved by the record companies. The record executives may decide that the album will not sell or the artist might be too unmarketable. Record labels rely on research and trends to determine what good music is. This is wrong because it should be the fans who decide whether they like the music or not. The label should not decide where the artist wants to go with their music. Since the music came from the artist, creative control belongs to the artist. There are artists who end up...