The rise of the internet has seen the birth of many international online sensations, many of which have risen to fame due to their genuine and candid stories. However, I’ve witnessed countless artist release music that sound nothing like the records that helped create their buzz once they decide to release something on iTunes. It’s a question that’s always been on my mind, why do arists sell out?
Now I know the crowd they’ve appealed to in the past don’t necessarily buy music but times are changing, I’m sure stormzy’s success has signified that already. Some may argue that #49 in the charts with ‘Know Me From’ isn’t enough considering his perceived notoriety, however i’d object that it is proof that genuine music can sell especially with the success of ‘#WickedSkengman4’ & ‘Shut Up’ at #18 & #8 respectively. I’d further convey that sales aren’t the be all and end all of a career, shows & merchandise are a much more lucrative avenue which can be aided by sales.
I’ll never forget being in the kitchen of some of my artist friend’s house and them playing me ‘crossover’ music. I literally told them I’d never support again if that got released (thankfully it didn’t). Myself as an individual who had purchased their music prior and had done all I could to support the campaign didn’t understand why they couldn’t be true to the music in their hearts, true to the music that helped others through difficult times, true to the music that evoked emotion instead of trying to look impressive standing next to ‘mainstream’ artists.
The mainstream is a lie, but I guess many have yet to figure that out. Sales are no longer as large as they used to be and following a formula may increase that number but may have you feeling empty also. In an era where lyricism and authenticity is resurfacing, I am shocked to see people still switching their style for the numbers. I firmly believe those who stay true to their sound will benefit from the rise of this newfound support. Kudos to the Blade Brown’s, the Gunna Dee’s & the Skepta’s.
What are your thoughts? Are the crowd artists currently appeal to never ‘gonna buy music? Is there a truly a shift towards authenticity? Let me know your thoughts.
Peace & Love!