Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Weird vs. Different – Do you have to be a weirdo to make it?

How “different” or perhaps weird do you have to be to make it in the music business? And why do you have to be “different” or furthermore weird to attract the attention of the general public? I don’t know if I have the answer, but I do have a few ideas and thoughts. In my opinion, people in general are bored and they are constantly looking for something that is not as mundane as their regular lives. And there is nothing necessarily bad about that, as long as it is not being taken out of proportion. Yes, we all want to watch and hear something new and unique. And that’s fine. However, especially lately those new and unique ideas are being turned into very weird and ugly acts. The music videos are becoming more and more explicit and are reminding of XXX porn more so than any music. The content of the videos outside of the porn is reminding of some type of Halloween in the absolutely worst interpretation of that word. That is one side of it. Now let’s touch on a couple of other sides. I have a question – if Susan Boyle happened to be a young, beautiful girl singing the same way that she is singing now, would anybody pay attention to her or, moreover, sign her to a record deal? I highly doubt it, because ultimately she is nothing special. She sang with an okay voice a cover tune from a musical and everybody made a big deal out of it. Why you would ask? Because it is weird due to her age and the way she looks and that she even attempted to go on stage and participate in a competition. It is weird, all right, but people like shocking stories and they applauded this one not realizing that somebody young, beautiful and truly talented is still waiting for their chance to succeed in the music industry. And now let’s explore yet another side of this equation. The new and thriving singer KeSha. When I first listened to her “singing” and her, the least to say, atrocious lyrics, I couldn’t believe that Sony Music actually signed somebody like that. In her lyrics, she is reciting about not working, but partying, dancing, sleeping around randomly, being on drugs, etc. I have read the remarks and comments from what people are saying about her songs. And at first, being still quite na├»ve, I took their side with the passion criticizing this so-called artist and wondered who could sign someone like that, especially given that she is not even looking beautiful? And then I understood what was going on – especially when my associate from the music industry remarked, “That in her case she does not need to look good or sound good.” That puzzled me for a second and then I truly realized what he was saying. Like with Susan Boyle, a reverse psychology is being used. She is not young, not exactly pretty looking, and her singing is nothing special in a real sense. And yet they marketed her as if she is the best thing since sliced bread and made people excited to buy her records because she is an unusual sensation. Worse yet, they are doing a similar thing with KeSha and deriving their profits from the negative publicity. Any publicity is good and, unfortunately, the negative one is sometimes more effective than the positive one. Remember, people are looking for something different or perhaps … weird? How sad is that? Is there any normalcy left in our world?