Tuesday, September 15, 2009

How to Cure Today’s Ill Music Industry - Mystery Diagnosis or…. Vocal Misconceptions?

For the last several years there has been a big concern among music industry professionals that the music industry is broken. Bigwigs and music industry gurus are exclaiming, “How can we fix it?” Last year I attended Music Expo Europe in London, England. The very first thing that was shown to delegates was a documentary film about the problems which the music industry at large is experiencing today. After the film the delegates were asked for their input for a future documentary film on how to fix the music industry. And the delegates, most of whom were also music industry professionals, were suggesting taking the music elsewhere – to the movies, videogames, Internet and what have you. Not one delegate, until I stood up and spoke on camera, speculated as to why it got broken in the first place. I said, “Please pay attention to the artists. Teach them how to sing properly - and in tune preferably, thus, complying with the standards of professional singing – and teach them how to express themselves authentically on stage and, thus, enable them to give a sincere performance on stage.” And maybe then, I suggested, the records will not be dropped or put on “hiatus” before they see the Record Store shelves. And maybe then people would not ask for their money back after attending a concert in which they were completely disappointed that they had heard an entirely different thing on stage than what they had heard on the record, obviously cleverly fabricated (auto tuned and melodyned) in a high tech recording studio. Milli Vanilli or Ashley Simpson, you ask? Them and quite a few others along with them... The truth of the matter is that, yes, the artists are being picked from the cream of the crop of good looking people and, yes, also from the cream of the crop of somewhat talented people. And then they have been surrounded by the best musicians and producers who have presumed that the singing voice is a minor detail. The songs are good they exclaim! And, oh yeah, “she looks so beautiful and sexy!” Not even once did it occur in anybody’s mind that the artist does not know how to use his or her God given voice and, thus, is in jeopardy to wear it out to the “bone” and even lose it completely. And when that happens – God forbid – everybody is in awe and exclaims, “What should we do now?” There is a lot of money that has been invested into the whole production and entourage and the question becomes, “How can we save the project?” That is the question indeed. The answer is that they would not even have had to raise this question if they had treated the artist’s voice as an instrument that needs care, attention and nurturing in order to always be ready to reciprocate the high standards of today’s audiences and not to die in the process. You can read more in my next blog, “Vocally Speaking – Passing Off the Beautiful Hair Wig as the Real Deal”.

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