Saturday, July 17, 2010

Music Industry Resurrection: Given the present situation ... is it even in the stars?

Being involved in the music industry for over 30 years in Canada, I have a lot of observations watching it from inside and out.

When I first came in March of 1980, there were a lot of things happening, musically speaking and otherwise, as music is always a reflection of what's happening in that present time. There were great artists rising up, like Celine Dion, Madonna, Barbra Streisand, Bette Midler and many more. Specializing in vocals, I started my career with the garage bands and pop star wannabes. Those years the immigration from European countries like Russia, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Poland and others was at a very high rate. A lot of people were coming with children and teenagers and being brought up the European way, were willing to work hard to give their youngsters music education and helping them to succeed in the music industry. The children of those times were also very receptive, seeing that the music industry was happening and true to their cause new stars were rising up, minimum to say, on a monthly basis, they too had ambitions, desires, passion and willingness and lovingness to persevere. The music industry in those days was also quite true to their cause, as they were looking for true talents, finding them and taking them for development, i.e. investing their funds into grooming them into a real happening big time artist.

Then came the 90s. The technology started to kick in and a minor recession took place as well and things started to change. Now we started seeing younger and much less talented artists being somewhat fabricated by the music industry, however, not in a full bloom yet. We also started seeing a lot of groups popping out, quite out of the blue. Granted, since the technology was progressing rather rapidly, the in-studio "in-vitro fertilization" was taking a great part in producing somewhat listenable records, with the difference already then, not too many artists could resemble it live.

And now came Y2K. Everybody was scared that the world's end was near. There were a lot of predictions about the computers not being reset properly and therefore, the whole world was supposed to evidently go to pieces. Luckily, that didn't happen and those who were hiding away from their dreams and trying to suppress them came out on the surface in a full bloom. People were bringing me tons of cash, which were hidden away in pillow cases in case the world was actually to end. When they found that it didn't (at least not just yet) they decided to try to enhance their musical abilities and see if they could succeed in this genre.

Came 2001, September 11th, a tragedy in New York. Given to what was happening before, I was 100/100 sure that my world would end this time, as people would be scared and would not come for any vocal lessons, recordings or whatever else my practice consists of. To my and my accountant's biggest surprise, my business skyrocketed four times over. It felt like we were "going out of style" and people were afraid that something drastic might happen to them and this time, they decided to persevere full tilt and realize their dreams before they might be "crushed" by the next terror attacks. It was great, and I was producing a lot of talent, but then came 2004, where I felt that the generation of people who I was accustomed to changed drastically. The new people were coming, but they were much less physical (the computers were taking a huge turn in our lives), much more lazy, much less motivated with much less passion.

Thank God for American and Canadian Idol televisions shows that were thriving at the time, as they were rejuvenating the spirits a little bit and then brought healthy competitiveness between future artists to be. And then, 2 years later, after my client Brian Melo won the competition in 2007, Canadian Idol was canceled. There was a lot of disappointment amongst the young population whose dreams were to become the next Canadian Idol and/or somehow to succeed in the music industry. They then turned to the computer games instead and the music industry turned also to their computers, but this time really in depth. The in studio in-vitro fertilization turned into a "genie in a bottle". Those so called artists who could afford the top producers were "helped" immensely to realize their so called talents. The music was sounding more and more digitized, autotuned and melodined. The concert tickets were not selling as much, as not too many of the artists of those times could resemble anything remotely on stage which would remind of what was "recorded" prior on their record. Some of them were booted out, as they could not even play their record, let alone sing. Meanwhile, the consumer was getting "smarter" by the minute. They stopped going to concerts and started downloading everything on their computers. And then and only then, if they liked what they heard online, they would consider to spend the money and come out to the club or a bigger venue. Needless to say, the electronics began to run our world. The conclusion is that 1% of today's known artists could sing to the point that you don't have to cover your ears (also to protect them from the enormous decibels shooting at you). All the rest of them, sometimes even in the recorded version, were sounding absolutely horrendous.

The question is, where are we going to end up in this world and in the music industry in particular? The young generation is getting used to off key, off tone and off tune singing and a "circus" performance. Would they know the difference if and when the "real deal" will take place? My hope and wish for the world and for the music industry for that matter, is that they would return to their true value, true standards and be true to their cause. Am I confident that it's going to happen? Unfortunately, not quite. I can only hope and pray that finally people will get fed up with all fake endeavors happening in our world on every level and needless to say, in the music industry, as the music industry is is a reflection of what is happening in the world. In my last blog about the Lady Gaga craze, it was really clearly underlined that the world has gone crazy and unfortunately, getting crazier and without any borders or boundaries and now already by the second. How scary is that?

So the question is, will our music in general and music industry for that matter in particular eventually reflect a better or more sane world or is it not even in the stars?

Reference:
Please refer to the movie of the 90s "Mr. Holland's Opus"

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