What a pleasant surprise when you hear a previously almost unknown musician or band on the radio or while walking through a mall. You have known them for a few years, because you love music. Not because you gravitate to “alternative”, but because you gravitate to quality music.
Though now mainstream music covers hoes and gangstas, bitches and crooks and their, yawn, adventures, or messy projections onto the world. (Maybe the songwriters will be locked up one day for brainwashing and luring listeners into sex trafficking, shady business, crimes, or pay huge fines to those whose lives they have damaged. A reasonable hope.) And once those performers sober up from whatever high they are on, they will notice that what they deliver isn’t the message they would want their kids to listen to, isn’t even a message they can feel good about… and perhaps choose the content they would love to sing about and let the world know about the next time they record.
Meanwhile, artists who took control of their creativity and their image sing about feelings, community, activism, their city or land, romance, marriage, parenting,… — topics that will be in style even after the obsession with hoes and gangstas has run its course.. With a little luck and with an audience whose ears are intact, they make it big too — because people enjoy good tunes, and always will, and attraction ends up having more power than promotion.
Oh, the singer I heard in an unexpected place this week was Lianne La Havas. But I am always happy for creatives who get the exposure they deserve. Especially now when so much of what is considered art or pop culture is sick, formulaic, unoriginal, immoral, empty, suicidal, just crappy. Who wants that?
30 June 2019