|24.03.16 - No. 14
Music is nonsense.
What on earth does that mean? I rap and make music for me to write raps
to and I’ve never wondered if what I make is real rap, just if it’s any
good. I hold it up to my standards and if I reckon it’s good, that’s my
marker, based on everything that’s influenced me plus my own abilities,
limitations and creative aims.
There’re a lot of people claiming to make or listen to REAL rap music.
There are countless other people who only make or listen to REAL music,
music with guitars. There are innumerable people who only make or
listen to REAL musicians who write and perform their own songs.
Saying something you listen to is REAL is plain lazy. It’s
confrontational and it’s useless.
I get it, we all have different tastes and having a strong opinion
about the music you listen to is important. It’s part of your identity,
it can bring you together with other like minded people and it can be
something that outlines the things that you absolutely don’t like or
don’t want to be associated with.
Everyone else is making something fraudulent. Fake.
But everybody wants to be authentic. Everyone want’s to be the real
deal. Genuine. As a musician, the market is over-saturated, so how do
you cut through? Well, you could say that you’re the one who makes that
real music. You say that you’re authentic. Again and again and again.
Or you could argue that if everyone is making that real music, then
everyone’s music is equal and the use of the word “real’ isn’t needed.
Take the ego out of the equation and make music. Then perhaps trust
that your audience, small or large, will get what you do.
Or should we blame our audience? Is it audience pressures that have led
to this rush to the goldmine of godly authenticity? That teenager
clan-like secondary school divide between those who stand for one genre
and those who stand for another. As citizens in a super busy modern
society we want to ensure that what we have is our individual identity
and style and that we’re not going to be conned or tricked into
anything that can harm our delicate social status. We want organic.
We’re smart, and you can’t fool
There’s a habit of overlooking good songwriting. Writing great melody
or harmony. It’s easy to dismiss a song as rubbish because of what
associating that song to your identity means to your image. We can
refuse to listen and hear it and then just say it’s crap, and that
given the chance you could do better. A habit similar to out of shape
men shouting at athletes on pub TV screens.
Then there are biases that come with performers who are skilful at
songwriting. Let’s face it, some people are fantastic at performing and
not so great at writing, and vice versa, so collaboration makes sense
to get the best song. The song is everything. Take yourself out of the
equation, think of the song, forget pride, and then collaboration makes
total sense. Working with people makes what you’re doing better.
Frank Sinatra didn’t write most of his songs, sure he contributed on
some lyrics, but overly he’s fantastic performer, that’s enough.
There’re countless examples. Just have a look at the american songbook.
Wouldn’t it be stronger if we defined what we like instead? For
example, “I only listen to music that sounds like The
Beatles/Dilla/Beyonce/Bach, because I just love that sound, I connect
with it, it was a big part of me growing up”.
There was a student at my university who used to ask ‘but is it music?’
in almost every class. That student had a hard time not being able to
move past that question, to not be able to side-step it or just write
it off as something completely pointless, redundant and
We like what we like, so let’s just articulate it a little better.
|More info |