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KEEP THE NEWS OUT OF MY TUNES
Do you want politics in your music? Should music be apolitical? Is music being hijacked by agendas antithetical to our own? Is a musical career becoming a soapbox for artists to position themselves socially in order to establish and diversify their brands?
Now more than ever I find we are having to separate the art from the artist. With Artists now becoming more and more visible and vocal outside of their music I can’t help but be bothered by their brand of politics accompanying their music, versus their views being cleverly woven into their music. Why? Because they don’t and can’t always get the politics right. But what they can get right is their music.
Musicians, producers, and DJ’s are not my go-to source for current affairs. No, music is a sanctuary from all that; turning it on to tune out of everything going on in the world. But in an unfair world where true representation of all interests and rights aren’t reflected in policy, it’s arguably necessary for those with influence to take a stance on important issues - even if it muddies the musical waters. But how can utilising influence for social good be achieved without disrupting the art?
How can utilising influence for social good be achieved without disrupting the art?
With sexual harassment cases exploding into media headlines 24/7 it’s virtually impossible to tune out of patriarchy. The tunes I used to listen to with a pinch of salt - ones with unfortunate misogynistic lyrics - now further magnify how morally bankrupt society has become. It’s impossible to even tune out of bandwagon identity politics when my favourite bangers to bump in the car are laced with marital politicking (Lemonade / 4:44).
We’re also in a commercial era where it’s demanded of musicians, artists, and creatives to share their personalities, ideas and identities on all platforms; their personal brand. The ‘old model’ if adhered to would have fans waiting to learn about their favourite singers from the content in the album sleeve or an in depth interview in a magazine, or radio/tv show. Now … with unwanted exposure (eg when ish goes down on an elevator) whole musical projects are geared toward responding to exposés to set the story straight.
I appreciate artists whose opinions and perspectives are reserved for their bars, not for twitter or publicity campaigns. In UK Artist Dave’s album ‘Game Over’, the song ‘question time’ may have reminded me of how under funded our national health service is, but it still kept me focused on his bars and the body of songs.
Personality politics now requires a constant streaming of mind flow since listeners are vacant to download 24/7. But can’t Artists choose to cull their social media and marketing communications and reserve their perspectives for their music? The music can do the talking, to leave an imprint on the listener; just like a good book. Insightful lyrics or real wisdom stays with us no matter how much time goes by.
If modern day artists resisted the demand to contribute to the current narrative and reserve their commentary to be told through their art, perhaps there’d be more journalists and opinion makers sought out, and even born. The massive influx of content online requires some checks and balances inserted into very merky content waters.
Should Artists then leave the social commentary to qualified journalists?
The time has gone for the ‘be silent’ attitude. It’s hella noisy out here and we all have a view to contribute. But music and art is our sanctuary and should be upheld in that frame. I don’t want to listen to an album and have the artists’ random snapchat or tweet rant accompanying the album listening when all I want is the music to take me out of the noise.
Keep your news out of my tunes. Your bars are for your views. Lay off the rants and reserve it for the studio. Do you agree? COMMENT BELOW/DM ON IG.
DAVE "QUESTION TIME":
Capturing insight through conversations with Artists - in and around London.