Yesterday I saw a few people getting nostalgic about how great things were in 2012–which was not at all evident to me at the time, I saw lots of signs of dysfunction from the start (such as being mobbed and horrendously overworked). So I was going to dig up an article that I remembered from 2012 in which a ‘music industry expert’ said that 1D was being overworked way beyond music industry norms. So from digging around I found that the music industry expert was Andy Greene, associate editor of Rolling Stone magazine. And this is what I found, putting it in chronological order:
Andy Greene: Many of these groups get huge but burn out after three or so years. What’s your plan to make sure that doesn’t happen?
Simon Cowell: Be sensible and treat them as human beings, genuinely. That’s the most important thing. Traditionally, record companies would put out the most possible product in a short period of time, thinking you only have two or three years. I don’t think that’s necessarily the case now. If you’re sensible and you don’t burn them out, you don’t have to put a time limit on this anymore. And they’re so young, these guys.
Then on April 12, Andy Greene made a recommendation for how they should capitalize on their success.
Then in late May Andy Greene denounced them for doing exactly that.
One top music industry expert revealed the lads are being “worked like dogs”. Andy Greene, associate editor of America’s Rolling Stone magazine, issued his warning as the teen heart-throbs added more dates to their 2013 world tour. The Daily Star Sunday can reveal that many of their 94 gigs planned for next year are already sold out and they are adding an extra 25 performances in 20 US cities. That’s on top of the 52 concerts they still have to cram in by August 6 this year, starting with tomorrow night’s sell-out at the Susquehanna Bank arena in Camden, New Jersey. With tickets at some venues priced at £200-plus, One Direction could eclipse the big tour megabucks earned by rock giants U2 and the Rolling Stones, experts believe. But last night it was feared Zayn Malik, 19, Liam Payne, 18, Harry Styles, 18, Louis Tomlinson, 20, and Niall Horan, 18, could be under almost unbearable pressure. Rolling Stone’s Greene declared: “I’ve never known a band announce a second summer tour before a first summer tour is over. It’s insane – they’re working them like dogs and printing money right now.”
“And what “a guy like Beck” refers to is a point that can’t really be ignored when discussing the other context of the award: itmakers in the music industry come from all races and ethnicities, but “Album of the Year” award winners, for the most part, are white. The winners since 2008? Beck, Daft Punk, Mumford & Sons, Adele, Arcade Fire, Taylor Swift, and Robert Plant & Alison Krauss. The last black artist to win “Album of the Year” who was born after 1941 was Outkast, in 2004, and in the 57 years of Grammy Awards, only 12 “Album of the Year” winners have been black artists (3 of them have been Stevie Wonder). Only two hip-hop albums, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill by Lauryn Hill and Speakerboxxx/The Love Below by Outkast, have been so honored. Awards like “Record of the Year” are even more egregious—the last black artist who wasn't recording a duet with a white star to win the award was Seal, whose “Kiss From a Rose” won in 1996.
That context is important when considering that an objectively significant Beyoncé album lost the “Album of the Year” award to the sixth-best Beck album, and when considering the headline-grabbing reaction from Kanye West. If West sees Beck’s sixth-best album take the award over Beyoncé, in the same year that a movie like Selma and performances like those from Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Chadwick Boseman, and David Oyelowo were all overlooked by the Oscars, and if he sees a mainstream entertainment industry that’s happy to take in the money that black artists generate, but unwilling—whether you’re talking about Beyoncé or Ava DuVernay—to honor their achievements, it’s hard to argue with him.”
Festival season is upon us. That means, like previous years, we’re about to see a whole lot of unsavory style choices, hilariously misguided corporate sponsorships and most importantly, a glaring look at sexism in the music industry. The audience doesn’t look like this.
“I remember for a long time feeling totally charmless and unhandsome and I
know there are so many others who still feel the same way. It’s time
that all those people moved in on this whole shebang and if necessary
pretend to have charm. For too long this sphere of entertainment has
been dominated by the big mouths and the small minds.” – Morrissey, 1983
Important stuff here, guys. If music is important in your life, give this a reblog.
I wrote this email today in response to an invitation I received from a startup music-streaming app. I get these from time to time, requesting I submit or upload my music to their service. Usually these mass emails pitch me on being able to “connect to my fans” and “get discovered.” Some are scams, but the even the legit ones treat artists as livestock to be farmed for Content (and never paid).
This particular email came from a service called Veromuse, and I was invited to upload my music as part of their beta launch. This company’s founding team includes Walter Yetnikoff, former CEO of CBS Records, who personally made the careers of Michael Jackson and Billy Joel, among others (he is now 81 years old). This one is no scam, but I’m extremely wary that I’ll find that age-old industry attitude toward artists and creators. I don’t expect a response back from this email, but I’d love to be surprised.
The music industry is a dark place. Artists are used and abused, and left to capricious odds that were stacked against them from start, almost inevitably leading to a career of poverty, hardship, and crushed dreams.
I try to stay hopeful for the future, but I haven’t seen any signs since I started my own career that things are going to turn around. As time marches on, they just get worse and worse.
Quick note: Hey there, everyone! We apologize for the lull in content, but we’ve been traveling the country and speaking with college students about the state of the industry today. We had some great chats and brainstormed some great solutions to better the business. We also forgot to update the blog, and for that we apologize. To make amends, please enjoy this post from Paul Resnikof, founder of Digital Music News.
1. They aren’t creating a compelling, heartwarming story that works.
Why did Spotify fire their PR agency? The reason is that a lot of artists now hate them, including the most powerful artist in the world. Spotify has simply failed to craft the right message and effectively deliver that message to the people they need the most: artists.
“There’s got to be some greater storyline for you than ‘girl gets heartbroken, was sad forever.’ I think a nice one would be, 'girl gets heartbroken, was sad for a while but in her heartbreak she found freedom, friends, and the ability to look back and laugh at all she’d learned.’”
“The Beatles are one of the highest selling, most innovative acts the world has known. They’re universally critically acclaimed and beloved to a degree no other band has even come close to achieving. Some people wait for a “new Beatles” like they’re waiting on the second coming. But the way the music industry is currently set up, it will never produce a band that has the same levels of popular appeal and groundbreaking artistry as the Beatles.”
hey!! just wondered if you'd seen this popbitch[.]com/home/2015/03/13/the-cost-of-the-closet/ ? its about closeted members in boybands and it makes a reference to one direction "Obviously there is NO SUCH THING as a gay member of One Direction, so we’ll have to use our imaginations here, but splitting that total between the five palpably heterosexual members" just seemed like the kind of thing you'd like to see
Hi readers, listeners, friends, and enemies – Off The Record, the podcast I co-host with Jesse Cannon, is taping an episode focussed on what anyone can do in high school, college, after graduation, and in between the three to get involved in the music industry via an internship or an actual job.
We get asked questions in that vein more than any other, so if you have questions, we’d love to hear them. See below for more:
I don’t understand the way the music industry treats Australia. Can someone please explain to me why we never have artist signings or meet and greets, why we get the bare minimum of tours, ususally to only one or two east coast cities, why there are never any competitions available to us etc etc.
Aussies like music too and we sure as hell would love some fair treatment. Wow so you have to travel a bit, what a tragedy. It’s not like you’re making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, dare I say millions, that you could spend a fraction of on coming here and actually engaging with your Australian fanbase/market.