The Grammy Awards were held on the 8th of February 2015. It is the music industry’s biggest event where everyone glams up to take centre stage and nominees cross fingers hoping for a win. This year was a repeat of a multitude of Grammys before. Sam Smith took the space that Adele left behind, Kanye just could not stay off stage and Madonna released yet another album which I haven’t heard. The main point of this post was to point out how much of the music of year 2014 at music’s most revered night doesn’t really showcase good music. Sam Smith Sam Smith whilst having a great voice is always elevated by remixes or features of his songs. Record of the year wasn’t won only by “Stay with me” it was shared by the “Darkchild Version” which is a deeper version of the song. Comparing it to the other nominees who have half the number of producers and record labels. This goes back to how Disclosure bought Sam Smith to my attention with “Latch”
Max Martin was the real MVP Who is Max Martin? He’s been producing number 1 songs for the past 20 years, from Britney Spears “Hit me baby one more time” to Taylor Swift’s “Shake it off” and only in 2015 did he get his first Grammy. A genius recluse who lives inside a studio, he is responsible for almost everything you hear churning out of your favourite pop radio station. It’s probably why Maroon 5’s “Sugar” and Katy Perry’s “Birthday” sound somewhat alike.
Madonna, U2 & Slipknot released albums and you had no idea about it, which brings me to my post title. Radio is still the most common medium of music for the general public. It rings at malls, in your car and at your workplace. Radio began as something that kept its listeners up to date with the world and pre TV era providing entertainment in the form of Radio Talk Shows and Radio Short Series. Music kicked in and the only reason we listen to radio now is for music. Less commercials, more music. But what if the music we listen to is controlled? “Mainstream” music as the hipsters call it is pretty much music that is pushed over the airwaves of radios by large corporations that want you to listen to certain songs. These songs either help with merchandising or selling concert ticket or even to help other products mentioned in the songs. Such as Lorde’s Royals. Certain Record Labels have agreements with radio stations globally on a “plays per day rate” that allow both entities to flourish if not survive. More on the topic can be read here. So where does this keep us? Do we listen to the radio and the so called hits of the year which happen to be the same thing? Or should we spend the same time listening to podcasts and the growing user submitted playlist ecosystem thanks to Last.fm and 8Tracks. I’d go with the later. Its music for your soul.