Categories
Album album concept album review Art Controversy in Music Culture Entertainment Favourites Grammys Listening Music live music music music album music artist Music Awards music cover music industry music practice Music problems news Opinion Pop Music Song The Weeknd

GRAMMYs 2021: Do the Grammys Matter?

As they snub favourite artists such as The Weeknd and Kendrick Lamar from their acclaimed prizes, sift through the mud of allegations from racism, sexism and a lack in diversity to artist picks – it shows just how unfit they are as judges to music.

With the Grammys receiving such a subjective onslaught each year and as interest rates fall on their overall importance as awards, do the Grammys even matter anymore?

Short answer simply is: no.

Unlike the Oscars, the prestigious academy award for music has seemingly lost its original tact, and is out of touch with the rest of the world. Unlike the Oscars that actually awards films based on glowing prospects, reputations and sheer camera-rolling etiquette, The Grammys is a congruent cess-pit of odd nominations, shameless bigotry and is showing a side to the music industry that is rather ugly.

With so many prestigious and culturally-defining artists in the industry that have been snubbed of such an award (Queen, Bjork, ABBA and Jimi Hendrix to name a few) it is easy to understand why The Grammys has been scrutinised for their lack of desire to produce a decent academy award show to celebrate the best of music – as they choose to instead award their “white friends and counterparts” in the industry – and receive backlash of racism and bigotry because of it – and not the distinctive artists that have made a impact against the status quo of the industry.

Because if they start awarding acts who go against the “system” of upending gender stereotypes (Queen) and make albums that go against their specified genre (The Weeknd) what does that say about the system of the industry itself? Something that cannot be controlled it seems …

But its important to note that something like the Grammys is not so definitely clean-cut like other competitions like the Olympics. When it comes to who sang the most impressive or made a defining moment to the world of music, well then, that becomes a bit more objective. With it, comes the usual backlash and sparks of fury as such an award because it is such an opinionated sport.

But to me, I think this is what makes Grammys not matter most, because at the end of it all, while it is fun to see who will win a Grammy, it ultimately doesn’t affect how we (me included) view an artists’ work. When we listen to a piece of work, do we define how “good” it is if it won a Grammy? No, we think it’s good because it’s simply good music. For me, they are not one and the same.

So with that being said, I think that the sheer novelty of awarding music based on something so objective certainly makes it an easier target than most other award shows. But, let’s be honest, they haven’t helped themselves in the past, have they?

Let me know what you think to this topic of conversation – and more importantly, will you be watching tonight?

______________________________

Former suspended CEO stating on how ‘rigged’ the ceremony is …

Grammy’s controversial moments show just how implausible it is as an awards ceremony …

Categories
Album album concept album review Art Coffee and Music Jazz Jazz Music Listening Music music music album music artist Music in Film music industry Spotify

I made a playlist: Melt Jazz

You lovely lot wanted it, so here it is. In a new series I’m calling – I made a playlist – we go through each playlist drawn up, and best of all, make it a collaborative work space, so you can add your own personal vibes to it, too!

Interlaced with the chill of instrumental beats, to the cacophony of classical jazz from Blue Note Editions and finally landing on acts of pure brilliance from individuals, my aptly named collaborative playlist, Melt Jazz, is the perfect music to melt away to. Whether it be the daily commuters in New York submerging on the subway, or the relaxed creatives with their lattes and espressos pencil pushing onto their next artistic flair, the playlist is perfect for everyone willing to get into the vibes of Jazz.

Best played with the biggest rainbow you’ve ever seen out.

This playlist was made in anticipation for me to travel to New York this year, but we all know what happened to scupper those plans. Ah well, maybe next year. Nevertheless, I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as I did putting together for all of you.

25 tracks. Melt Jazz. Give it a whirl below. It’s collaborative too, so why not give it a spin, get a feel for its vibe and start adding your own?

Categories
Album album concept album review Art Chart Music Culture drums Entertainment Favourites Listening Music live music music music artist music industry

Thought For The Day: Music in 2021

This is me, somewhat lost. *Insert sombre, poignant music here* I’m lost because I haven’t sat down at a drum kit for over 4 months now, and I haven’t seen live music itself in a venue capacity or otherwise, for over a year.

Here is me pondering over the prospect.

It’s making me more agitated and anxious, the more I think about it, the fact that I haven’t played or seen music for quite some time. I feel like I have a mild case of ADHD, and playing the drums is my escape from it all. The release of endorphins rushed onto a kit smashed half to hell. I know there are more pressing matters in our daily lives right now, but this is a music blog. For you all know, this is all we ever talk about. Nothing else matters if it’s not music.

With the live music industry in muddy water regarding its resurgence in the coming years, and the proximity of socially distanced gigs simply not feasible to break-even, where will we see our entertainment in a years’ time – hell, in a month’s time? It certainly isn’t opening capacity up to a third, like New York and their partnering music venues are doing. Nor is it cramming thousands of people into a field in for Reading and Leeds Festival 2021 in August – a mere month after restrictions are reduced for us.

The music industry is on its knees as is, especially with streaming providing next to nothing for artists and their due payments. With artists relying on tours and shows prior to COVID to earn a decent living wage, will more and more musicians have to revert to a career change? Will it just be the elite musicians who can already afford the loss who remain to keep the momentum going? The situation is disastrous, especially with the lack of certainty in the music camp right now.

The most important topic the music fans are discussing is, if we will ever feel comfortable in a crowd for a gig ever again.

A lot of questions right now, but not a lot of answers.

Categories
Album album concept album review Art Listening Music love music music artist music industry news Opinion Pop Music UK Music women in the music industry

Let’s Talk: Are Women Underrepresented in Music?

A study of “800 songs from 2012- 2019” finds that less than 23% of artists and 2% of producers are women …

With it being International Women’s Day yesterday, I decided to hop on and be late to a topic of conversation again.

A recent study has shown the bleak reality of active women in the popular music industry. With only 23% out of the 800 songs noted as being women artists, and with the industry still being dominated by their male counterparts – will this ever change for the better or remain for the worse?

It is great to note the importance of ethnic and gender diversity in the music industry, and this great divide is no different. Whilst this study reveals the history of the industry and why there are days to support such feats from women (even though it should be a yearly thing) in such industries, why is it so dominated with men? It’s time to consider these questions and get back to me.

Are men more musically adept at music than women? Is that why there are more of them? Or are they more likely to succeed in an industry where there is no push-back for men – as opposed to women? Is the lack of women causing less and less women to stand up and take seemingly “male-led” roles? Or are the women that have pushed into the industry, the stronger few? Whatever happens, these boundaries need to broken, the stereotypes shed and equality needs to be shared for the sake of music.

I certainly think the mantra surrounding the music industry and how overpowering the male consistency is throughout, shows a further unwillingness for women to start a career in music and venture forth into other like-minded roles like producers and label managers. And the conceived individuals who believe anything different, only make it worse.

Those who have been successful, are merely the stronger few. It is a sombre story to tell but with more awareness being raised for this concern, I really do hope the tides will turn for women in the music industry. Time will tell, I suppose.

Let me know your thoughts below.

WOMEN IN MUSIC:

Delve into the importance of a women’s role in the industry below:

Categories
Album album concept album review Art Chart Music Culture Entertainment Favourites Listening Music live music music music album music artist music industry music streaming Pop Music Song Spotify

Let’s Talk: Is there any personality in music anymore?

Looking back over the years and playing your favourite music from past eras – the 70s and 80s – it is so liberating to hear music strife with personality, creativity and dexterity. With the change in style, creative process and actual genre, you can see the shift how the dynamic has changed, with physical instruments ultimately stripped for processed lo-fi beats, sampled acoustics and recordings. So, what happened? Where did the personality go in music?

There’s often times where I listen to current, topical music and I almost always reminiscence about past music that had “actual” instruments. Hiring a studio and actually playing the parts, rather than delegating sampled beats to each playmaker. You can always tell if a part is true to itself or not, because every drum hit is played differently and every guitar chord struck sounds melodically different. That is, if an instrument is involved.

Two of my favourite musicians on YouTube have recently delved into this subject and it’s quite interesting to look into. As they perused through the top 10 on Spotify, they tried to find any type of “actual” instrument in the song. Whether that’d be an actual drum kit or an actual person playing the accompaniment of the guitar. The result is probably what you’re expecting.

Nevertheless, I’ll leave them below so you can have a look and have a laugh like I did.

Hoped you liked ’em as much as I did. Anyways, this is important insider knowledge to our talk today. Is there any personality in music anymore? Does music have to have actual instruments for it to be personable and more musically adept? Or is it merely old folks who are beating a dead horse and saying that current chart music is crap again? Let me know what you think to this one.