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The Modern Musician’s Manifesto March 27, 2009

Posted by junglefuzz1013 in cyborgs.
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          There is too much injustice in the music industry.  Issues involving money distribution, race, gender, artist limitations, and label contracts pollute the freedoms and equalities that music artists are entitled to based on their talents.  The music industry monopolizes on the production and distribution of the work that artists create in such ways that seek not to benefit the artists for art’s sake, but the industry itself for the sake of money. These are the issues that plague the music industry to the point that certain artists will never be heard on a wide scale.   These artists will not be heard because they are not willing to be puppets of the label.

            Music industries force artists on their labels to adapt their sound to what they feel is in highest demand at that time according to their genre.  If pop is in, pop is what they’ll play.  Contracts are not written to guarantee the artist consistent studio time where the artist is in charge of his or her own work, they are written to guarantee that the artist complies with what the label tells them to do.  Record labels do not record the artist for their art, but for the money that they make after the art is manipulated by the label and distributed to the public of their choice.  Contracts should give the artist complete freedom of what they create based on the quality of the work, and if the quality decreases, the contract is reformed.  Artists receive awards for the amount of albums that are sold, not on the originality and quality of the album.

            Record labels often discriminate between what “look” different artists have.  It is much harder for a white male to be put on a hip hop label simply because he is white, and that the majority of their audience will not be able to identify with that artist.  It is much harder for a black male to get a contract with a country label for the same reason.  Race is not the only discriminatory means in which record labels indirectly adhere to; gender also plays a large role in what artist will be picked up next.  Record labels should focus on sound, not appearance.  Why are there hardly any overweight pop stars these days?  Because sex sells and more sales equals greater profit.  Once again, money outweighs talent.

            There is much controversy on the topic of free downloading affecting sales and profits of record labels.  Although it is true that the labels themselves will not make as much money as they would otherwise, this is not necessarily the case for the artist.  In fact, posting free downloads of your music is one of the best forms of promotion especially for lesser known, or upcoming artists.  If I have never heard of an artist and someone tries to sell me their CD for ten dollars, I will most likely decline the offer, but if someone gave me the CD for free, I would surely accept.  Although free downloading may not be great for large corporations who can afford the loss, it is a great strategy to spread the spread the word of an Indi label or band.

            It is unfortunate that artists who choose not to be controlled by a record label will never see their albums on the shelves of music shops, or hear their songs on the radio.  As an artist myself, it is my job, and the jobs of every artist to come, to see to it that the future brings new ways of sharing our passions, ways that allow us complete freedom of our creations and equal distribution of profit according to hard work and determination.  As long as I can afford to eat I will share my music for free.

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