It is very easy for an outsider to not understand the inner workings of the musical industry, or any industry they are not involved in for that matter. There are often misconceptions with what goes in entertainment industries and as consumers, we are only seeing one small fraction of what actually occurred: the part they want us to see. So while it is often easy to make judgments or assumptions, rarely does anyone ever know the full story of how a song’s journey to our radios or headphones.
In his work, Negus discusses this trend. It it much more difficult than the average person would assume to create a song that is not published but is widely listened to. The music industry has control over what consumers are allowed to hear, meaning industry higher-ups also have the power to control what artists can produce. Artists are rarely allowed to make music they actually want to make and express themselves freely, they have to adhere to the guidelines set forth by both their contracts and society. Consumers normalize what is socially acceptable and the music industry plays into that. Artists want to be successful so they write with the fan in mind, even if it not what they truly feel. Or, they write and perform what the people in charge of them want them to and have no actually autonomy as to what they’re putting out in the world.
I chose a picture and sound clip of the artist Kesha because recently it has come out that she was being controlled via contract by her record company and producer. Her producer was assaulting her and she was not able to speak up or release music without him getting some sort of profit. She is just one example of many of artists who are unable to show their fans who they truly are.
This is audio from her live performance of “Praying,” a song about her experience described above.
- What are important things to remember as consumers of the entertainment industry?
- How much of what we see is legitimate?
- How do we connect to an artist if what is being represented of them isn’t accurate?