Negus Response

“This is the way in which the music industry rewards and recognizes certain genre practices, sounds, combinations, cultures and not others. Some can be categorized, easily labelled and slotted into the cultures of production more easily than others.”

After I read this I understood where Negus was coming form. Record labels are always placing bands into certain categories, placing artists into distinct boxes in order to target a specific audience in order to reap the biggest benefits and sales. I googled musician interviews-who are you, instead of what genre do you play in order to get some examples of musicians explain what type of music they play. What I found was a lot of musicians giving very practices and precise responses, most a desperate attempt to be genuine but in reality the rehearsal of their answers bled through. Finally I stumbled across Dave Grohl, lead singer of Foo Fighters. His interview was particularly fascinating to me as he sold himself as a “screw the record labels, screw the big companies, be yourself, be badass.” He promoted this do it on your own merit don’t fill any other boxes and don’t label yourself. What I found so incredibly ironic in this whole interview is that Foo Fighters itself is such a specific band that fits a punk rock box to the T. Their photoshoots are typical grungy, no smiling, black and plaid outfits all in a line. Their concerts have a screw everyone type of vibe. Foo Fighters themselves updated the box that Nirvana (Dave Grohl’s previous band) fit and molded themselves very well into a particular category. Grohl in his interview actually very much labels himself by the things he says. He puts himself into a genre through his words, his behavior, his tone and his vibe. Grohl’s words are in line with that of Negus who encourages staying true to themselves in order to defy and diversify the music industry. However, Grohl actually benefits off his genre and the audience it gave him an alternative but incredibly popular and profitable audience.

This keyword taste article discusses taste as a social stratification method to show class and reinforce hierarchical elite status. However mass media is a threat to taste and the hierarchy. There are still traces of this social stratification in the music industry today. Different genres are stereotyped and associated with different classes. The stereotypical image of a classical music fan is different than the image of a rap fan or a country fan. Although mass media has allowed music to transcend class the embedded connotations that have been inherited through history still exist.

To create this image I superimposed text onto it by using Preview. In preview you can use the annotate tool to insert text. I then recorded Dave Grohl’s interview with a popular Youtube channel “Theoffcamerashow” with the voice memo app on my phone sent it to my computer and exported it to a mp3 file.