I was speaking to some friends in the music industry and a kind of big problem is starting to arise in the music industry right now. The problem is that quite many people in the music industry don’t have the ears or knowledge to find a good song.
How hard can it be you think, harder than you know! Most of the time you have to be trained to be able to get a feeling when it is a good song and what works for the masses. Max Martin worked in a record store for years and it helped a lot to be good to learn what people like. Same with many other people from the old industry, they have learned how to hear when a song has that feeling, that is right. It’s a bit hard to explain though. My sadly dead friend Jay Frank wrote a whole book into it called “Futurehit.DNA”, you can read that if you want to get deeper into the topic and Jay was a real wizard when it came to picking a hit song.
The problem my friends were talking about was in the record label world. The problem is that most people have been replaced with young, tech-savvy individuals that are good at computers and want to have a cool job in the music industry. Their skill is not to hear a good song, their skill is to get the most views on a social media post. All this has now led to that they mainly treating the artists like social media stars. The post about music which is the most important part is pushed back. In the end that has led to fewer streams and less income for the labels and they are now looking for people that have some ears to hear a good song and know how to promote it.
I can get the same feeling when I go through songs even sent by pr professionals. It seems they are not understanding what the components are to even be played on the radio. Had one the other day complaining that I didn’t like the song and turned it down, with the reply, I’m just a PR person trying to get the music out there. The problem is that she was pushing a six-minute lo-fi dream pop song to a commercial radio station. Just that should make some warnings signs that you should probably not leave your day job and become a PR person. Second of all don’t work with PR if you are not accepting to be rejected.
And after talking to her for a while I realized she didn’t have a clue how a good song is built. She likes different elements in the song. Just like the kid of today, they find a part in the song and play that part over and over again. Then speed it up and put it on TikTok. Sorry to say that is not a song, and you have to master that skill to even make an artist, in the end, a full song is what should be sold to the audience, not just a chorus of 15 seconds.
And I can tell that this is a big problem. I get pushed songs that are quite hopeless and before never would have ever been considered to be recorded in the studio. And the artist doesn’t really get that this song doesn’t have the quality to make it. Especially today when it’s released more music than ever. Today you have to have a song that is really good to even make it. Not even a murdering commercial can promote a bad song like in the old days.