The disposability of music.

Recently I had an interesting experience that got me thinking about the disposability of music. Maybe more so about priorities people have when buying music. Really without music what would life be?

What would cheer you up when you were feeling down?
What would you do when you went out and wanted to dance?
How would your commute be to work without it?
How would you tolerate the long border crossings or even the intolerable bus ride to work or school?

Have a think about it for a second perhaps. We all like the classics right? I went past an older guy in my hotel last night proudly wearing a Rolling Stones t-shirt. He said he saw them in some city in Sweden. I mean these guys are still rocking it, mainly based on their classics they wrote 30 years ago.

But we need new music. Fresh music. We need the greatest minds to be employed, creating and pushing the boundaries. But no one wants to pay.

I recently had an experience of showing a lovely young lady, let’s call her Maria, my pre-eminent release. She loved it. Previously she had told me she was a music fan. And a lover of food. Often she would go out to fancy restaurants and blow 60 Euros on a meal for a night. That’s cool here as well, no judgement.

She wanted my song. I said, no worries. I did give it to her, but i also slipped in that she could buy it when it was going to be released. Very, very, quickly she replied, “I don’t buy music” (I was stunned how quickly she said it actually).

I stopped. Something felt uneasy for me. It is the current state the music industry. I challenged her.

“So you will go out and spend 60 euro happily on a meal. I have no problem with this. But you will not pay $1.50 for a song which will support the artist. This process took months and months to complete”.

She paused. Credit to her she saw the logic.

I gave her the song which was not yet mastered (properly.. enter Elton Smith bogon mastering). But it got me thinking.

1. Music is so disposable now. It’s an mp3 on a computer. Remember when you came home with a vinyl or CD. There was artwork and potentially a storyline to it (think Pink Floyd).

2. The mindset of the consumer. Expecting music to be free. Who harboured this expectation?

It’s what we all know already. But an interesting paradox now we have the internet. Should we be ok to say you don’t get paid for the production of music? I don’t think so.

Artists need to eat. Artists need to survive. Artists need to grow and thrive.
The music industry needs artists to stay in the industry, not be working 10 hours at the local supermarket running a checkout.

You are buying a piece of history when you buy a song. A history of the artist, a history in the evolution of the earth’s consciousness.

Next time you like a song, go and buy it. You will feel better and you can be sure that the artist at least gets paid 25 cents.

Till next time.
Elton.

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