I sift through soundcloud a couple times a week and i may find just a handful of standout tracks. I have no problem with this because it is overall very good for the community of growing electronic music. As the industry becomes more saturated with artists, it becomes more difficult to have your own voice heard. The best advice i have heard on this topic is to simply make good music and people will notice. Those who rely on gimmicks or others for the bulk of the creativity in their sound will fade away when the industry changes as it often does. The creative minds are the ones who change the industry.
A bad song is a bad song- a song without the standard elements of what makes a good song will inevitably be bad but what we fail to realize is that a lot of bad music is becoming passable due to the dynamics of the record industry. This is in part due to the artists and those influencing their paycheck and also the fans. Technology lets a bad track be a lot better, but will never make it great. The skill of the composer dictates the creativity and attention to detail of a track. Sellability does not equate to creativity, and artists must balance being an artist and being financially stable.
Networking like this is extremely important because as the way we make music has changed so has the way we make money from it. With streaming services becoming the new status quo, artists make less from their tracks than they ever have before.
We rely on the goodwill of each other to survive and of course our fan base. This happens through cross promotion and making genuine friendships which takes lots of time and effort. Now we have arrived at one of the major problems with popular music today: networking is a separate skill from artistic ability. This fact alone is the reason you have popular artists with average talent and incredible musicians who don’t make a dime: they are too busy playing music to network! This combined with the effect of producer saturation in the market makes it feel like you are just one fish in the sea of talent.
In terms of copyright, there are many ways around it these days. Put a song out for free, using your own kits and sounds, will most likely not be taken down. You can pitch a track up or down, change its speed, or add fx to it and it will get by the search algorithms of all the major streaming services. A parody has its own form of exemption from copyright and you can actually make money off of parody tracks you create. Ask for permission, you will be surprised how often the artist will say yes. They are flattered that you want to work on a song of theirs because from producer to producer that is like saying, “your track has inspired me so much i want to create something that wouldn’t be the same unless it had this element of your song”. This builds community and opens doors that wouldn’t be possible otherwise. When I find a vocal that inspires me, i usually take just to accapella of the track and work from there . As in all 3 of these examples this was the only element of the original that is the same and all of the backing percussion and synths are me. To me, a remix is really just a song you make and then perhaps grab the vocals because they fit the mood or message you want to have in your song. I do not sing but i do write and i currently am working on original projects but these remixes have an important purpose at this stage: recognition. They are recognizable names and songs that point people in my direction so i can say, yes i make music, now here is an original track.
Electronic music is in the front seat of innovation because one of its core ideas is to push creativity, sound design, and song arrangement in unconventional ways. There have been negative reactions by the public with genres like dubstep, but what these new digital genres aim to do is not destroy the old, but be a reflection of the cutting edge, pushing the boundaries as to what we call music. Yes, i have heard a lot of bad dubstep, but the good tracks i have heard are creative, catchy, and irreplaceable. These artists have taken other genres and influences and made something irreplaceable. This goes back to our discussion in class on Tuesday about the value of a remix. The best remix takes certain elements of other works and flips their context to become more than the sum of its parts.
Here are 3 remixes that I have created. The first 2 use an acapella and the last one is a work in progress that samples dialogue from the show Rick and Morty just for fun. Enjoy!