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The Silence of Oppression: How Totalitarianism Inhibits Culture and Expression

Culture

As the quote “Give them bread and circuses, and they’ll never revolt” from one of Ancient Rome’s most observational poets, Juvenal, is now circulating throughout social media in the form of a meme, in a time when grassroots venues are under threat and it is getting increasingly harder for anyone but industry plants to make their mark, I couldn’t help but question the intentionality of the silence of oppression.

The suppression of culture and expression by oppressive regimes has long been a means of population control and is a multifaceted and deeply intricate issue, intertwining the threads of power, fear, and human psychology. This article will explore the phenomenon of artistic expression, highlight contemporary instances of suppression and propose ideas of how to evoke positive cultural change.

Eduphile on X: "Give them bread and circuses and they will never revolt.  https://t.co/evtohzST5q" / X

How and Why Culture is Quashed for Control

At its core, culture is the heartbeat of a society’s identity, a vibrant symphony of ideas, art, language, and customs. It’s a mirror reflecting the collective soul of a people. When a regime feels threatened by the power of this reflection, it may attempt to shatter the mirror, fearing that the image it casts could inspire dissent or challenge the status quo.

Suppressing culture and expression serves several nefarious purposes:

Erasure of Dissenting Voices: By muzzling poets, artists, and thinkers, regimes attempt to silence the voices that question, challenge, and inspire. In the absence of these voices, a monochrome narrative prevails, one that paints the regime in an unchallenged light.

Control Through Fear: The suppression often involves punitive measures against those who dare to express dissenting views. This creates an atmosphere of fear, discouraging others from stepping out of line. It’s a chilling effect, where the mere possibility of repercussions leads to self-censorship.

Manipulation of Identity: By controlling cultural outputs, regimes can rewrite history, manipulate national identity, and create a version of reality that serves their interests. This can be a powerful tool in shaping public perception and loyalty.

Distraction and Diversion: Here, Juvenal’s insight rings particularly true. By providing the masses with superficial entertainment (“circuses”), regimes can distract them from more pressing issues. This diversion can be a potent tool in keeping the populace preoccupied and complacent.

Fragmentation of Society: By suppressing certain cultural aspects while promoting others, regimes can create divisions within society. This ‘divide and rule’ strategy ensures that a united front against the regime is less likely to form.

In essence, oppressive regimes fear the power of culture and expression because they are catalysts for change and revolution. They are the sparks that can ignite the fire of dissent. By suppressing these elements, regimes maintain their grip on power, often at the cost of the human spirit and the vibrant mosaic that makes up a society’s true identity.

How Creativity is Being Progressively Inhibited in the UK

While some of the challenges faced by artists and other creatives in the UK can be considered unintended consequences of governmental policies and the damage done by the COVID-19 pandemic, it unequivocally cannot be argued that the current government is doing its best to see culture thrive following Brexit.

Here are a few examples of how the current government has damaged culture in the UK:

Funding Cuts to the Arts:

Over recent years, there has been a trend of reduced funding for the arts. Local councils, facing budget cuts from central government, have often found themselves needing to reduce spending on cultural initiatives. This has led to a decrease in support for local arts projects, community programs, and educational initiatives in the arts. For some perspective, since 2010, spending on arts development and support has been almost halved from £3 to £1.52 per person.

Changes in Education Policy:

The emphasis on the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) in schools, which prioritises core academic subjects, has led to a decline in the uptake of creative subjects like music, drama, and art. This shift potentially impacts the long-term health of the UK’s cultural sector by reducing early exposure to and engagement with the arts.

“Arts subjects are disappearing from the curriculum in England at a frightening rate, and we should all be alarmed. The damage goes far beyond the economic; it requires a long-term coherent plan and investment in creative arts education. We know that governments often struggle to value what they can’t easily measure. This government appears to be incapable of valuing even the things that it can.”  Michele Gregson, CEO, National Society for Education in Art and Design

Gentrification and Cultural Spaces:

Urban development and gentrification in cities across the UK have led to the closure of numerous grassroots music venues and art spaces. While not directly a government policy, there is a perception that local and national government policies have not sufficiently protected these cultural hubs. 2023 was dubbed the worst year for grassroots venue closures, with a total of 125 grassroots venues closing each week.

It’s important to recognise that these issues are often interlinked and can have a cumulative effect on the cultural landscape. While not always a direct result of government policy, these factors can create an environment where cultural expression and development face significant challenges.

What Will Make the UK Culturally Thrive Again?

Reversing the damage done to the UK cultural sector requires a multifaceted approach, involving both government intervention and grassroots initiatives. The goal is to create a sustainable and vibrant cultural ecosystem that supports artists, cultural institutions, and the wider community.

The potential strategies to reverse cultural damage should start with increasing government funding, implementing tax reliefs and other incentives, offering grants and scholarships, negotiating better terms for UK touring artists following Brexit and reinforcing the importance of education policy.

From there, protective measures for independent venues and cultural hubs must be put in place, followed by local cultural initiatives and partnerships between the private sector and cultural institutions. The mainstream media will also have a role to play in promoting UK cultural content, and ensuring diverse representation is key to ensure everyone has a voice in the future of the cultural sector.

By implementing these strategies, the UK can not only work towards reversing the damage done to its cultural sector but also lay the foundation for a more resilient and flourishing cultural landscape in the future.

Article by Amelia Vandergast

How ‘The Brit Fest’ Became a Tragic Sign of the Post-Brexit Live Music Industry

The Brit Fest

The announcement of The Brit Fest, the inaugural event celebrating “the best of British”, may have stoked excitement in music fans who don’t need much persuasion to partake in nostalgia, but beyond the surface of the line-up poster, the festival is a tragic symbol of post-Brexit Britain.

With its red, white, and blue iconography all over the festival posters and official website, the festival seems less a celebration and more a British funeral for festivals as we knew them. This event, set against the backdrop of a nation grappling with its identity and economic challenges post-Brexit, stands as a stark reminder of the changes sweeping across the UK.

Clinging to National Pride

In the wake of Brexit, the UK’s economy has taken a significant hit; a recently published report, which came to light in January 2024, revealed that the UK economy is now almost £140 billion smaller as a result of the majority of voters ticking ‘leave’ on their ballot papers following an obscurely deceiving pro-Brexit campaign. This economic downturn has left many Brits searching for a semblance of hope and assurance, clinging to national pride as their last lifeline. The Brit Fest, in this context, is more than just a festival; it’s a desperate grasp at the straws of national identity and pride, a way for people to reassure themselves that leaving the EU was a beneficial move and the democratic decision wasn’t the sole reason for the cost-of-living crisis that is gradually crippling us.

The Struggle of Festival Organisers

The challenges of post-Brexit Britain are not limited to the economy but extend to the cultural sector as well. UK festival organisers are facing a tough time as American headline acts are increasingly shunning UK festivals. This trend is a direct consequence of the economic and logistical complications brought about by Brexit, making the UK a less attractive destination for global artists. The Brit Fest, focusing on homegrown talent, is a response to this new reality, where international acts are harder to secure.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for celebrating and championing British artists, but this celebration of cultural alienation is a dystopic stretch too far in our era where everything is a culture war because we’ve got no culture (in the truest definition of the word) left to celebrate. The collective nationalistic flagellation is a worrying symptom of a society grasping at the echoes of a bygone era, mistaking loudness for substance and spectacle for depth. In this clamour, the true essence of artistry – the raw, unvarnished expression of the human condition – is drowned out by the cacophony of jingoistic fervour. It’s as if we’re in an amphitheatre, where the loudest cheer, not the most profound message, wins the day.

A Homage to Nostalgia

Despite its patriotic veneer, The Brit Fest is essentially a homage to nostalgia. Described by The Manc as “a pure throwback”, the festival mostly features a lineup of British artists from years gone by, evoking memories of a different era in British music. This focus on the past highlights a longing for a time before the complexities and uncertainties of the post-Brexit landscape. It’s a celebration of what was, perhaps, in an attempt to escape the realities of what is. If you want to learn more about why people are being drawn to nostalgia like moths to a flame, read our piece on the neurology of nostalgia and the price the music industry pays for it.

The Brit Fest is An Emblem of Stagnancy in the UK Music Industry

With Bonnie Tyler, Scouting for Girls, Kim Wilde, Heather Smalls, Starsailor, Toploader and Dodgy as the biggest acts on the bill at The Brit Fest, the festival poster proves what happens when the music industry becomes stagnant and refuses to let new bands rise to the top.

Even though music fans would be forgiven for thinking that there are no new bands worthy of securing headline festival slots, that is far from the case. The UK music scene is as vibrant and diverse as it has ever been – bands just can’t grab the same slices of global acclaim as their predecessors, and there are multiple reasons behind this depressing phenomenon.

Changes in the Music Industry

The music industry has undergone significant changes in the last few decades. The rise of streaming services and the decline of traditional album sales have altered how artists gain exposure and make money. This shift has impacted bands worldwide, but British bands, which traditionally relied heavily on album sales and extensive radio play, may find these changes particularly challenging.

Globalisation and Diversification of Music

With the advent of the internet and social media, the music market has become more globalized and diversified. Listeners have access to a vast array of music from all over the world, which means that competition is no longer local or even national but global. This increased competition can make it harder for any one group, including British bands, to dominate.

Cultural Shifts

In the past, British bands like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and later Oasis, were part of larger cultural movements that had significant international appeal. The cultural shifts of today might not be as conducive to bands playing a central role, or the movements themselves are more fragmented and diverse.

Economic and Logistical Challenges

For new bands, touring and getting exposure can be expensive and logistically challenging. This is particularly true in the post-Brexit era, where touring in Europe, a key market for British bands, has become more complicated and costly due to new regulations and visa requirements.

Media Focus

The media landscape has also changed, with a more fragmented audience and a shift towards reality TV, solo artists, and celebrity culture. Bands might not receive the same level of media attention as they did in the past, making it harder to gain widespread recognition.

Nostalgia and Comparison with the Past

There’s also a factor of nostalgia and the tendency to compare contemporary music unfavourably with the past. The British bands of the 60s, 70s, and 90s set a very high bar, and contemporary bands are often measured against these legends, which can overshadow their achievements.

In conclusion, The Brit Fest, with its nostalgic line-up and patriotic branding, stands as a symbol of the times – a post-Brexit Britain struggling to redefine its identity and place in the world. It’s a festival that is as much about music as it is about the collective psyche of a nation trying to find its footing in a new, uncertain era.

To learn more about how Brexit has impacted the music industry, read our statistical overview of the crushing blow of Brexit on the music industry.

Article by Amelia Vandergast

The Meaninglessness of the UK Misogyny in Music Inquiry

Misogyny

The UK Parliament’s Women and Equalities Committee (WEC) has recently concluded an extensive inquiry into the pervasive ‘Misogyny in Music’, a probe that spanned over a year and a half. The committee’s findings, encapsulated in a hard-hitting report, lay bare the stark realities faced by women in the music industry. The report begins with a powerful statement, highlighting the myriad challenges women encounter, ranging from limited opportunities and support to gender discrimination, sexual harassment, and the ever-present issue of unequal pay in a sector rife with self-employment and gendered power imbalances.

Despite some progress in representation, the report underscores that these issues are deeply ingrained and further exacerbated for women contending with intersectional barriers, especially racial discrimination. The report delves into these issues in detail and puts forth several recommendations. For the British government, these include enhancing protections against sexual harassment and discrimination for freelance workers and legislating against the use of non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) in cases of sexual abuse, harassment, misconduct, and bullying. The music industry is also addressed with recommendations such as labels committing to regularly publish data on the diversity of their creative rosters and workforces, including gender and ethnicity pay gaps. Furthermore, the report suggests licensing recording studios with a sexual harassment risk assessment, a mandatory accreditation programme for music managers, and incorporating conditions to tackle bias, harassment, and abuse in the licensing rules for music venues.

However, the report also takes a broader societal perspective, stressing the need for educating boys and men on misogyny and consent, and how to respect and support women better, acknowledging that these issues are often unfairly deemed as solely women’s concerns. The report’s release has prompted responses from various industry bodies, acknowledging the gravity of misogyny in music and society and the need for concerted efforts to address it. The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) and UK Music have expressed their commitment to tackling these issues, emphasising a zero-tolerance approach to misogyny and discrimination.

…If It Sounds Too Good to Be True, It Probably Is

Amidst these developments, there’s a palpable sense of scepticism about the potential for real change. The UK is on the cusp of a general election, with the ruling Conservative party, in power since 2010, now facing a resurgent opposition Labour Party. The government’s current focus seems to be on internal politics, quick-fix policies, and cultural battles, leaving issues like misogyny in the music industry on the back burner. While individual MPs, including committee chair Caroline Nokes MP, have shown commitment to these issues, the transformative change needed in the music industry’s heart, as Nokes points out, seems a distant dream.

The report, though clear in its recommendations, may only see significant attention post-election, possibly under a new government. Of course, there is no guarantee that the Tories won’t get to extend their tyrannical rule over the UK, and let’s not forget, the Conservative Party is just as misogynistic as what they are pretending to go up against to benefit women in the music industry. Remember when they trashed tackling sexism and racism as ‘woke concerns’? Remember when Caroline Nokes called the party institutionally sexist? Remember when the home secretary, James Cleverly, made a date rape joke? Don’t fall for the populist agendas.

As much as I would love to see the music industry become a meritocracy that is free from misogyny, that optimism doesn’t make me naïve enough to believe that the UK government is going to do anything to support musicians in any capacity. In recent years, the music industry has been decimated by Brexit, the pandemic, the cost-of-living crisis and the general lack of appetite for new music because nostalgia tastes so much sweeter when modernity is sour. Not all of the above can be pinned on our current government, but they certainly haven’t helped with their proclivities towards disaster capitalism.

5 Ways the UK Government Has Failed to Support the Dilapidating Music Industry

  1. Inadequate Support for Live Music During the Pandemic: One of the significant failures of the UK government in recent years was the lack of appropriate support packages for the live music industry during the COVID-19 pandemic. The sector, which heavily relies on live performances and events, was one of the hardest hit, yet the government’s response was criticised for being insufficient to address the unique challenges faced by artists, venues, and support staff.
  2. Unresolved Streaming Royalty Issues: Despite numerous reports and discussions highlighting the unfair distribution of streaming royalties, the UK government has been slow to address these concerns effectively. Many artists and industry professionals have expressed frustration over the lack of concrete action following inquiries into streaming services, which continue to leave many artists under-compensated for their work.
  3. Brexit’s Impact on Touring Artists: The government’s Brexit plans significantly impacted the music industry, particularly in terms of touring. The lack of consideration for artists and musicians in the Brexit negotiations led to increased bureaucracy, visa issues, and transportation costs for UK artists touring in the EU. This oversight has been seen as a failure to acknowledge and support the international aspirations and careers of UK-based artists.
  4. Underfunding of Music Education: The UK government has also been criticised for its underfunding of music education in schools. This lack of investment not only diminishes the quality of music education available to young people but also impacts the long-term sustainability of the music industry by failing to nurture the next generation of UK talent.
  5. Neglecting the Grassroots Music Venues: Grassroots music venues, crucial for the development of emerging artists, have faced neglect and lack of support from the government. These venues, often the starting point for many successful musicians, have struggled with issues like rising rents and strict licensing laws, with little to no governmental intervention or support to address these challenges, leading to closures and a diminishing music scene at the local level.

Article by Amelia Vandergast

The Parallels Between Legacy Acts’ Faux ‘Farewell’ Tours and Independent Artists Deceptively Using Scarcity Marketing

Farewell Tours

After Ozzy Osbourne decided that his No More Tours tour (1992) and his No More Tours II (2018) tour didn’t give him the chance to properly say goodbye to his fans leading to the announcement of more farewell shows at Aston Villa, I couldn’t help but delve deeper into the phenomenon of faux farewell tours as a marketing ploy and how they correlate to independent artists deceptively using scarcity marketing to sell tickets.

While I understand that independent artists need to use a ‘by any means necessary’ ethos to shift tickets and ensure there are more punters than staff in a venue, there are infinitely better ways to promote gigs than by manipulating fans and gaslighting them into believing they will be among throngs of other people when really, they will rock up and awkwardly try to fill space in an almost entirely empty room.

And, of course, while some false alarm farewell tours may be completely innocent and playing one shouldn’t mean that the door to the live music industry is closed forever, manipulative marketing can corrode the relationship between artists and fans through loss of trust and diminished loyalty when it becomes apparent that short-term gains are more important than long-term relationships. Even though there is never any lack of interest in comeback tours which follow farewell tours, for fans who have gone out of the way to attend final shows, it is natural that a significant proportion of them will be left feeling exploited after being driven by the compulsion to see the final chapter in that band’s live performance history.

The Infinite Loop of Farewell & Comeback Tours

The music world is rife with tales of bands and artists who’ve announced their final tours, only to return to the stage later. Here are just a few examples.

  • The Rolling Stones has hinted at retirement several times over the decades. Despite numerous ‘farewell’ tours, they continue to surprise fans with new tours – take every farewell from the Stones with a pinch of salt.
  • Cher is known for her spectacular ‘farewell’ tours and has made a habit of retiring and then returning to the stage. Her ‘Living Proof: The Farewell Tour’ (2002-2005) was followed by a Las Vegas residency and the ‘Here We Go Again Tour’ in 2018.
  • Jay-Z announced his retirement in 2003 with The Black Album. However, this retirement was short-lived, as he returned with Kingdom Come in 2006 and has been active in the music scene ever since.
  • Mötley Crüe signed a ‘cessation of touring’ agreement in 2014, declaring they would never tour again after 2015, Mötley Crüe blew up the contract in 2019 and announced their return to touring.
  • LCD Soundsystem announced their disbandment in 2011, complete with a grand farewell concert at Madison Square Garden. However, they reunited in 2015 and have been active since.
  • Fleetwood Mac, known for their tumultuous band dynamics, has had several ‘final’ tours. Despite various line-up changes and farewell tours, they continue to reunite and perform.
  • KISS embarked on a ‘Farewell Tour’ in 2000-2001. However, they returned to touring and have continued to perform live, including their ‘End of the Road World Tour’ which started in 2019.

How Farewell Tours Are a Highly Effective Marketing Ploy

To understand why some artists may keep coming back time and time again, it is crucial to understand what the announcement of such a tour can do to the ticket-buying public.

Creating a Sense of Urgency

The announcement of a ‘final’ tour creates a sense of urgency among fans. It’s the last chance to see the artists perform live, or so it seems. This urgency can drive ticket sales, as fans rush to seize what they believe is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Amplifying Emotional Engagement

Farewell tours often strike a deep emotional chord. They’re not just concerts; they become poignant events, celebrations of an artist’s career. This emotional angle can be a powerful driver for fan engagement and can elevate the perceived value of attending the concert.

Boosting Publicity and Media Coverage

Announcing a farewell tour is a surefire way to capture the media’s attention, generating buzz and heightened publicity. This increased media coverage can translate into broader awareness and potentially attract even casual fans or those who might not have considered attending a concert otherwise.

Reinvigorating Interest in the Artist’s Work

A farewell tour can also reignite interest in an artist’s discography, leading to increased sales of albums, merchandise, and digital streams. It’s a way of putting the spotlight back on their body of work, perhaps introducing it to new audiences.

Setting the Stage for a Comeback

In the rhythm of music careers, a ‘farewell’ tour followed by a comeback can be a strategic move. The return can be marketed as a triumphant or unexpected encore, tapping into the joy and relief of fans who thought they had missed their last chance to see their favourite artists perform.

Financial Incentives

Lastly, the financial aspect cannot be overlooked. Farewell tours often command higher ticket prices and can be more lucrative due to their ‘last chance’ nature. A subsequent comeback tour can then capitalise on the renewed or sustained interest.

While not all farewell tours are disingenuous, the pattern of artists returning after a ‘final’ tour suggests that, in some cases, these farewells are more of a strategic intermission than a true finale.

How Independent Artists Try Their Hand at Music Marketing Manipulation

Independent musicians often employ scarcity marketing when selling gig tickets as a strategic way to create a sense of urgency and exclusivity, which can boost sales and fan engagement by exploiting music fans’ compulsion to do whatever they can to stave away fear of missing out. However, when it is all smoke and mirrors and no urgency is needed, attending the show can be the anti-climax of the gig-purchasing and attending experience. You know what, I’m not even going to say anything else on this note; I will just leave you with the comedian Josh Pugh’s parody of independent artists trying to shill tickets in this way.

If you are looking for better ways to shift tickets to upcoming shows, read our blog on how to promote gigs in a fragile live music industry.

Article by Amelia Vandergast

The Rise of the Stan: Do Parasocial Relationships Help or Hinder Independent Musicians?

Parasocial Relationships

Have you ever noticed that reactions to music and its creators rarely deviate from disdain, ambivalence, and obsession? In this article, we will be deep diving into the phenomenon of parasocial relationships, and the prominence of Stans, looking into how their psychology and slightly worrying tendencies are shaping the industry.

What Are Parasocial Relationships?

Parasocial relationships, a term coined in the 1950s by social scientists Donald Horton and R. Richard Wohl, describe a unique kind of psychological connection individuals develop with media figures – be they characters in a TV show, celebrities, or even fictional characters in literature. Unlike traditional social relationships, parasocial interactions are one-sided. The audience member or fan feels a bond and a sense of friendship with the figure, but this feeling is not reciprocated as the media figure is often unaware of their existence.

In the realm of parasocial relationships, the boundaries between reality and fiction often blur. Fans might follow every detail of a celebrity’s life or feel deep emotional connections with a character from a novel or film. This phenomenon has been amplified in the digital age, where social media platforms create an illusion of intimacy and accessibility with public figures. Followers are privy to daily updates, personal thoughts, and behind-the-scenes glimpses, fostering a sense of closeness that might feel akin to a real friendship.

While parasocial relationships can provide comfort and a sense of belonging, they also raise questions about the nature of celebrity culture and the impact of media consumption on our understanding of real-world relationships. In a world increasingly mediated by screens, discerning between genuine social connections and one-sided parasocial interactions becomes both a philosophical and psychological challenge, echoing the complexities of human emotion and connection in the modern age.

The Rise of the Stan

In the ever-evolving lexicon of the music industry, the term ‘Stan’ – a blend of ‘stalker’ and ‘fan’ – has emerged to describe a new breed of superfan. Coined from Eminem’s 2000 song of the same name, a ‘Stan’ epitomises an intense, often obsessive adoration for a particular musician or band. These fans don’t just appreciate the music; they form a deep, one-sided bond with the artist, sometimes blurring the lines between admiration and obsession, and taking their parasocial relationships one step beyond. The epitome of this behaviour was noted in 2023 when Taylor Swift fans, or Swifties, ensured TikTok knew that they were wearing adult diapers to her Eras tour so that they wouldn’t miss a track on a bathroom break.

The Challenge for Emerging Artists

This intense fandom culture poses a unique challenge for up-and-coming musicians. In a landscape where Stans dedicate their time, energy, and resources to established artists, emerging talents often struggle to capture the attention of potential fans. The music industry, known for its competitiveness, becomes even more daunting when fans are preoccupied with their parasocial relationships. These fans, deeply invested in the lives and careers of their favourite artists, may overlook the rich tapestry of new music blossoming around them. This tunnel vision can stifle the growth of emerging artists who lack the fanbase and resources to compete for attention.

The Gig-Going Dilemma

The phenomenon extends into the live music scene. Hardcore fans may choose to follow their favourite artist across the country, or even continents, pouring their gig-going funds into a singular musical experience. This trend impacts the diversity of the live music scene, as fans funnel their resources into seeing one artist multiple times rather than exploring a variety of performances. This behaviour not only limits the fans’ musical exposure but also restricts the audience pool for independent artists who rely on live gigs for exposure and income. Of course, the obsessive need to see every performance supplements the income of the idolised artist but it speaks volumes of where we are in society today. Primarily, these kinds of gig-going habits are a result of people seeking community in an increasingly individual reality, their inability to sate their need for emotional connection elsewhere, and a side-effect of another widespread phenomenon, FOMO.

The Pressure to Please

For musicians, particularly independent artists, the rise of the Stan culture brings added pressure to maintain a certain persona and continuously engage with their fanbase. The expectation to create personal content and invite fans into their private world can be overwhelming. This constant demand for accessibility and intimacy can exacerbate mental health strains, as artists grapple with the need to balance their personal lives with the expectations of their fans. The pressure to keep Stans engaged can lead to burnout and anxiety, as artists feel compelled to sustain the parasocial relationship that their fans have come to expect.

Navigating the Stan Culture

The Stan culture, while showcasing the passionate side of music fandom, presents a complex landscape for both artists and fans. For emerging musicians, breaking through the noise requires innovative strategies to attract fans who might be preoccupied with established artists. It involves creating not just music, but a narrative that resonates with listeners, encouraging them to expand their musical horizons.

For established artists, managing the expectations of Stans while maintaining personal boundaries is a delicate balancing act. It’s about fostering a healthy fan relationship that respects the artist’s privacy and well-being. The industry, as a whole, needs to cultivate a more sustainable fan culture, one that celebrates diverse musical experiences and supports the mental health of both artists and fans.

In Conclusion

While parasocial relationships can create a vibrant and dedicated fanbase, they also pose challenges for the music industry, particularly for independent artists. Navigating this landscape requires a nuanced understanding of fan dynamics and a commitment to promoting a healthier, more inclusive music culture. As the industry evolves, so too must our approach to fandom, ensuring that it enriches rather than hinders the musical experience for all involved.-

For more advice on how to harness superfan power, read our blog on how independent musicians can reap the benefits of nurturing parasocial relationships with their fans.

Article by Amelia Vandergast

Independent Venue Week: Is IV24 An Exercise of Futility?

Independent Venue Week

Following the announcement from Music Venues Trust (MVT) which disparagingly revealed that 2023 was the worst year for UK venue closures after 125 venues showcased their last performance, 4,000 jobs were lost, and 14,500 events were cancelled, there is growing speculation over whether Independent Venue Week (IVW) can make a modicum of difference to the 80 music venues which are currently in crisis. This crisis is exacerbated by the cost of living, high rent rates, and increased utility costs. The Trust’s CEO, Mark Davyd, has called for “radical intervention” from the government, the music industry, artists, and fans to prevent further closures.

Is IVW24 An Exercise in Virtue-Swathed Futility?

IVW24 is set to take place from the 29th of January to the 4th of February. Once again, it is being marked as a seven-day celebration of music venues up and down the UK and the people who tirelessly attempt to keep them afloat.

But is it really anything more than attaching the IVW logo to gig posters for events scheduled to take place in the IVW timeframe? Is it enough to convince music fans to come out in droves to see up-and-coming and established bands? I, for one, am struggling to see the impact that Independent Venue Week will have on ticket sales. Even though I would love to see the initiative have a profound effect and give venue owners a reprieve from their financial anxiety, optimism is in short supply in the wake of the 193,230 opportunities that were lost for musicians through the closure of venues in 2023.

Sure, IVW has developed a line of merchandise. Even though there is absolutely no indication that purchasing one of the t-shirts will contribute to the rising costs of keeping the lights on and the PAs plugged in at music venues. And Huw Stephens and Steve Lamacq will be taking their BBC 6 Shows on the road, but it feels as though the music industry is going to need to put a far juicier carrot on the end of the stick to amp up the enthusiasm to purchase gig tickets. Stephens and Lamacq’s tour is a step towards raising awareness and support for these venues, but it underscores the need for more substantial and sustained efforts to safeguard the future of the UK’s music ecosystem.

“IVW is nothing more than an opportunity to promote big acts, not independent music. As a volunteer at an IVW event, I was treated poorly, working tirelessly without even so much as a bottle of water in return, meanwhile the venue staff didn’t get paid for the extra hours put in – so much for celebrating them. Every year it gets more contrived.”anonymous

With music fans more mindful of their budget than ever before given that there is no end to the cost-of-living crisis in sight, it is somewhat naïve to expect this event can even make a dent in the financial strain felt by independent music venues.

What is Independent Venue Week?

Independent Music Venue Week is a celebration of the spirit and uniqueness of independent music venues. It’s akin to a week-long festival, but instead of being confined to one location, it sprawls across the UK’s independent music venues, showcasing their importance and the diverse talent they support.

Origins and Evolution:

Inception (2014): IVW was launched in 2014. The idea was to shine a spotlight on the heroes who own and run these venues. It’s a nod to the places that often serve as the nurturing grounds for musicians, offering them their first stages and helping to shape their careers.

Growth and Development: Over the years, IVW has grown significantly. From a handful of venues in its early days, it has expanded to include hundreds of venues across the UK. Each year, the event sees a series of gigs and talks taking place over a week, usually at the end of January or the beginning of February. This timing is strategic, as it falls at a quieter time of the year for these venues, giving them a much-needed boost.

Impact of COVID-19: The pandemic brought unprecedented challenges to the live music scene. IVW adapted by incorporating virtual events and fundraising efforts to support struggling venues. This period highlighted the fragility of independent venues and galvanized public and industry support for them.

Key Figures and Involvement:

Sybil Bell: The founder of IVW, Sybil Bell, has been a crucial figure in the initiative. Her vision and dedication have been instrumental in driving the event forward and raising awareness about the importance of independent venues.

Artists and Bands: Each year, a mix of well-known and emerging artists participate in IVW. These artists often have a personal connection to these venues, having started their careers on similar stages. Their involvement brings attention and crowds, vital for the venues’ survival.

Partnerships and Support: IVW has garnered support from various organizations, including Arts Council England. Partnerships with music industry bodies, media, and sponsors have helped in amplifying its impact.

Government Recognition: The initiative has also previously received acknowledgement from the UK government, highlighting its cultural significance and the need for supporting grassroots music venues.

In Conclusion

To truly make a difference, IVW and similar initiatives must go beyond annual celebrations and become part of a larger, concerted effort to address the financial and structural challenges facing independent music venues. This could include advocating for policy changes, creating sustainable funding models, and fostering a culture of continuous support from the music community and the public. Only through such comprehensive and ongoing efforts can the decline of these cultural hubs be halted and reversed.

For more music news, keep following our blog, which has recently been voted by Vuelio as one of the top 10 UK music blogs in 2024. We always have room to feature new music from up-and-coming artists and help them cut through the oversaturated static. Submit new music today.

Article by Amelia Vandergast

Does Politics Have a Place in Music in 2024?

Politics in Music

As we step into 2024, the question of whether politics belongs in music remains as pertinent as ever. Music, an art form that transcends boundaries and speaks the universal language of emotion, has often been a vessel for political expression. From the soul-stirring melodies of folk to the rebellious chords of punk, music has not just mirrored but also shaped societal narratives.

But in a society more bitterly divided than ever with people clinging to the extreme ends of the political spectrum with increasingly partisan views, is it the right move for your music career to be candid with your political beliefs? No one can answer that question for you. Each artist has their own agenda. But with the considerations outlined below, you will hopefully see that societal regression is an inevitable symptom of inhibition of expression.

There is certainly an argument that music should be an escape from the dystopia that is closing in around us, but if you are biting your lyrical tongue to appease as many people as possible, it may be time to bite the political bullet and start to speak for the marginalised and voiceless.

The Role of Artists in Challenging Oppressive Structures

History is replete with artists who have used their platform to challenge oppressive political structures. Their music becomes a rallying cry, a beacon of hope and solidarity. In oppressive regimes, where voices are stifled, music becomes the unquenchable flame of resistance. It’s not just about creating art; it’s about creating change.

If you are an independent artist, you may not be able to start a revolution with your next single, but the ripple effect of liberating music can at least spark some resistance.

Authenticity vs. Appeasement: The Cost of Political Expression

Incorporating politics in music can be a double-edged sword. Artists risk alienating fans whose beliefs diverge from the message conveyed. However, the pursuit of universal appeasement often leads to bland, meaningless art. True artistic expression demands authenticity, even at the cost of popularity. It’s a testament to the artist’s integrity, choosing significance over safety.

In the digital era of music when music can feel like a popularity contest with the focus on how many listeners tune into your music on Spotify monthly and you get booked for gigs based on your Instagram followers, anything that threatens to diminish your follower count is enough to strike fear, but if you want to spend your entire career pussyfooting around the people who want to sedately suck the cocks of GB News presenters before parroting ‘go woke, go broke’ at anyone with a conscience and a voice, go ahead.

There is always the risk of facing the same backlash which saw the Dixie Chicks fall from grace in 2003 when Natalie Maines commented on the US invasion of Iraq, which saw radio stations boycotting their music and sponsors boycotting them. Yet, if you’re so inclined to be a populist, you may as well have moved into politics instead of the music industry.

The Revolutionary Echoes of Genre Pioneers

The annals of music history are marked by pioneers who were brave enough to carry the torch of political expression. Hip-hop became a catalyst for collective resistance. Rock became a rallying cry against economic stagnation. Punk became a rejection of fascism.

These genres have always been more than just music; they’ve been movements, challenging norms and igniting societal change. Their creators weren’t just musicians. They were revolutionaries whose notes were as potent as any speech.

Culture propels matters into public discourse, prompting us to reconsider our perspectives on the world. Pivotal cultural events often lay the groundwork for shifts in politics and policy-making.

The Sleaford Mods Controversy: A Reflection of Expectations

If you are thinking that silence on key issues is the key to success, the recent controversy surrounding Sleaford Mods, who faced backlash for not expressing their views on Palestine, underscores a critical aspect of music and politics. It highlights the expectations placed on artists to use their platform for political discourse.

This incident, which saw Sleaford Mods storm off stage after a Palestinian flag was thrown at their feet, reflects the evolving relationship between artists, their art, and their audience in the realm of political expression.

The Irony of Political Ignorance

Remember how in 2020 it only just dawned on some music fans that Rage Against the Machine is a political band? Well, there’s been an even more absurd instance of music fans being politically tone-deaf. When Green Day played their 2004 hit, American Idiot, during an NYE show on ABC and changed the lyrics to “I’m not a part of the MAGA agenda”, people were shocked at the twist to the single that has ALWAYS been underpinned by political angst.

Both of these instances are stark reminders of how music can be consumed without comprehending its deeper messages. Are these the kinds of mind-numbed fans you want to appease by refraining from including political messages in your music? The kinds of people who love to hate far more than they love to adore? The kinds of people who look for any hint that the world is descending into ‘woke madness’ because you don’t share their views? The people who throw the oppressed under the bus because they can’t come to terms with the real reasons behind their shortcomings so they foam at the mouths like pedant toddlers screeching because they’re not being pandered to by everyone, all of the time?

Conclusion: The Inextricable Link Between Music and Politics

In conclusion, the question isn’t whether politics belongs in music in 2024, but rather how it manifests. Music has always been a reflection of the times, a voice for the voiceless, and a tool for change. As long as there are stories to be told and injustices to be challenged, politics will find its rhythm in the heart of music. The true essence of music lies in its ability to speak truth to power, to challenge, and to inspire.

If you have a political or a protestive track you would like to promote, submit music to our indie music blog for a review or use our artist interview service to give your fans and our readers an inside view into the inspiration behind your latest release.

 

Article by Amelia Vandergast

Harmonising with the Future: How to Navigate the Music Industry Landscape in 2024

2024

If taking your music career to the next level in 2024 is at the top of your New Year’s resolutions, you will have to do plenty more than unleash your magnum opus and hope for the best. If previous trends have taught us anything, it is that long-term strategies, harnessing fan power via community engagement and finding ways to monetise your music away from streaming platforms are the cornerstones you need to rest the foundation of your career on.

In 2024, there won’t be a radical shift away from these music marketing fundamentals. However, as we stride into 2024, the music industry stands on the cusp of a thrilling transformation, driven by innovative trends and strategies that promise to redefine the landscape for artists and their audiences.

Leave Your Music Industry Pesimism in 2023

Even though, in some ways, it may not feel as though the music industry has fully returned to form following the pandemic, the tenacious swathes of innovation exhibited by the industry have shown that the industry is far from in decline. While the ‘mainstream’ may be somewhat of an abstract phenomenon these days, there are still plenty of signs of life and potential.

For example, Live Nation reported a 27% increase in revenue year-over-year in Q2 2023, signalling a robust recovery. This revival has been further bolstered by high-profile artists like Taylor Swift, whose Eras Tour is projected to generate a staggering USD 1 billion in revenues by March 2024, alongside a significant boost to local economies.

Collaboration has also become a cornerstone in this new era, with artists, venues, and businesses joining forces to enhance the live music experience. Furthermore, streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music continue to thrive, offering artists a steady stream of revenue through royalties. This has been crucial in offsetting losses from cancelled performances during the pandemic.

Innovations in virtual concerts and omni-channel platforms have also played a significant role in the industry’s comeback, allowing artists to maintain a connection with their fans. The music industry’s ability to adapt and innovate in the face of adversity has not only ensured its survival but has also paved the way for a brighter, more resilient future. As live music returns and streaming platforms grow, the industry in the US and the UK is poised for a vibrant and prosperous era, buoyed by the lessons learned during the pandemic.

2024: A New Era in Music

1. Embracing the Digital Shift: The Rise of AI and Streaming

If there’s anything that can drive disdain in the hearts of independent artists, it is the mere mention of AI and Spotify. It can be easy to overlook how both artificial intelligence and streaming platforms have the potential to revolutionise the music industry. As just one example of how AI can facilitate an independent artist’s growth in the industry, AI-driven hyper-personalisation is transforming how music is marketed, enabling artists to target audiences with unprecedented precision.

Meanwhile, streaming platforms are reaching new revenue highs, though artists must be wary of solely relying on them. The key lies in leveraging these digital tools to enhance audience engagement and diversify income streams.

2. The Power of Content: Beyond Music

 

In 2024, the role of the artist extends beyond music creation. Embracing the influencer persona, artists should be inclined to tap into diverse opportunities, including content creation and direct fan engagement. This trend underscores the importance of viewing music as part of a broader business strategy, where every interaction with fans is a chance to strengthen relationships and build a loyal community.

By harnessing the power in parasocial relationships, independent artists can put ample momentum behind their every move. However, there is a balance to be struck between becoming a content-creating machine and only appearing on social media to drop a new release or announce a new tour, which brings us to our next point.

3. Community and Superfans: The Heart of Success

The growing focus on community and superfans is reshaping marketing strategies. Artists are encouraged to cultivate a dedicated fan base, recognising that a small group of passionate supporters can have a significant impact on their careers. This approach involves creating exclusive, subscriber-only content and fostering a sense of belonging among fans.

Whether you sign up to platforms such as Patreon, do exclusive merch drops via Spotify Wrapped for your most invested fans or create a mailing list which you will use to deliver exclusive digital goodies to your most loyal followers, the power of the super fan isn’t to be underestimated.

4. Short-Form Video Content: Capturing Attention

Short-form video content is dominating the digital landscape, and its influence in the music industry is undeniable. Artists must adapt to the decreasing attention spans of audiences by producing engaging, concise video content. This trend offers a powerful tool for promotion and connection, allowing artists to showcase their personality and creativity in bite-sized formats.

With the reel format spilling out from TikTok onto Facebook and Instagram, it is time to perfect your short-form video content creation skills. Use it to plug your new releases and tours, or simply to just provide a window into your creative process or bolster your connections with your fans.

5. Alternative Monetisation: Beyond Traditional Revenue Streams

The music industry’s traditional revenue models are evolving. Artists are exploring alternative monetisation strategies, such as merchandise, live performances, and personalised experiences. This shift requires artists to think creatively about income sources, ensuring they are not solely dependent on streaming revenues. Stop pouring your effort into lamenting the royalty payment structures on streaming platforms and see the potential in more lucrative revenue streams.

Conclusion: Harmonising with Change

 

As we look towards the future, it’s clear that the music industry in 2024 is a landscape of immense potential and change. For independent artists, the key to success lies in adapting to these trends, embracing the digital revolution, and focusing on building strong, direct relationships with their audience. By doing so, artists can create a sustainable career path, marked by both artistic fulfilment and financial stability.

For more advice on how to take your music career to the next level in 2024, enquire about our artist development services, and keep following our music trends updates to stay up-to-date with the latest developments in the ever-evolving music industry landscape.

Article by Amelia Vandergast

The December Dilemma: Five Reasons Why Independent Artists Should Rethink Releasing New Music During the Festive Season

New Music

As the winter chill sets in and the defrosting Mariah Carey for Christmas meme has circulated, December brings a unique atmosphere, one of nostalgia and celebration. However, for independent artists, this season presents a paradox. While it seems a tempting time to release new music, hoping to ride the wave of holiday cheer, there are several compelling reasons to reconsider your release strategy.

In this article, we will outline five of the main reasons why December might not be the ideal month for independent artists to debut their latest labours of love.

5 Reasons Why Independent Artists Should Avoid Releasing Music in December

  1. The Nostalgia Factor

December is a time machine, transporting listeners back to the warm, familiar tunes of yesteryears. The airwaves are saturated with classic hits and melodies, leaving little room for new entrants. This nostalgia-driven trend means that new tracks from independent artists often struggle to find an audience amidst the sea of timeless classics.

  1. Festive Frenzy Overload

The holiday season is a sensory overload – lights, shopping, family gatherings, and endless lists of obligations. Amidst this festive frenzy, music consumption patterns shift. People lean towards playlists that complement the season’s spirit, often side-lining new, unfamiliar music. This makes it challenging for independent artists to capture the attention of potential listeners.

  1. Financial Constraints

With wallets stretched thin due to holiday shopping and year-end expenses, music fans are less likely to invest in new albums or extravagant merch bundles. This financial crunch can significantly impact the revenue potential for artists releasing new music in December. You don’t want to build momentum with a campaign only for your efforts to be wasted because people’s disposable income has been swallowed.

  1. Year-End Reflections

As the year winds down, music enthusiasts and critics indulge in retrospection, compiling lists of the year’s best tracks and albums. New releases in December risk being overlooked in this reflective process, missing out on critical acclaim and end-of-year discussions.

  1. Promotional Pitfalls

The competition for media coverage is fierce during the holidays, with every sector vying for a slice of the festive attention pie. Independent artists often find it challenging to secure promotional opportunities, as larger, established acts with hefty marketing budgets dominate the scene. Furthermore, just like in every other sector, people working in the industry take time off, including Radio DJs, promoters, pluggers, journalists and playlisters. Even though it may seem that the music industry is always operational, it is far from the case, especially for smaller-scale operations that are more likely to give up-and-coming artists attention!

Why It Pays to Be Strategic with Your New Release Dates

While the allure of a December release is understandable, independent artists might find greater success and engagement by choosing a less congested time. A strategic release in the new year, when listeners are refreshed and eager for new sounds, could be the key to making a more impactful musical statement.

It is vital to remember that the first month of a marketing campaign sets the stages, captures the most attention, and creates an initial impression that can significantly influence the trajectory of an artist’s release.

In the digital era of music, much of music discovery and promotion is governed by algorithms, particularly on streaming platforms and social media. A strong performance in the first month can signal these algorithms to promote your music more widely, increasing your reach and potential fan base.

When Is the Right Time to Release New Music?

Choosing the right time to release new music is a strategic decision for independent artists, balancing industry trends, audience availability, and promotional opportunities. While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, certain periods tend to offer more favourable conditions:

Early to Mid-Spring (March to May)

Spring symbolizes new beginnings, and the music world is no exception. With the winter holidays and major award seasons behind, listeners are often eager for fresh sounds. This period is less crowded than the end-of-year rush, giving independent artists a better chance to stand out.

Late Summer to Early Autumn (August to October)

Releasing music in late summer or early autumn can be advantageous. The industry starts to buzz again after the summer lull, but it’s before the holiday season’s frenzy. This timing allows artists to capitalise on the back-to-school energy and catch listeners before they switch to their holiday favourites.

January to Early February

The start of the year can be a strategic choice for release. The post-holiday calm means less competition, and people are often in search of new music to kickstart their year. However, it’s important to launch your campaign after the New Year’s festivities to avoid getting lost in the holiday hangover.

Mid to Late Autumn (Late October to Early November)

Releasing music during this time can be a smart move, especially if you avoid clashing with major holiday releases. Listeners might be looking for new tunes to accompany the change of seasons, and there’s a window of opportunity before the holiday music takes over.

Weekdays for Launches

Regardless of the month, consider launching your music on a weekday, typically Friday, which is the global release day for new music. This aligns with the music industry’s standard and maximizes the chances of getting featured on new release playlists.

Remember, these are general guidelines. The best release time also depends on your specific audience, genre, and marketing strategy. For instance, if your music has a summery vibe, a spring or early summer release might work best. Additionally, consider your readiness – it’s better to release when you’re fully prepared, rather than rushing to meet an arbitrary date.

But What About Christmas Songs?

If you have dreamed of releasing a hit Christmas song, you might be disparaged to read WIRED’s scientific explanation of why there hasn’t been a hit Christmas song in years. We’re not counting the atrocities LadBaby inflicted upon the world, illustrating how culture in the UK has never been in a sorrier state.

The article outlines how nostalgia plays a pivotal role in the enduring popularity of classic Christmas songs. These tracks often passed down through generations, create a sense of comfort and tradition that new songs struggle to replicate. The article also highlights how songs from as far back as the 1970s continue to dominate the festive airwaves, underscoring the challenge for contemporary artists to break into this nostalgic stronghold.

Furthermore, the music industry has undergone significant changes, particularly in how music charts are perceived and used. The rise of streaming services and the decline of traditional sales metrics have altered the landscape, making it more challenging for new songs to achieve the ‘classic’ status of their predecessors. This shift is exemplified by acts like LadBaby, whose novelty songs have topped charts in recent years, reflecting a change in what drives popularity and success in the music industry.

Interestingly, the article notes that even massive hits like Mariah Carey’sAll I Want For Christmas Is You” took years to reach their iconic status. This suggests that while new Christmas songs may be released, they require time to embed themselves into the festive canon, a process that can take decades.

The current music landscape, with its focus on streaming and novelty, further complicates this scenario, making it a challenging feat for contemporary artists to create the next Christmas classic.

For more advice on how to make the best moves in your music career in 2024, keep following our blog, and always let us know about your latest releases by submitting your music for review on our top 10 UK music blog.

Article by Amelia Vandergast

The Artistic Evolution: Embracing Change in Music

Evolution

In the ever-evolving landscape of music, change is not just inevitable but essential. The journey of an artist is marked by an incessant quest for creativity and innovation. As we delve into the stories of bands like PJ Harvey, Radiohead, Beastie Boys, Nine Inch Nails, Depeche Mode, and Fleetwood Mac, we uncover a shared narrative of transformation. These artists, once confined to their original sounds, dared to venture into uncharted territories, thereby cementing their places in the annals of music history.

The concept of ‘selling out’ is often debated in the music industry. When artists deviate from their original sound, they are often accused of abandoning their roots for commercial success. While it may be the case that record labels push artists in different directions to maximise the profits banked by the oligarchs, it is ludicrous that independent and up-and-coming artists are also greeted by the same accusation. Especially if they have complete creative freedom over what they innovate and orchestrate.

Any real music fan will be aware of how difficult it can be for independent artists to create a comfortable living without seeking other means of income. Just take a recent interview with Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs in the Guardian on how their fans are amazed to hear that they are back in the office after playing shows and they have been fired for taking time off for touring. It is time for music fans to gain perspective and view transformations as acts of autonomous expression, where independent artists exercise their creative freedom to explore and grow, rather than conforming to external expectations.

If you have been caught between feeling compelled to replicate your earlier material and daring to metamorph your sonic signature for your next releases, this article, which demonstrates the detrimental nature of assimilating your older material out of obligation, may give you a clearer view of which avenue to take your future releases.

Loyalty vs Innovation

The music industry often presents a dichotomy: remain loyal to your original sound or innovate and risk alienating your fan base. This dilemma is particularly poignant in the cases of bands like Radiohead and Fleetwood Mac, who dramatically altered their musical directions. Radiohead’s shift from the grunge-inspired “Pablo Honey” to the experimental sounds of “Kid A” and Fleetwood Mac’s evolution from blues-rock to the pop-rock anthems of “Rumours” are testaments to the rewards of embracing change. Their success stories challenge the notion that loyalty to one’s original sound is the only path to enduring relevance.

The Adage “If It Isn’t Broken, Don’t Fix It” Doesn’t Apply to Art

In the realm of art and music, stagnation is akin to regression. The musical journeys of PJ Harvey and Depeche Mode provide inexplicable examples. Harvey’s transition from bluesy punk-rock to a more accessible indie-rock style, and Depeche Mode’s evolution from upbeat synth-pop to a darker, more atmospheric sound, demonstrate the artistic necessity of breaking free from the ‘if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it’ mindset. Their willingness to reinvent themselves not only kept their music relevant but also allowed them to explore new depths of their artistic potential.

The Muse Isn’t Always Found in Chartered Territory

Exploration beyond familiar boundaries often leads to the discovery of a muse that redefines an artist’s work. The Beastie Boys’ transformation from a hardcore punk band to hip-hop icons and Nine Inch Nails’ journey from synthpop to industrial music highlight the importance of seeking inspiration beyond the comfort zone. These shifts not only revolutionized their respective genres but also opened up new avenues for creative expression.

New Material Doesn’t Obsolete the Old

A common fear among artists is that their new work might overshadow or invalidate their previous creations. However, the evolution of these bands shows that new material can coexist with and even enhance the appreciation of their earlier works. The new sounds do not erase the old; instead, they add layers to the artists’ narratives, enriching their musical legacies. You may receive backlash from your fans who find a sense of pride in saying that they have been following you from the start and have grown accustomed to a certain style, but you can’t please everyone’s subjective view, attempting to do so will only serve as an inhibitor to your creativity. That’s the same creativity that drew them to you in the first place.

How Fans Can Decree Music Is ‘Terrible’ When It Is Made with the Same Talent That Produced the Art They Fawn Over

The reaction of fans to an artist’s evolution can be complex. While some embrace the change, others may be quick to criticise, forgetting that the talent and creativity that endeared them to the artist in the first place are still at play. It’s crucial to recognise that the same spark of genius that created the beloved early works is driving these new explorations, even if they take a different form.

Conclusion

The stories of these iconic bands serve as a powerful reminder to musicians and artists everywhere: the pursuit of creative evolution is not just a right, but a responsibility. Embracing change, exploring new horizons, and challenging the status quo are what keep the flames of creativity burning. As artists and fans alike, we should celebrate this journey of evolution, for it is in these changes that the true essence of art is found.

If you have a brand-new sound you want to showcase, submit your music today to see your music featured on our top 10 UK music blog.

Article by Amelia Vandergast