It is true that it is common to criticize and qualify the music of David Guetta and Lady Gaga as mediocre. But to say they are killing music! Is not it a bit exaggerated? It is up to you to discover it in the rest of the article! Warning: Before issuing any criticism or any judgment, I invite you to read the entirety of this post (a bit long I grant you) to the title voluntarily polemic. Would I have gone mad to attack the most popular DJ on the planet and the “pop diva” that has sold more than 103 million records around the world? (I’m going to make friends of mine, tiens ^^). Is not it paradoxical for a site dealing with musical composition to criticize what is best in terms of sales in the current music industry? Because after all, if it sells so well, it must not be so bad, is not it? And then frankly, all tastes are in the wild not true? So who am I to pretend that such music is good and that other is not? It is clear that it is possible that I do not appreciate these artists in their personal capacity, but to say that they kill music and make an article is frankly exaggerated not? Well I will say no. Of course, I understand that some people can appreciate their titles. And of course, I know full well that the perception of music is something totally subjective, and that it is therefore difficult for me to criticize a particular musical genre. But beyond their music, there is something profoundly disturbing about this kind of “artists” that I would like to talk about.
Image Courtesy Of SpanishSun
The advent of music-marketing
In order to avoid confusion, I would first like to define the subject of my criticism and the musical current that I point out through this article. Let’s be clear: I have nothing against Lady Gaga and David Guetta in particular (this post could very well have been called “Why LMFAO or Pitbull kill music”), but if I chose these two for The title of the article is because they represent perfectly a drift that I hate at the highest point: that of marketing music.
Music marketing is the making of music with the sole purpose of generating a profit. In other words, marketing music is to consider that music is not an end in itself, but a means of achieving another goal: to make money.
It is important not to confuse this concept with that of commercial music: commercial music is for me a popular music regularly going on radio. Even though commercial music can be music marketing, this is not always the case. There are indeed songs which have known their success, passing regularly on the airwaves, but created for a purely artistic purpose.
And beware of other amalgams: I do not say that marketing is a bad thing for music (it’s even essential), nor that artists should not make money thanks to their music (still happy ), No, all I am saying is that the creation of a music whose primary purpose is profit (which Lady Gaga and David Guetta clearly make) can have disastrous consequences on music in general. And I will show you why in the aftermath of this article
4 chords for a song
Apart from relegating music to the mere rank of a tool and thus distorting its true nature (that of being an art), marketing music is an aberration by definition. Indeed, if the aim and the raison d’être of marketing music is to generate the greatest profit, then it has to touch as many people as possible. The more the company has customers, the more it will generate profits, logical. But if we continue our small parallel with the economy: what is the surest way to reach the greatest number of prospects? Easy: to propose a product that pleases and that corresponds to all types of public. And what do you think is the most adaptable to the mass? Bingo, you put it in the nick: the basic products.
Marketing music is thus tailored to please the masses, and if the latter is so smooth, repetitive, and without interest, it is not by default but by choice: statistically it will thus be more likely to be appreciated by a number Important, and therefore generate more profits.
This is why producers do not hesitate to use unscrupulously and incessantly the same recipe to generate “tubes” to the chain. You remember my article about the 4 magic chords? That is exactly what it is. There is no impetus for artistic creation in this genre of music. An effective matrix has been found, and it simply needs to be applied to make the case fold. You do not believe me ? So I invite you to watch an excellent video of PV Nova which proves that 45 of the 60 best songs club of the last two years were composed using the same 4 chords: Fa, Sol, Lam and Do. Which means that 75% of the songs that are offered to the hits parades have strictly the same structure. Seriously, do not you think we’re making fun of you?
So yes, of course it is not given to everyone to make tubes. These songs possess a formidable work of production, but if we look at the compositional aspect in its purest sense, all these musics are incredibly poor.
A DJ mixing without hands, a singer who sells her image more than her music
By digging a little, one realizes that Lady Gaga and David Guetta (to name but a few) are really strong to bring their music into a purely economic dimension, and to accentuate the process of musical industrialization. Even though they use very different strategies, these two “artists” have each set up techniques worthy of the greatest entrepreneurs to run their business.
For the former, his case should be a model for all the great business schools that respect each other. Indeed, the songs known all over the world and signed “David Guetta” are in the vast majority of cases composed by others. Devinette: Who composed the vast majority of David Guetta’s tracks on these first three albums? David Guetta ? Lost ! This is Joachim Garraud! Not bad is not it ? A guy who gets sucked and paid millions of euros for titles that are not his … On this point, I pull my hat. As much as a musician, I find that it is not worth much, but as a businessman, it is a very big gentleman. Big-up David: D
In the economy, this is called outsourcing: the company delegates to external service providers tasks that do not fall within its core business. David Guetta, he is only the producer, in other words the investor: he brings the funds to finance the musical project. But since he finances the operation, the rights of the song belong to him, which allows him to legitimately put his name (uh, his forgiveness mark) on it. You now understand why every time someone sustains me that “David Guetta is doing good music,” it makes me smile gently
For Lady Gaga, it's a little different. I recognize that the miss plays the piano, and that she participates in the composition of these titles. However, like our friend David, the Lady has the unfortunate tendency to bring her music into a logic of economic efficiency. And her weapon is marketing and communication. Everything is good to make speak of himself, and only posteriori, of his music. I do not criticize this strategy, it is even very effective. What I find pity is that his case proves that it is perfectly possible for a musician to attain a lasting notoriety by means of something other than his music. Some will speak of artistic genius and of creation of universes, I speak instead of artifices and incessant provocations with the aim of masking hollow compositions. I do not question the creation of a universe: David Bowie, Kiss, Klaus Nomi have done it perfectly. But they at least, they also had music. And above all, they were not obliged to go into the higher bid to be able to exist over time. This marketing strategy of shock and provocation is very widespread in the economic world. It is used successfully by Michael O'Leary, the CEO of Ryanair. Do you have a choice of what you are listening to? You are only going to tell me that I exaggerate, that I draw hasty conclusions and that in the end Lady Gaga, David Guetta and all the artists of this kind do no harm to anyone. Certainly they make music to get rich but after all, it looks at them not? Ok, they're more businessmen than musicians, but then? What harm is there in this? I would certainly have shared this view if the media hype of their songs was not so important. I understand perfectly that an artist has to communicate in order to attract new listeners to him, but between communicating to make known a product, and communicating to impose it, there is a huge difference. Music channels, radio, press, Top 50, are always the same songs that are represented there. How can y ou make me believe that I have the freedom to listen to what I want if 75% of the music broadcast in public places and in the mass media are the same? And this is what bothers me and I find it destructive: their music is so diffused, that people end up accepting it, and most of all, end up accepting that such poor music can become the musical standard. Why do you think there are so many songs rotten years after years? If Sofiane has succeeded in making a hit with Nabila, why would the others be trained to create sought-after music? In order for you to fully appreciate the power and the raison d'être of this media blast, I invite you to imagine the following situation: Imagine a world where the media would praise only one brand of pasta. Imagine then that these pasta are present in the majority in your store. To what brand of pasta would you spontaneously go once in store? To unknown pasta from the bottom of the shelf? Or rather the pasta constantly presented on the TV and beautifully exposed in heads of gondolas? By analyzing this situation in a posteriori, do you really think that you were free to choose the brand of pasta of your choice? Of course, basically you always have the choice to choose the brand you want, but do you sincerely believe that the chances of choosing the brand of your choice are equal at the outset? (And if you add to the fact that the taste of these pasta has been studied to adapt to the greatest number, you will then understand the reason for the success of these pasta and therefore marketing music in general) And this is the other danger of music-marketing: it shrinks our choices and our musical perspectives by imposing us a unique type of music. Moreover, this practice has the other consequence of hiding the artists really deserving to figure on the top of the tanks. Do you find it normal to have to search for hours on the internet to find music that you like when Sexion d'Assaut and Colonel Reyel loop on the radio?. And in your opinion, why are these artists constantly on the air? Because their music is worth to be broadcast? Of course not ! Again, it is the business logic that is paramount. Did you know, for example, that Fun Radio was one of David Guetta's most important trading partners? Here is another paradox and another drift of this type of music: in a world where music is normally considered an art, the values defining the popularity of a song are very very far from artistic. Towards standardization and regression of culture Image Courtesy Of SpanishSun There is another disastrous consequence of considering music as a pure tool of economic performance. Indeed, creating in mass the same music, promotes cultural uniformity, and this phenomenon may be relatively dangerous. On the one hand, because without diversity there is no wealth and, on the other hand, because without evolution, an entity is necessarily condemned to die in the long term. You are not unaware that the different musical currents come from an evolution of the genres of the past thanks to an innovation that took place at a certain moment. For example, the blues gave birth to rock'n'roll thanks to an acceleration of the general tempo, and reggae comes from the use of the echo in the Rhythm'n'blues rhythmic structure. Now, how can we evolve a musical genre that has no originality and remains constantly fixed over time? How to generate evolution and new musical currents with repeating music? What is the future of this music? And what is the future of music in general, since unfortunately this musical current becomes majority And more than music in itself, here one touches directly on the regression of culture in the broad sense, music being for me an essential element of culture. Each type of music has indeed allowed to express a message, or to represent an ideology throughout history: the blues has for example carried the message of the condition of the black American of the 19th century, psychedelic rock that of the hippie movement of the The 70s, the rap of the Bronx uprising, and jazz enabled the encounter and fusion of Western and African cultures. You see, then, that every musical stream is intimately connected with history. Over the centuries, music has contributed to the participation or expression of important events in the history of man. But tell me, what can a noiseless music tell? What cultural aspect can claim a music that has no other purpose than to create money? Creating pre-formatted music, expressing nothing, and having no specific purpose, thus contributes to depriving music of its social and cultural dimension. Conclusion I deliberately pushed some reflections in order to make you think about this musical genre more and more pervasive. I remain personally convinced that music is an extraordinary means of expression and that it is appalling that it is reduced to becoming more and more an economic tool. Some will say that success attracts covetousness and that I am jealous. Perhaps. Meanwhile, I am very good as I am to listen to music that make me vibrate, and that at least are not empty as shells. Ps: I could very well have evoked the cases of plagiats revolving around all these musics and all these artists. Examples, I have tons, but I abstained from it for the sake of length of article. 😉