I can already hear the howls of protest from disgruntled wannabe musos who share their anguish on Facebook, saying how corporation guys do their corporation thing in their corporation buildings to make people listen to this shit.
As a songwriter I’m openly envious of and full of admiration for the writers on this list. Writing pop hits is not easy, no matter how convenient it is, out of some misguided prejudice, to suggest otherwise. As a music business owner I’m frustrated as hell that none of my artists are on it. I don’t share my fellow indie company owners’ sense of superiority over “shallow” chart artists. As a fan of the guitar I’m genuinely perplexed why artists from the general genre of guitar music are absent from lists like these.
Music that makes kids wanna fuck ass, as the saying goes, is hard to create. Using this metaphor as a guideline, the vast majority of music in the world maybe results in some light petting, out of sympathy, at best. It’s the equivalent of “good gig, mate, really enjoyed it.”
The internet is a beautiful thing and the availability of affordable recording technology assists the process of creating great music. The flip side is that the two have made possible a cacophony of pointless noise. Half finished, poorly recorded ideas masquerade as records demanding our attention. When we don’t pay any, their creators go on insane internet rampages about how their lack of success is everyone else’s fault.
Hell, even when the record is really good, it’s still impossibly hard to get anyone to pay attention, let alone money. We know, because we’ve made a lot of records like that. Everyone who has worked in the business for a long time has made more of those records than successful ones.
A very purposeful mission for any creator of music in 2016 is to focus on the essential: the songwriting. Songs are the currency of the business we are in.
When times are good, write songs. The wagon won’t keep rolling on its own. When times are bad, write songs. You have nothing to lose but your poverty.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2016!