You ever hear a song for the first time and wonder “man, who is this?”
Or you hear a familiar voice you haven’t heard in a while, someone you followed from the start of their career and they just disappeared only to reappear out the blue? Then you go down a rabbit hole, in search of what you’ve just heard, their sound sending a tingle down your spine or making the hair on the back of your neck stand up. It’s something about their sound that has captivated you, their vocals are amazing, and this has now forced you to find out all you need to know about them. You’ve scoured the internet until their social media pages come up and then you go in diving more. Not only has Spotify or Pandora given you a new artist or new music to be on the lookout for, now you can follow this artist and discover what made them who they are and most importantly, what they are working on.
Social media has afforded a lot of artists, both new and veterans, the ability to build a brand and promote themselves as they want to be seen.
No more artist development is needed, even though it should be around. New artists enter the music industry with an advantage because they come in with an established fan base. Some of the artists I grew up listening to use their platforms to promote the music they want their fans to hear and consume. A lot of them who were once signed to major deals have found a way to work independently, creating the sound they want, working and building a team they can depend on, and maintaining their authentic self. Do they look to trends to gain an upper hand? Most likely, but it is clear you can hear who they are within those trends.
The competition to be seen and recognized is a blessing and curse in the world of social media.
A genre that has seen better days in the music industry is R&B.
Long gone are the days of passion and emotion. This genre is over-sexualized and seeks out the shock factors. The authenticity in R&B has shifted.
Can I make a comeback? Of course.
Some mainstream artists make it a point to incorporate that genuine feel of R&B in their music. But something that you can’t deny is the fact that a lot of the songs that are recorded and played on the radio sound the same, as do the beats and melodies. You were able to distinguish an artist based on their sound and vocal ability; a producer had a signature, and a songwriter had a tone.
Finding genuineness in R&B music now is a rarity.
It is there, however. That feel-good song that makes you move in your seat.
You just have to keep your ears open for those rare gems. Social media is not completely the blame, but it has allowed any and everyone to come in and change the feel of what R&B music use to be.
Again, it would be easy to blame social media for the change in R&B music, the lack of emotions that is currently present. But we can also thank social media for reintroducing us to some of our favorites. Those artists have long been forgotten due to the times of music or the change in the industry itself.
It seems once you served your purpose to the industry, the industry is done with you. But with the help of social media and most importantly streaming sites, a lot of artists have been able to make a comeback into the music industry and be rediscovered by a new generation of listeners and admires, while reconnecting with faithful fans. Social media also gives fans an inside look into the life of an artist, whether it’s behind the scenes of them working on their latest project or having family time.
I, myself, will not pretend that social media has not helped me discover new music and artists. There’s an eclectic number of artists I’ve discovered thanks to Pandora, Spotify, and Instagram. What drew me to that artist is their will to create the music they make.
I can feel their passion through the music they created.
Most of them have that feel good.
I believe that is what’s missing from R&B. That ability to sit for hours and listen to music you can get lost in. This genre is about deep emotions. It’s ok to have dance cuts, but sometimes you just want a good cry. You want a song so deep that when you hear it, it reminds you of someone; your mom, dad, boyfriend, or girlfriend, and it invokes an emotion that makes you cry or smile.
It reminds us of a time of day, a memory of something that has happened, you can revisit over and over again in your mind.
This is helpful with streaming sites. Come to think of it, social media is not all bad.