It’s been approximately 15 years since I first used the world wide web, and it has been roughly the same amount of time that I’ve been “into” music.
As someone who was born in the 80’s, I was at that age when the web took off and when I was just beginning to understand what music meant to me, as well as what the web might do for me. Since then, both music and the internet have changed, almost beyond recognition in many respects.
Music and the internet are a big part of my life now (as they are to many millions), but creating my own music and putting it online is something that few have had the pleasure of doing (still, many millions have done this!)
When I first started producing electronic sounds out of my old PC and uploaded them to the interweb, getting feedback from interested musicians all over the world inspired me to create more. I think this is one of the great things the internet has done for music. It inspires confidence to create, even for the more shy among us, as feedback and praise go a long way to encouraging the writing of your next track/song.
As a musician, it has never been easier to put something together, throw it online and hustle the forums/fans for a response. In theory, this leads to the collapse of the top labels. We make our own music, our fans find it through us and buy it off our website. This is great, this is what the net is about, right? Not exactly…
One (obvious) thing I have noticed over the years is this: the less barriers there are to getting your music made and put online, the more independent music there is online. This, I love, but for the practicalities of it. With countless myspace and soundcloud pages filled with pretty shoddy attempts at music, we find ourselves bogged down, suffocated, strangled by a mass of poor quality tracks!
Now, there are many who believe that music is generally getting worse and that the commercial tripe of today isn’t going away in its current form any time soon, and that the money-centric record labels are to blame. I won’t name names, we all have our favourite s**t artists, but why? I thought that music was in the hands of the people now? Well, as you’ve seen above, put music in the hands of enough people and you start to hear the quality lowering.
So, the conclusion of this piece is a thought for the future. How do we strike a balance, using the internet and record labels to provide the quality music we all want to hear? Throw too much money at the problem and you lose the soul and emotion of music. Not good! Allow anyone with an internet connection to upload their latest awful noise and you don’t end up in any better a place…
By Francis Gane
Founder, Chartburst.com – connecting unsigned musicians with some of the worlds biggest record labels via user-voted charts