Tuesday, February 14, 2012
The Grammys this year seem to echo the sentiment of most true artists. It's time to get back to making great music and focusing on the craft. What the general public may not realize is that the Grammy Award is not based on sales, airplay or even popularity. The Grammy is voted on by artists, musicians, writers, producers and other music industry people that are members of the Recording Academy and while every once in a while you will have something strange slip through, for the most part the Grammy is about rewarding excellence not necessarily what's popular. This was evident last year when Esperanza Spalding won best new artist. She is a Jazz musician and professor at Berklee College of Music. The general public, for the most part, had no idea who she was but this is our role as academy members. It is our responsibility to reward excellence in music. The music industry is experiencing a backlash right now. With all of the auto tuned styled records, music has lost it's identity and ability to reach people on an emotional level. T Pain found a way to make using auto tune an art but the hundreds of artists that used it after him just made it a novel fad that has cheated the listening public. Music is not meant to be perfect. It's meant to be just like all of us, flawed and imperfect. Perfect music has no place in the real world. This is why Adele swept the Grammys this year. She was really the only artist in her categories that was just telling her own story with great songs and music. No auto tune gimmicks or the latest drum machine or keyboard sound. She just made an honestly great record and when placed against the auto tuned techno raging competition, she was a shoe in. The Recording Academy has an organization called Musicares that raises money and awareness for arts and music education programs. It is vital that we continue to support music education and teach the next generation of musicians the importance of learning to really play an instrument and master their craft and not be dependent on studio tricks to make them. This backlash is really a good thing because it forces the industry to take a real look at what it's putting out. Now we are not naive. There will always be tons of superficial fad oriented disposable music but it can no longer be the standard. I challenge all artists to make the music you feel and hear within your heart and not the music you think THEY want to hear. It's time to get back to making REAL music. Enjoy the journey.
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