Pages From My Skin

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Music Business

Question asked in Legal Issues in Music:

Every musical genre is accompanied by a specific image which usually correlates to their success in that genre. Some artists that play/perform in a certain genre don't necessarily fit the accompanying image. Do you think it's ethical that an artist will have to assimilate themselves into the image in order to obtain success? Even more, do you think that it is ethical that some record labels force artists to change there image to be more successful?

My interpretation of an answer:

Success plays a pivotal role in getting at the heart of this discussion. One must first internally define success before even deciding to proceed in the search for external solutions. On many personal and spiritual as well as philosophical levels, I do not in any way believe it is ethical for an artist to assimilate themselves into a particular image simply to attain this abstract idea of success. Many people are content with the idea of making money as a primary means for happiness. Some would agree with the concept of creating a family. Others may discard such perspectives altogether and seek for success in simplicity. As for artists, most unfortunately want their face pretentiously plastered all over every billboard without any significant meaning behind their own image.

However, further insight needs to be considered in reference to record labels forcing artists to change their image to be more "successful." Such fundamentally unethical practices have been taken to inhumane proportions. Making an artist lose weight, get surgery, wear a wig and rock high heels to fit an image that is not innately themselves is just wrong. The worst is when these artists are not even talented but marketable due to their assimilated "beauty." I understand that artists sell more records and reap the benefits of formulaic exposure. At the same time, the general populace is too often subjugated to such puppetry when, for example, listening to the radio, watching television, and reading magazines. Many publications not only insinuate but actually state that women must look a certain way in order to be considered sexy. Of course, this a societal least in my opinion.

In an article written by Michael Levine and Hara Estroff Marano in Psychology Today entitled "Why I Hate Beauty," it is noted that "Men are barraged with images of extraordinarily beautiful and unobtainable women in the media, making it difficult for them to desire the ordinarily beautiful." Just how every person has some feature about them that best compliments who they are, every music genre has a key image associated with that image. Nonetheless, it does not mean we as artists or listeners or human beings for that matter should submit to such shallow changes. To best some things up, I have to insert a quote from the character Fabienne in Pulp Fiction as she says,"It's unfortunate what we find pleasing to the touch and pleasing to the eye is seldom the same."


  • i believe many people confuse dollar signs with success.

    i would argue that many of us are poverty-phobic.

    being a struggling artist just isn't appealing to many.

    yet i must agree with you. selling your soul completely is not worth it in the end. sure, it'll get you paid but then in the end, we gotta face ourselves...

    By Blogger Mujer, Interrumpida, At May 20, 2008 at 1:25 PM  

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