The pop starlets of the last twenty post-Napster years and the fans, and the blokes in the office who have no spirit left, will tell you the same thing: "You can't be a successful artist today with doing branding, appearances, advertising, endorsements etc.
Take the likes of Ed Sheeran. The music (of sorts) equivalent of Neil from the Young Ones. Whilst he might irritate real music fans as Radio X desperately try and plug him as a credible artist, no one can doubt he has taken the genre of "Victim-Rock" to the top.
He would be the first to say, with a punchable smile and a full wallet, how he had no choice but to do the whole universe of product placement, forced collaborations, and corporate performances that grace our screens -like a Comic Relief video about a drug-addict been given a guitar to express himself - and wouldn't have made it without doing so......he makes it so easy for people to respond to that it is painful. Someone told me that he actually had no ability to sing or play the guitar when he first started......once again, no fun when it is that easy to retort, is it?
Then we have Jessie J. A refreshing change, she sang that "We don't care about the finance, we just wanna make the world dance." Admirable. I thought, how nice to find a young female starlet who has scruples, after the blatant whoring of Lily Allen and Duffy. Okay her music totally blows and her vanity and arrogance is on a par with Emporer Nero ( a comparison she would take straight to a certain coffee-shop chain's marketing team, I'm sure) but it all fell a bit flat to see her actually performing that song, about not bowing to the buck and just being about the music, on channel four, covering some festival or other. She allowed the concert to stop so C4 could have a commercial break. "We just wanna make the world dance, unless there needs to be ads"
So in answer to all the rubbish about how no mainstream act can avoid selling out and survive. For that I have two words.
The f**king Prodigy
To see an article written from the point of view of the lobotomised idiot, click here
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