The most fundamental aspect of being an artist is artistic expression. The creativity placed in a music artist’s mind expresses something individual to them. Those individuals use creativity to propel their music and message to be absorbed by the listener. Artists who have come before this time have raised the bar considerably in regards to creativity and personal expression. Of course there is no definitive answer to this subjective question. And yet, I still pose this question: Are artists of today less artistic?
To get a better grip of this concept, let’s take a few perspectives into consideration. Although the perspectives given were different, they all shared a common thread: restrictions to artistic expression in recent times.
“Less creativity, but way better business sense.”
“Less creativity, because they are competing with today’s artist. I feel [they] don’t have talent because the music they create is not music they feel. It’s music they think will sell.”
“Overall the masses (mainstream artists) are less creative, because they are given less creative freedom. But you have a few gems in there.”
“More creativity because they are forced to be creative.”
“More, but the industry does not allow them to show it to their fullest potential. Because they (execs) want to hear what they want to hear and that’s it.”
“I think the music artist today are more creative because of the old school artist.”
“There’s nothing new under the sun. Everything that exists is a manifestation of what already was. So we can get mad at our current artists for not putting a unique spin on what they produce, but can we really get mad at them for not creating something that never existed in some form? Even Lady Gaga people think are so innovative. But her visual style is a reincarnation of Labelle and similar artists who were considering cutting edge 20 years prior. Rihanna is the new Prince, visually.”
Without artists of yesterday that laid the foundation and pushed the envelope, many artists would not be who they are today. Those young people watching and listening to their favorite artists are growing to be the next generation of artists. They will one day take what they learned and attempt to make their own music and push the envelope as well.
However, it’s a catch-22. If artists are being pushed to be more creative because of previous artists and the current marketplace which is cluttered with internet stars, then why would execs not allow artist to show their full potential? However, there are a few executives who tell their artists that they are just not creative and marketable enough. We’ve all heard the saying “Creativity has no limits”. Well if that statement is indeed true, than the issue rests within the artist themselves. StushMusic studios owner weighs in his thoughts, “Radio shrunk creativity”.
“Radio programmer’s decide what is going to be played, and back in the day DJs were granted leeway to introduce new records while on radio as long as they played the songs the Radio programmer said to play. Some genius decided hey we should play the top 20 songs in any musical chart, every hour on the hour everyday. Which is the current radio format, which is why you hear the same songs on the radio over and over all the time. Because of that Artist just hear what’s on the radio. And they follow, just that. So it shrunk the creativity.”
This situation causes artists to be more business savvy and less creative. Today you have artists saying they themselves have no content but they know they can sell this one song, tour, do shows and make money off of their hit. That in itself can make the most creative artist consider making music that they know will sell opposed to music that they love and feel. By taking a backwards approach to “art”, one can only image what the next generation of artist will be like.