New Reckless Saint Blog: Under the Bling ( ever wonder what other recording artists think about American idol ? - check this out )
After watching the Grammy’s this year, I’ve been thinking a lot about my own music lately and why I keep at it. I have devoted so much of my life, time, money, energy, and effort to this musical path and I love it - I wouldn’t change a thing. I know music is what I am supposed to be doing.
Loving it is certainly enough to keep me going, but I also want it to mean something to other people, to inspire them, and to make a quality artistic contribution to this world we live in.
Over the past few years, so many people have asked me ” what do you think about The Voice or American Idol?” Seems that the entire world wants to now be in the music business. Certainly everyone has their right to dream and pursue whatever they wish. I guess the question I have for these kids is this; If you knew right now that this dream would never make you rich or famous, would you still pursue it?
As studio technology advances and we can now polish, fix, and even re-pitch bad singing like never before, it has opened the door for pretty much anyone to be “in the music business”. It is quite uncomfortable to be in an industry that everyone has such strong opinions about yet little credentials to warrant these opinions. So, I avoid these types of discussions for the most part! Again, everyone has the right to like what they like. Art and music, after all, are subjective. One problem with this is that we seem to have lost perspective on what quality music or art actually is. The scale has become so greasy, there is no standard, no “true north”.
As artists, our society has certainly tainted the path of success for us. It is much more about being popular, likeable, beautiful, how much you “chat” on line, how many “likes” you have on Face book and Twitter, and so on. It is NOT about the quality of the actual music you are creating. Celebrity is part of every culture, but lets be honest; it has little to do with great art.
Certainly none of us can change the idiosyncrasies of our culture. And yes, I try to build my fan base on social media as much as any artist. And I am not being critical of technology or flashy live shows, costumes or production. That is all fun stuff and it’s great to be creative with it. But when it’s all said and done, I want to be great at what I do. When people listen to my songs or see me live, I hope they see something real. At the end of the day, technology can’t write a great song or create a passionate vocal performance. This is up to me. I need to be devoted to being skilled at what I do: practicing, studying, and growing as a musician. This process should never stop, it should continue on thru my life. Because no matter how much “BLING” gets added in the production process, the art needs to be their standing strong underneath it all. And even tho it may never make me rich and famous, I will keep doing it. It is who I am, not something I am trying to be.
I think this is why I like to perform solo with just a piano or guitar. There are no props, no smoke screens, nothing to hide behind. If music works like that, it will work period - with or without the Frosting :) So I guess the point is this: wherever your dreams or talents take you, be the best you can be at it. Do what you love and be who YOU are … don’t chase a certain career because you think it will bring you fame and fortune. Create something with your life that is worth remembering. Contribute something to our world. This is the best path we can take. It is the path to true success.