Let me start by saying that this is just my OPINION...we all have one and we're all entitled to express it. I've had the same conversation probably a hundred times with my friends in the business and although we sometimes differ on what we think the problem is...we all agree that there is an issue with the way things are happening on Music Row.
I'll go ahead and get to the bottom line here...
The problem with the country music industry today is that labels are investing in SHORT TERM, ONE HIT WONDER ARTISTS instead of creating SUPER STARS.
In a perfect world, the best songs would get cut, the best artists would get deals and the wonderful songwriters in Nashville would get recognized for their hard work and contributions to the industry. Unfortunately, this just isn't the case. Time and time again we are seeing mediocre (at best) artists getting record deals and terrible songs getting picked for records and as singles. I'm not going to name any names here but it seems like the only way to get a deal these days is if you're on TV, are related to someone prominent in the music industry or you're related to someone famous. We all know that group of artists and who falls into it. I'm not saying that everyone who comes from a TV show is included in this group. Let's face it, American Idol gave us Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson. I know I'm thankful that they have a place in the music business, aren't you? My playlists would miss them if they weren't there :)
However, I do think that there is a lot to be said for people who pay their dues and spend years crafting themselves as entertainers and songwriters. These people tend to appreciate it when they finally do make it because they've taken the road less traveled and have succeeded. I can't imagine the amazing feeling of satisfaction that they must feel when they finally do make it.
Like I said before, I don't personally have a problem with people who are on American Idol, Nashville Star and other shows in order to make it. It's a tough business and you have to take every opportunity that you can to get your shot. It's not easy and shows like that give you a chance to present yourself to a huge audience of potential fans. I think a lot of great talent has been discovered from these shows such as Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson and Miranda Lambert. All three happen to be some of my favorites. The flip side of that is that you get these mediocre people who land record deals because thirteen year old girls think they are cute and vote for them every week. This is something that I have a problem with.
I don't necessarily agree that if you win one of these competitions that you should be given a record deal. I think that the rules should be changed a little. Maybe offer the winners an opportunity to live in Nashville for a few months, take meetings, write songs and get advice from the best in the business. Think of all the winners of American Idol and how few have made it to stardom. At this point, a label has invested an insane amount of money for an artist that just doesn't have what it takes to make it.
Why aren't the people who have the power looking at what is right in front of their faces? HELLO...Nashville is full of amazing talent and people who deserve to have their shot. Sorry if these people don't have the financial backing or celebrity association..but is that what it's all about? It's not supposed to be. It's supposed to be about GREAT music and artists that make you feel something when they sing.
I miss the days where Garth Brooks, Wynonna, Patty Loveless, Reba and George Strait ruled the radio. Labels, start investing in artists that can stand the test of time. Your roster should not be a revolving door, signing the actress who decided that "oh, singing country could be fun" or the washed up pop star who thinks country is their only chance of success. In case you haven't noticed, country music fans are loyal and they see through to people who aren't genuine. If you don't think fans are important take a look at Taylor Swift's career or go to CMA Fest one year.
WAKE UP, MUSIC ROW! We are in desperate need of super stars and until we get them...you're going to continue to lose money and have a BLAH roster of "talent"....what do y'all think?