Tuesday, July 10, 2012

What I think I wrong with the country music industry...

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?



  1. HI, You might want to revise your blog title - "sass" is spelled with two ss. Unless you did this on purpose....

  2. Hey Gram! thanks for noticing that! I started this blog almost two years ago and made it quickly without noticing! I changed it :) thanks for reading!

  3. Your Emily Maynard post got me turned on to your blog. I became a country music fan because of Carrie Underwood. I absolutely adore her and I think she and Kelly Clarkson are the only REAL singers that American Idol has produced. I also have noted how socially awkward Carrie still is in front of the camera and at concerts. I think she is genuine and I think she feels like she has SO MUCH to prove because she respects how hard the majority of country music stars have worked to get where they are. I totally agree with your post and think the years since Carrie Underwood took Idol have been disappointing!

  4. Hey Alicia! Thanks for writing and reading! I'm glad that Carrie has turned you into a country music fan :) Yes, Carrie is still kind of awkward around groups of people and she has said that she somewhat suffers from social anxiety. I totally get it! Can you imagine how crazy it would be to be a normal person who could go out whenever you wanted to an ICON?! It literally happens overnight for the idols and I can imagine that it's a hard adjustment! If you like Carrie, you'll probably like my best friend Ann Marie...you can follow her on twitter @annmariexoxo and visit her website here: http://www.annmariemusic.me/
    I think you'll like what you hear :)

  5. I too found your blog from your Emily post (And I'd love to personally punch the anonymous people posting such ridiculous cruelty about her online)

    I briefly worked for a label. It was the worst six months of my life. Being up close to something I've loved my entire life and seeing the inner workings of it was heartbreaking. Instead of being inspired, it was very bitter. Listening to the executives talk was horrifying. They were willing to put money in to pop girl and boybands that they know would only make one album because they see it as instant money. Instead of looking at their art, their voices, their songwriting, it was mostly image and "Will they get on the radio?"
    Nothing about talent was ever spoken.
    It's unfortunate that this epidemic has spread to country music because I've always felt it's the purest form of music out there. When you strip down a song all that's left is a voice, and a guitar.

    1. thanks for your input! It's hard to have the passion sucked out of you but it's important to remember that there are so many talented people out there who need people like me and you to support them! :) thanks for reading!!!

  6. Hi Courtney,

    You don't know me, but I agree with you 99 percent. The 1 percent I disagree with is that not all great unsigned, unnoticed artists are on Music Row. :) I have been writing songs for 28 years, songs that have torn my soul apart to write, songs that have left me crying myself to sleep, songs that have made people question their very faith. Yet, I live in an RV in Illinois. The things I wanted to accomplish in life, could never be achieved unless I sold a song. I hope you'll take the time to listen, because..after reading your blog, I believe that you'll get my songs. http://www.markcatronmusic.com