Back in the days when a “music performance” was someone walking on stage and bearing their soul, it was all about the talent, the music and how it was performed. Although talent is in the eye and ear of the beholder, in today’s world, most listeners and critics seem to rate the quality of music and talent by how bizarre the performance is and how appealing and outgoing the performer can be.
Granted tastes differ and time and tastes change. However it may be that the music industry is lacking in real talent but compensates for that lack of talent by making concerts into circuses. Often the lack of talent tends to be hidden by the trappings of glamour and popularity. If the masses like you and your appearance, you’re a star, regardless of your talent level.
Lady Gaga is someone who entered the world of pop culture and has taken it by storm. But behind all the crazy makeup and fashion choices, she has talent; she can actually sing and her songs are Gaga originals. But people don’t see Gaga for her vocals as much as they see her for her trappings and overexposure.
Justin Bieber is a small town Canadian boy who is still one of America’s teen heart-throbs. It doesn’t really matter whether he can sing or not, because his fans find him attractive. He has found a way to stay famous; he’s a winner in the popularity contest.
Fame is a popularity contest. But today it’s often the hype and the show that makes a celebrity. The music is lost behind all the antics and glam, the lights and bizarre performances. Pop Music concerts are a circus – it’s fun to see people in weird costumes suspended in mid-air doing flips, and it’s fun to see people jump through flaming hoops but where’s the music? Where are the lyrics? Where is the heart? The definition of a musical artist has evolved and changed. Now it is not about the music, it’s about “the show”! Much of the music industry has lost the music to promote the show. It needs to find a way back to when it was about listening to the music and seeing the musician perform. Where the music was important; not just “background”.