Rebecca Black vs. Excellent Music: The Demand for Excellence

We have a saying at our house that is thrown out there from time to time: Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

This can be used on many different levels, but for today’s topic of discussion it’s regarding music. I’ve had several conversations over the past few months about the saturation of music available online. About how it’s hard to weed through the not-so-great artists to find the amazing musicians that are out there. Yep, it’s frustrating to know that artists like Rebecca Black are being noticed rather than truly amazing artists who aren’t auto-tuned within an inch of their lives.  

But there are a few things to consider: 

1.) Artists like Rebecca Black are a flash in the, “Oh my word, did you hear how awful that is??” pan, hence being passed around and building up millions of views on YouTube.

2.) Would you trade places with artists like Rebecca Black just for the number of views they have on YouTube? 

3.) Are they actually making a living from their “art”? People visit their page to see the train wreck...not to purchase their music.

It’s easy to get frustrated and look at the negative side of this scenario. But I think this is a great challenge for artists and musicians out there who pursue excellence in their music. There are musicians who just want to be famous. Their lack of passion for their art and desire to create an excellent product is clouded by the desire to be seen and be in the spotlight. And it shows in their music...it’s bad. Will they create a career or 15 minutes of fame? 

And then there are artists who can’t imagine doing anything else with their lives but be musicians. They eat, live, breathe music. They push themselves to be better than the last song they wrote, they work tirelessly on their craft, they are in hot pursuit for excellence. If fame comes, fine. If they can quit their day job, terrific. But their focus, desire and quest is to create excellent music. 

The cream really does rise to the top. Don’t look to the right or left to see who is “ahead”  or “behind” you. Fans want to share amazing music with one another. When it’s good it will stand out from the pack and take on a life of its own.