"Where is country music going?"

07-Sep-2014

     What’s up, guys?! It’s been a while since I’ve written up a blog for y’all. I posted a status on my Facebook page asking you guys what you’d like for me to write about and this request got me thinking. “Where do you think country music is going?” Obviously, today’s country music is a lot different than it was during the Hank, Willie, and Waylon era. It has changed for many reasons. Artists love to experiment with different tempos, melodies, instruments, and arrangements. We are constantly on the lookout for different ways to make our music fresh and original. The world around us is constantly changing so it’s a given that the music must evolve with the times. Keeping fans interested in your music is also biggie. They are the ones that make or break you. Artists have to keep them happy and hear them out about what they want to hear. This is sometimes a problem for the artist; A BIG ONE! However, an artist has to do what they’ve got to do to keep their fans and their label home satisfied without sacrificing their own wants and needs entirely.  

     Most artists, such as myself, are deep individuals. You know how you sometimes stay awake until 2AM just thinking about life? Well, that’s how artist think, but it’s all day long. We are trying to wrap our brains around what our fans could relate to in a song, but sadly, sometimes just relation just isn’t enough so we are forced to come up with an upbeat song that contains stuff about tailgates, bonfires, beer, guns, tight jeans, and old dirt road to get your booty shaking. I have a friend that will instantly change the radio station if the song isn’t upbeat.  Don’t get me wrong. Upbeat songs about those things are great and they are definitely a country artist’s money maker, but traditional country ballads are secretly our personal favorites.

     Country has changed so much from its traditional format to its pop-country dominated format today mostly due to simply what sells. Music is very much a business and labels are all about the money. Not in a bad way, but every business needs money to thrive and to be on top. Pop-country artist such as Florida-Georgia Line, Taylor Swift, and Hunter Hayes are making their label homes a ton of money by simply being pop-country. Think about it. Let’s use I Want Crazy by Hunter Hayes. This song was played on both country radio and pop radio. This means reaching twice as many fans and selling twice as many records. This means double the money from one song and one artist. Of course a label is going to jump right on that opportunity and put the money behind it to make that song and the artist as successful as they can make them.

     There’s usually so much focus on one or two songs when a country artist is getting ready to debut a new album and the songs are almost always upbeat with a lot of pop influences. Labels know that the super upbeat, very commercial single will capture the attention of fans in the days leading up to the album release. Thank God for albums that contain 10-15 songs! This allows the artist to throw a few of those amazing songs with a lot of traditional country grit in there somewhere. Although on the surface country music has a lot of pop music influence today, most country artists will never fail to hold on to their traditional roots somewhere within their albums. You ask, “Where is country music going?” I say, “It never even put its shoes on. It just bought a new outfit.”   

© 2014 Brooklyhn Woods

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