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Who are you listening to RIGHT THIS SECOND?! (Part 23)


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Old Yesterday, 11:26
Taccado
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During the last few years a group of female solo artists have really stepped up on the charts with a steady stream of singles. Names like Iggy Azalea, Ariana Grande, Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj, Sia, Miley Cyrus, Kesha, Charlie XCX, Jessie J, Rita Ora, Rihanna, Taylor Swift, Lorde and of course Beyonce and Lady Gaga are constantly on the charts. And I'm sure there's a few sporadically visible names missing from this list. This onslaught of female artists is especially true in the US. At the moment both Iggy Azalea and Ariana Grande have three singles in the Top-10 on the Billboard.

At the same time very few male solo artists appear on the lists, at least as frequently as female ones. There have of course been a few big singles by men, but they have usually been either one-hit-wonders or one-offs released by famous artists but not followed up by other singles. There are a few visible singers like Justin Bieber and John Legend, a few rappers like Pitbull and Drake and a few DJs like Calvin Harris and Avicii, but they still don't have the spotlight like women do.

Women simply seem to get much more attention for their music at the moment. Entertainment news articles are splashed with announcements about upcoming or released singles/albums by women. Why do you think this is? Is it all about marketing? Do women have more freedom to express themselves in a way that they get noticed? Or is this view that women get more attention just an illusion?
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Old Yesterday, 12:00
Eraserhead
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The subject is worth a whole book to describe because the reasons are multiple and not straightforward.

In a nutshell it's about a huge change in the music industry with popular music in the hands of a tiny number of massive multimedia conglomerates who dictate what we listen to in terms almost entirely driven by profit and business models (rather than artist-led and creative ones). It's also about the huge change in how we consume music, from physical sales to downloading and the use of visual media (Youtube videos etc.). And it's also about the shift in the cultural importance of music from a phenomenon which once shaped entire youth cultures to a mass-produced commodity with little cultural impact.
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Old Yesterday, 13:21
Richard1960
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The subject is worth a whole book to describe because the reasons are multiple and not straightforward.

In a nutshell it's about a huge change in the music industry with popular music in the hands of a tiny number of massive multimedia conglomerates who dictate what we listen to in terms almost entirely driven by profit and business models (rather than artist-led and creative ones). It's also about the huge change in how we consume music, from physical sales to downloading and the use of visual media (Youtube videos etc.). And it's also about the shift in the cultural importance of music from a phenomenon which once shaped entire youth cultures to a mass-produced commodity with little cultural impact.



100% agree nothing more to add.

When i grew up music shaped a whole generation free of artistic interference by big multinational corporations,although they may have distributed the records they did not dictate material.

Thats why David Coverdale lead singer of whitesnake in effect dissolved whitesnake as a recording entity with EMI years back, when asked,he said they were trying to dictate artistic content and he was having none of it.
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Old Yesterday, 14:02
mushymanrob
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sex..
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Old Yesterday, 14:21
Mina_Cameron
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I agree with what Eraserhead mentioned re: how the music industry has shifted or some of its most problematic aspects have only become more pronounced with time. A good example is Iggy Azalea and her Clear Channel deal, which has meant if I hear the song 'Fancy' one more time, I'll yell.

I do also think there's something in how women are marketed (sex and some marked sexism to appeal to the widest possible chunk). Men are obviously marketed in very particular ways but it's a very different animal when it comes to women. And breaking it all down probably requires an essay written by someone with more information and time at their fingertips than me.
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Old Yesterday, 17:29
xe2a2
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I think pop music in general has come to be regarded as a feminine thing.. the only male soloists of note in pop music for a long time were from reality tv shows or were ex boyband members. If not that, they oriented themselves around a very mild acoustic or Coldplay-ish sound. The proliferation of rap music across the world made rap the only vessel for solo men to be legitimate artists making 'hard' music while amassing gigantic sales for a very long time, and rap was defined by a hyper masculine image that influenced every part of pop music. For a long time there has been a proliferation of pop songs involving a female singer and a male rapper, which is an incredibly powerful money spinner and almost has become the standard for gender roles in music.

Its just a cultural shift that has been prevalent for about 25 years or so but now I think its beginning to go the other way. Bruno Mars, Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith, George Ezra etc seem to be going in more adventurous directions in pop music. The appeal of female pop artists is beginning to lag aside from ones like Iggy who have something distinct to offer.
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Old Yesterday, 19:36
DRAGON LANCE
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Very simple answer: because most current male solo acts and male bands are sh*te. Whilst many of today's current female artists are making outstanding music. Often with the help of boys, but its their vision that shapes things.

There are of course males making big hit tunes like Pharrell Williams and Sam Smith but I guess the indie sector don't like to credit people like that.

Boys need to try harder. A lot harder. Where are today's Beatles, Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Kinks, Who, Led Zep, Queen, Sex Pistols, Clash, Michael Jackson, REM, Pet Shop Boys, New Order, Duran Duran, Guns & Roses, Blur, Oasis, Nirvana, Radiohead, Prodigy, Dr Dre+ Eminem etc etc etc?

The corporate conspiracy theory is bull because bluntly if you go down to grass roots the unsigned bands are in all brutal honesty not that good.

Indeed I think part of the problem is that many of today's male acts, especially in the indie sector have bought too hard into all the anti corporate drivel and think they are somehow incredibly clever making tuneless middle class feeble minded drivel nobody wants to listen to bar The Guardian music columnists.

Girls in contrast do not have these moronic pretentious male taste barriers and just make music that makes them want to party, so consequently do a lot better.
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Old Yesterday, 20:03
Richard1960
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Very simple answer: because most current male solo acts and male bands are sh*te. Whilst many of today's current female artists are making outstanding music. Often with the help of boys, but its their vision that shapes things.

There are of course males making big hit tunes like Pharrell Williams and Sam Smith but I guess the indie sector don't like to credit people like that.

Boys need to try harder. A lot harder. Where are today's Beatles, Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Kinks, Who, Led Zep, Queen, Sex Pistols, Clash, Michael Jackson, REM, Pet Shop Boys, New Order, Duran Duran, Guns & Roses, Blur, Oasis, Nirvana, Radiohead, Prodigy, Dr Dre+ Eminem etc etc etc?

The corporate conspiracy theory is bull because bluntly if you go down to grass roots the unsigned bands are in all brutal honesty not that good.

Indeed I think part of the problem is that many of today's male acts, especially in the indie sector have bought too hard into all the anti corporate drivel and think they are somehow incredibly clever making tuneless middle class feeble minded drivel nobody wants to listen to bar The Guardian music columnists.

Girls in contrast do not have these moronic pretentious male taste barriers and just make music that makes them want to party, so consequently do a lot better.



Most of the older bands in you categories like the Rolling Stones, The Who,Led Zep were not dance bands but Rock acts the stones have now completed more then 50 years an an entity as have The Who .!

I am afraid a lot of the smaller pubs and clubs that bands like the stones started off in are now closed,so it does not leave a lot of space for newer acts to develop.

The corporate bit is not bull entirely as alluded to in one of my previous pages David Coverdale of Deep Purple/and Whitesnake has stated that the record companies wanted more and more control which is why he left EMI rather then the other war around,a respected artist who was not going to be told what to put out.

The newer acts especially male ones do sing more to the corporate tune. Probably with a few exceptions such as Amy Winehouse and a few more who are of course female..

Yes male acts have bought into the corporate drivel more its what they see succeeding from the like of Mr Louie Walsh and Pals.

I think its a cycle though and at the moment the girls have it.
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Old Yesterday, 21:12
bbclassics
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I think sadly the old adage 'sex sells' is true. Most of the pop stars listed (in the op) resort to tactics that shock/interest some people, it's not necessarily that the music is good.
I mean Nicki Minaj and Miley Cyrus look/act more like porn stars than pop stars.
Sad that this is what is held up to be aspired to and the 'cool way to be'. Hopefully kids will see through that bullcrap. But yeah my point is that its not really about the songs -it's about the 'shocking' sexy videos thought up by businessmen. Gets people talking.
I'm also getting real tired of the industry abusing the words 'female empowerment' and using it as a front to sexualise women more than ever. For e.g. She's wearing only her underwear and a pair of heels- thus she is empowered! Give me a break.
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Old Yesterday, 21:24
Richard1960
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I think sadly the old adage 'sex sells' is true. Most of the pop stars listed (in the op) resort to tactics that shock/interest some people, it's not necessarily that the music is good.
I mean Nicki Minaj and Miley Cyrus look/act more like porn stars than pop stars.
Sad that this is what is held up to be aspired to and the 'cool way to be'. Hopefully kids will see through that bullcrap. But yeah my point is that its not really about the songs -it's about the 'shocking' sexy videos thought up by businessmen. Gets people talking.
I'm also getting real tired of the industry abusing the words 'female empowerment' and using it as a front to sexualise women more than ever. For e.g. She's wearing only her underwear and a pair of heels- thus she is empowered! Give me a break.
That made me laugh.

Rhianna once tried stripping to her Knickers in a farmers field for a vid she was making he chased her off,Lady Ga Ga well we have probably seen more underwear there then an Anne Summers catalogue,Rita Ora also stripped down to sports Bra and Knickers from a suit in a London Club,Miley Cyrus in underwear too.

Whatever happened to nice singers like Judie Tzuke who never felt the need to strip in public,
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Old Yesterday, 23:04
StratusSphere
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To be honest, in general I think the different dress codes for men and women are stupid.

Its no wonder women are convinced to strip down to a bikini and heels when women's 'smart' attire is normally a dress which is open to the elements with at least one of a) half cleavage b) bare arms c) bare belly or part of belly d) bare back e) bare legs or a combination of one or more of those.

If that's the norm for women's clothes you're starting out with it sets the bar pretty low, so for outfits to become gradually more revealing is something you can persuade people into and for people not to find weird.

Just what I'm saying is, the amount of flesh women are allowed/expected to casually have on show has got us so used to it that a lot of people don't bat an eyelid at something like Jennifer Lopez's VMA outfit http://cdn.respect-mag.com/wp-conten...erl.jpg?206228 or Jessie J's new album cover http://www.mtv.co.uk/jessie-j/news/j...bod-on-artwork

And some people even expect women to just show flesh; for a woman's smart outfit (or performing outfit) to have half her legs and boobs out.

I say, respect to women like Janelle Monae or Madonna nowadays who want to and do wear a pantsuit or trousers to smart events and performances. You don't have to get it all out just because people are expecting it of you just because you're a woman.
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Old Yesterday, 23:31
TheTruth1983
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Very simple answer: because most current male solo acts and male bands are sh*te. Whilst many of today's current female artists are making outstanding music. Often with the help of boys, but its their vision that shapes things.

There are of course males making big hit tunes like Pharrell Williams and Sam Smith but I guess the indie sector don't like to credit people like that.

Boys need to try harder. A lot harder. Where are today's Beatles, Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Kinks, Who, Led Zep, Queen, Sex Pistols, Clash, Michael Jackson, REM, Pet Shop Boys, New Order, Duran Duran, Guns & Roses, Blur, Oasis, Nirvana, Radiohead, Prodigy, Dr Dre+ Eminem etc etc etc?

The corporate conspiracy theory is bull because bluntly if you go down to grass roots the unsigned bands are in all brutal honesty not that good.


Indeed I think part of the problem is that many of today's male acts, especially in the indie sector have bought too hard into all the anti corporate drivel and think they are somehow incredibly clever making tuneless middle class feeble minded drivel nobody wants to listen to bar The Guardian music columnists.

Girls in contrast do not have these moronic pretentious male taste barriers and just make music that makes them want to party, so consequently do a lot better.
I am afraid that right there is the bull. Take Northern Ireland alone, we have so many talented new artists and bands that are as yet unsigned playing pubs all over the place. Metal seems to be a genre we excel at right now which is cool (me being a metal head and all).
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Old Today, 01:11
iseloid
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It's to do with looks for me and how we react to them (and I don't just mean beauty). Women can be far more striking than men can, in terms of fashion and style. A man can only do so much in comparison. A man can't be a beacon/symbol for all men to look up to (unless he's phenomenal like Freddie Mercury or Michael Jackson).

Compare that to Lady Gaga, Rihanna or even Beyonce. They've got that adoration arena on lock down. And that's music's future imo. It's about the individual connection, and women have it far easier. They can be admired by all with ease through their individual merits.

Also, I'd add society consumes women and the female body in a way we don't for men, and so men tend to be ignored. Say Bruno Mars strips off totally. No one would really care. If Beyonce did it, all hell would break loose.

Women have a lot to write and sing about. Men limit themselves to pure heteronormativity, due to not wanting to rock the boat about what a 'man' should sing about. But it is changing...slowly, but change is change.
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Old Today, 02:33
Pointy
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Female pop stars get more attention because they trade their looks. Only a few male acts do this currently. There's just as many men in the charts, they're just less the target for celeb gossip/paparazzi types than the women.
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Old Today, 06:02
mgvsmith
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The subject is worth a whole book to describe because the reasons are multiple and not straightforward.

In a nutshell it's about a huge change in the music industry with popular music in the hands of a tiny number of massive multimedia conglomerates who dictate what we listen to in terms almost entirely driven by profit and business models (rather than artist-led and creative ones). It's also about the huge change in how we consume music, from physical sales to downloading and the use of visual media (Youtube videos etc.). And it's also about the shift in the cultural importance of music from a phenomenon which once shaped entire youth cultures to a mass-produced commodity with little cultural impact.
I would agree that to explain the current trajectory of pop music would take some time.
For example, whilst what you say about the industry and consumption is mainly true but of itself it doesn't explain the increased number of female artists in the charts. The model you talk of would as likely suggest the phenomenon of 1D and Justin Bieber.
I think the rise of celebrity culture has an influence as well.

I do also think there's something in how women are marketed (sex and some marked sexism to appeal to the widest possible chunk). Men are obviously marketed in very particular ways but it's a very different animal when it comes to women. And breaking it all down probably requires an essay written by someone with more information and time at their fingertips than me.
If we accept the business model of the music industry then you get the normal marketing methods which often put women on display to sell products. But that's only the beginning of explaining females on display.

Very simple answer: because most current male solo acts and male bands are sh*te. Whilst many of today's current female artists are making outstanding music. Often with the help of boys, but its their vision that shapes things.

There are of course males making big hit tunes like Pharrell Williams and Sam Smith but I guess the indie sector don't like to credit people like that.

Boys need to try harder. A lot harder. Where are today's Beatles, Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Kinks, Who, Led Zep, Queen, Sex Pistols, Clash, Michael Jackson, REM, Pet Shop Boys, New Order, Duran Duran, Guns & Roses, Blur, Oasis, Nirvana, Radiohead, Prodigy, Dr Dre+ Eminem etc etc etc?

The corporate conspiracy theory is bull because bluntly if you go down to grass roots the unsigned bands are in all brutal honesty not that good.

Indeed I think part of the problem is that many of today's male acts, especially in the indie sector have bought too hard into all the anti corporate drivel and think they are somehow incredibly clever making tuneless middle class feeble minded drivel nobody wants to listen to bar The Guardian music columnists.

Girls in contrast do not have these moronic pretentious male taste barriers and just make music that makes them want to party, so consequently do a lot better.
A mixed bag of ideas there. It is just possible that young, disaffected men don't see pop music as an outlet for their ideas and feelings in the way that they did in the past? But I agree that women are shaping the future of pop music and beyond.

It's to do with looks for me and how we react to them (and I don't just mean beauty). Women can be far more striking than men can, in terms of fashion and style. A man can only do so much in comparison. A man can't be a beacon/symbol for all men to look up to (unless he's phenomenal like Freddie Mercury or Michael Jackson).

Compare that to Lady Gaga, Rihanna or even Beyonce. They've got that adoration arena on lock down. And that's music's future imo. It's about the individual connection, and women have it far easier. They can be admired by all with ease through their individual merits.

Also, I'd add society consumes women and the female body in a way we don't for men, and so men tend to be ignored. Say Bruno Mars strips off totally. No one would really care. If Beyonce did it, all hell would break loose.

Women have a lot to write and sing about. Men limit themselves to pure heteronormativity, due to not wanting to rock the boat about what a 'man' should sing about. But it is changing...slowly, but change is change.
Pop music is about multimedia, you have to sell an image as well as music most of the time. And It would wrong to say that men haven't traded on looks and sexuality in pop in the past but yes women are and have been on display in art and marketing for a long time. And that isn't going to change very soon. But I don't think it fully explains why women are more listened to nowadays. It's at least partly because women's role in society has changed. As you say women have more to write and sing about because they do more and are more influential in society.
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