Less Is More? How To Market Music By Matthew Slater

There was once a time when singers, artists, musicians – they had a glow about them. They were our Hollywood, our celebrities, our stars. They weren’t normal people, they had extraordinary gifts. Whether they had angelic voices, fantastic chops on their chosen instrument or eclectric songwriting skills – they were untouchable. There were rumours of making deals with The Devil in order to gain some of their widespread acclaim and success. Nowadays, theories like that would be laughed out of the door. Nowadays the increasingly accessible, increasingly open, increasingly normal musicians that we’ve come to idolize – have becoming increasingly human and increasingly dull.

Many musicians are losing out, saying too much and exposing too much of themselves. It’s not just that music has become too busy and overproduced – its that there’s no mystique anymore. A quick look up of someone online using fan sites, Wikipedia or whatever quashes any rumours that somebody is or isn’t gay, a woman, a man – what equipment they use to get their sound – everything. What they wear, where they go, their upbringing. It’s like knowing somebody inside-out and dating them – it can turn things stale. Yeah, everybody has hidden depths and as you go deeper with people you often find you enjoy spending time with them all the more.

That’s the thing though – it’s people you KNOW, people  that you have a CONNECTION with. Can we, as listeners en masse, get that same connection from a musician and their music? That’s my question. For the problem lies with that gamble. If we, as listeners, don’t feel that we know the person telling us their story, the story of a man – so much like us, same upbringing; similar ages; the two of us even dress the same. Then it cheapens it. It becomes a story that anyone down your local could tell you. It takes away that stardust, that sparkle – that made it magical before. You shouldn’t meet your idols, you’ll only be disappointed. With every blog update, every twitter post and every increasingly minute detail you learn more about them as a person. Sometimes being covered up can be sexier than showing some skin, the same is true here.

At the end of the day – films, plays, novels, poems, songs and stories all exist to tell a story, to pass on ideas and to inspire thought, discussion and reaction. Presentation is a big part of that package, and how it is interpreted. It’s like quotations. Is a quote more meaningful, more important – if it is is anonymous. Handed down the generations, it’s originator no longer known; or is does the quotation hold more weight if it’s owner achieved great things, a great example and role model to others.