Artists over Media
Donald Trump may have been the first person to popularize the phrase, "fake news," but numerous artists have held that same resentment towards the media for years. Just recently, Janelle Monáe had to set the website, Blavity.com, straight for misconstruing her words in a recent interview all for clickbait.
This distain for the media has steered many of our favorite artists from sitting down for interviews, (yes, I'm looking at you Beyoncé) and possibly fueled the surprise album release trend. By taking out the intense promotion period before an album release, the artist was able to put new projects directly in the hands of supporters without all the fanfare and pre-approval from critics. For a long time, silence became an artist's best weapon and a way to not only hold onto their privacy, but to force the press (and fans) to focus on what's really important. The music.
But here's the problem with silence. It creates a barrier between the artist and the fan. It can either cause people to lose interest or it can create an unhealthy obsession around said artist (once again looking at you Beyoncé). So, celebs and artists alike started taking to social media.
Most musicians run their own pages and frequently post and share "exclusives" on their own without the help of magazines or tv show appearances. Thanks to the new "live" features on Facebook and Instagram, fans get a look inside their favorite artist's homes and are brought right in the middle of live studio sessions. Daily celeb snapchatters like DJ Khaled make you feel like you're apart of the family and Twitter...Well, Twitter is where all the drama continues, *ahem.* But, social media isn't always everyone's cup of tea, and some musicians turn to more official platforms.
You know Tidal right? The music streaming service Jay-Z relaunched in 2015? Well, it's the first streaming service owned by artists ever. It houses a slew of exclusives including Beyoncé's latest album, Lemonade and Jay-Z recently removed his most popular solo albums off of Apple Music to follow in his wife's footsteps. The app also includes personal videos and playlists from the other "owners" of Tidal.
Apple Music frequently collaborates with musicians as well. Pharrell, Drake and most recently Frank Ocean have all started their own Beats 1 radio shows where they interview their peers and share snippets and singles from upcoming projects. Speaking with a journalist can seem daunting but speaking to another artist, someone you respect and look up to, is actually an honor and makes for a more interesting conversation. Did you see the interview Pharrell did with SZA? It's hilarious and super insightful. Radio shows not your thing? Joe Budden's got a weekly podcast on iTunes discussing music, life and all the other craziness occurring in his world.
For new artists and music enthusiasts who aren't into mainstream pop singers, Soundcloud is emerging as a platform to share music in a stress free environment. There's a ton of innovative collectives and labels hipping people to good music daily. Soulection is a great example of this. Of course, they also have a Beats 1 radio show but their Soundcloud page is updated often and features amazing producers and djs!
Traditional media outlets are even taking notice. More cover stories feature interviews given by fellow peers and there's even a whole magazine based off of the concept.
Also, Apple Music recently launched a new docuseries, Up Next, where they show the backstory of new artists on the rise.
While the media is still playing catch up, fans everywhere are enjoying the more personal look into their favorite artist's life and it definitely gives more depth to the music!