Where is the Music going?

“I never listen to today’s pop music, because there’s no challenge, I easily see the patterns … I draw all my inspiration from classical music, where I often find genius, ” – Sting.

Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, Berlioz and others might have been on the verge of going out of their graves when he said that.

Usually, I’m drama free. But there’s one thing on my mind when I sit down, thoughtful: why all the fuss in music industry today?! Blame it on Miley Cyrus…?
Don’t worry this post is not a rant about the girl. I try to understand why and how we got there.

Here comes the drama...
Here comes the drama…

Music is powerful! It’s everywhere! It captivates us, our mum put us some music while we were still in their bellies (for the lucky ones like me), we delve into the drawers of our parents (there’s always an old vinyl records to blow the dust off).
In the office, we are always “wired “. Anything goes: Jazz, Soul, Neo Soul, R&B, Hip- Hop – American music only, please, thank you!- I realize that in terms of melodies, I am a pure American product. The only time I regret all the noise, is when someone cracks a joke and I see the smiles on every faces. I look really stupid, removing the headphones and saying “Huh?” Hoping that a kind soul will play it back for me … it rarely happens. “Too late! The story is too long, you should be less connected next time. “
That’s all I got!

Let’s push this rewind button! (Since colleagues don’t want to!)

Here they are, all the Jazz masters looking at us, those were the good times!! Armstrong, Gillespie, Simone, Holiday, Charlie Parker, Ellington, Mingus, Davis… (You can complete the list)

Jazzmasters watching us!
Jazzmasters watching us!

However, the « Cyrusgate » reminds me of an icon: Josephine Baker.

Shake it Jo !
Shake it Jo !

 

Many were not born at the time. Make no mistakes, it was shocking to dance topless, almost naked and with bananas around the hips. How the white people saw it? And the black community? I think they also lost their bottom jaw like we did watching the VMAs. Come on folks!  This is the VMAs! We used to it, we saw others perform the same way, remember? Madonna, Justin Timberlake & Janet Jackson, Britney…
Why Oh why, we are starting violent revolutions and it hurts our feelings when the music takes wrong directions like this?

The spirit is gone: “A change is gonna come,” sang Sam Cooke. I don’t see the change coming! Music used to make ​​us feel good, really good, everything made ​​sense then! It made sense when Marvin sang “Sexual Healing” or how to express a strong desire in a classy manner. Women are complaining about how we men are talking to them: seduction game. They are right, but it’s not our fault! The words of music we listen today are hollowed, it don’t help us!

Musicians are sh * t: Crazy scenario: they call an excellent guitarist out in the studio, and after that they say “thank you for everything, this is your money goodbye!” There are so many musicians who deserve more credit! After all they MAKE the music we listening to. But who will search in the booklet for the talented guitarist who played with Janet Jackson, Prince, and Jill Scott? Musicians are at the system’s mercy.

Show ’em money: Here we enter the rapper’s realm, it’s pretty basic: one must take a photo of himself counting the money! All the goods under the sun that money can buy, audience should know: we own it!

Mo' money mo' problems
Mo’ money mo’ problems

Show ’em what money can buy: Stars might think we are so into their pockets. Showcasing themselves do some shopping, frankly… who cares? Well, 85392 people!

Shopping and studio?
Shopping and studio?

Show them who is sleeping with who. Again, no comments here. The world is excited, waiting for the next sex tape to pop out. Nobody royally cares! Even Kanye West!

Give them pin-up, yeah we want prenup! Mirror, mirror, on the wall … what’s the best way to show my body? Will it help me sell more albums? I don’t know where that logic comes from, surely from this legendary attraction women have for mirrors. And their legendary narcissism too. Selfie syndrome. For example, this a singer that I like: Tinashe. Great voice, pure talent, but too much “playmate” photos of her on social media, this really saddened me.

We want Prenup yeah!
We want Prenup yeah!

I said to myself “Ok, maybe it’s an isolated case, relax… there’s still hope” I raised my hands to heaven when another of my favorite singers, Jhene Aiko, started doing the same thing!

No..Aiko too ?
No..Aiko too ?

Let’s not be hypocrite, the man inside me like that! But hey, we talking about music!

Girls gone bad & wild! I never saw Whitney Houston or Alicia Keys or Aaliyah in sexy lingerie (well it was for the sake of a movie). Girls, we guys have all the porn in the world that reminds us all the naked women we will never have. Don’t you think it’s enough?

Give them a real rant on twitter … or elsewhere!  Rihanna “Queen of disorder” loves her fans – she shows up late to almost all of her concerts- but when she decides to start dissing another artist, everybody is ready to give attention; and we will talk about that for weeks.

Laziness is key: You remember Fred Astaire? He makes ​​you move your head, clap your hands (don’t get me wrong but my mum is a big fan of Astaire) a true god of dance. I’ll add others like James Brown and Michael Jackson.
All had one thing in common: they were hard workers. Perfectionists … Youngers inspired by elders. Michael made holes/marks on the floor of his dance room because he kept repeating the same movement again, and again. Nowadays what could possibly inspire us? Must be the signs of decline.

Shock them, they will buy: Deliver scandals at all costs! We want the buzz, the number of likes, and number of views, who has the greatest power to fill stadiums. Maybe because we don’t have much content, we lack original ideas, following the flow of ambient shallow and emptiness is more appropriate.

Oh, I forgot…
Finally, the Medias & marketing have ruined the music industry, and at the same time, they keep it alive. It is an endless circle. All the communication tools available, we invite the world in our bathrooms, no problem! It’s cool! Meanwhile, we at war: R&B singers VS rappers who are now singing more than they actually rap, and they sing “we do what we want, we make more money than you anyway so shut up!”

Some artists try to resurrect the music, and they are really trying hard, the problem is: we are so lost in all this mud I mentioned before, that their albums will go unnoticed both in the opinion’s mind and in the charts. Only a few purists go buy.
I recently listened to the album “Mood Swings “from a very natural and awe inspiring artist Maxine Ashley. Maxine shares with us her world, her enthusiasm for Nina Simone’s music and we can feel that influence in her voice.
What I said and will keep saying: nothing is created from nothing, we are inspired by our heroes and add our share on top of it. It’s just about choosing the right heroes. We need more bold moves like this.

I love the character that some artists play, protecting/exposing themselves from Medias, we love actors. But once the success and money are gone what’s left?
All the greatest are gone! Don’t you feel there was a time in music where once a real star rose to success, God told him/her: “Enough! You! Come here! You making too much good noise.”

A band of music orphans, that’s all we are.
When the album will be dead, we’ll be sadder, more nostalgic, and way more old-fashioned than our parents!
Oh and when they told us that they didn’t understand our music, we said “Oh, whatever, I’ll never be like them…”  Yeah, yeah, yeah…

It’s Just a Job, The Thrill is Gone…

“Something is wrong I hold my Head, values ​​gone, society’s dead” it might have been Kanye West’s lyrics in “All of the Lights”Here’s the funky thing. Whenever I run into someone and we talking about work, (everytime) I’m asking do you like your job? Are you happy?” I get a big “yes, yes!” or “yeah!” I reply “Oh yeah? What make you so happy doing it?” and then I hear an echo asking myself How can we be so hypocritical to ourselves sometimes?”I don’t know what happens in the corporate world today. But the truth is: people are not happy with their jobs.Photo (2)

I listen to musicin my office, I’m on facebook; always online, and people telling me on the chat “You lazy a**! Get back to work!” they don’t realize something: I’m actually working. I take breaks, sometimes I get lost in -crazy–  conversations with my colleagues, it doesn’t affect my productivity and I‘m very lucky. In most creative businesses, work atmosphere is like that: grown children, always joking and laughing, but there’s a heavy work rotation beneath.

I repeat: I am blessed and very lucky to do a job that I love: creative designer (running my own company)
And when the deadlines are coming, i’m like this:

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Here’s a video of Marina Shifrin which is all the rage right now on YouTube and generated up to 8 million views (it’s amazing, that’s the score Rihanna does when she heats up.)Anyway, instead of sending a resignation letter to her employee Next Media Animation, she decides to go on the internet to express her frustration. And now comes Kanye West, who’s song is playing in the background, why we had to involve Kanye in all this? The man still has the ghosts of Taylor Swift on his back, paternity to manage, and he steams all this stress off on the paparazzis…

Usually, in job interviews, the candidate’s motivation is high: great career development and salary, great colleagues and shiny premises. In the IT companies we lucky enough to stumble upon table tennis, table football or pools.

In Art & Copy (awe inspiring documentary about the world of advertising), you’re visiting the offices of Chiat/Day, it’s like paradise: a basketball court, a music room, and a sort of giant frog raises in the lobby….right in middle of the lobby! OMG! I want to go there! News Media mentioned a pool at the top of its building (the weather is always shitty there!)  and a sauna…seriously they should do a little better, right?

Quantity over Quality:

photo (3)

At News Media, I saw a row of boxes, this is the modern version of the guillotine…but upright. This kind of setup is quite popular in call centers or in all companies that have “push the figures” managementAny windows? No! Are you crazy! We want to keep you from jumping! And the turnover rate is stratospheric. (I’m not surprised they are still hiring after this massive taunt.)

The challenge for a company  nowadays is to create a good work environment, while maintaining a certain level of productivity. They should say “Hey how to transform this place to make sure that our employees would fall so in love that they’d spend their nights here

Passion is gone:Passion is burning and contagious.PhotoPeople gives round of applause for this video, standing ovation everywhere, watch the comments out:15

It’s a shame, as I’ve said  we complain being up in an office at 4:30 am, but we easily forget that all the tools that we use today, Windows, Facebook, iPhone, etc. were built by passionate men and women who didn’t count their hours. Some have resigned but the story doesn’t remember the quitters.

Don’t get me wrong, but if you reread the biography of Steve Jobs, wow! The man wasn’t all sugar & candies with his employees. Tyrant in every sense of the word, he even demanded the same level of tyranny to his lieutenants in their own teams. Who was crazy enough to go and tell him upfront ”Hey Steve, I quit! “But it is not this dark side that the public will remember of him.

Perseverance is also gone: 9 months in a company – that’s how long Marina stayed– don’t give you an idea about the directions you want to give to your carreer. We always forget how perseverance and hard work pays off. We should read this story of Hooters waitress who worked her way up to become president of Cinnabon—$1 billion company– tall before the age of 35, she started at 15! I guess she had way more reasons to quit!

Another story of Michelle Obama forcing her two daughters, Sasha and Malia, to play tennis because of its virtues, because life will throw challenges at you, and things you don’t like are part of the package! That’s why when you don’t like something you have to stick and work at it, overcoming it, the rewards will always be great for you, even if you don’t do it for the rest of your life. (We don’t ask you to!)

Success requires a good dose of life balance: Too much work is killing us, mentally and physically. We must find the right balance. Especially when we have a family life, a girl/boyfriend or husband/wife waiting for you at home. There must be other activities and we have to juggle with them. Disconnect from work. It’s hard to remember this rule, when we love our job more than anything, and we just got this career started; Talking about me, my dogs remind me everytime how much they missed me when I finally come home late at night. I know that I should spend more of time playing with them.


Soon after that, Next Media has responded and I think their answer is very classy, although I wouldn’t like to be in their shoes right now. They claim they gave Marina all the work comfort she needed: professional travels etc. Both sides, I think, are saying “We don’t see what we could have done more”. Where do we go from here? We should open that famous book by Dale Carnegie: How to Win Friends and Influence People. Get back to basics.
 

Something is wrong in this ” youtube and social networks ” society that raised so much “artificial” dust around us, we can hardly see happiness/opportunities when the dust clears. No doubt, this video is rude and against all companies rules. If one day you decide to unravel your problems with your employer on Youtube, make sure you can handle the supina coming.This was disrespectful. On one hand, it reminds me of scandals like Domino Pizza or Taco Bell (same spirit: how to screw a company you working for). On the other hand, there are people in the US and around the world going through their ‘crappy’ job (they often have 3) everyday, simply because they have no choice, have children to feed, they sleep in a car, waiting for better days.We are in a economic crisis, the jobs these days are hard to find, and we cannot afford the ‘luxury’ of slamming doors that quick and brag about it like children.The only positive thing that this video has taught us is that, the view numbers don’t matter. The key is to put all the focus in creativity and good storytelling. Marina’s dance skills are terrible lol (and it’s worse at News Media). Hey! Nobody cares! It’s fun and simple, the secret of good content: she’s just herself.


Oh, before I forget…
 

Here’s Marina’s conclusion:

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No my dear … It is not you against the business world (It didn’t wait for you and it worked like this for decades.) It’s all about you and million workers out there trying to find happiness. The way I see your profile, you’re more the type to open your own business who don’t go by orders. That’s fine, the world need people like that.

How you manage the media impact of your video? Have you find another job? What about your reputation? Still intact? Winning the trust of your future clients after that, will it be easy? Many questions that are now…your problem.
 

Dear reader, what are yours? Is your boss a jerk? Your Employees don’t listen to you? Colleagues/Customers are unpleasantAwful work conditions? It will always be like that! Work at it! And if there’s really nothing to do about it, leave! But quietly, with class and loyalty! ” They” will reward you for that. Thank you for your time!