Sunday, July 29, 2007


Allen Johnston – The Music Specialist

There’s a new disease going around the music business that is affecting ALL genres of music. Symptoms include:

1. Blurred Vision – the inability to see things as they really are. Normally present whenever there are contracts to sign, information to be analyzed or agreements to be read.

2. Redundant Speech Patterns – that seem to include “You Know What I Mean?”, “Ya Heard Me”, or “You Feel Me” used in every sentence and in place of coherent sentences.

3. Slow Movement – resulting in the inability to make appointments on time, shows on time, and flights on time or anything that will enhance one’s business dealings.

4. Impairment of Faculties – normally called being “high”, blasted, in the groove, shit faced, tight or inappropriately called “getting right”. This symptom has lead to massive degradation of finances, dependency on drugs and a heighten degree of Blurred Vision, Redundant Speech Patterns and Slow Movement.

5. Keeping It Real – the culmination of ALL of the symptoms and the final excuse used instead of treatment. Also known as being stupid, uneducated, lazy and criminally minded.

6. Diva-ism - seems to be the end result of the disease where the artist becomes BETTER than everyone around them, their audience and ultimately their entire business career.

New artists have not paid any dues nor do they have enough knowledge of the industry to start making demands of their companies. How many times have I seen good artists literally kill their future by insisting on some trivial immediate benefit? There is no way someone can take your idea and make a fortune off of it without YOU first messing the project up.

We have all heard of the Crab In A Barrel mentality, but fail to recognize the concept of Keeping Your Fist Tight while asking for a handout. Most new artist feel that they should not give anything to get something. This is ultimately a bad idea.

Today’s popular singers are also affected with a new symptom that is creating a very poor situation for them and their music. They can’t sing! What makes certain new artists think that they can sing and have never learned anything about music? I’m tired of hearing singers that only use 4 notes in their entire song. Making runs all over the scale yet never being quite exactly in key, and always without any feeling or emotion.

Recently I heard a song about a woman losing the man that she loved, and it sounded like the singer was smiling while she sang. There is a lack of emotion and believability in today’s music that is running rampant. The culprit is not only the singer but also the producer and entertainment company that releases the song. The desire to create a “bubblegum song” version that fits radio and makes money has led to the current condition of the industry. Qualities, musicianship, following the laws of music are no longer taken into account when making contemporary songs.

And this brings us to the ultimate travesty, Producer driven artists. The lack of musicianship, music theory training and historical musical knowledge has now fashioned a slew of very talented REMIXERS OF SAMPLES. Individuals and teams that have no original creative thought, but can hear someone else’s music, steal it and say that they have shaped a new song. These new producers are then finding artists that have no musical comprehension and placing them on their remixes, all the while saying that they are unsullied and innovative.

A few readers of this article will say that I am out of touch with reality, old fashioned or even hating on them. I say learn your craft and stop finding excuses.

1 comment:

BREG - Blogs said...

Mr. Johnston, you are absolutely correct. We have to get back to our roots so that we can effectively express ourselves in our music with integrity! We live in a microwave world, but Moma's slow cooked meal always tastes good! One Love!