Times have been changing. Not only when it comes to society, but arts –for good or rather the worse- have been part of these changes, and nothing sees and is been affected more than the respective industries (call it Hollywood, Record Labels, etc.)
Back in the early 00s, as internet started taking new grounds and the self-prophecies made by an older, skeptic generation about how this new technology was going to just vanish into the air, suddenly disappear – all these theories proved to be nothing than gibberish, and the internet has become a major part of our lives and with it, many things have become much accessible, including music… and not in a good way. Yes, piracy was a big thing back in the beginning of the new millennium with popular sites Napster and software as it’s the case of Kazaam and Limewire.
Luckily, Apple eventually came into the picture with its iTunes platform and things started to slowly go back to normal. Then years later Spotify and others jump into the wagon and the industry was back in some sort of good track. However, the Napster, and also iTunes era, brought with them a new way of enjoying and buying music. So long were the days where we had to go to a record store to buy a physical copy of our best band. This imminent extinction also came with new changes when it was time to manage the success of a certain musical group or artist. Now we hear about “plays” or “streams” rather than sales – not that there ain’t sales anymore, but this is just to give you a picture of the new paradigms that were replacing the older ones.
How much does the billions of streams Drake got from his latest album Scorpion translates into individuals listening to the record or singles itself? After all, one person can listen to its favorite track on Spotify up to more than ten times within an hour alone. Does this means, in some way, the Canadian rapper reach out the podiums only a few titans like The Beatles, ABBA or Metallica, to name a few, have actually reached during and after their long, successful careers?
Now, judging someone as Drake by the same standards as a group like ABBA, for example, would be ridiculous. After all, the Swedish four piece was literally a Billboard hits machine. Their themes (most of them about love) were more than relatable to any listener of any age or creed, without failing into the cliché. Maybe it’s because of a lack of creativity or audiences have heard and seen every track there is to show or listen – but for some reason, the same topics Drake sings about feels very repetitive and uninspiring, meanwhile the same case for ABBA, even to this date, wouldn’t feel the same.
Is it likely there will ever be a film based on any of the popular artists today, as it’s the case of The Beatles (Across The Universe) or ABBA (Mamma Mia! And Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again)? Perhaps no. Those two examples were just a rare case of the same lightning hitting more than once.
In the end, as we go through a new phase in music, how much of the old stuff will remain and how much will it change for good? One thing is for sure, more than likely, the days when a band or a music artist could become a legend and reach a long, almost eternal status as an icon, are over. But that’s just me.