• Is Quality Still King?

    It’s the mournful swan song of the accomplished and striving artist and producer, that things just ain’t what they used to be in music.

    With the transformation of the music business through technology and the equalization of the artistic playing field (once the domain of the major labels), we’ve come to experience an immense saturation of music in the marketplace. Everyone from the big marquee superstars to your Aunt Margaret’s Wednesday night volunteer Church choir (nothing against that in itself) can vie for their piece of the proverbial pie, releasing CDs and digital downloads, setting up tours and performances, even hiring publicists and other personnel to help them infiltrate the industry.

    But commercial success is neither here nor there as to artistic abundance or dearth of the artist. There are still many unknown, accomplished and deeply-talented performers doing their thing out there who have achieved musical excellence in their output, but have escaped any widespread popularity. They need to be respected for that. The same thing could even be said for some genres. Sometimes you just have to dig a little deeper. Inquiring and discerning minds need to know.

    It’s about what one chooses to embrace. Production and presentation quality is still and will remain key for us at Inarhyme. Music is still an aural phenomenon and it should first sound good, especially if the goal is to get any kind of meaningful traction in reaching audiences. We still believe the cream goes to the top, and foundation is key. At least it seems to be the case with multi-decade career artists who survive and sometimes thrive irregardless of the changing face of fad and trend. It is usually their Music, capital M, that keeps them around.

    Amidst the undeniably viable questions for those who must market and sell the music, such as how does a performer look and act, if they have sex appeal, what is their fan base, and so forth, it’s still okay to also care if they sing in tune, uniquely and honestly interpret a song, and, in sum, can be held to heightened musical standards. Can they play? Really play? Can they really sing? At what level? Do they have their own individual voice? Do they understand music? What does their music really say and how potently does it say it?

    It may not matter to everyone and it may not result in superstar status, but quality is still king for those who love the innate expressive power in music; for those who want something that lasts and gives as graciously internally as it does externally. For those who may be more interested in just the image, the lifestyle, or the money, there’s no judgement here. Except that you might be missing out on a lot of fun.