“Phyno had a very disappointing year. He’s no longer part of any conversation.”
The statement above was what music journo, Joey Akan had tweeted on a particular day in 2018. A Random opinion. But hours later, Phyno replied. The comment was heavy. He had labelled the journalist a “tribal fool,” opening the portal for scores of his fans to follow through with a barrage of sultry words peddled at the journalist.
It’s been three years since that incident but bits of it are still reflected on platforms where music discourse takes place. Care is taken into consideration before opinions about a new record are dispersed. You surely don’t want to draw the ire of an artist’s fanbase and so an average music enthusiast decides to retract rather than spilling.
Downplay of Criticism
Criticisms have also taken a new format in recent times: it has to be swathed in praise also. A critic’s album review is purely based on personal feelings and perspective backed up with prediction due to years of experience and knowledge acquired. But we’ve also seen how if an album review doesn’t favour the artist and sways to the negative side, there’s revolt by the artist’s supporters on behalf of the artist.
The author thus takes a careful approach next time a new record drops. His personal feelings about the album are still reflected but the tone is simmered down and ratings perhaps increase. The fanbase likes it and therefore promotes this “praise filled” album review by tweeting and sharing the link. It benefits the fanbase, it benefits the website too.
The Dilemma of Rising Artists
There’s been recent outcry by some of the old guard of music professionals on the manner of new music enthusiasts operating in the ecosystem. “There’s lack of passion and they just want to make as much money as possible.”
This re-enacts when you take time to listen to the music dished out by rising talents these days. There’s either the problem of low quality production or the artist doesn’t get it right with lyrics and songwriting.
But hey, the promoter doesn’t give a damn about this. He feels elated because here’s another money bag for him and once he does the upload on streaming platforms and runs BCs on WhatsApp plus some Twitter trends, his work is done. The campaign is over. Bank account is steaming with some new cash additions.
However in the long run, the artist’s career feels the effect. Here’s the artist’s mindset: “My music is good and songwriting is of the best quality. What remains now is the best promotion and if I can get on some playlists.”
In reverse, that artist consumes that belief based on what he’s told by his team. There’s no one dishing out the cold, hard truth. The artist perhaps needs to enhance his pen game or gets something right with how his production is handled. But the promoter doesn’t say this because the song might not be released if he says the truth.
This system of withholding the vital truth runs deep in every strata of the industry. The producer doesn’t spit out the needed advice during recording in a bid not to hurt the artist’s feelings. The average fan hypes a song even when it doesn’t resonate with them. Writers and critics have to dabble criticism with some positive words to make the review more appealing.
As the industry expands with more new artists coming on the scene and future successes that will be recorded, a lot of these “truth masking” will also take a new form.
This article was written by Olabode Otolorin; connect on Instagram with him here