To copy or not to copy
Good artists copy, great artists steal.
If we’re really honest, then we have to admit that almost every idea is stolen, or at least inspired by some other work.
This is not only true for today’s music, but also for the music from the Golden Age, including the music from the 50s and 60s that was heavily influenced by the blues and other prior influences.
It is almost impossible to invent something really new, and when taking a closer look at new things, then you’ll see that they’re always just unusual but clever combinations of stuff that already existed before.
That’s also true for the latest tech gimmicks, and even Apple’s original iPhone was just a smart combination of a PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) and a mobile phone, with touch controls added.
Inventing something new means taking existing ideas and combining them in a new way, while the result is much more than just the sum of its parts. Nobody ever invents anything really new. Either improve something that existed before, or simply combine existing ideas in a new, innovative and interesting way.
All of today’s music has been inspired by the music of the past, and everyone is borrowing ideas from the past. That’s true for both good music and bad music by the way.
I don’t think anybody steals anything; all of us borrow.
So if both good music and bad music borrow from the past, what makes the difference then?
Well, there is a big difference between real artists that are being INSPIRED BY the past and that are honoring the Masters Of The Past, and pure entertainers that are simply RIPPING THEM OFF.
The music industry is aware of the current retro trend kicked off by Amy Winehouse and others, and many producers and even the worst entertainers seem to try jumping that train now too. Recent pathetic results are the songs Marvin Gaye by Charlie Puth, Shut Up And Dance by Walk The Moon (2015), as well as Perfect Duet by Ed Sheeran and Beyoncé (2017) for example. Those songs just reuse the sound and style of the past – they’re not even imitating it, but they’re just ripping off typical piano (Motown) and guitar parts (U2) as well as other elements from the 60s and 80s respectively.
Those songs sound and feel like simple remakes, with the single goal to make it into the charts and to make some quick money. I use the term rip-off because those artists (Puth, Walk The Moon, Sheeran and Beyoncé) have not even been trying to create something new (and if they did, then I think they actually did a lousy job), which is very different from what Amy Winehouse has been trying to do for example. In other words: Those songs are not any better than all of the other crap in the charts, they just sound a bit different.
But that’s not a solution, people who like good music don’t want crap that only sounds like some good music from the past, they want music that brings back the VALUE and QUALITY there once was.
And again, those songs have been produced with kids and retards as customers in mind. Those songs will surely be hated by music lovers who are really into the music originally produced by Motown Records, Marvin Gaye, or U2 for example. So that’s not what you should do, and this is not the way the music industry can be saved. The result of such songs is that real music lovers will be even more disgusted by today’s music.
The problem of such an approach is that nothing really artistic is being created, and such rip-off songs will not lead to any true innovation, or even to any revolution that will move the music industry forward.
From the 1950s till the mid 1990s, new genres and music styles popped up all of the time, and many of them completely changed the way people experienced music. But this is no longer happening today, and so we’re stuck in an irrelevant age. So don’t get me wrong here: When I talk about the Golden Age Of Popular Music and the Masters Of The Past, then I do not mean that we should return to what has been done in past decades. The past won’t return and change is not a problem, as music has been changing all of the time since the 1950s, which is a great thing as it prevented things from becoming overly boring.
Today’s problem is the LACK OF CHANGE, the lack of new ideas, and the lack of alternatives.
That said, our strategy will be as follows:
Create something really new, something you will be really proud of, inspired by and honoring the greatest artists of the past.