Success. Influence. Popularity. And to some extent happiness. Is it possible that these 4 aspects of life are more intertwined more than we think? Throughout the past 95 blogs, both Jon and myself have written about popular artists, about not-so-popular artists, about rather obscure artists (by society’s standards), as well as about artists who are no-brainers. All of these artists are who we firmly believe to be influential. But more than that- the most influential artists of all time. It’s a bold statement to declare, and I reckon that artists like Jennifer Lopez, Beyoncé, Christina Aguilera, Keith Urban, Backstreet Boys, Ed Sheeran, U2, Adele, John Farnham, Josh Groban and Carly Rae Jepsen to name a few- would be instantly included for any subjective list, on what I believe is a dynamic and ever-evolving list anyway, and is right now only a snapshot in time. While I reckon that maybe on any other day and on any other list written by any other person, artists like Richard Marx, Hanson, Leona Lewis, Jackie Evancho, Cimorelli, Five For Fighting, Colbie Caillat, The McClymonts, Hoobastank and SEAL would not make the list at all. And for me to include the shoe-ins and the obscure artists on one list… it might be head-scratching for some. And that’s ok. Because we all have different preferences, likes and dislikes- everyone’s list of influential artists is going to be different. This list is not gospel. I’ve said it once and I will say it again until I think we understand that it’s ok to have different opinions on music. It’s perfectly fine. Differences make life interesting and underpin our humanity, don’t you reckon? But coming into the final 5 blogs about influential artists- I don’t think that any of us would argue anything with these representatives. Think about it. Rihanna. Taylor Swift. Kylie Minogue. Robbie Williams. And this week’s artist- Mariah Carey. There really shouldn’t be any doubt about the calibre, impact and prowess of any of these artists- and if you all have apprehensions to any of these artists- maybe a deep immersion into these artists’ discographies will tug at your soul and at your emotions; and quite possibly change your mind.
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Let me pose a question to you all. Under what criteria or definition does an artist become influential (or even popular for that matter)? Is it their number of sales in any given year, or how high a certain song charts on the radio, or even how well people respond to songs in their own personal settings as the years progress? Is it how many awards they’ve won, or how much a song ‘blows up’ on social media? Is it their ability to have their music placed in TV shows and movies, or their songs become theme songs for various ceremonies across the years? Or is it their vocal prowess alone, and their ability to sing high, sing powerfully, sing with heart and determination? Or it could just be their natural talent as a songwriter, or even the fact that they are a multi-instrumentalist. Whatever the case may be, and whatever yardstick or measurement people use to determine someone’s popularity or influence in society altogether, there is something that still remains to be true, regardless of criteria. That a good artist is a good artist is a good artist, and no matter if they are ‘liked’ or not, one can generally appreciate someone’s craft, and people are usually on the money in their deciphering about who is popular and who is influential. Because at the end of the day, influence goes beyond popularity, and speaks to the heart of issues relevant to the people of today. People can all of a sudden, become famous overnight and popular through TikTok, Instagram and Youtube- anyone who’s somewhat tech-savvy can self-declare that they are a muso/artist, and record something on the fly…but that doesn’t mean that they actually are. They may be popular and enjoy their fifteen minutes of fame (figuratively or even literally), but to be influential means an artist has to deliver something that goes beyond the surface, and hit a listener in a way that their music impacts them not only for a little while, but really challenges the way that the person on the other end- listeners, critics, consumers, and the rest of them, sees society, music, and the interweaving of how music can impact someone’s life for the better, even if it’s just this one song that really changes the trajectory of someone’s life.
Continue reading Momentous Mondays: Influential artists of the next 5-10 years – Week 42: Lucy Thomas →
Is there any criteria for what determines an influential artist? Influential albums- sure we can figure that one out. Just think about an album that has changed you from the inside out, or one that has sentimental value to you, or one that you’d just know has shaped you beyond the shadow of a doubt (you wouldn’t be the person you are today if that particular album wasn’t recorded and released!); and that’s it. Maybe there are around 20 or 30 albums that you hold dear, that you believe to be higher above all others. But as for the extent of influence an artist has over society as a whole or individuals, across time, all genres and transcending countries, religions, beliefs, value systems and creeds; that’s a big, big mouthful to fully grasp and a gigantic pool of artists to choose from. I guess you’d say that the criteria is different depending on what you value in an artist, whether it is lyrics or music or the artist’s private lives and if it matches up with what they’re singing about… and that’s probably the reason why Jon is in the midst of writing about 100 artists, and even then it’s not a perfect list. The other day though, I started to think about the artists that were not part of Jon’s list, whom were deemed to be seemingly not influential enough. There were obviously some older artists whom Jon found others to be more influential for one reason or another; however if we’re only thinking of influence in the regard that an artist has to be a veteran of x amount of years or x amount of albums, then I’m certain we’d miss out on exploring and listening to a number of up and coming artists whom in the future could be equally as influential or even more so than The Beatles, Queen, Abba, Elton John, Whitney Houston and others. So, I’ve started up a mini-list of 20 artists (note, as of November 2019, this list has expanded to 50 artists!). By no means is it perfect, but it’s a snapshot of artists whom I reckon will take the world by storm in the coming years. Artists whom I reckon may not necessarily be popular, but still impact in a society where listeners are bored with songs at the drop of a hat. Maren Morris is the first artist that I’ll be delving into and exploring, and boy does she have plenty of remarkable songs that are relevant to society that need to be shared with the whole world!
Continue reading Momentous Mondays: Influential artists of the Next 5-10 years – Week 1: Maren Morris →
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Opening Release Date: May 23rd 2014
Reviewed by Joshua Andre
X-Men: Days Of Future Past– Starring Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Holt, Halle Berry, Ellen Page, Peter Dinklage, Ian McKellan, Patrick Stewart
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