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The importance of music

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Music  Is Not Important? Is The Star Sprinkle Gone?

Submitted by Peter Åstedt

We recently had the biggest award ceremonies in Sweden in the past weeks. the Grammy Award, P3 Gold and Manifest.

Usually, this is receives a lot of attention for the media to cover these events. They are  broadcast on prime time. It’s not even on the front page of the major newspapers. You really must seek them out to find any coverage. The reports on the music gala have been none. I was watching to see what happens and there was no reporting whatsoever on any of the music galas. In fact, they never even reported who received the awards? So, is this for all galas?

Guldbagge-galan, which is the Oscars of Sweden was also a recent event. This was broadcast on prime time and received a lot of coverage. QX-galan which is the gay awards in Sweden were also broadcast on prime time. To their favor, both these galas got a pretty good bunch of people down to the gala as well still during these galas the music is just something you put up there so getting the award is not too boring.

I'm more into that music is not that important. There is no risk to record a record any longer, anyone can do it. To get it out is not hard either. The distributions systems are as open for Madonnas from a unknown band from Quebec. In the end, it becomes as important as the lowest division of football, anyone can join and play. It’s not like before, when only a few got a chance to be heard and the channels was closed by gatekeepers.

Another thing is that we now live in a global world. Suddenly,  the local things that are not that important. Or the really, really local has it place, but the midsize are the things that are uninteresting until it moves up to the global perspective. The reporting on the American Grammy award in Sweden was in the size of what used to be on the Swedish Grammy award. One thing was also that we got a Swedish Grammy for the movie music for Black Panther through Ludwig Göransson.

Then when he won an Oscar for the music it exploded. He even got the Swedish government export prize even I’m pretty sure that they had never heard his name before the beginning of this year. Still the Oscar was clearly more worth then the Grammy award and if he got a Swedish Grammy award that was not even mentioned.

We are back at the point, that music has lost part of its star sprinkle. You really need to get a global audience before the press will start to look at you as a real artist. I guess it’s part of the backlash of all this with numbers and internet bubbles again. The media has realized that streaming numbers means nothing. YouTube followers means nothing. And it's hard to find which artists actually means something for the audience. So instead of reporting they just ignore it. Reports are on the 100 biggest stars in the world that have some stargazing around them.

At the same time, we see stars in some different bubbles. I currently have an artist on my desk with a lot of fans. Still it’s in a certain genre and a certain audience. Inside that bubble this artist is really big. Still the bigger press will probably never find them. If they do it will be a report on unknown “big stars”.

Yes, it just got harder to get through the noise of the internet. It is time to get out in the real world.

Editor’s Note: Peter Åstedt has been working in the music industry for over 30 years. He has started record labels, distribution systems and publishing companies. He also runs several showcase festivals. He has worked with the Top Ten most streamed songs and had music on both the Olympics and Superbowl.