The Grooming of Music Artists

2010-01-27 - 00:54 | Music Production, SIRA Newsletter, SIRA Track Team |

By Dwight Walker

Gen Mgr.

 

In watching a film called Cadillac Records which in real life was a record company that developed people such as Etta James and Muddy Waters, I began thinking about all of the record companies that groomed artists including Motown and Chess Records.  Since the 1940s the practice of record labels has always been to groom and market artists and groups to the public.  Grooming included how to; sing  perform, dress, give interviews, and in some cases, how to sit at a formal dinner table.   The record company would be patient in it’s development as it would work with artists and groups with the understanding that it was creating a total package for the public.  When an artist makes a hit he or she will know how to conduct him/herself accordingly depending on the genre of music.  Artists/groups who went through this type of development stages included; The Four Tops, Temptations, Phyllis Hyman, Patti Labelle, Michael Jackson, Mary J. Blige, Mobb Deep, Alicia Keys and many more.  There were companies such as Double XL who specialized in artist development as well aiding in the development of the public image of an artist.

 

It is inevitable that music evolves in all it’s genres however the tactic of the development of the artist has 

remained constant until the early 90s.  At the time, I worked for various recording labels and I saw first hand how many in  upper management of the music industry felt they could save more money by basically taking an artist off the street provide them with a song and hope for a hit.  If there is no hit then the artist gets dropped from the record label.  This new way of dealing with artists has an impact not only on the quality of work but also on the longevity of the artist.  ging in the living room or singing with a garage band right now.  For those rappers doing a cipher (in a circle in the hallways somewhere.), artists singing with a garage band,  or  college kid in a dorm room who just hooked up a track and now he’s putting down lyrics for that Saturday performance at the local recreational center.  A label may sign them, (and who knows they may do very well and live the dream),  But the questions to ask would be, how long will they last.  Based on the behavior of artists lately will the lack of development also be a lack of integrity and discipline to the craft as well? 


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Comment from love
Time: 2011-10-29 - 20:27

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