Olive Music

October 3, 2011

Cash Rules Everything Around Me – C.R.E.A.M.

Filed under: music —— oliviaacevedo @ 1:37 am

Have you ever gotten lost while listening to your favorite song? So mesmerized by the lyrics and the emotion the artist put behind it? I guess we all have, but what rarely crosses our mind is the image an artist must maintain in order to be successful. Today, the music industry is more superficial than ever, but appearance has been one of the most important parts of an artists career since artists began being shown nationally and internationally on television, and in magazines. To the record industry an artist is a cash flowing product first and an artist later. If Elvis’ appearance didn’t match his soothing vocals, record executives would have thought twice about signing him. This also goes with some of the biggest names in music history, Michael Jackson, the Beatles, Prince, Whitney Houston, and Mariah Carey, just to name a few. This trend followed into the 21st century with artists like Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj, Drake, Justin Bieber and Katy perry. Some would argue that when money is involved, talent takes a backseat to good looks.

Appearance may be nine tenths of the law, but we can’t forget about sales and ratings. When I was sixteen I auditioned for American Idol, clearly I didn’t make it very far. What surprised me most was the flamboyantly dressed drag queen who made it further than I did. I’m not quite sure the man in drag had talent, but he would definitely attract the attention of viewers at home, which means ratings. Controversy sells just as much as sex, and Jordan sneakers on a Saturday.

Combined, appearance and ratings or sales go hand in hand. Adele is the perfect example. She doesn’t fit in with the Gagas and Beyoncès of the industry because she is not “slim enough.” I can’t tell you how many times Adele has been judged by her appearance and not by her soulful voice and heartfelt lyrics. Because she does’t spark controversy, have a famous hair cut, or wear produce as apparel, she is pushed aside in order to make room for those who do. Luckily, Adele’s talent doesn’t go to waste, once people look past the superficial things and hear her music she’s appreciated. Adele is also on her way to being the top selling artist of 2011, with her album “21” being more than three times platinum (she is a musician, her job is to sing not to look like your fantasy). Although Adele faces much criticism, she proves that entertainment, sales, and appearance take a backseat to talent.

With one person breaking the trend, I hope it continues. This may encourage those with talents who don’t fit the “norm” to reach for their dreams.

September 26, 2011

Filed under: music —— oliviaacevedo @ 4:19 pm

Its not easy to put yourself out into a world of established musicians who are sure to judge you. I’m not a very shy person but when it comes to singing I get extremely self conscious. A lot of my friends have just recently started to hear me sing. When it comes to performing, I’m a complete mess. I have no energy on stage, I completely lose myself. I one hundred and ten percent admire all of the artists and upcoming artists who can do things like this with confidence. So to challenge myself, I’ve recorded this video for you guys, something I wouldn’t normally do for complete strangers. Let It Be – Across the Universe Version I’d love to hear your feedback. Hope you like it 🙂

Music isn’t just about the sound, there’s a lot of emotion and passion that goes into a good artist’s work and it takes a whole lot more to broadcast those deep feelings to people you don’t know let alone the ones you do. These components not only make for better songs but also an appealing vocal arrangement. Adele’s newest album “21” sends us such a powerful message about her past breakup. She sings her entire heart out into that album, just hearing her words you can almost literally feel her pain. Its hard for me to perform songs I’m not personally attached to, I can hardly imagine how it would feel to pour my entire heart out for the world to see. Artists similar to Adele deserve more credit than they get. Like Duffy for example, her song “Mercy” might be the only song a lot of people know but in reality she’s highly underrated. She has a great voice for one and she’s just as passionate in her music as Adele. Then we have artists like Amy Winehouse, who’s talents are completely overrated based on how the public views them. Amy Winehouse, in my opinion, is one of the greatest singers of our time and yet, before she died, she got so little credit because she was addicted to drugs and that’s all our media focused on. If you ask me, the media is what’s ruining our music industry.

Granted, its not easy to find artists who aren’t well known so here are some suggestions as to how you can go about it if you’re interested: browsing youtube for people who cover other artists songs because a lot of them have their own original songs as well. Also, Pandora is great because when you listen to a certain artist’s playlist they also throw in a few artists similar to them you might also be interested in. I honestly wish more people knew to do this, its not a question of how terrible one’s taste in music is, its about not knowing where to look for better music. So hopefully you’ll take my advice and tell your friends as well.

September 20, 2011

Don’t forget the lyrics!

Filed under: music —— oliviaacevedo @ 4:47 pm

I’ll start off by saying I realized I wasn’t entirely clear about where to find NyboЯ and what song I’m featured on. So heres a direct link to “Élan Vital” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=27KGOAROLiU and feel free to subscribe to her youtube channel for more. I’ll be featured on a few of her newer tracks as well so stay tuned for those.

Now for the good stuff, I’ve been thinking seriously about everything I said in my last post (hence why this post is so late) and I wanna elaborate more on my own preferences lyrically speaking. I know I said lyrics lately lack substance and I stick to that statement completely but I also believe some of these artists who rap about nothing can be intriguing. I realize that might be difficult to understand so I’ll show you what I mean. There’s a group a lot of you may have heard of called OFWGKTA which stands for “Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All”. As you can probably tell by their title, they’re a bit off the wall. The group is made up off artists ranging from R&B singers to rappers and producers etc. Now the most popular, I think, of this group would be Tyler, the Creator who is possibly the most vulgar rapper I’ve ever come across. He raps about all the raw, disgusting (for lack of a better word) thoughts we all have but would never make public. Lyrically, he’s different; I can’t say I’ve ever heard another rapper like him so my point here is that he puts his own private thoughts into his lyrics and that is what makes it intriguing, its real and it says something about his character whereas artists like Kanye West rap about cars and money and being “gangster” and tell no story about who they are or what they think. Its like reading a book with no plot or storyline. Don’t get me wrong, Kanye West produces some of the best beats of our time but we’re talking lyrics for now.

Going back to artists with lyrical substance, J. Cole is one of my favorite rappers right now because of this reason specifically. Listening to his music you get a feel for how he grew up, where he’s been in his life whether  its about family, love or the things he’s witnessed. So again, its a matter of putting your heart and soul into the music so the listener feels where you’re coming from. I think good music has a certain impact on the life of the listener and that’s what I think music is lacking nowadays. Some artists forget that they should relate to their fans as well, a lot of us listen to certain songs at certain times because they reflect how we’re feeling at the time but I’m not sure any one of us Plain Janes can identify with lines like “bought the chain that always give me back pain” (Kanye West, Monster).

Somehow my posts have become all about hip hop but I haven’t forgotten about all the other genres out there. Stay tuned, next week I’ll give you guys something new… and I might surprise you all with a little video as well 😉

September 11, 2011

So maybe I’m a little critical…

Filed under: music —— oliviaacevedo @ 4:16 am
          Hi, I’m Olive. I’m probably one of the most dramatic people you’ll ever meet and I’m in love with all things music and theatre related. I wouldn’t exactly call myself a musician, I know I’m not the best at what I do but I like to think I know the difference between good and bad music. I know, I know to each his own and all that. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not quick to judge and I’m extremely open minded musically but the truth is, the majority of music our generation listens to is absolute trash. Some might say I’m a snob but I think I’m just highly opinionated. At some point raw talent mattered less and less and it all became a popularity contest. The amount of talented artists who don’t make it in the music business is completely unfair.
          Aside from talent, in a lot of cases (hip-hop specifically) we’ve lost even the substance of music lyrically. To quote one of my favorite hip-hop artists A Tribe Called Quest, “If only you can see through your elaborate eyes, only you and me hun, the love never dies” and to quote Lil’ Wayne, “I hit the strip club and all them b*tches find the pole” um… what? -_- Now I’m not going to lie to you, of course I listen to the music I’m talking about; I’ve learned to appreciate music solely for beats at this point. What I’m saying is if these sick beats were accompanied by equally sick lyrics the music would be a lot more aesthetically pleasing. Like The Weeknd for example, a relatively new hip-hop/R&B artist I’m not sure a lot of people have heard about. I’m currently playing his song “The Birds” on repeat <3
          So that’s not to say all of this generation’s music is terrible. Two of my top five favorite artists started out their careers in this generation, Amy Winehouse (R.I.P) brought back the jazz tones we were so close to losing and Adele is blessing us all with her incredible voice. So who’s to say pure talent doesn’t count anymore? The point is artists who are less appealing and controversial to the media aren’t getting the credit they really deserve. If you’re not making a spectacle of yourself like Nicki Minaj, Katy Perry and Lady GaGa (all of whom I’m actually a fan of) you’re not getting as far. So yes, the less popular will have to work a little harder but I think its 100% worth it. Good music is what gets me through life, I don’t know what I’d do if it died out.
          On a closing note, if you’re interested in good hip-hop, give my friend NyboЯ a listen [[www.NyborStuj.tumblr.com]]. I’m featured on a song or two so you’ll get to hear my talents as well. Hope you like it 🙂

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