What do you want out of a new artist? Do you look for new artists to bring something different or innovative to the table? To have something else to say? Or do you want a new artist to represent YOU-not necessarily your race, culture or generation, but possibly a thought, an idea, your influences, a lifestyle... After all, Okayplayer is more than just a collection of artists.
Or is it really just about the music? Do you just look at a new artist's music?
Obviously, I've been going over this as we get closer to the release of Toshi's album next week. The way I see it, Toshi delivers on several counts. His music speaks for itself. His personal background makes his perspective and message cosmopolitan, open, inclusive -he has no other choice, being who he is. I think it makes him more than relevant to today's America, in both it's positive and negative aspects.
1. "What I look for in a new artist..." In response to Reply # 0
is several things. First off, I do want the artist to bring something new to the table. If you listen to pop music, all you hear is the same formula used and recycled repetitively. This gets very old, and I believe this is why most people on this sight despise the pop culture with a passion. Not to mention that most pop artists lack even half of the actual skill that the Okayplayer artists bring consistantly. Then I look at the artists background. What is their lifestyle like? How many people do you think this person kicked down to get where they're at now? Things like that. And does this person really put a piece of themselves into their work? Do they have a writing style that shows actual signs of talent? Did they even write their music, or is some ghostwriter the one to be credited? After I filter out these aspects, then I look for things that I can relate to in the songs. Is this song one that can bring up some old memories? Can I relate some future occasion? How does the song make me feel on first listen? I could go through all of these things, or I could just hear a good song, crave more, and go looking for the artist. Either way, I've never heard Toshi yet, but I'm definitely looking forward to his stuff. (Damn, I even bored myself with this one LOL! Sorry, ya'll!) -B
2. "I don't really want new artists but...." In response to Reply # 0
I don't really want new artists but we are going to add more, I'd like to have a say about it. That's why we've all been discussing it so much. I don't think we really need to add to the fam, because once RE drops we'll have plenty to talk about. However if we are adding someone, this is what I'd look for:
1)They aren't bringing a huge fan base with them. Because this would dilute the family aspect of what we have now.
2)They much be willing to contribute to the site, and keep us informed. They can't let okayplayer stagnate.
3)They do something original
4)They do it with passion
5)They bring something new
6)Less than ten% of us can dislike them
7)Preferably we keep a ratio on OKP where hip-hop groups outweigh r&b and soul. (hip-hop hybrids don't count)
8)They must be hard working (productive/touring/insterested in being closer to the fans)
3. "Musicians have a responsibility ..." In response to Reply # 0
* speak/sing/play from the heart. To me, If it ain't got soul, it ain't music.
* spread consciousness in these trying times. I know that many kats are into music for music's sake ... not me. I think that all art should speak to the present state of crisis we live in. It should raise the stakes for living in the world so to speak. To paraphrase Audre Lorde: "We have a responsibility to use our power and privillege -- whatever that might be or mean -- in the service of what we belive ... in the service of our emancipation from oppression. If we don't use it, IT WILL BE USED AGAINST US." I belive in this statement, and apply it to all aspects of my life, including my art. I think artists -- and especially musicians -- are in a unique position to take on this kind of responsibility. There's a lot of ignorance out there, and music can serve to bring the people the knowledge that's being drained out of them by T.V., school, etc.
EFF A FAKE QUOTE! I DEAL WITH THE REAL (so if its artificail let it be ...) (c) Blac... awww, you know who
;-);-);-);-);-);-);-) A mob is not autonomous: it executes the real will of the people who rule the state. The slaughter in Birmingham Alabama, for example, was not, merely, the action of a mob. That blood is on the hands of the state of Alabama: which sent those mobs into the streets to execute the will of the State ...
... A mob cannot afford to doubt: that the Jews killed Christ or that n*ggers want to rape their sisters or that anyone who fails to make it in the land of the free and the home of the brave deserves to be wretched. But these ideas don't come from the mob. They come from the state, which creates and manipulates the mob. The idea of a black person as property, for example, does not com from the mob. It is not a spontaneous idea. It does not come from the people, who knew better, who thought nothing of inter-marriage until they were penalized for it: this idea comes from the architects of the American State. These architects decided that the concept of Property was more important -- more real -- than the possibilities of the human being. (c) James Baldwin.
4. "RE: Musicians have a responsibility ..." In response to Reply # 3
i look at the okayartists we have now and ask myself what do they have in common AND what makes them different.(which might be more important to some) it seems that the current okayartist have a healthy respect for the craft/musicianship.most seem to be somewhat underground,bordering on pop success(of sorts). and the fact that most of them have worked together brings a cohesiveness and commonality that's refreshing since they all bring something different to the table. common with his "relate to every man/situation"rhymes roots with their ode to the battle star and live instrumentation jazzy's soft,she woman,heart felt vibe RE lyrically conscious upliftment of hip hop dilated's underground soldiers,underdogs who are ready to overcome