For the past weeks I have been on several seminars involving artists and their creativity. It seems like many feel that they are not productive and have writer's block. As well, a lot of anxiety is discussed during these seminars.
That is ok, but I’m a bit tired watching the whole industry treating the artists as a creative genius and the sole person treated as a creative genius. To be kind of frank, the artist's creativity is often very unlimited and free, it’s should not stop there. It seems like we never talk about those people that have to be creative afterward. These people have to be triple creative with the material they get in. I’m talking about the team around artists like PR agents, managers, producers and consultants.
During these seminars I was on with several artists who had written songs around Covid. I get it, you write about things that are close to you, and Covid has affected everyone around the world. There is a reason there are so many love songs since that is also a thing that affects us all. The problem with Covid songs is that love songs usually describe a great feeling, Covid has mainly just given us depression and bad feelings. And the songs these artists presented have names like Covid Blues, Alone Again, When Can I See You All Again?
It made me think about the other creative masses out there. The PR agents, I don’t know how many of these were exhausted by Covid songs by around May. I can just see their fears to have to be creative around the Covid topic. Because they are creative but limited with the borders that the artist has set up. If the artist comes with a Covid song their job is to be as creative as possible to sell that song to a radio station, blog, or and/or a newspaper. They also know that the people in these positions are so fed up with Covid songs that they have to more or less reinvent the whole PR campaign to get things going. It’s not that they can go back to the artist and tell them to write something else because they know they will have a hard time being creative around that topic. Now we are talking creativity on a very high level that these people have to perform.
My feeling right now is that we have forgotten to talk about these people. They were also hit by the crisis; jobs lost; campaigns cancelled. This part of the industry usually is not complaining; they just deal with the situation. In one way they are used to it by all the crazy stunts artist comes up with that they must solve in a very creative way. One thing that worries me though is that many of them have become so creative they have left the industry. Seems much harder to get PR people right now since they are working in other fields.
Also, with the changes that we are undergoing I can see more and more of these people getting more and more frustrated. They must reinvent each release and can’t really work in the same way twice which makes the job so much harder to do.
I don’t really understand why no one is bringing this topic up for discussion? It is always focused on the viewpoint of the artist, while in fact that it has also really hit the work that is done by a team, a team that the artist has very little knowledge about in regards to how they have to work and plan. A team that has to be creative with rules now set by a person they has no clue about the obstacles that now face the other sector of the music industry.
The Most Creative People In the Music Industry Are Not Just the Artists.
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. Peter also runs several major showcase festivals and is an advisor for INES and co-founder of MusicHelp/Discover Sensation. He has worked with the Top Ten most streamed songs and had music on both the Olympics and Super Bowl. Peter has currently taken up the seat of Station Manager of Cashbox Radio, working with MD, PD and station owner, Sandy Graham. His latest venture is a new Showcase Festival in Sweden, Future Echoes scheduled for September 16-18, 2021.