We recently lost Charlie Watts, the drummer of The Rolling Stones. I just read a review from The Rolling Stones first concert on the postponed world tour from Atlanta. The journalist that was there said that the new drummer did a good job, but couldn’t replace Charlie and in his eyes The Rolling Stones were dead.
I guess we will see a lot of this in the near future. Yesterday’s stars are still the stars; we really aren’t producing many more household names. Or yesterday I read more twenty years ago. I already had said a little while ago in early 2000 that we haven’t produced any household names in late of the 90’s. Then both Britney Spears and Eminem got on and suddenly we got back with a lot of household names during the next years.
Now it seems like we are back in the position that we were in the late 90’s. Suddenly, there is no new household names. The question this time is it just one of these moments in time? Is it because of COVID? Or is it a result of the new trends of social media where you are just famous inside a bubble of certain people?
I really don’t have an answer. What I do know is that during times like this we reuse the old stars that are still around. And when they die it makes really big headliners. I get the feeling though that more stars are dying off than we produce.
Maybe this is the future. Do we really need superstars? Everything we do now is going back to local. The food should be locally produced, we should take vacation that are kind of local. We are going back against a small village where you have also the local scene. I guess this will come naturally, we will in the future have local stars. Artists that are just famous in a smaller area. Then of course to make money they have several small areas they can tour around in.
A bit like many artists in Nashville. They have several big cities in kind of close by, so they constantly tour these cities like a never-ending tour. Many of them have local fanbases that outdo even the bigger stars visiting smaller European countries.
We now have to start thinking about how the music industry should adapt to climate change and social media change. Today Sweden just opened up from COVID and I just feel that we are heading back to the same old system at a high speed. We should instead start creating new systems that will work with the future. I guess though that we are like the rest of the world we won’t do it until we are in a big crisis.
I guess we just have to wait and see how it’s going. Can we do the changes fast enough? Are we able to make stars into new household name in the future?
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. As well he recently worked as the European Consultant for Heal the Earth – An Earth Day Celebration. His latest venture is a new Showcase Festival in Sweden, Future Echoes https://futureechoes.se/ scheduled for September 16-18, 2021.