By John Dillon
Is it about the spectacle or the music?
Lasers, smoke, fireworks, and exotic costumes dominated the stage most of the evening. What’s up with Madonna and the dancing bulls? And being hoisted off the stage on a trapeze? It’s nice that she can do that at 56 but really, do we care?
I was glad to see that they included the bare-bones acoustic performance with Brandy Clark and Dwight Yoakam. I also was glad that Beck won. His performance with three acoustic guitars, an upright bass, piano and drums was refreshing in the midst of all the hoopla. And John Legend… wow, can he sing!
Is it about the big labels or the musicians?
For the first time, NARAS (The Academy that puts on the Grammys) president and CEO, Neil Portnow got up on stage and posed the question we’ve been asking for some time now: If the industry is moving toward streaming as the primary method of music consumption, and streaming services do not pay artists a fair wage, then who will be making the music of the future? In his words: “What if we’re all watching the Grammys a few years from now and there’s no Best New Artist award because there aren’t enough talented artists and songwriters who are actually able to make a living from their craft?”
What Portnow didn’t say is that a big part of the problem is that of the money streaming services pay out, 73% goes to the record labels, and only 11% actually filters down to the artists.
The Music and the Musicians
At Art of the Song and Standing “O” we are all about the music and musicians. There is a special magic that happens when a song truly connects with a listener. A good song doesn’t need a spectacle to grab your attention. It’s really about the song and the heart of the people who create the magic. These creators deserve to prosper, and that’s what the Standing “O” Project is all about. A lot has been written and spoken about the problem, but as far as I can tell, no one is offering a real solution (short of lobbying congress to change the laws).
Here’s an enlightening video that further illustrates the problem: Unsound the Movie. We can only hope that this is leading up to the roll out of a possible solution.
A Real Solution Now
In the meantime, the Standing “O” Project is a new business model designed for musicians to prosper. It’s built by musicians for musicians and music lovers. It’s based not upon how many streams an artist gets, but upon how the community grows. This is a community of concerned musicians and music lovers. A full 50% of the membership revenue goes back to the artists, and it all goes to the artists, not to record labels or publishing houses.
You can be a part of the solution. Show you care. If you’re a music lover, support the project with a monthly contribution (And, BTW, you get incredible listening value for your subscription). If you’re a musician, sign up, share your music, and help build the community. Together we can show the world that there is an alternative, a way we can support each other and prosper, a way we can keep the magic alive for future generations!
Let your voice be heard. Join us now at StandingOProject.com