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Future Voices: Are big music labels superficial and unfulfilling?

PUBLISHED: 09:00 23 November 2016 | UPDATED: 09:27 23 November 2016

From Thames / Syco Entertainment

The X Factor on ITV

Pictured: Louis Walsh, Sharon Osbourne, Nicole Scherzinger and Simon Cowell.

This photograph is (C) Thames / Syco Entertainment

From Thames / Syco Entertainment The X Factor on ITV Pictured: Louis Walsh, Sharon Osbourne, Nicole Scherzinger and Simon Cowell. This photograph is (C) Thames / Syco Entertainment

©Thames / Syco Entertainment

The difference between big and small artists - looking at the music labels, how much artistic freedom do they get?

Shows like X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent all promote something very similar in the music industry - the intense marketing that the arguably superficial side of the industry puts upon young boys and girls with a similar dream. Away from the limelight and Saturday-night fame, music consumers who aren’t prone to market manufactured music are investing in something more low-key and home-grown, however just as exciting.

Local acts are self-explanatory, they do it themselves and grow with the help of their respective community’s music scene; but what some people don’t look into is the sheer excellence of the artistic license of the local act. Particularly in Norwich, acts such as Maya Law x Allergy Kid are producing music that is fit for anyone’s ears without the need of further industry production. Even Let’s Eat Grandma were making a name for themselves as show stopping before they were picked up by Transgressive. Home grown artists seem to be asking the question of is it really necessary to be signed nowadays? In an age where you can make everything yourself, use social media to your advantage and the more commonly used tactic of ‘word of mouth’.

Often, signing with a huge label means compromise. Compromising your act, looks, sound and possibly ethics. People often accept the latter and choose to go with indie labels or simply no label at all. Whilst it’s easy to assume that any true creative would stay true to their respective vision, the lure of a big label is increasingly tempting for naive young musicians who will do anything to make money off of their thriving hobby. Thus begins the spiral of compromise that leads to music that many deem as ‘superficial’ and ‘unfulfilling’, all due to the fact that it doesn’t represent natural talent - merely a product of a money machine. Most cities have a music scene awash with local acts, Norwich being at the forefront. With the talent we have to offer, young artists are gaining to courage to set up on their own and recognise their potential without the influence of bigger sources.

This rising confidence is revolutionary in terms of new approaches to music marketing, and the DIY nature of it can only be good for anyone with the talent and the means to succeed.

Estée Spencer, 17, Notre Dame High School

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