Music industry switch up


Olivia Rodrigo wins multiple awards at the Grammys with her pop album “SOUR” at the impressive age of 19.

Avery Hamlin, Co-Editor-in-Chief

The entertainment and media industry has made a dramatic change of pace in recent years, especially because younger generations are becoming more accustomed to a fast paced world. Clothing trends are rapidly changing with new trends arising every couple of months. Movies and TV shows are quickly changing from a fully developed plot to action, action and, you guessed it, more action. Social media apps have also had to accommodate this new generation’s fast paced lifestyle by making apps that only allow 30 secs-1 min videos, causing apps like YouTube (with longer videos) to lose their relevance simply because their audiences lack an attention span. But what seems to be taking the biggest toll from these changes is the music industry and celebrities. 

The recent music awards ceremony, The Grammy’s, clearly showed this new change. The winner of “Record of the Year,” “Song of the Year,” “Best R&B Performance” and “Best R&B Song” is a brand new duo called Silk Sonic. This duo is the singer Bruno Mars and rapper Anderson Paak working together to bring back R&B to the mainstream music industry. Their first single together was released in early 2021, and they quickly rose in popularity. 

Bruno Mars as a solo artist has had a lot of success, so why is he now collaborating with another artist to continue it? It is becoming increasingly more popular among artists that are decreasing in popularity to “reinvent” themselves. Times are changing quickly and these artists are being forced to adapt. Bruno Mars’ top three songs on his personal Spotify consist of all songs released earlier than 2017 and his last solo album was released in 2016, almost six years ago. The theory is that Bruno Mars sensed his irrelevance and had to think of something out-of-the-box to stay a household name and continue in this industry; and he isn’t the only artist that has this problem.

The new, young shining star of the music industry, Olivia Rodrigo, had an extremely successful night at the Grammys winning “Best New Artist,” “Best Pop Solo Performance” and “Best Pop Vocal Album.” Rodrigo’s rise to fame was quick, starting in 2020 in the TV show “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series.” After her single, “All I Want” (featured in the TV series) left the younger generation praising her, she released her first ever album, “SOUR,” in 2021.

“SOUR” became one of the biggest sensations in the music industry. It rapidly shot to the top of all music charts and became many teenage girls’ favorite break-up anthem album. Many critics are comparing her to the singer/songwriter sensation Taylor Swift (who also quickly rose to the top of the charts and started her career at a very young age). Rodrigo was only 18 years old when “SOUR” was released and is now one of the youngest artists to be awarded with multiple Grammys for one album. 

The fast-paced environment of today’s industry can be a good thing (example being Rodrigo’s quick success), but it can also create issues for other artists that are losing their relevance. One of these musicians being the young artist Billie Eilish

Eilish started her music career in 2016 with the release of a single, “Ocean Eyes,” which became very popular among the younger generation. She then came out with her first album “dont smile at me” in 2017, and then another album “WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?” in 2019, which gained an insane amount of popularity and made for a fantastic sold out tour. After her 2019 album lost its relevance, so did she. Her newest album, “Happier Than Ever,” released in 2021 was nominated for seven different categories but unfortunately Eilish left empty handed.

 Eilish is also a young artist like Rodrigo, so it is very telling to see her walk away with no awards after only being in the spotlight for roughly five years. In recent years, it would take an artist three years to gain the spotlight and to have been removed, but times have changed. The music industry is either going to have to conform to the changing times by releasing content quickly and repeatedly switching its tactics, or artists will have to accept their short rise to fame and find other careers. 

The music industry and its spotlight was already hard enough to be a part of, but now more than ever, artists are going to experience a struggle with a balance between the changing times and their own identity. 

Contact Avery Hamlin at [email protected]