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  • HARSH REALITY

    1. Feb. 2009, 20:43

    Our relentlessness at bringing a talented artist closer to the public’s ears has become a Herculean task. The industry is balking but we’re not vindictive. They face an even greater challenge.

    There’s another great artist on MySpace, going by the name of “Selen”, who’s experiencing similar difficulties releasing her first album. The five songs posted on her playlist are equally great, which is outstanding in comparison to industry standards yet, there’s no bite. Another French group, “Hotel” show phenomenal talent yet, they’re struggling with a first album issuing only a thousand copies. I got myself the album and, I have to say, it’s quite impressive. Another group, “Catleya” who had released their first album in September 2007 and, despite being name “Year’s Revelation” are being shun. And what about Naïla back home whose first effort should have warranted much greater press coverage? Nothing!

    I omitted to say that all 5 aforementioned artists produce French-speaking pop-rock and all five are clearly demonstrating incredible timeless potential. So, why are they being ignored? All of them are continually accumulating fans on their MySpace page profile and the comments are all showering these respective artists with praise. So again, why are they being ignored?

    Did you know that, according to CRIA, in Quebec, the last two months of 2008, only three French-speaking artists did very well in the sell-through charts? A first album consisted of Christmas songs, the second was a compilation of duets with various known artists and the third was a 70’s cover compilation. The one common denominator that resonates here is the extreme comfort zone sought by buyers. None were one-hit wonders, no surprises and no need to acquire a taste for the artist.

    I believe that there are two groups of CD purchasers, those who will never be threatened by the uncomfortable novelty aspect and stick to hardcore simplicity while others could easily be qualified as thrill seekers. Unfortunately, over the years, that second group has branched off in so many directions that it has created small diluted niches. Another fascinating aspect of the latter is their constant hunger for new artists, new material, new shows, etc. The moment the supply chain fails them they will show no loyalty and move on to another. Just stroll through a few French-speaking MySpace fan pages and listen to what they’ve got posted on their respective individual playlist… not a hell of a lot of French music!

    And yes, we can go and blame illegal downloads to a certain degree but, it’s not the only culprit. Great music needs to be heard and if the product warrants it, the majority of fans will purchase whether the CD, DVD or online download.

    So, that being said, I’m urging International artists and, not that I think that choosing the English language is purely spitefully intentional, to please help stop senseless mind numbness and encourage their fans to listen to music in other languages as well, be that it may, French, Italian, Spanish, etc.

    As an artist yourself I can only portray you as a defender of the Arts and given such status I implore you to understand the harmful effects of a unilingual music industry and the subsequent potential collapse of many other linguistic means. Not that such extinction will occur overnight but, given some time and reckless aim, humanity faces cultural annihilation. If there is one lesson to be learned out of all this it’s the appreciation for diverse languages and arouse the curiosity within.

    Again, at the risk of repeating myself, in Quebec alone during the months of November and December 2008 only 3 albums from French speaking artists sold volume. One was a Christmas compilation, the second consisted of one’s duets with other artists and the third was a’70s cover compilation. Yet, English artists did quite well on the charts in Quebec around the same time. Sales of CDs are trending downward but they haven’t completely ceased.

    Personally, I believe that francophone fans, tired of waiting incessantly for something different and for more than one artist to stand out, have given up. Ironically, right now, French pop rock music has never been as great!

    If the thought of this steering your fans away from your material has crossed your mind, you couldn’t be farther from the truth. If one thing stems from all this it will be you perceived as a hero, a compassionate and altruistic humanitarian believing in the right cause!

    So, for the sake of Art, please help stop the senseless mind numbness.

    Respectfully,


    - Zaratt