what sells, and what survives

if you’re looking to make an impact, there’s a variety of avenues to walk down. the two specific alleys in this post are quick sales versus lasting impressions. i can’t say whether you consider yourself a creator or not. if you do, you’ll have an opinionated response already forming. that’s alright because i have one too.

judgement is a fickle activity; it helps us figure out who we want to be. the trouble comes when we skip the personal reflection and only focus on the emotion. during this post, there’ll be evaluations and opinions. they’re not meant to target anyone’s character. they’re meant to frame how i want to live. by experiencing the negatives of my personality, i find the positives.

i dislike most mainstream music. whenever i browse for new music on apple music (i’ve used spotify and it’s the same), i really struggle to find meaningful music. the alternative music sounds like the 80s. the electronic music pounds a steady bass line meant for drugged-up dance halls. even the folk is commercialized. and last but not least, we have the hip-hop/rap genre. what i wish i could call my home.

the songs sound similar from subpar artists riding waves of previous hits. there’s nothing wrong with auto tune and trap piano. it’s just overused. the lyrics follow suit, assembling the same collection of expressions:

cars. women. money. power. women. money. dominance. power. cars. money.

we get it, okay? but i don’t hear you because i don’t listen.

that’s it for the path to quick sales. create what’s already successful and you’ll become part of the trickle effect, catching the listeners who aren’t yet finished with that style.

the approach i take to writing music matches my approach to searching for it. i’m looking for a spark, for emotion, for resonance, for truth, for humanity.

humanity comes in many forms, which is why i can proudly declare my library is filled with strange assortments of pitches. why can’t there be a genre for the dignified creative expression of humanity? 

when rappers talk about learning from JAY-Z’s 4:44 album, it’s because he created worthwhile content deserving of a student. but more importantly, if the music drives its creative listeners to in turn create their own music, that is a true miracle. why? because we are using music to fuel a circle of life within the industry. we need meaningful pieces of art to inspire us to paint our own. because when we create, we’re alive.

music can be about more than the revenue. why can’t the streaming services see that? why do they have to sacrifice quality to fill queues with the same drab until it’s a lifeless slump of gray grease stuck to the roof of our mouth?

when i write, i consistently challenge myself to do something different. i want you to notice the varicose vein bulging off the otherwise unnoticed body of work. that drive is what i believe people relate to and understand. more so, that drive to innovate is what pushes them to pursue life more fully.

there’s what sells, and what survives. what are you trying to do? 

– D K T


life ends. why pretend

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