There’s been a fairly mental reaction to our last blog post which was initially a frustrated joke rant. I’d like to redress the balance a little bit by getting serious, Lily stylee.
Lily Allen was a silly girl, in my personal opinion, for her stance on illegal file sharing and here’s why:
First and foremost, she herself allegedly used this very tactic to gain fame. I personally believe her fame is a result of her father’s musician mates writing some catchy as hell tunes and his big-shot cronies employing some major-label viral marketing strategy to shoot her into the public eye. However, if you buy into the “local girl blogger makes good” fairytale then you have to buy into the “by making mixtapes available to file sharers who read her blog” part of the story too. Of course she has a beaming personality, and that helps, but for the love of God please stop pretending you’re hard done by.
The fact that she has publically criticised a coalition comprised of artists such as Radiohead’s Ed O’Brien and accused them of having “the biggest Ferrari collections in the world” is a serious lack of judgement. Radiohead just so happen to use ecologically friendly stage lighting and sell merchandise made from recycled bottles. That may be beside the point but Lily’s old man Keith doesn’t exactly fit into the public-sector-worker bracket either, and that is not.
For Lily to proceed by making a stand for struggling musicians, something she has never been and never will be, is a joke. We can fight our own battles thank you very much.
“When you manage to get a contract, all those pretty videos and posters advertising your album have to be paid for and as the artist, you have to pay for them.”
We know how record label advances work. If you don’t recoup that money the label takes the hit. Most struggling artists don’t ever get this opportunity. Some of them aren’t particularly interested in having it. Needless to say Alan obviously doesn’t feel her posters or videos are pretty.
“You might not care about this, but the more difficult it is for new artists to make it, the less new artists you’ll see and the more British music will be nothing but puppets paid for by Simon Cowell.”
This is a painful, painful comment from somebody who is themselves a neatly packaged product. The fact that the industry is clogged up with such products makes it nigh-on impossible for other musicians who go through a mundane 9 to 5 existence or live off the dole to fund their passion.
If Lily is ready to chuck her musical career over a bit of controversy then maybe, just maybe, she’s not in it for the music after all but instead for the adulation.
“And it’s not like there aren’t alternatives to illegal downloads anyway. Sites like Spotify give us access to new music and different music without having to rip someone off – you can listen to tracks and see if you like them before you buy them. Then obviously there’s MySpace, that streams music and helps acts like me get enough fans to convince record companies to sign us up” …….. “File sharing’s not okay for British music. We need to find new ways to help consumers access and buy music legally, but saying file sharing’s fine is not helping anyone – and definitely not helping British music. I want to get people working together to use new digital opportunities to encourage new artists.”
Again, who is paying you and how much? Prehistoric record labels are rightly getting just deserts after years of raping their artists’ (read employees’) talent. The independent artist is now thriving thanks to the internet and long may it continue. Perhaps Lily’s real fear is for the future of multinational companies with the power to create superstars out of their CEO’s best mate’s daughters.
Regardless of how good or bad any given struggling musician may be people like Lily Allen create barriers for entry. They most certainly do not break them down. Radiohead overcame this barrier and who exactly is Miss Lily Allen to debate the best interests of struggling musicians with them.
In her defence I can almost comprehend that Lily may have had the right intentions at heart. However coming out and criticising artists with real integrity and the desire to give back to their fans is not the way to go about it. It’s not alright.
Lots of love