The pop industry is back in business. Both hipsters and mainstream lovers listen to artists like Enrique Iglesias, Katy Perry, Rihanna, and Nicki Minaj. The fan bases for these artists are growing daily on Twitter and Facebook. Justin Bieber has his “beliebers” and Gaga her “little monsters.” So no matter what people think, everyone can agree that pop artists have increasingly large followings today. However, here is my question about all of it: is the pop industry filled with artists or auto-tuned wannabes?
Artists like Blondie and Cyndi Lauper made it to the top in the ‘80s as a result of talent and good voices, not solely on sex appeal and outrageous public appearances. All our generation has to offer are music videos of scantily clad artists writhing around in body paint and glitter to club beats and auto-tuned tracks which vaguely resemble their voice.
For example, Ke$ha is one of today’s worst vocalists because, truthfully, she cannot sing; think about her hits “Tik Tok” and “We R Who We R.” It’s all auto-tuned. Britney Spears is notorious for lip-syncing and having horrible live performances. Her fame lies in the real-life emotional roller coaster ride so many tabloid readers follow.
However, there is hope. Not every artist is doomed to the same reputation of Ke$ha and Britney. One of today’s best examples of a true pop artist is Lady Gaga. Having both raw talent and a unique approach to music, Gaga has become one of the biggest stars in the industry with the intention of staying for a long time. Many criticize her artistry based on her bizarre fashion and public appearances (remember her egg show at the grammys?). Don’t get me wrong, I think she’s insane; however, if you take the time to do some research and focus more on her actual music rather than her public image, your opinion may change.
Gaga has her roots in both jazz and rock, performing in New York nightclubs as the lead singer of the Stefani Germanotta Band. She describes her influences being artists such as Queen and David Bowie, not cheap pop stars like those of today. As a performer, Gaga is undeniably one of the best. She made a vow never to lip-sync and has kept her word, giving some of the most incredible vocal performances. In my opinion, what makes her a true artist is not only the fact that she has incredible showmanship, but also that she is a rock singer doing pop while still appealing to millions all over the world. She isn’t a fake depending on auto-tune to carry her album. Gaga will go down in the books as one of the industry’s greatest pop artists.
I believe the pop industry has lost what it means to be a real artist. It relies on young men and women with sex appeal and the potential for a huge fan base in order to sell more records. If an artist cannot give a live performance worth the money their audience is paying to watch, they are not a real artist. A true artist makes music, not auto-tuned garbage.