Submitted by Peter Åstedt
I have just played fifteen songs that have come in one way or another in my different roles as editor, playlist maker, radio DJ, and festival curator. The problem I have is that none of the songs had that quality to make it any further. To be honest they all were in the demo stage in the songwriting process. They were recorded ok, not professionally but ok recorded.
In the end, it’s just not good enough. These songs can never find it’s way to a bigger audience. The craftsmanship is not there. It’s not enough that your mother and a couple of your friends find the songs well.
And here is the biggest mistake that artists are doing right now. They read about all the tips and tricks that industry professionals (just like me) are giving away for free on all different channels all the time. The problem is that we are all talking about when a song is good. When it’s a hidden gem that could with the right marketing reach a bigger audience. The biggest problem is that 97 % of all songs that are given out don’t have that quality. And for these songs, it would be like putting make-up on a pig to follow the instructions that these professionals are giving.
I was at a seminar the other day with a PR pro that was talking to a bunch of new artists. The PR person had some good tips and tricks on how to build a fan base, how to interact, and do cool merchandise. The problem was that all the artists in the room didn’t have the songs to match it up with. I knew because I had heard all their songs before in a listening session. The whole thing was pointless. It was good information spent on something that can’t get to a bigger audience anyway.
I feel right now this is getting a bigger and bigger problem. We know that many of the digital outlets are cheated. A lot of crap music gets a lot of attention that it’s not deserved to get. I know that many of these digital outlets are right now working hard to get rid of all that cheating since it’s killing even their business. The bigger problem I see is that it’s also lower the standard that many think is good enough to reach a big audience. A crap song can reach a big audience, that is true but it will never be legendary. It at its best be a novel song that is funny to hear but to make a song that holds on for years to come it’s a whole different story.
Right now, I just feel that the artist is throwing out mediocre songs just to find it to stick somewhere. To be able to do that they record and release a such a high speed that what they tend to send out is just a hurried mass-produced song to fill a gap in their social media.
Right now I just longing to get a good song. I hope it will turn up soon.
Editor’s Note: Peter Åstedt has been working in the music industry for over 30 years. He has started record labels, distribution systems, and publishing companies. Peter also runs several major showcase festivals and is an advisor for INES and co-founder of MusicHelp/Discover Sensation. He has worked with the Top Ten most streamed songs and had music on both the Olympics and Super Bowl. Peter has currently taken up the seat of Station Manager of Cashbox Radio, working with MD, PD and station owner, Sandy Graham. In 2021, he worked as the European Consultant for Heal the Earth – An Earth Day Celebration. His latest venture is a new Showcase Festival in Sweden, Future Echoes futureechoes.se/. As well, Peter is Managing Partner and Editor of the newly launched Record World International.