Submitted by Peter Åstedt
I was just looking at the new trend in Sweden “EPA-dunk” which you can say is like you mix punk music with bad disco stuff from the 90:s. More or less find yourself a pretty bad loop and just go for it. Fill it up with a lot of lyrics about drugs, parties, and sex and you have done your first EPA dunk song. It’s really nothing new it was the same when I was young, bad homemade stuff that we shared on cassette tapes back then like Eddie Meduza or Nerf Herder. And the same topics as well, nothing really new under the sun and to be upset about.
The phenomenon though has another side that is interesting. The leading artist in this genre has been doing it since 2017, but the first hit came in 2022 that really spread like a wildfire on TiktTok. The interesting part is that he releases a song a week or even two and has been doing so for the past years.
The formula right now is just to throw it on the wall and see if it sticks. If it does not stick, just throw some more and keep throwing. Since today’s algorithms work that way, it’s actually the best way to do it. And of course, the quality won’t be that good. And I have several examples of artists doing just that, releasing one or two songs a week. Never good songs, but hey the algorithm sees that you are alive.
I meet a songwriter a couple of years ago that was bragging that he had over 6000 songs written. No one had even bought one or used one as an artist he just had 6000 written songs. I listened to three of them and let’s say that the artist that releases a song a week is actually more talented than this dude. Just these three were total crap and they were the best according to him.
Here is the problem it’s not hard to write 6000 songs if they don’t have any quality. I can probably do that in two months. But what is the point? Sure if you had 6000 excellent songs that is a whole different story. Usually though when people have big amounts of songs just laying around it’s a warning sign.
One thing I learned when I went to become a scriptwriter was, you write and then you rewrite. And then you rewrite again, and again and again. Same here a song needs to go through quite many processes to become an iconic song. No, this stick-to-the-wall stuff will have a shelf life of three months and then they are gone. And with the new AI technology, almost anyone will be able to do it.
We have had YouTube now for 18 years and we are still going to Netflix to see new tv shows. Anyone can now actually do their own TV show. The technology is very cheap and with a good idea, you should be able to do it. So why hasn’t it happened? It cost money to produce really good shows and the pros who do shows sell these to co-operation like Netflix. Still, there should be some cool ideas that can be done for a low sum. Monty Python is not that costly to do. They had a lot of props that you can easily find in the thrift store. Was it that the Monty Python gang was so incredibly talented that no one can do a tv series like that? Or was it that they actually worked a lot with the material before they even got down to filming the stuff?
It’s not hard to do small video clips about sodas on TikTok and get an audience, but it will never hold the quality of being iconic.
I guess boundaries actually make you think of what you are creating. Right now it’s too damn easy to just create something and through it out there.
Editor’s Note: Peter Åstedt has been working in the music industry for over 35 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/ which is about to launch the newest edition in Canada in 2024, Future Echoes Toronto. Peter is a Managing Partner and Editor of the legendary Record World International and also sits on the Board of Directors for the Canadian-based charity, The Drive Foundation.