Lady Gaga Proving Modern Pop Artists As Good As They’ve Ever Been [VIDEO]
Lady Gaga killed at the Oscars, blowing the crowd away with show tunes.
Her medley from the Sound of Music had people in tears. It was a performance that made someone I know say the words, “She’s actually really talented.” They were surprised to see talent coming from a pop artist.
“I thought she was just a weirdo, I didn’t know she could actually sing so beautifully.”
There is a misconception out there. Many people think that the artists that we hear on the air aren’t really that talented. They think they are just lucky. Or they figured the new angle. Or they were in the right place at the right time.
And that kind of thing does happen. Sometimes, an artist that isn’t as good as the guy we know performing locally rises to the top because of timing, connections, because they had the right schtick, or some other reason besides talent, chops and hard work.
It does happen. But it’s rare.
Most of the people that you hear on radio or TV are not only very, very talented, but they also have the chops to to express that talent. Plus they have the most elusive of qualities--a real belief in themselves that didn't allow them to give up.
It’s really hard to get noticed. It’s even harder to turn that attention into an artistic career. When people make it, at least the artists that I’ve seen, they are usually pretty legit.
“Oh yeah, Lady Gaga...I didn’t realize that she was really that talented.” When I hear this, I think we’ve become a little bit too jaded. We are too suspicious of our pop artists' abilities.
The reason we doubt them is because of something that has been going on forever in the entertainment world. The aforementioned 'schtick' and timing has had one trick ponies sliding through, albeit in small numbers, since the days of recording began.
One hit wonders have been around forever, and in the past, they were usually also people who had some modicum of singing or playing ability.
In modern times, rap has changed who could become a famous and successful artist. It has made one hit wonders much more common than they used to be before.
To be a rapper, you don’t have to sing.
Rap can be just as much about cool as it is about music. Many of the rap hits come from those that are just the coolest people or group of the moment. They have the dance move. They have the producer making the perfect sound for that exact time. They blow up for one second and everyone goes crazy over their song or sound. This phenomena is not new, but it's more common since the advent of rap. Even more common still with the access people have to making music with computers.
I don't want to diminish what these flash in the pan sounds mean to us. Often, the one hit wonders are the biggest hits, they are the most fun to dance to, and they come to identify a time. I love them, and can't wait for the next one that has me dancing the way that Gangnam Style, Teach Me How to Dougie, Like a G6, Butterfly, Who Let the Dogs Out, Ridin' etc did.
Further, just because someone is a one hit wonder, doesn't mean that that they aren't good, or that they aren't artists.
One hit wonders and one trick ponies are people who can do one type of performance really well. Ask them to do something else, and they can't deliver as satisfactorily. However, they still have the talent to do that song or thing better than anyone else, and that is something special.
Plus, one-hit-wonder-ism is a large and essential part of the pop catalog. Always has been, always will be. Where would we be without Tommy Tutone, or Cali Swag District, for that matter. I don't want to live in a world without the Dougie.
What I'm saying is just because a group like the Cali Swag District may have walked the same red carpet as U2, that doesn't take U2 down to the level or quality of artistic output of CSD. And vice versa. I believe some people think that all pop artists are all really a bunch of no-talent hacks getting by on their looks. Or that they don't make music like they used to.
I think they do, and I believe that some of today's artists hold artistry in just as high esteem as anyone from history.
Lady Gaga's performance (and her career) showed me two things--pop artists are real artists, and that we should be happily celebrating the artistry that the modern world is bringing us. They are not only making art the way they used to, they are making it even better.