Growing up, I owned a CD player. On my Christmas and birthday list, I’d ask for new CD. For the following few weeks (realistically, more like months) I’d play said album repeatedly. Eventually, no doubt, someone would lose their cool and yell at me. would it stop me though? possibly. (realistically, probably not). Growing up, I never really strayed from the pop charts and the music my sister played in her room (which was mainly Destiny’s Child and Spice Girls). 90s RnB is something I’ll forever be thankful for. But as I entered my terrible teens; I strayed into the rock/indie/alternative genres of music before embracing rap as well.
Canadian rapper, Drake rolled onto the music scene with his self-released mixtape in 2006 and has continued to grow into a global star; with his 2017 tour dates selling out. Since the release of his debut mixtape, he’s worked on projects yearly that have grown from a mixtape into an album; which has set a record for the most streamed album within 24 hours: More Life.
Drake’s entry onto the music scene has become revolutionary.
He’s gone from featuring on one of Nicki Minaj’s singles, to banging out album after album which features the likes of Rihanna, 2 Chainz, Lil Wayne. More Life has been described as a playlist containing original music, rather than an album release by the rapper himself and with More Life containing 22 tracks instead of the usual 12 tracks or less. Is this the beginning of a new era within the music industry?
We started off with the number one being the cause of albums being bought rather than downloaded. But now look where we are.
Has Drake, with his ‘playlist’, uncovered the next step of modernising the industry?
Take Spotify, for example, an app designed for streaming music which launched 9 years ago; today has a minimum of 50 million paying subscribers. Spotify’s known for it’s free access as well as playlists which are open to all listeners- with followers ranging from thousands, to tens of thousands and even hundred of thousands.
Whilst I think the move is daring; as all new movements are. I don’t think it’s necessarily unsmart. I’ve heard the nature of it being mocked on the radio however, when we look at the figures of teenagers and young adults; who the majority of these artists target their music for, spend the majority of their time on their phones or laptops where these kind of apps can be downloaded, it makes sense.
Take me for example. So, I’m a 19 year old and I must spend more than 3/4 of my day attached to either my phone or laptop. I’m either talking to people, reading tweets, or watching snapchat stories. It’s a smart move by Drake. We’ve established ourselves as this technological society. The target audience of these artists spends so much time listening to playlists when driving to and from places, in their bedroom or in a random café when doing work that it makes sense for the music industry to begin to use Spotify and Apple Music as a way of promoting their brands.
Sometimes, Drake isn’t my cup o’ tea.
But, don’t get me wrong; when he comes on a night out or on the car radio with friends. I am jamming. Especially when it’s “Fake Love” being blasted through the speakers. I just find with this track, no matter what kind of mood you’re in, you’re jamming. There’s something about the beat in this particular track that makes it easier to dance to in comparison to some of his other tracks. If you’re a hardcore Drake fan, you can probably find a way to rock a dance to any one of his tracks.
Drake’s new addition onto the music scene excites me for what someone else can pull out of the bag next. But where exactly can we go from here? Due to the success of Drake’s More Life playlist, are other artists going to follow in his footsteps? Either way, I’m excited for the outcome and what other artists are preparing in the background that we don’t know about.