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Name a headlining artist from today’s Billboard Top 40 and there’s a definite chance that they won a Grammy this past Sunday. Even with the accumulation of underground artists and online streaming, it seems that many talented artists have been overlooked this year and in years past. In an age of music where popular artists have been plastered all over our Twitter and Facebook feeds, many artists have come and gone, not reaching their full potential because of a lack of a following. Sounds like that would be a problem for the artist to fix and not anybody else, right?
While some artists are busy updating their statuses and letting their staff of writers do all of the work, others suffer through long nights of painstaking frustration and editing to perfect their craft. A lot of them just end up claiming other’s original work and lip-synching through most (or all) of their performances. Bitter as that statement may sound, mediocrity has almost become a norm in the music industry. As long as it has a good beat, the song will sell. That’s not to say that all artists are like this, though.
For another example, Lorde’s ridiculously popular single “Royals” was co-written by herself, winning her two Grammys for Best Pop Solo Performance and Song of the Year. Being as young as she is at only 17-years-old in her first acceptance speech for Song of the Year, Lorde thanked her contributing writer Joel Little for nurturing her through her beginning stages of songwriting. After winning her second grammy, she simply reveled in the moment as she gleefully walked offstage, somewhat out of character for a girl who doesn’t smile much. As Louise Roe, fashion journalist and television presenter, stated in response to these wins at the Grammy Wrap-Up Show, “(Lorde as a) singer and cowriter- that’s cool to see”.
Have we really come to a point in our history where it’s so rare to see original musical work that we deem it “cool”, like some awkward oddity? What little hope we have for the future of music rests with the fans. My simple task that I ask of all of you is to go and support your local bands, drop by some house shows, find some random concert at a local high school or community center, check out artists on Sound Cloud or YouTube, and basically do anything you can to discover and spread some buzz for those who need their voice heard.

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