Taylor Swift guidelines the airwaves! However that’s dangerous information for music | Arwa Mahdawi

Taylor Swift guidelines the airwaves! However that’s dangerous information for music | Arwa Mahdawi

The US could also be a republic, however it nonetheless has a queen. Her identify is Taylor Swift and her reign is just simply getting began.

The 33-year-old just lately grew to become the primary lady, and solely the third artist ever, to have 4 albums within the High 10 of the US album chart concurrently. The solar by no means units on Swift’s empire: membership nights that play solely Swift songs have popped up within the UK and Australia, whereas her Eras tour is on observe to be probably the most profitable ever; it’s anticipated to crack $1bn in income.

However her concert events aren’t placing cash into the singer’s pockets alone; they’ve boosted the hospitality industries in cities the world over, making severe economists listen and giving rise to the idea of “Swiftonomics”.

Swift is an especially gifted musician and performer. Her success is nicely deserved. Nonetheless, her dominance of the airwaves has a unfavourable facet. The ever-present nature of Swift – the truth that you’re virtually assured to listen to her should you change on the radio or meander down a excessive road – doesn’t simply converse to her skills, but additionally to the homogenisation of pop music. It’s not simply your creativeness: a rising physique of analysis exhibits that each one fashionable pop music sounds the identical.

In 2012, for instance, the Spanish Nationwide Analysis Council printed an evaluation of practically half one million songs launched between 1955 and 2010, which confirmed that the “variety of … be aware combos … has persistently diminished within the final 50 years”. And pop music isn’t simply changing into extra comparable; taste-makers are additionally specializing in a smaller subset of songs. “Radio stations … are pushing the boundaries of repetitiveness to new ranges,” famous a 2014 article in the Atlantic. “High 40 stations final 12 months performed the ten largest songs virtually twice as a lot as they did a decade in the past.”

An more and more data-driven music business means there’s a rising concentrate on replicating hits and much much less house for nurturing originality. Expertise might have given us a number of new methods to take heed to music, however more and more we’re listening to the identical outdated tune.

Arwa Mahdawi is a Guardian columnist

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