Originals or Covers?
Music gives a soul to the Universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. – Plato
Today, we call any song that isn't an original a "cover."
There was a time where an artist or band performing original numbers, getting the crowd going was ' the thing ' that music was all about. To write original lyrics, working on tunes and melodies, owning the track and getting people to love and groove to their music. They were either loved or hated by the people depending on the type of genres people liked. Some were just simply popular because of their catchy tunes. Nonetheless, it was all an effort…..to make music and be musical!
On the contrary now….living in the 'easy just click a button to get something done era'…..the music scene has changed completely. With a multitude of genres that suit all different sorts of people. It's hard enough already to know the difference of different genres under Rock, Blues, Country, Electronic, Folk, Pop, jazz, Hip-hop, R&B, Indie and more. Because each of the mentioned popular genres, have sub genres that cater to the label the type of music it belongs to. With Electronic music taking the world by storm, only people who absolutely love this genre would know the difference between Dubstep, EDM, Future Bass, Progressive, Industrial, Bit Bop, Electropunk.
This aside, it has become really difficult for aspiring artists of this generation to make it into the music world based only on their talent and abilities. There is a constant comparison to icons of the music world or popular singers who have all left a mark- to state the obvious- with their Originals!
There are a few musicians today who still play their original music who are widely respected and have a fan following. However, singing comes easy to most and doing covers of popular songs is the trendy way to showcase musical prowess. Sure enough a lot of people have good command when it comes to music knowledge and it is fun to play and jam to popular/classic tracks with friends, family and otherwise. Question is, do most artists stay stagnant in doing covers of popular artist to not work towards their own musical creativity to create their own originals?
The artist with the original may have heard several renditions of his/her song, maybe some even better and some not making the mark. At the end of the day, the original artist may or may not be glad that their song is popular and covered by others; they just know that they have made a mark and their music is out there being enjoyed. Their hard work paid off.
Singing competition television series and plays could be the main reason for the so called musical cover trend, wherein most people plagiarize the lyrics of popular global artist or musicals onto their own tunes. I guess creating an original is just too much hard work in this era where everything needs to be done the shortcut way.
Shows erupted with different dimensions in search for the 'talent' who could cover popular numbers and all in all it has just become business. This trend of doing covers never got over and for years now we have had even local artists do the same. Seems like gone are the days of a true struggling musician for all they do is covers and still expect to be called a musician.
A true musician knows what music truly is, works real hard with every aspect of it. From words penned down, to adding tunes to make a rhythm that would echo and make one feel alive while grooving to it. Moving and taking in every beat with words echoing through the soulful efforts made. In the end it may be well taken or not, again depending on the audience.
Nowadays, from choir bands, popular artist, struggling singers, bands and more….they are all good at what they do; booking shows at venues to get people to hear them sing. We enjoy their renditions in the moment, we hear them sing the same thing at the next show and it's still good. Then they sing different covers and they are still very good at it.
You then wonder, is that all the artist can do, be good?
Can he/she be better to get a crowd to enjoy their originals if they actually came up with one?
As audiences, are we comfortable to just listen to covers and be content with them?
Is this it? The near end or the end of an era of originals.
*All images used in this article is used as a pun related to the article headline.
–Nocy Rangsa Marak
The views reflected in this piece are that of the author and need not necessarily be that of TNT-The Northeast Today