When I was a young lad playing music in my teens and 20s, before the Internet took over, me and the rest of my fellow musicians made music that we considered to be un-classifiable. We didn’t want to be called things like alternative, punk, grunge, hardcore, indie rock, math rock or any of that stuff. It was considered pretty lame to classify your music something and if it fit neatly into one of those categories you were doing something pretty wrong.
This is basically the opposite of what 20 somethings do with their music these days. Everything is about internet exposure, and how you get that is by manipulating and exploiting trending micro-genres, keywords, and cliques on the internet. The problem with this is a homogenizing effect on music, not just pop music, but all music. The more people try to conform to Synthwave, Vaporwave, Chiptunes, Sadcore, Trap, or whatever else, the more they just sound like everything else in that net-scene.
I’m not saying that all of the artists making music in those styles are bad, but I am saying there’s a problem with fit too neatly into categories. This is the very definition of thinking WITHIN the box. The fact that my music doesn’t really fit neatly into any category has made it very hard to market online, but also is what makes it special (at least to me).
So what can be done about this? I’m not totally sure. I have tried in the past with the blog version of my Anthill Recordings Label to help promote good music that’s hard to classify. But then I’m stuck with the task of how to market that blog itself?!
I think this is really up to the artist and their integrity. If people want to create unique and original music, they will. People that are into music just to gain a little notoriety, will most likely be concerned with fitting neatly into whatever sub-genre that want to target, and those with creative integrity will not concern themselves with this and will most likely be heard by less people. Maybe this is the new underground.
Maybe now that this site has a bit more traction and popularity than in the past, I can use this as a place to share some hard to classify music I think is good. I’m not sure how I’ll tag it though. This is a pretty big problem it seems. I’m not the only one thinking this either. Last night I was having a discussion about this with my friend Fornax Void, and he brought up many of the points I’m making in this post.
If you feel like you’re making great music that you can’t fit into a neat category, by all means send it to me in the comments section of this post. I’d love to hear it.