Here we have part 3 of our series in creating a hit Youtube video. In our previous segments we covered the three essentials for music videos: sex, classic convertibles and choreography. Today, we are going to talk about raw talent. On Youtube there are millions of people trying to get their videos seen. Justin Bieber and Vanessa Black are examples of the power of mass media. How did music stars get discovered before Youtube came along? Well many played in small clubs and were discovered by scouts working for record labels seeking new talent. Others simply grew in popularity locally until sheer mass required record labels sign them up. Music history is filled with lots of interesting tales.
Raw talent is a rare commodity these days when auto-tuning, lip syncing and other gimmicks act as a poor substitute. The ballad singer is the ultimate test of talent. For they must play, perform and usually do so in a live arena without studio-tweaking to make them sound good.
Let's take a look at some crooners who achieved fame on their vocal talents and not much else. Let's go back, back, back to the early seventies where Karen Carpenter hit the big time with her voice and little else, here playing Close to You:
Suzanne Vega came on the scene in 1986 with her vocal talents, here with Luka:
She was not a creation of synthetics, did not need to rely on sex, convertibles or choreography. Sure she was packaged for mass consumption after her rise to stardom, but she can still perform today live and churn out her work and sound good.
Here we see Jewel, in 1997, who rose in this period to musical stardom based on pure talent:
Recently, the proliferation of award and talent shows has brought back raw talent in some quarters. Names like Faryl Smith, Paul Potts and Jackie Evancho are now well known and not for anything besides pure talent and successful promotion skills.
So, while it's clearly not prevalent that talent is always rewarded, and more often than not gimmicks replace talent throughout much of the music industry, it is possible for talent to prevail. It usually just takes longer. The agents and record labels all are in this business to make money and they want to be sure they have a marketable commodity. Rebecca Black is a marketable commodity because almost 200 million people have clicked on her video to see how bad it is. Marketing and packaging have created many stars who can't play an instrument or carry a tune.
As the internet hooks up more people to it and as sites like Youtube keep expanding it becomes harder and harder to get exposure - even though it seems the reverse should be true. The news industry and now the music industry are largely driven by internet traffic patterns. As I've mentioned before, web sites aren't rated on quality (imagine if they were!) or even time they have been around, they are completely weighted by web traffic, and the link traffic they receive. So the inertia for a new artist is incredible.
So what is the solution? How do you get to the top? Well, one has to get exposure and these days, that means web exposure. On youtube people regularly "respond" to popular videos with one of their own and in this way can tap some of the traffic and generate more hits. Eventually a youtube video will achieve critical mass and get enough links from other weighted sources to lift it up to public consciousness. What exact number of hits that is varies, but it is a sizable amount.
I started a new category here on the blog, it's called NEW TALENT and you will find a new pick every month, someone whom I feel has great talent but is not receiving the exposure they deserve. You will find Tech1's NEW TALENT of the Month in the sidebar. For this month of May 2011, the artist is Alexandra and she writes and composes her own songs. I think she is quite gifted and I hope she can break through the inertia and achieve her dreams. Here is another one of her original songs titled Myths About Forever:
Nothing is impossible. If you have talent and perseverance you can prevail. Before you do pursue such a destiny, make sure you really want it. Sometimes fame, wealth and all that goes with it, is a curse and not a blessing.