Taken from this week’s Future Pop mailer. Click here to subscribe.
When TV talent shows became huge in the early 2000s, one of the main criticisms levelled at the winners by bitter musicians and grumpy music fans was that they hadn’t “earned” their success by playing “the toilet circuit.” The idea was that success shouldn’t come without struggle. A decade later, that attitude is all but eradicated. Now, artists whose success wasn’t overnight want us to think it was. Hotly-tipped British singer-songwriter Lawrence Taylor has conquered Hype Machine, Soundcloud and Spotify with his track Bang Bang, supporters include Zane Lowe and Annie Mac, and the song soundtracks a new Tom Ford advert. He tweeted his excitement about selling out his “debut headline show,” but it only took a minute on Google to find out he’s played hundreds of gigs, corporate events and weddings, and headlined Camden’s Jazz Café last year. His management apparently removed old videos totalling over 100k views from YouTube “as they will affect future branding.” It’s a smart move and will undoubtedly help Lawrence secure a major label deal, but it also says a lot about the prejudices of the music industry today, and how dramatically they’ve changed since the time when pop was a dirty word and authenticity was everything. I’m glad people see that a fast rise to fame doesn’t mean that it isn’t deserved, but the long route, with the hard work and determination it requires, is still worth applauding too.