“Gotta get up,
‘Cause you know the world is waiting.”
Mariah Carey sings in a hum-drum, almost irritated way.
As the plays on “Meteorite” increased on my personal player, I realized this song had much more to offer than the sparkling, future disco production by Q-Tip (who previously produced mega-hit “Honey” with Carey): an insightful metaphor.
Carey goes on to expose the fickleness of fame, and also give commentary on what the Internet has done to oversaturate and rock the music industry. For an artist that has seen and experienced this transition, it is quite an interesting perspective to hear.
Starting off, a pair of robotically altered Carey voices briefly introduce Andy Warhol’s infamous “In the future, everyone will be world famous… for fifteen minutes.” One could almost take this as a dig at some of up and comers that are often compared to Carey when they have a hit or two and can hold a note. She finishes the quote and giggles, letting you in on the joke.
With new apps, streaming sites and music blogs, it’s becoming easier to develop a fan base and garner attention to your talent, especially when you are producing it yourself and giving it out for free. While this is a great feat and has somewhat leveled the playing ground, it’s becoming more evident the ‘floodgate’ scenario this has created. With so much content and talent at our disposal, there also comes a bulk of pablum to sift through. “Can you keep up? Everyone you see is racing”, the THIRST is real and unfortunately contributing to the disposal of many great artists.
“Cause you got the night,
To light up the sky,
A meteorite in front of every eye.
A shooting star,
Your fame is the flame.”
The chorus reads as a warning to anyone seeking notoriety or fame. Be careful what you wish for. This also alludes to the shortened time stamp one has to create this successful career for yourself in a somewhat zombified industry. It also foreshadows their ultimate demise. While it may be easier to upload content and produce yourself, it’s that much harder to retain the original attention because of the oversaturation. Also of note is that for all of those wanting a new artist to succeed there are likely twice as many wanting to watch them to “burn out” or fail.
“As they watch you burn up, turned up, turnt up, all the way.
Give everything you have. The bar has been raised from what we expect from an artist or band. Gone, it seems, are the days of strictly singing, having a major label deal or having a catchy chorus, at least in terms of chart success. We require entertainment. This year we’ve had songs like “Selfie’” and “Turn Down For What” climb the Billboard charts. Their uniquely entertaining videos had a huge impact on their success, but these songs are blaring on radio stations and people’s iPods as well as being streamed without their visual content to back them up, which means people are clamoring to hear them. Of course there is no accounting for taste, but to an artist with a vision and dare I say, message, this is probably a bit difficult to swallow.
“Put on a show,
Try to make it entertaining.”
Perhaps the balance is pushing artists to also offer a bit more and get creative with their projects. Recent record sales by most veteran artists have been dwindling for some time and this could be their opportunity to learn something from the newer successful artists who have had to build on nothing. The current audience is caring less and less about past accolades, focusing on what is being offered to them now.
Music is constantly evolving and if the business aspect of the industry wants to catch up, it needs to be innovative instead of trend jumping because it often seems they are two steps behind. As much as this song works as a metaphor for up and coming artists, it also can serve as a dire warning for the industry in general.
Messages in music will always be prevalent whether completely obvious or a subtle nudge. You just have to be looking or rather listening for it. I challenge you to really listen to the next song you hear. What is it trying to tell you?
You can hear songs by Mariah Carey in many of our core offerings such as: Shine, FM1 and HotFM. Also check out the new album Me. I Am Mariah… The Elusive Chanteuse available now via Universal Music.
– Submitted by Tristan Bolden, Music Design