Music and artists; does behaviour matter?
By Maddie Anandarajah
Does the fact that Ariana Grande licked doughnuts she did not intend to purchase at a bakery store make you less inclined to listen to her music? Perhaps her rudeness toward the workers. Or her short-lived disdain for America. Fat-shaming?
Should personality play a role in a singer’s success? So we are talking any social attachments we as an audience make (so this might be a completely fictional assumption or hard facts) to the singer.
For example, would you listen to the songs of someone who seems to have a dubious personality? If your answer is yes, would you stop listening to a singer if he/she consistently displayed questionable behaviour?
Or if you are a feminist, if the singer you listen to has a history of perpetuating sexist beliefs, would this play a role? On the flip side, if you are against gay rights but recognize Sam Smith as a talent what would you chose? Are you able (or do you even want to) separate parts of an artist that you disapprove of due to political or social reasons in order to continue to listen to their music, effectively disassociating yourself from these traits? Or are you able to consciously acknowledge these while simultaneously enjoying the content they produce?
Does the fact that Taylor Swift is a serial dater put you off? Does this in turn affect the way you view her songs and lyrics; spiteful/revenge filled and childish? Alternatively do you see a singer drawing from her life experiences to write personal songs as is the norm?
Is Justin Bieber a guilty pleasure by the way he presents himself, topless , DUIs and peeing in buckets make you hide it which would mean it does not stop you from listening to the music but social perception of your fellow peers is a pull factor toward denying that you do.
It possibly relates to how deeply you feel about the trait that you perceive negatively. If a singer is found to be a paedophile which of course breaks numerous deeply engrained ethics, morals and of course laws, it would be more likely for you to turn away. Disassociating paedophilia is a much harder task. Whereas Bieber peeing in a bucket is a little off putting at most, but little to do with the music he puts out there.
Let’s flip this on its head. Would you try to listen and try to like someone’s music because they displayed outstanding character, or identify themselves similarly to you or follow your political disposition?
Or One Direction; you find their music compelling but the fact that they were not organically found but put together by the mastermind that is Simon Cowell in a show that is very much controversial in its selection process. You would be more inclined to understand the influence a fan may have since it indirectly casts doubt on their music abilities.
If you are racist- do you listen to a white hip hop artist even though the genre was born within the African American community and is continued to be strongly associate with this population?
There are more sub factions, countless. Where does it affect you?
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