We, as a society, have a shared conception that the true artist is one who makes thoughtful and provocative work unprovoked and organically, as if the true artist is untethered and concerned only with their inspiration and their creation. We also largely share a notion of authenticity as it relates to money that is nearly unattainable — we often think authenticity in art is corrupted by money, and artists who attempt to appeal to the market are “sell outs” (Barnard and Lindner 2019:3). Could this be true?

Well, having received a valuation of $19.1 billion for the year 2018, the music industry is encapsulated by money from end to end, and as such, it’s the money that largely dictates the trends and directions of all music being made, no matter if it’s popular or not. As music consumers, we wonder, does a piece of music lose authenticity if the artist or creator is being paid to create? Through a macro lens, we may never know for sure because there is simply no metric with which to measure such a phenomena. But through a micro lens, we see the traces of money’s influence on the music industry throughout, and specifically in the area of risk minimization and sampling. …





Owen Lynch

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