Is Aesthetic In Music More Vital Now Than Ever?
The streaming era has given emerging artists a more accessible way of sharing their music, but with an enormous pool of emerging artists, is aesthetic vital to an artist’s success?
Aesthetic has always been an essential aspect of music. Musically, lyrically, or visually, it is what defines and separates every
artist/band from their contemporaries. The listener is immediately pulled into the artist’s/band’s aesthetic, and is able to
gravitate more towards their musical sound or visual style, which the listener may find relatable, intriguing, or simply both.
Take Beyoncé for example, a highly praised entertainer for well over two decades whose musical aesthetic jumps from
southern RnB to Pop, and most importantly, whose lyrical and visual aesthetic centers on the ideas of feminism and black
empowerment. These attributes allow her to separate herself and form her own identity in music and culture.
The rise of streaming and music-sharing websites have given listeners new ways to discover emerging artists and new releases
from already established acts. One can easily log into Spotify and go on a musical journey to the music of the 60’s, 90’s,
2000’s, and the present day. Established acts like Drake, Kendrick, and Kanye are able to release music into the hands of
listeners in a more accessible way. Most importantly, aspiring artists sprawling from many musical genres are able to be given
a platform to promote and spread their music across many websites like SoundCloud and Spotify, making their work available
for the millions and millions of people who might stumble upon it and take a listen. The most rewarding aspect of the
streaming era is that since music can get around at a faster rate, the chances of an aspiring or established act scoring a
successful song or album are high.
With all of the positive aspects of the streaming era, there is an underlying issue, the oversaturation of music, especially with
emerging artists. In this time, because we as the listener are exposed to various genres of music and artists, we have hundreds
of songs and albums waiting to be found and heard, as well as new artists all fighting for our attention. The musical landscape
has always been somewhat of a competition, with emerging acts coming out and vying for success and a dedicated fanbase. In
this era, emerging acts are now cast into a bigger pool, filled with thousands of artists of the same genre and aesthetic. If your
a synth-pop based newcomer, or a rap newcomer, chances are that there are other aspiring artists with the same sound and
visual look, who are competing with you in sharing their music and reaching as many listeners as possible.
With this issue at hand, the question to ask might be, “Is Aesthetic In Music More Vital Now Than Ever?” I can argue that yes,
aesthetic is more vital in this streaming age now than ever before. Self-expression is a wonderful thing, and those who choose
to express it in music are creating a strong bond between themselves and the many listeners around the world. Everybody
perceives the world differently, and by adding your own unique perception into your music and visuals, you are creating your
own musical identity, which in turn invites listeners who hear about your music or visual style, to invest time in listening and
taking in your body of work, which then may lead to more listeners approaching your work, and you may find yourself
growing a loyal fanbase. Without a musical identity, the listener is unable to separate you from your contemporaries, which in
turn may lead to them forgetting your work or moving on to other artists of the same genre. Now, more than ever, aesthetic
plays an essential role in the artist’s career, whether it be musically, visually, or lyrically.