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DOWNEY – For an artist today to be able to be considered among the greats like The Beatles, Michael Jackson, Metallica and so on, it takes more than just hit singles and heavy promotion in order to make it to the top. A loyal fan base, evolving sounds and a little help from the Internet have propelled artists like Kanye West and Lady Gaga to legendary status, a feat that is virtually unanimous whether you enjoy their music or not.
“I personally believe the music industry today is improving for the better,” said Downey resident Angela Castelli. “I really thought how Lady Gaga sold her “Born This Way” album for 99 cents on Amazon was a completely bold move and it definitely helped her reach the million mark for the debut week, which is huge for today’s times. Love her or hate her, you can see her influence in every pop artist out there and not only in clothing and records, but just how she distributes herself to her fans. I feel like there wasn’t really a strong fan connection until she came around.”
In addition to how Gaga has managed to navigate the art of fan interaction and secure strong album sales, her sound continues to impress and captivate audiences everywhere, much like her contemporary, Kanye West. While Kanye is no stranger to publicity, both good and bad, he is no fool in the game of marketing music that is always different and having the ability to leave a lasting mark on all of popular music.
“Kanye West is [also] indeed a trend setter,” said Downey resident Carlos Gomez. “His “808s and Heartbreaks” record spawned a full year of auto-tuned music and electronic beats. Not all would agree that they [West and Gaga] are the most talented artists, but their impact left on the direction of pop music is undeniable.”
For all of the different flavors of music that are available today, going back and listening to the artists that paved the way for the likes of Kanye West, Lady Gaga, and other current innovators in music today is extremely important.
“I think artists from the past are very much important to music of today,” said Downey resident Alex Dantic. “I don’t think the kids nowadays really look into listening to artists from the past that paved the way. It should be relevant today because you have to know where one has come from. For example, one should know that if it wasn’t for Michael Jackson, we would have no Chris Brown or Justin Timberlake or Usher.”
-Joseph Apodaca, intern
Published: June 2, 2011 – Volume 10 – Issue 7