Collective Art is #Winning
By GLM Contributor, Brad Petty
The music industry is rapidly evolving. Making a hit is a process that is rarely initiated by an individual in isolation. Take, for instance, the superb hits created by artists hailing from Detroit. Lamont Dozier and brothers Brian and Edward Holland, Jr. helped write incomparable songs for many Mowtown artists. Motown is the most successful music collective to date.
Because the industry is changing so rapidly many artists are finding it incredibly difficult to make a living simply by producing great albums. Singles have surged back at the forefront of the musical litmus test for greatness. As in the Motown era, a prominent single will help secure cash flow.
Creating hit singles in the confines of a musical collective is not new to Rock and Hip-Hop but rather the players are new. Music collectives like the Wu-Tang Clan help establish longevity for several artists. In the spotlight are two up and coming music collectives that have helped promote critically acclaimed records.
The Wondaland Arts Society is home to Janelle Monae. Her 2010 album has been placed on the Top Ten lists of several major publications. The accolades are well warranted. Monae is a founding member of the society and with her success will be able to promote other members. The Wondaland Arts Society boasts:
We have created our own state, our own republic. There is grass here. Grass sprouts from toilet seats, bookshelves, ceilings and floors. Grass makes us feel good. In this state, there are no laws, there is only music. Funk rules the spirit. And punk rules the courtrooms and marketplace. Period.
In this state, there is no food. We eat books and season them with wine and cotton candy. When you want the news, you read a comic book.
There is also Love. Sex. Wisdom. Magic and Wonder. These things add up to something new and ancient that we call WISM. WISM makes us feel good. Who needs drugs when you’ve got WISM?
Indie Pop is a Los Angeles based collective that produced the hit Like a G6. What prompted this post was an episode of Carson Daily where the founders of Indie Pop, Devin Star Tailes, and The Cataracs explain how they came up with the Billboard Number One Charting Song:
Lamont Dozier, Brian Holland, and Edward Holland, Jr. were brilliant songwriters and producers. This was without a doubt the driving force behind the success of their records. RZA of the Wu-Tang Clan undoubtedly had an unique and insightful vision for a collective. A return to the small collectives may prove to be a platform that helps boost such talent to the forefront of American music.