Music Predictions for 2015

Music Predictions for 2015
– Hip hip will further decline. Every year it’s gotten a little worse. Drake and Iggy Azalea somehow bucked the trend. If it wasn’t for producer DJ Mustard carving out his signature pop / hip hop sound, it would all but be dead in the mainstream.

It just got stale. Nobody is coming up with anything innovative except for Kanye West and Kendrick Lamar. Everybody sounds like everybody else and it became a caricature of itself. Hip hop had a great reign. A 20 year dominance. But music for better or worse, is always evolving and if you don’t evolve the sound, it will die a cold death. Hip hop has done itself in the same way 80’s hair bands did. It’s a niche sound now. Never take your audience for granted.

– Major labels will continue to dominate the airwaves of top 40 radio. It’s just too hard to break through radio without some kind of behind the scenes marketing support. All the labels have the relationships with the radio programmers. It’s politics. Plain and simple. Major labels still hold the keys to the radio airwaves and it’s not gonna change anytime soon.

– Rita Ora is going to be the breakout artist of the year. She’s already technically a “celebrity”, but mainly in the UK. This year she becomes a household name. She has an album coming out this year that I hear is amazing. A role in the upcoming movie 50 Shades of Grey that every woman in America will probably go see while they drag their husbands along with. Plus, she has the same brilliant management team that helped break Iggy Azelea and Lana Del Rey. It’s the perfect storm. 2015 is the year of Rita Ora

-Spotify will get heavy streaming competition. Look to see new upstarts try to knock Spotify off it’s throne. Youtube already is the place everyone goes to hear a song quickly. But it’s making it’s own fully streaming service just like Spotify. Will be interesting. One thing is for sure, streaming only becomes a more dominant form of the way we listen to new music.

-The concert business will only get stronger. The economy is better. It’s the best way to experience music. And now, it’s really the only guaranteed money for artists anymore. It’s their bread and butter. So they have to tour now more than ever. Madonna was music’s top money maker in 2013 earning 34 million dollars. 32 million was just from her tour. That left 2 million just for all record sales. It’s a sad truth.

Mixing “World on Fire” by Chris Webby feat. Skrizzly Adams

Chris Webby just released a new album.  I did the mix for the song “World on Fire”.  This song is a bit special for me because Atlantic recording artist Skrizzly Adams is featured on the hook.  If you don’t know who Skrizzly Adams is yet, you definitely will. Skrizzly just signed a deal with Atlantic Records and we’ve been locked up in the studio together the past 4 months producing and mixing his debut E.P. and album. I can’t wait till this music gets released to the public. Skrizzly is gonna be something special. Don’t think I’ve heard anybody doing the kind of music he’s bringing to the table. It kind of remind me of Bruce Springsteen but with a dirty urban vibe. Plus, he’s from Jersey. So hopefully The Boss would approve.

Drake “6 God”

So Drake ended up leaking a few songs on his birthday for his upcoming album “Views from the 6”. Ken Lewis and I did additional music on the song “6 God” that was leaked out of the batch. That crazy orchestral part of the beat that’s repeating is us. Excited this record finally got released. Felt like I  had to hold my tongue about this song forever. Here’s a link from youtube.

No Platinum albums in 2014? Just Shake it off.

Taylor Swift "Shake it off"

Until Taylor Swift’s 1989 album came out this week, there were no platinum albums to be had this entire year. That’s a first ever in the music industry and it’s unfortunately going to become the norm as music gradually becomes more singles oriented, and streaming officially takes over for good.

That CD player in your computer. Kiss it goodbye. Apple already did.

I do applaud Taylor Swift’s camp for taking all her albums off of Spotify, I’m sure it helped contribute to some of the big sales (though the marketing and single behind that album has been brilliant) but I honestly think Spotify isn’t the recording artists biggest enemy. Youtube should be holding that high honor. Youtube pays artists even less of what Spotify dishes out and has an audience that dwarfs Spotify’s (by the way, Spotify claims it pays roughlt 0.6 cents per stream to artists, which really isn’t all that bad compared to Pandora ,which is a house of horrors and whole another post in itself).  If I wanted to right now, I could probably find Swift’s whole 1989 album streaming on Youtube in about 5 minutes. EVERYONE still goes to Youtube first for music. Yes, Spotify has been making strides in streaming every year, but Youtube is still the biggest baddest streaming website out there. It just is. And that’s where the real fight for artists royalties should began. Because the money clearly isn’t going to becoming from album sales. Soon, the gold record will become obsolete as well.

If you’re a  recording artist, you have to be aware of this. Radio still dominates for singles. Pop culture doesn’t care about your masterpiece 10 song album. I do

The internet killed the CD, which doubled back and killed the itunes store for good measure. Streaming is here and it’s the future. Or you can just shake it off like Ms. Swift.