Ahh, the entertainment industry. A haven of creativity. For visionaries and artists alike to innovate and create beautiful things for us to enjoy. Well, sort of…
I did some serious research when it came to this post, and sweet Jesus there is some major dick-swinging when it comes to the entertainment industry. Four companies have the entire mainstream entertainment industry on lockdown. Incorporating all components of their company within every product they spew out.
These giants are: Universal, Warner Bros, Sony and Disney.
To demonstrate what I mean, let’s take a look at some of the highest grossing films of 2016:
No. #1 – Finding Dory: Grossed $1.027billion, made by Disney.
The featured song for the soundtrack was Nat King Cole’s “Unforgettable”. Originally released in 1952 on Capitol Records – a subsidiary of the Universal Music Group. This version was a cover by Sia, a cover that I ironically can’t remember. Sia is currently signed to RCA Records – a subsidiary of Sony Music.
No. #2 – Zootopia: Grossed $1.023billion, made by Disney.
The featured song for that soundtrack was Shakira performing “Try Everything”. A very dark song, in which Shakira professes her burning desire to sniff, inject and smoke every drug known to mankind, before starting the whole process again. A cautionary tale in drug taking kids, it really can turn you into an animal. Also released by Sony Music.
No. #3 – Deadpool: Grossed $783.1million, made by Disney.
One of the best films of the year, you don’t need me to tell you why. However, despite all the fourth wall breaks – it never got so meta that Deadpool turned to the audience and said: “All of these songs were used because they’re owned by Sony and Universal!” DMX, Salt-n-Pepa and the Careless Whisperer himself – Mr. Michael, are all on labels owned by these two juggernauts of the music industry.
Winner of the Biggest Gold Digger – Suicide Squad: Grossed $745.6million, a Warner Bros. Picture.
Fuck me, these guys didn’t even pretend they weren’t out to make money.
If you aren’t familiar with Suicide Squad, it was one of 2016’s best extended music videos. They managed to squeeze 17 completely unrelated songs – although come to think of it, they weren’t completely unrelated, nearly all of the songs came from Warner Bros Records…a complete accident and coincidence I’m sure.
Anyway, this conceptual art piece ran for nearly 2 ½ hours, and had everything that you need to sell a record: tits, explosions and rappers who you only ever see as a featured artist. All of this culminated in a big, well deserved, prestigious win: The Kids’ Choice Award for Favourite Soundtrack.
A difficult win to argue with. The main characters ‘Harley Quinn’ and ‘Joker’ epitomised the perfect modern day relationship for kids to aspire to – reminding us that love never falters in the face of adversity. Adversities such as domestic violence, emotional abuse and working in the sex trade. Struggle through kids, this is what real love looks like.
Consider this: two thirds of all music sales come from the three major labels. How do they achieve this? Well, as we’ve seen, they don’t just dominate the music industry; they dominate the whole entertainment industry. They are the Industry.
Indie labels don’t stand a fucking chance.
Most artists don’t appear to be signed to one of the Big Three, but through a quick Google, it’s easy to find out the parent company of any label. Bet ya’ bottom dolla’ most of your favourite artists are somehow employed by them.
So what do you reckon this week’s CALL TO ACTION is? Yes. Go and listen to people who aren’t on major labels of course!
Here are some places to start:
Sustinere – Think Royal Blood, but their songs don’t all sound the same. Well worth a listen.
Hope – Beautiful voice singing prophetic content, signed to a great label…I think we’ve done very well to go 7 weeks without a shameless plug.
Anthony Rubery – A lad with catchier songs than Mr. Sheeran himself. You’ll be humming his stuff long after it’s finished.
Aesop Rock – A rapper that apparently has the largest vocabulary in music. A very rewarding listening experience. If you can keep up.
Chill Bump – This french two-piece present a masterclass, in the art of cutting and scratching samples together, with flow to match.
Lowkey – If you looked up the definition of ‘conscious Hip-Hop’, this guys back catalogue would occupy the space.
CASisDEAD – Not for the faint hearted. Think of a drug-dealer from London directing a 70’s exploitation film – this would be the soundtrack.
Cigarettes After Sex – If MGMT took lots of Diazepam before a gig, this would probably be the outcome. That is a compliment, I promise.