Updated: 5 days ago
This series is about me giving my opinions on anything music-related. Any response to the topic is welcome unless you're being toxic.
The term self-producing doesn't necessarily equate to the artist producing the music alone. It just means that the artist has been credited with writing and/or producing a track. Even if it's not much involvement, it's somehow better than no involvement because it's organic.
Whenever I see/hear someone say "this artist writes/produces his/her own music" as an argument for why this specific artist is great, then I will respond with this- "so what?"
Just because the artist is self-producing doesn't mean the music is going to sound good.
I always cringe whenever someone brings up that reasoning, especially when comparing a self-producing artist to a non-self-producing artist, just to downgrade the latter.
Music is subjective, so one side's opinions won't be better than the other. However, I believe there is this fact- a non-self-producing artist is as important as a self-producing artist.
When discussing the issue, this question has to come into play- which artist are you talking about?
Say you give me Blackpink. They don't really produce and write most of their songs, letting other people handle those aspects (Teddy being the main guy).
To me, I'm not the biggest fan of their music. Their discography is fine, but it can be better. Any changes I should recommend? Well, why not let the members be involved in the writing/producing process? Also, how about they hire new producers that can grow the potential of Blackpink into great artists?
Teddy is a good producer overall, but I don't think he's the right person for Blackpink. He can offer us a nice ground level of the group, but I think there's someone out there that can transcend them into the sky (in terms of music).
Or, again, have the members be involved. Jisoo and Jennie provided lyrics for Lovesick Girls, and that's a pretty good song. One of their best singles during their career. It's a small sample size, but there should be an idea of having them write more songs.
Let the members write their songs and hire new producers that can understand Blackpink's true musical identity.
Understand my analysis? It all depends on which artist you talk about.
Let's bring another artist into the frame.
Billie Eilish. Many fans love her. She has written a lot of tracks, while her brother produced all the tracks.
Despite the acclaim she's getting, I'm in the minority here.
My analysis here is going to be different, but I think you'll understand. Let's imagine that I'm talking to a Billie Eilish fan about my favorite artist. I mention Infinite, a K-Pop group that doesn't produce a whole lot. If the Billie Eilish fan finds out that the group doesn't write/produce their own music, the worst response I would prepare for is "I think Billie is better because she actually writes her own music."
If I hear anything along those lines, then I would slam my head on a table.
Let's compare tracks, shall we?
The fan plays Bad Guy. To me, I believe that the song isn't as great as the public makes it out to be. It's a fine song overall, but not Grammy-worthy. The Instrumental is a bit lifeless, the hook lacks a good vocal melody and a strong beat, and the switch-up at the end ruins the whole track. Due to those reasons, I really don't care what Billie sings about, even though she wrote it.
Compare that to my favorite Infinite song, The Chaser. The members weren't involved in the production, but holy sh*t!
The lyricist did a great job writing the melody, and the producing team Sweetune did a mighty job at creating the instrumental. Pair the right people up to understand the group's performance aspect, you hit the jackpot!
When I ask about which artist you're referring to, I'm also asking (or implying) about the atmosphere around the artist.
If the producer(s)/songwriter(s) can bring the best out of the artist consistently, keep them. If the opposite happens, find new people to work with, or involve the artist more with the music. These factors are important to think about when analyzing the artist's work.
I also like to mention another important factor that is critical to music- how is the song being expressed?
Even if an artist wrote great lyrics, I still need to be blown away by the melodies, vocal performance, and instrumental. If that doesn't happen, then I don't care what the artist is singing about, nor do I care about the message.
Speak to me sonically, then I would care more about the song's message.
To the people arguing that self-producing artists are better than non-self-producing artists, let me riddle you this- is it more satisfying to listen to 10 Taylor Swift's Look What You Made Me Do than 5 Michael Jackson's Rock with You? Answer me that.