Music Opinions #1: Self-Producing Artists

Updated: 5 days ago

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This series is about me giving my opinions on anything music-related. I begin asking a question that I think people should consider, followed by my response that would hopefully encourage some new perspectives. Whether that happens or not, I would love to see your guys' response to the topic!

Q: Does it matter if an artist self-produces his/her own music?

My answer: It depends on the artist, but ideally... no.

I've seen plenty of people look down on artists that don't have much participation in their songs, whether it's writing or producing the instruments. These people always emphasize that an artist should be able to participate in either of these skills in order to be taken seriously.

First off, I do agree that it is more valuable for artists to produce their own songs, only because it does give us an insight of what they're thinking and how they like to convey, as oppose to artists that perform music that is created for them. But, there's a flaw in this too.

My first victim here is Billie Eilish's Bad Guy.

Before I begin, I just want to say that I'm looking for an artist that was involved with the song, rather than being in control of it. As long as your name is on it, apparently you get praise for not being 'too manufactured'.

Billie wrote the lyrics for Bad Guy, as her brother co-wrote the song's lyrics while creating the whole instrumental. I believe Billie also added in some additional production to the instrumentation.

So she won, right? Billie and her brother didn't have to rely on a few others to make this track, instead being independent and not letting a group of people produce this song? Give her the Grammy! (Well she won Grammy for Bad Guy lol).

Let's forget the Grammy part, and focus on the start of the problem. If someone comes up to me and says, "you should listen to Billie Eilish, especially her song Bad Guy. She wrote it and even had a part in creating the instrumental!" To that, I respond, "ok... how does it sound though?"

If you want my full thought on the song, then click here to see my review of Bad Guy. FYI, I made it clear that the song isn't that great.

Of course, the counter-argument to my take is that people have different tastes. This is the only flaw within my opinion.

Other than that, if you tell me that the song is great just because Billie wrote it, then I look at you with disappointment. The track should be judged by how she expresses it. If the song is good, then I'll care more about her involvement with the song. If it's not good... I don't care.

Now, let's bring in another track, which is INFINITE's The Chaser.

Looking at the credits on this song, none of the members were involved with the lyrical and instrumental aspect of the track. So, does that mean we should turn this single down? Well...

Listen to the vocals the members produce. It's engaging, alluring, motivating... it takes you to another planet. Paired with the awesome instrumental, The Chaser is a prime example of a track offering high-quality music without the members' involvement with the songwriting and instrumental. They succeeded the most important factor of music... expressing the song.

To people that emphasize about artists being more valuable due to their involvement with the production, this comparison I showed prove that it's not entirely true, nor is it ideal.

However, it really depends on the personnel of the singer. You just have to name me an artist, self-produced or not, and I'll be honest about them.

If an artist that isn't self-producing contain songs that aren't great, then let that artist input his/her own lyrics and sound for a change. If a self-producing artist releases tracks that aren't of high-quality, then he/she should collaborate with other people that have demonstrated the skills in writing and producing. People working behind the scenes are as important as the singers, right? It all boils down to the circumstance in which the artist is under.

Let's all agree on one thing. Even though artists aren't on the same level when it comes to writing lyrics or producing the instrumental, they all have to perform the music. People shouldn't focus on name credits alone. Instead, people should focus on, first and foremost, how the artist is conveying the music.

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