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POLL: Are record labels to blame for a lack of experimental music reaching the mainstream?

Rhian Jones
Bowie

Lily Allen this week criticised record labels for favouring “watered-down” music over anything that’s “experimental and brave”.

The singer discussed the “formulaic and predictable” state of the music industry in a recent interview with NME, suggesting that record companies and A&R people are always choosing “the poppier, more commercial” singles which end up driving an album as the more experimental but “stronger” songs take a back seat.

2013 ended with execs expressing concern over the lack of new artists reaching the mainstream and not one artist album featured in the Top 20 selling entertainment releases of last year.

Island Records Jon Turner suggested that the “disappointing” number of acts breaking through in 2013 is because there simply isn't enough music from great artists around.

However, in next week's issue of Music Week, Jack Steadman of Bombay Bicycle Club argues that the pressure of cash counters at the top of the major labels are to blame for a homogenised output.

“If I wanted to change the music industry I’d try and get more independent labels - all the independent labels that were famous have now become pretty much major labels,” he explains.

“It’s difficult to experiment when you’ve got a label that is looking at how much money it’s spending and I feel like there’s not really that room for experimentation anymore.”

Announced yesterday, artists nominated for BRIT Awards this year are fairly dance/pop centric, with Bastille and Disclosure leading the way with four nominations each. Perhaps arguably, the only ‘leftfield’ artists on the list are David Bowie (pictured) and London Grammar.

Is it time for a shake-up? Answer our poll below…

 

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Tags: Lily Allen, poll

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