Should Justin Bieber and other artists jump from genre to genre?
Music artists have been switching between genres for decades, but this feat has become popular in recent years. With genre hopping on the rise, music listeners have to ask themselves whether an artist should have to stick to what they are known for or be allowed to jump around.
Some fans feel betrayal of their loyalty, and would rather their favorite artists stay in their comfort zones. Once we learn to like an artist, we like them for more than just their voice. Rather we like them for the so called “vibe” they have, including the genre they produce. Others are just fans of the sound of the artist’s voice and have no problem with their switching genres, so long as their voice is unchanged.
Musicians have the special position of using creative outlets for profit and fame, while impacting lives in the process. There is so much freedom in the music industry, and an artist should not be limited to one style.
Last week, Justin Bieber attempted to tread the rocky waters of genre switching by collabing with country artist, Dan and Shay. The song they released, “10,000 Hours,” has gained serious traction amongst fans, with more than 21 Million views on Youtube. That’s a lot of loyal fans, despite most pop fan’s disdain towards country music.
Justin Bieber has softened from the “player” persona since his recent marriage to Hailey Baldwin, model and TV star. His music has developed, as he is beginning to channel a new raw, emotional side. This side of him is demonstrated and beautifully portrayed in his country music debut. Bieber posted on his Instagram along with a tease of the song that it was “wedding music.” The song truly does pull on heart heartstrings, and shows a glimpse into the newlywed’s emotions.
This is a positive way to express his love for his wife, and shouldn’t be looked down upon.
An artist should have the freedom to dabble in other genres than the one they started in, especially if it is done in an expression of love. A musician has the right to mature and develop new tastes; however, they should still respect their original content and fans.
As far as whether or not a genre change is detrimental to a career, many big genre switches have been done and didn’t prove fatal to the artists’ career.
Taylor Swift began her career as a purely country artist – look at her success now. At a net worth of $185 Million, Swift’s transition to Pop must be considered successful.
Lady Gaga was known for her bizarre outfits made out of raw meat, bubbles and other stereotype-breaking fits. Now she is known for her pivotal role in the movie, A Star is Born. This role turned a new leaf for Gaga, displaying a wide range of impressive vocals, unhidden by auto-tune.
It is common for breakout stars to begin their career somewhere, but they continue to have fluctuating styles. The ability to express emotions through music is a common passion, but not everyone has the big break they desire. Evaluating what someone deems as a “big break” is even more difficult while evaluating a person’s success.
Financial and emotional success are difficult to compare, and will differ in prominence for each individual. This introduces the reality of the intentions for musical collaborations.
The publicity “10,000 Hours” has received is unmatched to other collabs. The song is floating around various platforms for country and pop lovers alike.
If the song was merely a marketing stunt, it has served its purpose bringing in profit. Some artists may switch up their musical style purely for fame and fortune, there is no concrete evidence that can support personal intent. The reasons for changing gears can be of innocent intent. Boredom gets the best of everyone, and switching up genres might spark a new found creativity.
However, if the skill is lacking, then professionals should keep new creations as a hobby. It’s unfair for a celebrity to gain a lot through trying a new style if it outshines others who have been working hard on similar music. But that’s show business, and fortune does not avoid unfairness.
In other words, Adele should not release a screamo album anytime soon if she wishes to continue to sell millions of albums. But if that brings her any sense of joy, then she may wish to consider what her definition of “success” is.
“10,000 Hours” has created a buzz in the music community, proving that there is no harm in artists jumping back and forth between genres. The song leaves fans wondering if Bieber is going to keep up with this country kick, while being in full support of the musical transition.
In the end, the artist must define their own success. They must decide if they want to create music for fortune or life’s fulfillment, all while acknowledging the loyalty of fans.