THE POP THEORY
Music serves as a tool for self-expression, a choice of entertainment or a vehicle for exponential profit. It satisfies, affects and bridges its recipients, regardless of age, gender, race, preference, social status or religion. Since every existing ear is the receiving end, music is played in various flavors, each appealing to certain group of enthusiats. Of all music genres, there is one successful brand which managed to surge, plunge and survive: pop.
This theory postulates that pop’s immortal occupation on the charts is deeply rooted on its adolescent fans. It is given that the youth is the majority of today’s world’s population, thus pop is expected to dominate continuously in the market.
Pop is also supported by people with limited attention span. Those unwilling to participate in, witness or experience complicated matters fall under this category. Fans approve pop since it offers a mixture of ballads, rap, techno, dance and others. Notice how divas lend their microphones to rap artists before they belt it out. And how choreographed steps are provided to match a love song. Then, add the performers who include Spanish lyrics on their singles. Some popstars even allow technology to enhance their vocals in attempt to gain attention from music lovers worldwide.
A pop track must contain an element of other music genres, otherwise it will be too deep, too serious, too much. Too much emotions in a song equates to soul. Too much angst produces rock. Too much faith means gospel. Too much pulsating beats is dance. And too much is never pleasant, let alone interesting, to most of the target audience.
What is interesting for these individuals then?
The power of an artist to rise is not solely dependent on his or her vocal versatility. Instead, an artist’s attractive face persuades the consumers to pick his or her compact disc from the rack and purchase it. Then the music and content follow.
Observe pop music videos. What is the most evident purpose of these videos? To promote the artist. In music videos, the artist’s name appears on the top followed by the song title and then the album and the video director’s name. Some channels even include the record company. In addition, the visuals present firm abs, showcase hot legs and offer extreme close ups. These popstars preach the latest must-haves in fashion and dictate the proper moves in the dance floor. To achieve this, singers change their outfits in an average of 3 to 6 times throughout the video and croon their singles in panoramic locations. Glamour then becomes a requirement. The depth and talent, however, take the backseat.
Once again, the receiving end allows these to happen. They enjoy music and somehow shape the music industry simply because they are the authority. They buy the records, they attend the concerts, they choose the number 1 song and they demand for more. The music fans, mostly in their salad days, are in dire need for an icon to pattern his/her life after. And in selecting a role model, that is when personal issues come in.
It is imperative for an aspiring popstar to possess two characteristics: first, a trait that the fans can effortlessly relate with, and second, the status the fans imagine themselves to savor someday.
People turn to music for escape. When an individual is teeming with depressive thoughts, all ballads tend to be meaningful. When an individual is psyched to let loose, disco hits serve as company. Music is an outlet. And so is the face behind the music.
Idolizing a bad girl popstar – equipped with dyed hair, tattoos, pierced body parts, controversies and attitude – reflects one’s recalcitrant tendency, most especially if the fan has been restricted all throughout his or her life. Her poster on the fan’s wall serves as a silent encouragement to show one’s true colors in order to be fully happy and renowned. The same goes with other popstars of dissimilar image. In effect, seeing their favorite pop act earn titles and break records is like experiencing their coveted success themselves. The fans copy them, bring them to the crest of the charts, study their past and at some point, own them. This explains why most fans are never glad when their favorite band is on the verge of separation. Taking pride on their favorite entertainers, fans inevitably compare then to rising substitutes to the extent of creating rivalry and, sometimes, hostility. Fans believe they own them. Fans can not accept the impending changes because they are highly convinced they own them. It is also quite ironic that most fans aver that popstars alter their lives for the better yet they find it hard to acknowledge that popstars have their own lives, too.
Positioned outside the realm of pop, the anti-manufactured musicians oppose the madness caused by their superficial counterparts. They support the tunes of pop parody, which surprisingly gained public nods. However, these mature music lovers will never taste triumph in terminating popular music. Unless they can outnumber them. But recent events reveal that fanatics and pop performers alike are getting younger and younger. To diminish them and their next generations is a long row to hoe and, indeed, a long road to relief.