Music has fallen off for our generation

21Mar 2016
The Guardian
Music has fallen off for our generation

What happened to music? Will the music of our generation have any lasting power?

Iconic bands of the past still blast through stadium speakers at events and legendary music from decades ago still fills the atmosphere at restaurants and shopping malls.

There’s nothing wrong with enjoying music of the past, but what music will our generation be associated with?

Just cruising through the radio,tv stations and dancing halls, are any of these modern-day musicians going to have a lasting impact in society?

Can you imagine telling your kids about how impactful any of the Tanzanian artists were to our society?

Music these days seems like it is more tied to the here and now, rather than having an enduring impact on the world at large.

The power of money cannot be understated. Corporate titans largely influence studios and bands.

Artists compromise integrity for a more lucrative payday even though it may take the band in a completely different direction.

Sure, some top artists these days make amazing music but will these modern-day musicians go down in history as legends?

Perhaps some will, but will you be proud to tell your kids you grew up listening to DJs and others?

What happened to the immortal rock bands such as the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, U2, Bruce Springsteen and Queen?

And our African musicians such as the later Mbaraka Mwinshehe Mwaruka, Shaabani Marijani, Simba wa Nyika, Atomic Jazz Band and Jamhuri Jazz Band.

Some of these legendary bands are still playing concerts and producing new albums, like U2, but none of these acts are a part of our generation.

Is Justin Bieber going to go down in history as the musician of our generation?

Bands and artists of the past used to make statements of importance and incorporate influential and difficult topics into their music.

Think of the Beatles. Their songs are not just about hollow subjects.
The Beatles sang about things with deeper meaning.

For example, in the Beatles ‘All You Need is Love,’ these are the lyrics:

There’s nothing you can do that can’t be done / Nothing you can sing that can’t be sung / Nothing you can say, but you can learn how to play the game / It’s easy / All you need is love
Where is that in today’s “popular” music?

Compare the Beatles to the brilliant mind of Justin Bieber, whose lyrics in “Boyfriend” are:

Avicii produces some delectable beats and rhythms, but what is the point in their music? What’s the message in Justin Bieber, Kanye West or Katy Perry songs?

For the sake of our generation, let’s hope that artists will return to the roots of music and perform heartfelt tunes that can make the world a better place, not a more egotistical one.

Producing music is not just about making money, it’s about changing society for the better.

Will there ever be another movement in music like the British Invasion?
Can there be a new genre of music invented like grunge music when Nirvana knocked Michael Jackson off the No. 1 spot on the charts?

Can there be another artist to completely change culture the way Elvis did in the 1950s?

Looking at the top charts in today’s music, it’s difficult to find an artist or band that will live on for generations to come.

Can the music of today stand up for something and make a difference?
Let’s hope that one day we can tell our kids that we grew up when music could still change the world for the better.