Earlier this week, Armin Van Buuren premiered his new track “Sunny Days” on his radio show, A State of Trance. It was a big moment for him and it was a highly-anticipated track. Of course, it wasn’t the most “trancy” track, but it had a happy summer vibe which is exactly what he aimed to create and the track managed to do it successfully.
However as soon as the track was premiered, it received a lot of backlash from various people. Not everyone was very pleased with how the track sounded, and it’s okay. Not everyone has to like every track that is possibly released. It’s perfectly fine. If one wishes to state their opinions regarding the same also, it’s not an issue. Each person can voice their opinions as they wish. But things start going wrong when people start shaming the artist for the work they have done. It’s not positive and constructive criticism, but abuses that are hurled at the artist, which in my opinion is disgusting.
An artist doesn’t choose to restrict his creativity to a specific genre. And if they wish to experiment with different sounds, it’s wholly their decision. If one is not in favor of it, don’t listen to the track. Or listen to another artist who still chooses to make music within the boundaries of the specific genre.
One can never know if something will work out until and unless they experiment or try something new. Sometimes an idea if implemented well, may sound brilliant. In some cases, it may not. Doesn’t mean that the artist has changed or chooses to produce a bad track. In the case of Armin, “This is what it feels like” was again not the most trancy track, but it got him recognition and fame and even a Grammy nomination. The track was not necessarily trance, and I personally am also not a great fan of the track, but it doesn’t mean that the track was a bad one. If an artist chooses to take the safe path and produce work that is literally based off templates from his previous track, he is criticized for his lack of creativity. If he or she decides to try something new and tries to blend in a few elements from other genres, then also, they are criticized for not sticking to their so called specific “styles” or genres. So if both are wrong, what should he or she be doing? Because nothing that he or she makes will collectively satisfy everyone.
Who determines the rules by which an artist plays? Or who determines their so called “styles”? Why should an artist be restricted to a particular style of music, that too not out of his or her own free will? “Embrace” was again not the best album that came from Armin. It was not trance. But he had very clearly mentioned it that he was trying to experiment with different instruments with this album. Every track sees the incorporation of a different style of music and set of instruments with trance to produce a fusion. It was a unique concept, probably wasn’t implemented too well to the liking of the people. But this doesn’t mean that the album was terrible. It extremely upsetting to see people criticize it and curse the artist
When an artist plays a set at a mainstage of a huge festival, he or she is thrown in front of a mix bag. Crowds having people who love various genres of music. So, when they play a set, they have to take all of that into consideration. So, their sets tend to lean slightly towards the commercial side as it has the most crowd appeal. On the other hand, when they play a set at a specific genre dominated stage, they know that 90% of the fans love the genre and they can play a good set within the boundaries of the genre. Here, their sole priority is to appeal to the people at this stage and they can do it well. Just because they have to play a partly commercial set on the mainstage, doesn’t mean they are sell-outs.
A similar situation was faced by quite a few musicians and artists who have gotten frustrated and eventually choose to leave the rat race. All that I am trying to say here is, as fans today, we tend to get a little too cynical about people’s work. If one can’t appreciate what an artist does, it’s perfectly fine. You don’t have to. Just because we have the freedom of speech and there is no form of moral policing on the internet, doesn’t mean we can say anything derogatory to an artist. Today, I speak about Armin, because it’s the most recent one that has taken place. It’s not like he isn’t producing trance. Saint Vitus under his Gaia moniker was a good trance track. Probably not as good as some of his classic work, but yes, it was a good track.
Through this article, I do not wish to “attack” any genre or it’s fans. It’s just directed toward that one section of people who tend to cross their limits when it comes to getting critical and negative about the work of a musician or an artist. Everyone has a choice when it comes to their listening preferences. Some may not like how an artist is progressing. Some may feel that the artist has become too commercial or can’t produce as well as they used to before. But all I can request is, do not shame an artist. Do not put down their work and call it disgusting.
GAIA, KEY4050 to debut at this years Dreamstate SoCal
Last week, Insomniac announced the return of its fastest growing brand and North...