Veronica: "Well, it's just like - they're people I work with, and our job is being popular and shit." J.D.: "Maybe it's time to take a vacation."
A lot is made out of who is "the next big thing" who is "breaking" who will be "the next-next".. the "big hit" of the year.
Sure, us industry people -- bookers, editors, bloggers, labels-- like to predict what music will "break" and will be popular with the masses. We all want lots people to like the bands we book, enjoy the music suggestions we write about, and buy records from the aritsts we sign. We love connecting a great artist with huge amounts of fans, and vice versa. And ok.. it’s also good for the ego when someone we choose becomes a huge sensation. Makes us feel like we are good at our jobs; it’s the ultamite validation. Then we get to brag about how we helped "break" them.
Clearly there are lots of reasons an artist wants to “break”, and lots more reasons why us in the industry want them to “break” too. But as a listener, why should we care who is going to break or not? If you're not in the music industry or the artist - popularity really has nothing to do with you. Who cares if it's the next big thing or not? New or not? Popular or not? Breaking or not?
A great artist is a great artist, great song is a great song. All that matters is if you enjoy it. Not many people write about artists the didn't hit. That's why I decided to start a section called "(Not) Breaking." It will feature great artists that maybe didn't "break" big enough for your iPod the first time around, but should have.
Perhaps the next time someone tells you about an "Artist to Watch" you'll ask yourself what you are waiting for...
“Anyone who is popular is bound to be disliked” -Yogi Berra