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An Artist's Dilemma: To Go Pop or Not?

Monday, August 24, 2009

When you've back up certified R&B artists and even written songs for them, it may be easy to follow their formula, but Keri Hilson has done no such thing.
While many people listen to singers on black radio they automatically assume that if it's not rap, then it's R&B. Not true.
Pop music is a genre specifically focused on commercial appeal, often simplistic in format and lyrics with basic themes of love, betrayal, etc.
R&B on the other way, which has shifted meanings in the 60 years the term has been in use, has now come to mean a comtemporary, adult music driven by soul influences.
Artists today stay away from the term "R&B" because they think it means older, and the money seems to be on the youthful side.
Take somebody like Keri Hilson: She clearly has an R&B look, mature-sound and yet she's marketed as a pop artist. Her two hits ("Turning me Off" and "Knock You Down") from her debut album "In a Perfect World," both skewed to the younguns.
The album has sold more than half a million copies but many expected a lot more from Hilson.
Maxwell's recent success ("blacksummer'sNIGHT" was recently certified gold by the RIAA) may have single-handedly saved the "R&B" genre, as record companies have tightened their purses on anything that sounds old and retro.
If it were targeted toward an older market, say, an R&B market, would it have done better?



2009 ·Popwife Blog by TNB