DO MUSIC JOURNALISTS HAVE TO LOVE THE MUSIC THEY ARE SPOTLIGHTING?
Short answer: No we do not.
As a music journalist, you get a lot of demos. And a lot of press releases. On a daily basis, no days off. You go into a listening session and you come out on your hands and knees barely able to speak.
And maybe some music will have an extraordinary impact on you, maybe not. Should we only speak of the things we like, ignoring the rest?
However, I cannot stress enough that liking and respecting is not the same thing.
And you’ve got to have respect for the bands/musicians/artist you write about. Whether you like them or not.
I have interviewed bands that I can’t possibly stand, but I respect their work and contribution. My personal preferences should not stand in the way of that, and if it did I should probably hang my press pass and figure out a different career path.
Probably in Scandinavia, in a forest, listening to old school black metal.
The job of a music journalist is to preserve a musician’s legacy. Inform, draw attention, educate, entertain, and create valuable content. These will form the foundation of your work and this is how major music magazines come into being.
Your posts and content should be the result of a conversation with yourself.
-Do I have something to say about this piece of work?
-Does it contribute to thinking anew about music?
-What does it have in common with our established favourites?
-Is it time-resistant?
-Does my opinion matter?
No, it does not, however, it might add value to someone else’s thoughts, start a conversation, and present various, thought-provoking viewpoints.
Be clear and straightforward.
DESIGN AN EXPERIENCE.
If you feel that you have reached a certain point in your life span where you don’t need to listen to new music, quit.
If you lost your passion, same drill.
Write like there’s no tomorrow and don’t even think about who’s gonna read it. The right audience will find you, just get your work out there. Ramble as much as you want, it’s good to know there’s a real person behind the article. Show your true self, be emotional if that’s how you are feeling, and be brutally honest yet very, very respectful.
And no, you cannot just write about your favourite bands and the same album you’ve been listening to the past couple of months on repeat.
Frankly, my dear, no one cares. If you are gonna do just 5-star reviews, don’t bother. But I’ve got a true expert to talk to you about these, so keep reading, Adam will find the words to explain this better than I ever could.
We all need a bit of extra feel-good right now, in my opinion. Especially the smaller independent bands who need our support now more than ever.
As a managing partner and the creative director of MHF magazine and founder of the Chelfdom, I try to pick out some of the most diverting, unknown outfits that will mix brilliantly into our existing playlists. Whether I like them or not. As long as I can find something that I respect about their work.
BUT WAIT! There's more!
I interviewed Ada MCCann and Dimitris Agas. And boy, they had a lot to say.
Keep reading here.
See ya on the Chelfdom.