No matter what claims people may make, you can’t predict the future. It’s often difficult to tell what songs will top the charts on a given week, nevermind what music will be remembered for generations to come. There are some acts you would expect to last forever, I’m adamant that ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ will one day be played on the surface of Mars. There are also plenty of acts that have defied all expectations and done exceedingly well – I bet Rick Astley’s bank account is looking pretty full right now! But what about modern music, what does the future hold? Personally I think the best way for an act to ensure that they’re remembered is to follow one of three paths:
1) Be The Best. A sure way to be remembered is to be the best at what you do, or one of the best at least. Sadly this takes years of hard work, plenty of natural talent and heaps of luck. Even if you have all that it’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to sing like Aretha Franklin or play drums like Keith Moon. No matter how hard you try you’ll be up against some tough competition.
2) Be The First. Being a great musical pioneer is a great way to get your name in the history books. Create a new genre in the way that Black Sabbath invented heavy metal. Do something new and exciting the way that Jimi Hendrix revolutionised the electric guitar. The problem is that music has been on the go for a long while and most great ideas have already appeared in many different forms. Sure, you could play the nose flute through nuclear powered amplifiers, but that doesn’t mean you should. Most things that are worth doing have already been done. That brings us on to:
3) Be Diverse. I think the best method is simply to be a jack of all trades, and yet be able to master them. Expand your musical horizons and be successful in your endeavours. Look at The Beatles or Led Zeppelin; they have great songs in the form of pop, rock, folk, blues, prog, punk, world music, funk and even reggae. It’s a kind of diversity that’s missing from modern music. Perhaps that’s the secret though, if everyone did everything then it wouldn’t be special. Next time you hear a new artist that can delve in and out of many different genres with ease, pay attention, you may be on to the next big thing…