Not doggin’ on any particular artist or their creative impulses but I am feelin’ a bit meh about the increase of pop and EDM in Country Music. Sure we’ve had some catchy stuff come out but from a Country radio guy’s position, I feel it’s getting tougher to tell our audience we’ve got some great Pizza when it’s Chicken! Pop music is great and it’s influenced Country in a number of ways over the years but as the powers in Nashville decide to incorporate more beats and EDM tracks, are they really making Country or Pop music?
Labels release songs to us, some quite catchy, and proclaim this is the latest Country release from artist X. A few of these songs have turned out to be big pop hits too. As a programmer, I feel obligated to play the music from Country’s biggest acts and some new hot acts as well. So for the most part, these tracks end up on our playlist as well due to artist star power. Some seem to connect some not to much. The question I find myself wrestling with is: How much Chicken do we serve at our Pizza place? Pop (or Chicken) gets more streams on demand. For labels, this is the new currency. The pop stuff works there and is maybe ok in the short term for Country radio fans, but I kinda figure we ought to be the best Pizza joint on the planet and there ain’t much Mozzarella coming from Music City anymore.
I am not a person who longs for the days of old where if it didn’t have steel guitar or a fiddle in it, it didn’t get air play. I just keep getting a feeling that some of our friends from Nashville either don’t really want to be in the format, want to be in the latest faze that sells or just kinda move to their own individual beat. I still have the utmost respect for Taylor Swift who came right out and said she was doing Pop rather than try to slide through Country flock like a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
Check out the latest from Thomas Rhett HERE and maybe you can understand my confusion.