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#1120681 - 12/08/16 03:46 AM Defining Your Genre as a Singer  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 141
Donna Dutchess Offline
Serious Contributor
Donna Dutchess  Offline
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Joined: May 2006
Posts: 141
WNY, USA
How important is it for a singer to choose a genre and stick with it? I have a singer who wants to cut one of my songs. Her genre is: everything. Country/Rock/Pop/Hip Hop/etc,etc. She wants to break into the country scene, and I think she'd be very good at it (especially with one of my songs :)) But having a "foot in so many camps", would that hurt her credibility in the country music industry? When you look at the Reverbnation page of the top people in country, they list their genre as: country. Nothing else. I know its possible to have a cross over and some cross over to rock and never return to country and that's fine. But shouldn't a singer decide which way to go? Or am I making too big of a deal out of nothing?


https://donnadutchessmusic.com/
http://www.reverbnation.com/#!/donnadutchesssongwriter
https://www.youtube.com/user/dutchessdnn
#1120694 - 12/08/16 12:00 PM Re: Defining Your Genre as a Singer [Re: Donna Dutchess]  
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 10,527
Kevin Emmrich Online content
Kevin Emmrich  Online Content


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Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 10,527
Crozet, VA
LOL, I would just say "thank you for cutting my song" -- let the artist worry about that other stuff. As we know the modern country sound is venturing deep into that pop sound. She might get a foothold with those other genres and drag you along with her.


"It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The 'hard' is what makes it great."
Kevin @ bandcamp: Crows Say Vee-Eh (and Kevin @ FAWM 2016)
#1120695 - 12/08/16 01:05 PM Re: Defining Your Genre as a Singer [Re: Donna Dutchess]  
Joined: May 2001
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Ray E. Strode Online content
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Ray E. Strode  Online Content
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Brunswick, Ga. USA
I would advise an artist to do what they feel confident with.


Ray E. Strode
#1120720 - 12/09/16 02:05 AM Re: Defining Your Genre as a Singer [Re: Donna Dutchess]  
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 4,773
Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 4,773
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Trying to please everyone, ends up pleasing no one. As someone who moved to Nashville from a 12 year rock career, doing a crossover of country, blues, soul, and even comedy, I can tell you that being too scattered never works for an artist. They have to be marketed, and most of the time, stepping out of your own genre, and you are not going to accepted by another genre. You might feel you are VERY COUNTRY, ROCK, POP, whatever but you might not be accepted by those people. There are many examples.

A ton of rockers have come here over the past few years. Peter Frampton, Kid Rock, Steven Tyler, and many others, have all tried to do "country" projects, but are not accepted. Garth Brooks tried to do the "Chris Gaines project" with desastirous results. I mean he only sold TWO MILLION records on that one. LOL!

Pretty much everyone wants to "cross over." Rock artists come to Nashville, love the neighborhood, pledge allegiance to Johnny Cash, and think they are immediately going to cross over, and go no where, and also LOSE their primary audience.

There are those who have done it, but usually it has to be quite organic. In the 50's and 60's there was a guy named Harold Loyd Jenkins. He started out in the rockabilly world and was okay. But when that style of music changed, he had to change to. He became Conway Twitty, and switched over to country. And it worked. Same with Kenny Rodgers, and Dolly Parton. But when they did that it was at the forefront of a certain time and their fans changed with them. It had to happen organically, and could not be forced. When Charlie Rich read the "Entertainer of the year" winner at the CMA awards in 1976, and announced it was John Denver, he pulled out a cigarette lighter, and set the envelope on fire.

Of course the last few years predominately male country artists have been trying to mix rap into country, which is always funny to me because those two formats HATE EACH OTHER! While there might be a little success, Jason Aldeen and Brown Dirt Road, physically trying to mix the two really has some funny results. Brad Paisley and LL Cool J, thought they would have a "racial breakthrough" with "ACCIDENTAL RACIST" on his Wheelhouse album, and all that did was light a gasoline on a forest fire with both of them coming under fire from "their side" and "the other side." LL Cool Jay was crucified by his people who called him an "Uncle Tom" and Brad was shot down by country people who hated rap. Big Backfire.

Taylor Swift and Garth Brooks both started as country, but changed as their fans changed and developed with them. In Taylor's case, her fans just grew up the same way she did and they changed with her. Now she's pretty much accepted EVERYWHERE, Country, rock, pop, adult contemporary, etc. Same with Garth.

Trying to do that STARTING out, really never works. Labels, producers, industry magazines and critics and most of all AUDIENCES don't really know how to take them. She needs to find one genre she fits well into and stick with that until she has enough fan base to "branch out." It takes a long time. But now with careers lasting months instead of years, she might want to think long and hard in what she wants to do.

Can't be everything to every body. And just because :country looks easier" is a HUGE MISTAKE artists make. Alan Jackson addressed it in his song "Gone Country." We have a steady stream now of artists that THINK they are country, but they couldn't even identify WHAT COUNTRY IS. The "LA and New York" versions of "country" is not what Nashville or Austin are going to think is "country."

Whatever she does, she needs to identify her AUDIENCE, and cater to what THEY want. At the end of the day, she is not going to be the one to determine WHAT GENRE SHE IS IN. Her audience will do that.

MAB

Last edited by Marc Barnette; 12/09/16 02:13 AM.
#1120733 - 12/09/16 10:07 AM Re: Defining Your Genre as a Singer [Re: Donna Dutchess]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 7,756
Colin Ward Online content
Colin Ward  Online Content

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Joined: May 2006
Posts: 7,756
Saint Petersburg. FL
I wouldn't let her genre waffling stop you from letting her record your song.

I think the answer to your question depends a lot on how old and experienced she is. Is she young and new to this and just trying to find her strengths? Is she on a path to the big time or playing smoky bar gigs at the VFW?

Playing to her strengths is essential once she finds out what they are. Country is a pretty broad genre and some of the newer country sounds like rock, but rap is not compatible IMHO. Plus the popularity of different genres varies a lot with geography. Where is she and where is she going?

I think it comes down to determining what she is best at and then focusing on that.


Colin

I try to critique as if you mean business.....

http://colinwardmusic.com/

http://rosewoodcreekband.com/



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