Internet sensation John Lajoie is best known for his comical hits ‘Everyday Normal Guy,’ ‘Show Me Your Genitals’ and ‘I Kill People’ – all of which have amassed millions of views since their releases. In April of this year, John released his newest internet hit ‘Please Use This Song,’ which comically spreads an honest look at the state of the music industry and the role that commercialism plays in it. We’re all very familiar with the term “sell out.” Whether we use it to refer to a solo artist or a band, it’s usually associated with that individual/ group shifting away from what they normally perform to create a particular song (or in some cases an entire album) aimed at what is either catchy or mainstream popular. Usually the primary influence behind this shift is the desire/ need for financial success, since as the video reminds us: The music industry is dying, but consumerism is thriving... Check it out: The life of an aspiring artist -or even one trying to stay popular/ relevant -is a tricky one to navigate. Even in my work as an actor, something that I initially pursued out of a love for performing, it’s crazy to see how much command the advertising world holds and how it can impact your ability or inability to keep pursuing your passion comfortably. You could work several days a week, for month after month on an independent feature film all to make 10% of the amount you would make in 4 hours of work on some national commercials. Whether you intend to or not, it’s hard not to let this reality affect you, and it’s because of this that I often sympathize with musicians when they receive the “sell out” label.
The ultimate reason as to why so many bands/ artists continue to “sell out” is because more often than not when they do, they are financially successful. It is us the consumers that keep the consumerism wheel in motion. We watch the commercials, purchase the products and even get hooked on the songs designed to do exactly that. One way to potentially counteract this is to vote with your dollars. Support artists/ bands for the work that you truly love, much like you can support local farmers by purchasing their produce.
The more we support the little guy, the less powerful the big guy (mass consumerism) becomes. It may seem like a minuscule step, but the more of us that do it, the less minuscule it becomes and the end result is more of the music we love rather than the “sold out” music they are eventually forced to make. For those that are interested in checking out some of John Lajoie’s other work, check out his YouTube channel by clicking HERE. (WARNING: Some of the content featured on his channel features mature material) .
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