The amateur can now create and distribute content easier than ever before thanks to the decreasing price of equipment and software and technology in general. When thinking about this topic, a statement from grime legend Crazy Titch comes to mind. In 2016, he agreed to take part in a recorded phone conversation from prison with Michael “Stormzy” Omari which was eventually included in the latter’s highly successfully debut album. The conversation is attached here.
In the conversation he says he is a fan of Stormzy’s work but has noticed the massive change in media distribution since he was incarcerated in 2005 for murder. He tells Stormzy that as a musician that we are now able to cut out the middle man, so to speak. That great music can be made without the studios interference. The amateur is truly in charge. In summary, a musician who started in the genre in the early 00s remembers the struggles associated with depending on a distributor or studio when trying to get your work out there. The fact that grime music was more of a niche market and that the internet hasn’t fully found its stride yet really effected the commercial success that grime founders such as Crazy Titch, Wiley or Dizzee Rascal could have been capable of achieving. Now things are different.
Many successful artists are now well able to record and produce music by themselves with no help. Chance the Rapper regularly releases his own work for free and is not signed to any label. Stormzy has come from the disadvantaged London boroughs to now running his own label. He has stated “we used to just be hanging out in the estate and I was the best at rapping over the beats on my friends phone”. As of April 2017, his freestyle in the local park now has fifty four million views. The amateur raw feel of the video and lack of big-budget sound and visuals is also another factor that often aids the amateur. We as consumers have become tired of the ultra-polished music videos that are in an abundance on the web. Less is often more.
Personally, an amateur who did not receive former technical or ethical training but is still able to produce great content from just talent and hard work alone is all the more satisfying.