Losing your shine: An angry hipster rant

How alternative indie pop singer Grimes lost her label, and so do other stars


Grimes when she was still a true indie pop singer. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

By Kira Garlick

I found out a year ago about Grimes, a pop singer in the semi-underground scene, and instantly fell in love with her unique blend of synths, sporadic beats and whimsical alien-esque vocals. Up until last November, her style was true to herself.

Many artists tend to lose their original spark when they hit mainstream media. According to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, an estimated $4.3 billion a year is spent investing in artists and merchandise. After deals are made between the artists and recording studios, publicists are hired along with managers and, if all goes well, a star is born.

With that whole team of publicists micromanaging and editing, an artist’s content loses its originality.

Of course, the work of a big company isn’t always a bad thing. Publicizing is important, and the work of producers does help in some cases. Still I was crestfallen when I found Grimes’ new album “Art Angels,” which was released on Nov. 6, had a completely new sound — one that frankly resembled just about any other song on the radio.

Gone was the random synth, now replaced with a dumbed-down bubblegum pop song beat. The alien-like singing was autotuned, the magical spark vanished. Sadly, Grimes’ case is not new.

Artists lose themselves when they get massive publicity and consequently give up on their old fanbases. Even if it isn’t their intention, their new sound throws a wrench into the relationship their music has built with its listeners.

Grimes is just one example out there. But even if you don’t know who Grimes is or don’t like the kind of music she makes, we all have artists or celebrities we adore because of their unique individuality. And when they change, we can’t help but feel abandoned by the character traits we look up to.