Inexplicably successful artists


There’s definitely a place for that sort of thing (Amy Winehouse is a top example), talent is talent but these guys are thin on it and they’re being sold on having susbstance and there’s none there. Unfortunately it seems most of the people going through stage school or whatever would jack it in for a spot on big brother or whatever and they become a prime target for fronting up dross like this.


It’s a bit fucked, though, because it’s one of those things where they’ve spent years training to do something quite specific (and being shown examples of their former peers who’ve subsequently been successful, and been told they can be too) so their expectations and skill-set are wildly, wildly out of place when they hit the job market. In terms of average salary in the UK musician ranks below any other job that I would call ‘skilled’ for want of a better term, so people who work with their hands in technical situations that demand some creativity (see carpenters, plumbers etc) but no one ever says to a plumber ‘Hey, you could end up doing this on stage in front of thousands of people and sleeping in a gold bed shaped like a racing car with many beautiful ladies/gentlemen of your choosing.’ They just say, ‘Mate, thanks for fixing my taps.’

I’m not defending these people, but entertainment world is a sick, sick place. If it was training people with the expectation of doing chorus work, session stuff, bit parts etc that would be a bit different. No wonder they decide to grasp whatever brass ring is dangled in front of them, basically.


Good point well made tbf. A friend of mine is musical director at a performing arts college and gets pretty disheartened watching people who have committed everything to the process drop out to be in love islands factor or whatever but you’re right, you can’t blame them.


‘Love Islands Factor’



I’m filing this lot under “Inexplicably critically-lauded” too. Genuinely don’t get it.


Totally this. I am a bit of a defender of Sheeran who I think is just totally fucking naff, as opposed to dreadful, or offensive, and can see why people who don’t listen to music like him. George Ezra though sounds like he was invented in a record company meeting room, where the subject on the white board was “what can we sell posh white students?”


i keep thinking George Ezra is the guy from Vampire Weekend


Calvin Harris. There must be 100s of bedroom dance DJs doing similar stuff. 70 million a year? Dating Taylor Swift? I just can’t get my head round it. I would have bet money that Rita Ora would be dumping Calvin Harris, not the other way round. I do like Bounce.


Calvin Harris has got a pretty big catalogue of bangers now and is very savvy with regards to current trends. Not inexplicable at all really. Slide with Frank Ocean and Migos was one of my most listened to songs last year.


Think I read a couple of broadsheet type articles about him where I came away with the impression he was somewhere between Arca and Mount Eerie. Turns out he’s just another landfill Sheeran.
I can understand if all these Brit school types are the 2010s boybands equivalents aimed at 11 to 14 year olds but they seem to have captured a massive casual listener base.


Aren’t they doing this? I’d have thought it would be precisely their remit to be showing how to make a living in the ways you state in the knowledge only one in a million of them will become ‘stars’. Serious con job if they are telling everyone they’ll be the next Adele.


Maybe not the next Adele, but surely it’s in there as a mentality. I think technically yes, you are right, but the entertainment industry doesn’t really do a good job of inducting talent and telling them that they’re going to be doing back-room stuff. Most people want to get in and get big, and then figure out how that whole career arc works later (I have to admit a bias here because I did not go to a stage school but I did work in the music industry and had everything under the sun promised to me, and what I say is based off what I’ve seen from other people I knew in that sort of position).


really enjoyed both the times i saw them this year. they only have 3 songs though and most of the set is just one repeated song.


Went to End of the Road a few years ago. A friend was a bit disparaging of me being excited to see Ezra Furman.

One night at the silent disco someone played an EF track, and she was like “THIS is Ezra Furman? This is great!”

Turned out, yes, she had been thinking of George Ezra the whole time.


That’s really interesting - thanks for sharing your experiences. Naively I assumed they’d downplay expectations of fame rather than the other way round.
Not a world I know at all but it’s of interest as my niece is really into drama and west end style shows and all that stuff so I can imagine her wanting to go to one of these type of schools in a couple of years.


Well, what I know isn’t the whole of it, it’s just what I personally experienced. I think it’s about expectation management - I know that if my daughter wanted to be a professional musician I would be trying to chill her out on the whole ‘writing, touring, recording will make you rich and famous’ thing and advise her more along the lines of ‘you can do some cool stuff if you network and work hard, but it might be worth knowing how to make a wicked coffee or stuffing your repertoire so you can also do covers gigs’.


I’m trying to objective, mate. That is one of the reasons why Chvrches are quite popular.


11-14 year olds aren’t going to be into George Ezra, that would be like me being into Groovy Kind Of Love by Phil Collins when I was the same age! Judging by the hype when George Ezra headlined our local festival this summer, him and Ed and all that lot have nailed down the 40+ prosecco & cocaine & Range Rover Evoque market, that most UK festivals seem to marketed towards these days.