Garth Brooks is concerned about country music. In his view, people aren’t really listening. They aren’t connecting with the artists. And industry executives recognize that streaming changed everything. There is simply a new way to consume music. So what does this mean for country music and how do we fix it?
CMT recently reported on an interview Brooks gave in an industry publication in which he shared his concerns about country music. And his biggest concerns? They focus on how we now present and listen to music. A way that, unfortunately, makes it difficult for fans to really get to know artists.
“My girls can go through 30 songs in five minutes because they want to hear 10 seconds then pop it to the next one,” he explained. “What are they absorbing? This is where I’m going to sound like an old guy. Back in the day, there was an investment made in the artist. There was a time taken. There was a new record coming out, you get your buddies, you’d sit around and listen to it.”
Brooks said that back then, it easier to find a new favorite artist, because even if you didn’t love their music at first, they might have “that one song” you discovered.
“That’s what gave music a chance. It’s what gave artists a chance to build catalogs to win fans,” he said.
And he makes an interesting point. Thanks to streaming, we consume music differently now. You can pick what songs and artists you want and filter everything else out. And this has both positives and negatives.
So how do we fix it? Brooks shared his thoughts on this, too. He thinks it will be someone who is pretty tech-savvy. “For a long time we thought there would be another Randy Travis type showing up, and I do think it will take someone with that heart and soul in the technology space to turn it around now. Someone who knows what buttons to push and loves music with a desire to see the ship get righted again.”
But Garth isn’t too concerned. Because as he said, “I don’t know who gets credited with the saying, but the one thing that always saves country music is country music.”