Photo Via The Fader

The Industry Plant

Ending all conspirator suspicions once and for all.

There have been moments in my life when I’ve been without an aux cord and practically forced to listen to the radio.  In those moments I usually hear a regular rotation of the same songs from the same artists who’ve been dominating billboard charts.   With the usual suspects amongst the crowd, there’s always two or three new artists heavily thrown in the mix that command my attention.  Typically inducing curiosity, the inquiry process begins as said new artist(s) begins to blow up via social stratospheres while I take time to study their climb.  No shocker to the power of the internet and its capable virality, it’s not hard to believe in “overnight success stories” when learning years of hardwork and dedication to a craft finally pays off.  The real kicker comes when learning of said new artist and their very first song attempt landing them true “overnight success”. Never an adamant believer in the “Industry Plant” terminology; to not become a bit skeptical when observing overnight stardom for some would be considered naive. Compelling me to take a much closer look.  

In our current state of virality, the label made industry plant becomes very real when paid observers scout for what may look and sound good.  With the correct money and resource formula, practically any new artist can be dubbed as such without knowing the full story.  Making an artist like Russ a once easy target and topic of conversation when his “one song a day for a year straight” groundwork gets overshadowed by eventual sold out arenas and seemingly instant chart topping outcomes.  Meanwhile when the stars don’t quite align for those we have highly coveted for years, with a well documented ability to do so; cognitive dissonance sets in and industry plant rumors morph.

Photo Via DJBooth

To be fair, the sole purpose of the major label when investing in new acts is to exhaust all resources (meaning money & connections) into radio, media outlets, and any other avenues that reaches their consumer to maximize ROI.  Leading some to question why certain acts get more and others get less. Conversations of a industry plant become applicable when obvious agendas get pushed through controversial lyrics, followed by caricature personas, transcending subjective borderline music.  Leaving the casual conspirator to forget about the actual business model (capitalism) and examine deeper reasons for such tactic.

As more artist’s such as Tekashi 6ix9ine, The City Girls, & Lil Baby come out batting a thousand with admitted beginners luck.  It grows harder for industry plant conspirators to be shunned and totally written off as such. Even when truly organic magic happens to the lucky yet talented act who creates a catchy record entirely on his or her own.  The well connected powers of a Quality Control Music, and or Elliot Grainge, working behind them eliminates commercial failure as an option.  Ultimately shining a dim light on the could be industry plant when a noticeable suspected storyline is simultaneously built around the artist while the music benefits from continual airplay.    

Photo Via The Cut

Great business relationships aside, this blurred line formula can be understandably confused for foul play when losing sight of the label’s ultimate goal of protecting and maximizing investments.  This calculated selective process amongst a massive roster of artists can certainly be questioned for those particular individuals who are championed. But when the people positively respond to what they want, or what they think they may want; a heavy foot on the gas of any particular artist becomes crucial business 101 practices.  Easily placing a uniquely uninformed industry plant label on any and every successful new act.  

Darnell Schoolfield

Nell is an established writer with years of experience contributing to the building of brands through journalism, web building, brand management, and artistry. Follow him on Twitter.Twitter

November 30, 2018

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