Learning The REAL Business
Sevyn Streeter recently sat down with 105.1 The Breakfast Club to promote her single “Prolly Feat. Gucci Mane” and her upcoming album slated for release at the top of 2017. During the interview, Dj Charlemagne asked Sevyn a great question;
“As a writer do you feel like you’ve given away a song that could’ve been a hit for you?”
It’s a common question asked to songwriters in the industry, but too often do we ignore the undertone of the question. When it’s asked to a White songwriter/artist the undertone does not exist, but when you’re a person of colour the undertone, which many of us live through, is whether or not if you did release a song that became a hit for your White peers, would it’ve been a hit for you as well? For instance, take a brand new artist, she’s White, and an accomplished Black artist/songwriter who sells a song to the new artist that becomes a number one hit, would that same song, if released by the Accomplished Black Artist/Songwriter have been a hit? No one can truly know, but the answer based on factual evidence is probably, no.
The evidence you ask? Black artist, no matter if they release a legit pop record or not, unless they are Rihanna or Beyonce, two of the only Black R&B stars who are considered Pop stars, will not be played on pop radio stations. However, if you’re a white artist, not only are you played on pop radio stations with white radio Dj’s but you’re also played on 105.1, Hot97, and sometimes even WBLS. For years black artist have been told, this song is too pop for you, this sound doesn’t fit you, or your market is the urban market, and they will never reach a say, Ryan Seacrest radio station, z100 or whatever other pop station who has millions and millions of white listeners, but also other races as well, vastly larger then urban stations which are so crowded because most artist of colour get sent to those stations.
Artist like K. Michelle, Tyrese, and even Jazmine Sullivan have all talked about this sever racial inequality in radio, and the music industry, but like most things, it gets swept under the rug, or seen as “Black people complaining about race again…”.
It’s amazing when young artist like Sevyn Streeter who has written some of the greatest songs in the past ten years like; “The Way” by Arianna Grande. Greatest in terms of sales of course. It was when Charlemagne said;
“it wouldnt’ve been a hit for you though because you’re Black…”
That sparked true conversation and a much needed reminder that, Black artist are jaded in the industry because of there skin colour, which is no different from Actors and starring roles. The industry, which is owned by White owners, White supremacist etc. too often feel a white face must be in the forefront in order to keep power and show the world whites do it right, in fear that if the keepers showed too often the opposite they’d lose power and wouldn’t keep their foot on the necks of the world. ..maybe I’m getting too deep, but they may be right about that. Either way, its wrong and Black artist are sick of it and fearfully speaking up.
Her response to Charlemagne’s question was one that will hopefully wake many of us up;
#SOULdiers, Are You Woke?
– Thanks For Reading #SOULdiers
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