Where Music Innovation Comes From

By Michael Vincent on September 19, 2022

The role of gatekeepers in music has been shifting to algorithms on platforms such as YouTube, Spotify, and TikTok.

This has resulted in lower barriers to entry for musicians, it has also made it harder for new innovative musicians to break through. This is due to the effect that only the most mass appealing music tends to be promoted on the social media feed, which results in a kind of echo chamber for the music people hear most.

The concern is that mainstream music is damaging to creativity, especially considering how many important musicians come from artists outside of the norm.

  • Maria Callas‘ unusual vocal tone left an important mark on opera
  • Glenn Gould ignored standard performance practice and often favoured overlooked repertoire
  • Elvis Presley came from Mississippi, one of the poorest states in America
  • The Beatles came from Liverpool, a city seen as a cultural backwater
  • Hip-hop originated in the counterculture found in the Bronx
  • Jazz originated in New Orleans, a port city with five transient cultural influences

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