Seeing as music is generally considered a purely auditory art form, it’s rather perplexing to see how very different the paths that artists take to a hit tune frequently are. One would think that an aspiring artist would be limited to a simple, “The better the song, the bigger the hit” formula, but it seems that with the advent of technology, this relationship has been stretched to its breaking point.
Take a look back to the eighties; Michael Jackson (rest in peace, old friend), decided that simply playing music on the radio limited the potential that the art form had to provoke emotion, and thus, proceeded to pioneer the world of music videos by incorporating dance, and even story into his tracks. His approach was naturally a sensation, and thus, the concept of including visual creativity and dance as part of a whole “musical experience” caught on and has since continued to evolve (although the direction in which it is evolving is debatable) over the years. Throughout the nineties, for example, pop artists among the likes of Britney Spears, and her countless boy band counterparts used (or perhaps abused) the concept of dance and showmanship to a point where their stage strut was debatably more responsible for their success than the actual music itself. In fact, after discovering for the first time that many of these artists chose to dance at the expense of actually singing their own songs in a live setting, I began to doubt whether the exploitation of miscellaneous art surrounding the music industry could be any further exploited; Soulja Boy’s rise to fame in early 2007, however, served as proof that it could. Seeing as there is almost no feasible way that such a poor quality track could have made it to the top of the charts unassisted, it must be assumed that it was (virtually exclusively) the dance that went along with it that allowed it such success.
I suppose all I’m really trying to convey is that today’s industry relies on many more factors than simply the quality of an artist’s music, and though it’s generally true that an artist without musical talent is unlikely to encounter much success, one cannot deny the fact that the creativity involved with the image that the artist surrounds himself with can certainly influence the ease with which he rises to fame.
The reason I’ve brought all this to attention is that the aforementioned “image” aspect of music seems to have grown to envelope the world of dance music much more completely than it has the rest, and said world has thusly been transformed into one that refuses to believe that a DJ could do his job without having decked himself out in designer headphones and fluorescent American Apparel gear. Though this might seem a display of ignorance to those dedicated to purely the auditory world of music, I personally am intrigued by the competition this battle for style provides for. After all, who’s to say that artists like The Bloody Beetroots, with their symbolic masks and notoriously aggressive music videos, or Soulwax, with their night long Radio Soulwax parties, would even exist without their desire to stand out in such powerfully different and creative ways?
Much in the same way as the aforementioned artists, French production team Make the Girl Dance have thrust their careers and reputations to an almost unreachable level with their recent single, “Baby Baby Baby,” the video for which is an astounding tribute to the culture of our beloved world of disco. Make the Girl Dance have managed to capture, in its entirety, a visual representation of the image of bold confidence, lack of boundaries, and general disapproval for rules, and regulations within music that drive the sweet emotion of the moment that disco was invented to stand for, and oh, does it look good…
Did I mention that this entire video was shot candid, live, and without permits on the streets of Paris?