The Globalisation of Music

Music has evolved exponentially over the past centuries — from the technologies it takes to produce a song, to the way in which consumers listen to that song. Globalisation has allowed many things to change and evolve in the music industry; including the the accessibility to music, the increase in music produced each day, and the exposure to different cultures and genres in music. I will also be talking about the fairly-new genre that has emerged from Britain and taken over the charts, known as Grime.

The emergence of technology in the music industry has provided consumers a variety of options on where or how they listen to music. Looking back fifty years ago to the 1960’s and 70’s, music was only played on the radio, or sold as a vinyl record or cassette tape, and it was awfully hard for musicians to connect with their fans. Fast forward to today, where consuming music is more free and easy to obtain than ever. There’s an abundance of streaming services such as Spotify, Soundcloud and Apple Music, readily available to consumers, which allow them to listen to their favourite artists with a touch of a button. Additionally, Youtube and TV music channels show music videos that are available for viewing 24/7.

Music is a lot more widespread now, and has more exposure to different cultures and genres. Relating back to the 1960’s mentioned before, this decade also brought us the iconic ‘British Invasion’ era. Bands from all across Britain emerged and found mainstream success worldwide. This period of time consisted predominantly of rock bands, which then ventured off and created their own unique styles. These bands included The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and The Who.

Today, the music Britain is most commonly known for is Grime. This is a genre that originally came about in London in the early 2000’s, combining other styles including garage, jungle, and hip hop (Jessica Lindsay, 2018). Although it is most popular in Britain, Grime is rapidly expanding all over the globe, with the help of the internet and social media to spread the word. What makes Grime a real movement are the honest stories of tragedy and achievement they share in their lyrics. These words resonate with listeners and creates a strong connection between the musician and the fan.

A huge Grime artist at the moment is Stormzy, a 26 year old rapper and singer from the south of London. He gained success after winning Best Grime Act at the 2014 MOBO’s. Stormzy is an openly religious man, who often preaches love and peace in his lyrics. He unapologetically shares his experiences with family and living in England, his worship of God and his own stance on political matters.

“My approach is just fearless. I’m not afraid to try anything.”

Stormzy

To give you a better understanding of both grime and Stormzy, below is the music video for Stormzy’s most popular song: Shut Up.

Reference List:

Dedman, T. (2010). ‘Agency in UK hip-hop and grime youth subcultures – peripherals and purists’. [online]. Taylor & Francis Online, viewed 30 Aug 2019, https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13676261.2010.549820

Letts, R. (2003). ‘The Effects of Globalisation on Music in Five Contrasting Countries: Australia, Germany, Nigeria, the Philippines and Uruguay’. [online]. Music Council of Australia, viewed 28 Aug 2019, http://www.imc-cim.org/mmap/pdf/int-dl-finrep-brief-e.pdf

Lindsay, J. (2018). ‘What is grime music? Definition and most famous artists’. [online]. Metro, viewed 30 Aug 2019, https://metro.co.uk/2018/02/22/grime-music-definition-famous-artists-7333385/

Stokes, M. (2014). ‘Creativity, Globalization and Music’. [online]. Volume!, viewed 28 Aug 2019, https://journals.openedition.org/volume/4561?lang=en

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