Sunday, December 26, 2010

Crystal Bowersox on American Idol

I'm decidedly not an American Idol fan. Besides the whole issue of the embarrassment round, I often find that the contestants, while fine singers, are not the best interpreters of song. It's part of a larger issue I have with pop music but AI seems to amplify it. That being said, I enjoyed Crystal Bowersox's run. She had some interesting -- but not at all shocking -- things to say about the show, and pop stardom in general in Pop & Hiss:
It’s pretty much impossible to break into this business unless you know someone or someone owes you a favor. I mean, there are a lot of politics in the industry and it’s a pretty closed circle. They don’t want to let a lot of new guys in, so it’s been rough to get in. Without “Idol,” I would have continued to play music and I would have gone on small tours. There’s nothing that would have stopped me from doing this for a living. But through “Idol,” you gain an instant audience. It’s a really loving one, and at times it can be brutal -- but for the most part very supportive and friendly. “American Idol” has given me everything I have right now. I’m standing in my garage looking at my car from Ford and my boxes of things because I just moved into a new place, and I just know this would have been impossible without trying out for the show. I have stability now. It's incredible.
I feel very, very old and out-of-touch. Twenty, even ten, years ago, an artist could get signed to an indie or smaller label with the hope of eventually moving to a larger one; or bypass the hit-making machine entirely, sticking with the indie and opting for respect over fame. I'm slowly realizing, especially now as bands can develop a pretty large audience through online exposure alone, that this was something almost exclusive to my generation: the very definite line between indie and not-indie.

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