By Hannah Chatelleir
Art by Emily Smith
This year in music has already been an anomaly. It has shown how artists can reach out to their fans and genuinely connect with them from the comfort of their own homes. The first few months of this year have also revealed that some artists’ time at home has not been as self-reflective. While some singers used their quarantine to get a driver's licence, others got their music banned on Spotify.
This January brought us many highly anticipated albums, one of which was Zayn Malik’s “Nobody is Listening.” Malik released his album on Jan. 15. Within the first few days the album hit number 22 on iTunes album charts Top 100, and then it fell dramatically, proving Malik’s point that nobody is listening, or at least not as many people as he had hoped.
February was an extraordinary month for music. It shed light on some of the most controversial topics in our world right now. Sia released the soundtrack to her new movie, Music. She sparked some controversy with her very first film due to the fact that she casted someone who is not autistic to play the part of an autistic child, which resulted in its soundtrack being temporarily blocked on Spotify. The Foo Fighters released a new album, “Medicine at Midnight,” described by Dave Grohl in an interview with NPR as a “Saturday night party album.” The punk rock band played the inauguration after party for President Joe Biden. During their performance, Grohl shouted out teachers for their hard work and dedication through the unprecedented past year.
March of this year brought the beloved Grammy’s. Which was filled with many memorable and revolutionary performances. Mickey Guyton delivered a compelling rendition of her hit song, “Black Like Me.” Guyton wrote the song to try to deliver a message about her struggles when breaking into the country music industry as a black woman. And she was heard. Guyton became the first African American woman to be nominated for a country music award at the Grammys. However, this was only a step in the right direction. With the percentage of black women in the country music industry staggeringly low, Guyton said it best, “I may not ever have some massive career, but I’m going to use the influence I have to open those doors for the future generation. And for young Black and Brown girls who have dreams that people will never consider, I’ll consider them. I’ll see them. And I will use the connections that I have to help them."
So far, the music industry has witnessed many memorable moments, and there is much more to come throughout the rest of the year. Artists including Drake and Lana Del Rey are expected to release albums soon, and there have been rumors of several unexpected but very exciting collaborations, perhaps even one between Avril Lavigne and Machine Gun Kelly.
With 30 billion dollars shoved down the drain and washed away by the endless hand sanitizing we have all done in the past year, the concert industry suffered greatly last year. Due to the pandemic, many artists had to cancel the tours, shows and festivals that they had been planning. Now that restrictions are loosening and vaccines are becoming more accessible to the general public, singers are itching to get back on their stages. Thomas Rhett’s tour is set to begin in June and end in September of this year. Luke Combs has a few stand-alone shows in June and August; then, he officially goes on tour September through December. Harry Styles is going on his North American tour this summer with special guest Jenny Lewis. Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, the Weeknd, Snoop Dogg and My Chemical Romance have also scheduled tours to kick off later this year.
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