Investigating the UnderGround

Personal

Disclaimer: Guest Post from 24k Goats blog.

The music industry is rapidly changing, with various styles coming in and out of popularity at all times. However, in this article, we shall be speaking in particular about what I have noted in the Underground hip-hop scene, via social media and direct inspection, and my thoughts on the topic. As an outsider of the industry, I perhaps can give some insight on why various techniques work and why others can falter. This is by no means insinuating that I am knowledgeable about the industry for I am far from stating that and/or believing such a stance. I am merely observing and detailing my thoughts.

Firstly, I notice this repeatedly and I find it troubling that other producers/ artists belittle and/or complain when another in the same industry has success come their way. Hostility forms and it can become disheartening to watch those that once complimented and/or respected the other, to become hostile the moment the other “makes” it. In true inspection through various industries, it becomes apparent that if one become successful, the chance for others in the same position to become successful, increases. This is summarised here. Through success comes connections so if more people become successful, theoretically, more connections are created and thus more people will view your content. The easiest way to grow is with your friends who are in the same industry with you. Do not discriminate and do not betray those that you once connected with, rather support them and grow together. This will benefit everyone.

Another observation noted, continuing on from the previous point, is the aura of competition present with the acts of various individuals. From comments to direct instigations, hostility is obvious. Whether this benefits your aesthetic or not, an individual should be sure to remain open to communication for it can provide them with connections, financial support etc. If you are to create an aura of friendliness and/or professionality in regards to your art, it will aid you in the long run of your career.

A personal complaint I have, not just in regards to the music industry but rather the media sphere in general, is the act of taking advantage of and/or assuming that you are entitled to a service. If you are asking for a service, generally compensation is required. This can either be through financial support or any beneficial compensation that is deemed acceptable between both parties. A service, by definition, is “a type of economic activity that is intangible, is not stored and does not result in ownership. A service is consumed at the point of sale”. By reading this, you will become aware that a service is consumed once a sale is actioned. If you wish free work to be had, approach the desirable party in an appropriate and polite manner, and find an agreement that can benefit both parties. Do not feel entitled to free work, that is not the way of successfulness.

Through reading this, it can seem that I am focusing on the negative aspects of the industry. I have detailed the attributes I believe to be poor because, in comparison to the positive aspects, the negatives are far less in number. There is incredible talent in the underground and I am privileged to be in a period where accessing others art is easy and achievable. If you believe you have talent, do not hesitate to work on your art every single day. By looking at these negative attributes, the negativity of the industry can hopefully be diminished and every artist and/or producer can succeed. You are all in this together, I implore you to acknowledge this.

This post was originally written on “24k Goats” as a guest post. 24k is a blog focused on the underground music industry and comments on various songs/ artists/producers and also interviews various talents. Click here to check 24k out.

Social Media: Does it AFFECT our mental health?

Journalism

Social media, is it really social?

According to “Social Media Statistics Australia” in August of 2017, 17 million users are active on Facebook in Australia, there are 5 million active Instagram users as well as 4 million active daily Snapchat users to name but just a few. Social media has taken over control of most individuals and I am no exception. Daily checks of our social media accounts have become religious actions, with the constant observation of our “like” and “follow” sections becoming our sole vision.

In this article, I am not shaming the use of social media but rather I am observing the effect of its influence over our lives; both positive and negative. I find the concept of social media to be great as it allows the communication of individuals from all over the globe. Through this, we can exchange ideas and further our knowledge and ideas, as well as be pushed out of our comfort zone through the knowledge of differing beliefs and concepts to our own.

The use of my blog, klhwriting, is a prime example of this point. I research articles and points to further my understanding of various topics and then write my own posts in regards to topics I feel strongly about, communicating those concepts with my readers. Individuals then comment and like the post, furthering the reach of the post and continuing this cycle; thus, expanding the audience that reads my posts.

This is true for other social media influencers who have much larger followings than myself, influencing other individuals with their work either directly or indirectly. Although sometimes not intentional, the impact of social media stars have over their fanbase can be astounding.

Bodily image perception is a point that comes to my mind immediately. Through observation of their favorite stars, individuals may feel that in order to fit the “conventional look of attractiveness” they must look like their stars. What they may not understand that these stars have undergone various photo shoots to capture the best photos, perhaps out of hundreds. The use of Adobe Photoshop and filters on the photos are also common use.

The Conversation states, “The greater the effort and concern around creating and posting the most attractive selfies, the greater the body image concerns.”

They continue further by saying, “People can become trapped in a vicious world. They anxiously await “likes” and feedback from others, then feel wounded and disappointed if the desired response is not forthcoming. They then feel even more distressed and anxious about their appearance.”

This is a major concern that is infiltrating the youth of today, but also the majority of society. The desire for acceptance and/or approval of one’s self-worth becomes evident.

The Sydney Morning Herald conducted a study in which 150 undergraduate students conducted surveys 5 times a day for 5 days. ” For each survey, they reported if they had compared their appearance with someone else’s, and whether they made that comparison after looking at social media, traditional media or in person. They also reported whether they thought the person looked better, the same or worse than them. They then rated their body image, mood and thoughts of dieting and exercising.”

The report also states that “Women reported being in the worst mood after social media comparisons relative to other comparisons. When women made social media comparisons, they also reported being unhappier with their appearance and more motivated to start unhealthy weight-loss activities, like going on a diet, than when they made comparisons in person.”

Similar results were also reported for men and individuals of other ages.

 

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Instagram, the social media giant that allows users to share pictures to all their followers.

 

The Guardian furthers this point with their own article which inspects the impact that social media has upon the viewers. It is brought forth that celebrities as well as friends, can have an impact on the mental wellbeing of individuals due to the “Airbrushed” effects on pictures of individuals.

“Around 70% of women aged 18 to 35 regularly edit their images before posting them – as do 50% of men in the same age group.” This data was collected by the Renfrew Center Foundation, an organisation that focuses on the impacts of eating disorders.

As shown by these statistics it becomes evident that social media can have a detrimental effect on the mental health of individuals and action must be done to combat the effects it has. However, I do endorse the positive effects of social media as well, due to being an avid user, especially of YouTube which allows me to view large selections of informing and entertaining videos.

In the meantime, I can just strongly recommend for users of social media to understand the impact that social media CAN have and find their own ways to combat this. This can be done through the removal of individuals who impact your mental wellbeing negatively as well as limit the amount of time you spend on social media each day.