Senior Passion Project SCARLET R.


“El Último Tour Del Mundo” Bad Bunny Album Review

By Scarlet Ruiz February 9, 2021

2020 was a very eventful year for artist Bad Bunny. Starting the year with an incredible sophomore album drop, ‘YHLQMDLG’ boosted him into superstardom. Then a surprise drop during quarantine in May with ‘Los Que No Iban a Salir’, there was undoubtedly a lot of pressure on the 26-year-old Puerto Rican artist to keep the winning streak alive.

On November 25, Bad Bunny posted to his Instagram account a video revealing his new album, and also alluded to a retirement. However shocking both announcements were, they weren't unexpected. However, the rumors of retirement have been put to rest in an interview where Bad Bunny confirmed that he is nowhere near stopping his success, “For now, I'm still here” he says.

On Track 20 titled ‘<3’ on ‘YHLQMDLG’ (released in February), he sings “Y en nueve mese' vuelvo y saco otro / Pa' retirarme tranquilo como Miguel Cotto”. Which translates to ‘And in nine months I'll come back and drop another one / To retire quietly like Miguel Cotto’.

Bad Bunny, whose real name is Benito, released ‘El Ultimo Tour Del Mundo’ on Thanksgiving day. A 16 track album that included songs with other well-known reggaeton artists Rosalia and Jhay Cortez.

This album is different from any other album he has created before. His first album ‘X100pre’ was a more trap and traditional reggaeton album. ‘YHLQMDLG’ was the party album, with music you could hear in clubs and family parties. ‘Los Que No Iban a Salir’ paid tribute to old-school reggaeton, with a lot of the founding fathers of the genre included in it. But ‘El Ultimo Tour Del Mundo’ was something completely different.

He describes it as a melodic, darker album, visualized as the last world tour in 2032. “It’s completely different from YHLQMDLG. This is a more sentimental album, more chill, the kind of thing you can listen to in your room,” he explains.

With an album that connects all different types of genres from rock on ‘Yo Visto Asi’, Latin trap that Bad Bunny started his career with on ‘Booker T’ and ‘Hoy Cobre’, melancholy love songs like ‘Haciendo Que Me Amas’ and ‘Te Deseo Lo Mejor’, there is something for everyone.

This album also included Bad Bunny’s first number 1 global song ‘Dakiti’ which he had recorded with Jhay Cortez. If you want a new wave reggaeton song, this is it. A euphoric hit that can transform any space you are into a reggaeton party.

“I laugh because people told me I kept on releasing perreo at a time when people couldn’t go out and party and I said, "OK. Now you can’t complain." This is an album for you to stay at home, chill, having a beer, a glass of wine, paying attention to the lyrics. It’s a bit more rock 'n' roll, a lot of guitars -- there’s one song that only has guitar -- it’s more musical, has more fusions, and also reggaetón and rap.” Benito explains how quarantine ruined the experience of perreo that his previous albums were made for.

Songs like ‘Maldita Pobreza’ and ‘Yo Visto Asi’ take a different approach than what we are used to hearing from Benito. These songs are spiky, headbanging, rock anthems that take you back to old Spanish rock from bands like Mana, but with a new reggaeton twist. We got a little glimpse of this side of Bad Bunny on ‘Hablamos Manana’ from YHLQMDG, but in this album, we got more, and thankfully so.

“Obviously I can make reggaeton, but I can also make other rhythms, other fusions, and that’s part of what I’m passionate about — creating and having no limits.” Benito says about the mix of genres on the new album, “There are so many rhythms in the world, and there’s so much to try still.”

Time and time again, Bad Bunny creates new sounds that no other artist is bringing to the table. There is something for everyone in the album, and there is no bad song. Each song creates its own atmosphere and emotions that can make you laugh, cry, dance, and sing your heart out.


After 28 years, the infamous Daft Punk has split up

February 22, 2021

Just earlier today, the French duo released an 8-minute video depicting the split and end of the world-wide known group, Daft Punk.

(Daft Punk, photo by David Black)

What started as a small Paris-based group in 1993 created by Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, has become a household name with musical masterpieces that continue to be played in every corner of the world.

For the past 23 years, the world has been enamored by the idea of Daft Punk, a faceless duo who created funky, techno music with influences from R&B, house, synth, pop, hip hop, and more. They created a sound that would go on to be imitated for artist years to come.

Although they were together for 23 years they only released 4 albums, ‘Homework’ 1997, ‘Discovery’ 2001, ‘’Human After All’ 2005, ‘Random Access Memories’ 2013. Along with those albums came timeless hits ‘One More Time’, ‘Harder Better Faster Stronger’, ‘Around the World', ’Da Funk’. Songs like ‘Get Lucky’ with Pharrell won the pair Record of the Year in 2014. Collaborations with the Weeknd on ‘Starboy’ earned them their first #1 song on the charts.

More on the video uploaded on their channel earlier today titled ‘Epilogue’. The video shows the pair walking together until the Bangalter falters behind. Eventually, Homem-Christo notices and walks back to his partner. Bangalter takes off his jacket, encrusted with a bedazzled ‘Daft Punk’ on the back, revealing a small button. Without the pair ever speaking a word through the video, Homem-Christo presses the button initiating a 1-minute countdown. Bangalter walks off into the distance as the sun sets and self-destructs. Leaving Homem Christo to walk the vast desert alone into the horizon.

The video also faded to a clip of silver and gold hands positioned as a triangle with the date 1993-2021 depicting the ends of the duo's victorious era.

It’s no secret that Daft Punk not only created the groundwork for genres like EDM and house music and for artists like Skrillex and Deadmau5. Their iconic robot helmet look that they began to showcase in 1999 gave way for imitation artists who would use their innovativeness later on.

Stereogum writes, “They leave behind a towering body of work wrapped up in some of the most instantly recognizable sonic and visual imprints in music history”.

As someone who grew up hearing their music constantly and being entranced by the supersonic, futuristic sound they delivered, it's melancholic to hear about their split. As with the way others feel, Daft Punk has always been a prominent figure and has always worked its way into everybody's music playlist. If you didn’t know the name Daft Punk (and who didn’t?), you definitely would know their music.

People on social media express their gratitude and grief for the duo. Comments under the 'Epilogue’ video included “THE greatest to EVER do it. Words can’t describe the inspiration & knowledge we gained from listening to the 2 robots over the years. Wishing them nothing but good energy & positivity for the future - Thank you for everything Guy & Thomas”, “Absolute legends. Your dedication to the craft above all else inspires us all. You'll always live on in our hearts.” and more.

Although the duo may have officially ended their endeavor together, their music will continue to be played, enjoyed, and cherished by many in cars, rooms, house parties, filled-out areas, and festivals.


Maluma by Sony Music / LoMasRankio

Maluma’s surprise drop album that made the anticipation of summer that much bigger

February 28, 2021

Just last month, Columbian singer Maluma dropped his 7th album titled ‘ #7DJ (7 Dias En Jamaica).’ The album consisted of 7 tracks, combining the Urbano Latino genre with spunky Jamaican rhythms.

Fittingly titled, this album was inspired and created during a week-long trip Maluma took to the islands of Jamaica in an attempt to rework and find his passion for music once again.

The album embodies what summer feels like, with colorful tones, smooth beats, and joyful sounds. When listening to this album, the vision of a white sand beach, clear skies, and cool water comes to mind.

When Maluma first released this album, there was some speculation amongst fans and listeners if this album would work well. As the roots of reggaeton and music, Urbano Latino has to pay its respects and got its roots from the reggae music of Jamaica. This album had to be played out correctly between the fine line of appreciation and appropriation.

“We wouldn't have Urban Latino music without Africa and the contributions of the Black community in Latin American and here in the U.S.,” Maluma reveals to Entertainment Weekly. “This album is a small way to show my love for Jamaica and for Black culture.”

When thinking of Jamaican music, the first artist to pop up in everybody's mind is Bob Marley. As a big fan and someone who grew up listening to Marley's music, Maluma took inspiration from the legendary reggae artist, as far as having Marley's son Ziggy on the opening track, ‘Tonika’.

"I don't think words exist to express my gratitude to him for his participation,” he says. “I hope in some way our collaboration adds to the Marley legacy, as it certainly adds something notable and special to mine. Working with Ziggy was like having a sliver of the island's roots embedded in my legacy forever.”

Maluma has never been one to break out of his genre and rarely makes drastic creative takes. But with this album, that is seen through the reggae-influenced beats and the new styles Maluma adds to his lyrics and singing. Such as on track 6 ‘La Burbuja’, a spunky lively song that invigorates you to get up and dance.

Not only is this album a call back to Jamaican music, but also features a visionary aspect. Every song is accompanied by a music video that showcases the rich culture and people of Jamaica.

This album is different than anything we have ever heard from Maluma, and the way the album is played is also different. Each song when played in order has a smooth transition from each track to the next, that the change from one song to the next is undetectable.

Overall this album takes inspiration and appreciates the Jamaican music scene. However, it follows the Maluma formula which he had perfected over time. Something new, but still standard enough for Maluma to get radio plays. It takes a dip into the history of Jamaican music but still is the works of reggaeton and Urbano Latino. It is a good album to listen to in the summer at the beach or on a sunny day.

-Bobby Shurmda-

After 6 years, the prison release that the rap world has been waiting for finally arrives.

About a week ago New York rapper, Bobby Shurmda, was released from 6-year incarceration, 10 months earlier than anticipated. What greeted him was a fanbase steadily growing and waiting for his return.

Photo by GQ

March 2,2021

Bobby Shmurda, whose real name is Ackquille Pollard, was first arrested in 2014. His case was on second-degree criminal possession and fourth-degree conspiracy. His incarceration was part of a raid by New York police in December of 2014. Alongside Bobby, 14 other GS9 members were also arrested, including friend and rapper Rowdy Rebel.

For the last 3 years, Pollard had spent his time in upstate New York at Clinton Correctional Facility, a maximum-security prison. Speaking on his treatment and time incarcerated Bobby says, “They made me a monster now. You’re like an animal in a f*cking cage. And you're mentally a monster. Physically a monster. Spiritually a monster. They aren't going to know what to do with you.”

It's no secret that prisons' treatment of inmates is a problem, especially with people of color. The power surge that correctional officers gain can be tormenting to the livelihoods and mental health of inmates. And for inmates with fame, it can go both ways. Pollard explains how the racially charged abuse started with the rise of his fame causing him inconveniences and problems within the walls of the prison.

“That’s just how cowards with power work. What I’mma do? Blame it on the tax bracket,” Pollard says, exposing the truth of these prison systems.

Pollard spent no time at all upon his release rekindling the relationships that were put on halt at the time of his arrest. Long-time friend, Quavo, made sure of it that Pollard was greeted with abundance and prosperity for his first day out of the cell. Welcoming Pollard in a private jet, he was ready to take him to his welcome home party where his family and friends had been waiting to see him for six years.

The Bobby Shmurda of today has been hardened by prison mentally and physically. But the carefree, goofy, and playful Bobby seen in the music video that skyrocketed him to fame is still there.

“My spirit’s always gon’ be up. I used to sleep next to people who had 40 to life. People who’ve been in there for 30 years and haven’t laughed—I’d have them crying all day.” He explains, “When you got good energy, no matter where you at, you can bring a smile to someone’s face.”

As for what his plans are for the future, his time in prison helps him to create those plans. He began to study and learn about real estate which gave him a new goal for when he was. Music is always a career option for him, but expanding his empire in other ways with real estate is what is on his mind.

Showing their loyalty, fans throughout his incarceration have been keeping Pollards' spirits high. Sending him letters and mail expressing their allegiance and gratitude for Bobby and his music. “I didn't really care too much for it until I went to jail and I seen how the fans were loyal,” GQ writes. “I can’t name a week that I didn’t see at least 10 [pieces] of fan mail, throughout the whole bid.”

Not only did those motivating letters help him to start to take his music career seriously, but they also helped to show him people were looking up to him and watching him as an example. “It was 2016, I was in the box. A six-year-old girl wrote to me; she said I was her favorite rapper… That just let me know the kids are watching me, and I have to be a role model.” Bobby says.

Along with his studies within the prison on real estate, and his fan letters showing him that he is a role model. Bobby plans to use his influence to help speak to kids who have had difficulty with the law and need support. “I want to talk to those kids, you know, in those places and tell them they can be more and this is not it. Nobody want to spend their life in jail and I feel like they can do so much more.”

While there is a lot of potential, opportunities, and goals that Pollard has for his new life. For now, he wants to enjoy his life outside the prison walls with family and friends.

“I just wanna watch the city, man,” he says, looking out to the city that both made him and locked him up. “I been watching mountains for too long.”


Mariachis strings are tied as they struggle to find jobs amid the pandemic

Being a Mariachi means depending on people having gatherings and parties to book you for a gig. But with the ongoing pandemic and strict social distancing, these Mariachi bands find themselves struggling to make money, stay afloat, and play the music they love.

Mariachi in Girabaldi Square, Mexico City / Associated Press

March 16, 2021

A big part for many, Mariachis remind people of the hometowns in Mexico, memories, passed loved ones, romantic relationships, and simpler times. The ballads sung by the mariachis are shared in tune with those listening.

Before the pandemic at any Mexican party or plaza or restaurant, you can find a Mariachi singing Las Mananitas or songs requested from those listening. But as the pandemic rages on and people are confined to their house and social distancing is enforced, Mariachis are finding it hard to get booked.

With an increase in COVID-19 deaths, the only jobs these Mariachis are finding are playing funerals. They share the pain and mourning of a passed one's family by playing songs that remind the families of their loved ones.

Mariachi Divinas, a San Diego-based Mariachi band, have averaged about three to four funeral gigs weekly, where a prior once-a-week funeral was played pre-pandemic.

Even with proper safety and regulation protocols, Mariachi members are taking an extreme risk playing. KNBC-TV Channel 4 has reported that in Los Angeles there have been at least 20 mariachi deaths amid the pandemic.

“It’s the only option they have to make money,” Paredes, director of University of San Diego’s mariachi ensemble said. “They need to play.”

Even though Latinos only make up for 40% of California's population, they comprise nearly 56% of covid cases and 47% of covid deaths.

People don't just become mariachis for the fun of it, for most it has been a way of life. They are introduced to the culture at birth and through traditions of former family playing in Mariachis. To not only have your job taken but your love of playing taken away at the same time is hard to deal with.

"To be told that on the weekend there won't be any work, it saddens me," Rodolfo Torres of San Jose-based Mariachi Mi Mexico por Siempre said, "not only because I'm not making money, but because I can't do what I love."

This struggle Mariachis are facing does not stop at city, state, or country borders. In Mexico, where the hearts and origin of the genre lay, bands have taken to the streets hoping to get passerby's to pay for a serenade or ballad.

Hit hard by the lack of seriousness taken by the Mexican President at the beginning of the pandemic, lack of tourism, and pandemic regulations, Mexican Mariachi bands are also finding themselves in the same boat as the Mariachi bands in America.

In Garibaldi Plaza, Mexico City, prior to the pandemic, you could find the streets and plaza center filled with Mariachis playing their joyous music. Street vendors, store owners, and restaurant workers would make the plaza lively with culture alongside the Mariachis melodic tunes.

But now in the pandemic, the plaza is a ghost town as Mariachis try to find somebody who is willing to pay for a strum of a guitar, blow of a trumpet, or ballad.

More than 90% of Mexican businesses are labeled as micro-enterprises, small dependent stores, companies, and markets that are self-sustained and dependent on a day's work and pay. Making the support from the government is hardly anything and leaving many without a safety net or steady income to survive.

“We want help, we want the people to know that the mariachis live on,” Marcos Montes, a musician tells El Universal. “We want to work and need the support of people — perhaps not with handouts but by coming to see us and by hiring us.”

The evidence is there in the streets, through the quietness carried in the wind that these Mariachis across nations have all been hit hard by the pandemic. But there is no doubt that with the love of Mariachi music, the strong Mexican will embedded in those musicians, and the need for music and connection in these trying times, Mariachis will preserve.

“When the world ends, the two things to survive will be cockroaches and mariachis,” Mariachi Gabriel Jimarez says, strolling off in search of a serenade.


Matching Face Mask, Record Breaking, and Boas live from the 2021 Grammy’s

March 23, 2021

Instead of a hall filled up with A list celebrities, musical legends, and intricate performances, this year the Grammys were quaint, socially distanced and the highest fashion was matching face masks and gowns.

(Harry Styles at the 20201 Grammy’s / Getty Images)

Hosted by Trevor Noah, the Grammys took place Sunday, March 14 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Instead of the Grammys being filled with everybody and anyone, performers and winners were seen socially distanced at dinner tables waiting for their award or their performance.

The Grammys opened up with Harry Styles who sang his top hit ‘Watermelon Sugar’ from his 2019 sophomore album ‘Fine Line’. As a First-time Grammy nominee and first-time opener he made ‘Watermelon Sugar’ a groovy energetic performance. His performance showed the audience and the world that he deserved to be at the Grammys. He won best pop solo performance while sporting a variety of different colored boas.

Adjacent and following Styles’ performance, Billie Eilish performed her recent song ‘Everything I Wanted’ alongside her brother Finneas. Nominated for 3 Grammys this year, the 19-year-old took home the award for record of the year.

This year the Grammys focused on the current political issues that have taken place in the past year, by highlighting and praising Black artists and the Black Lives Matter movement. The academy has long been criticized for its lack of diversity in awarding and nominating musicians and artists of color. Additionally, not acknowledging artists who fans and the public both recognize as being more than deserving of a Grammy, some people have gone as for as labeling the Grammys and ‘The Scammys".

Some artists like Zayn Malik, former One direction member, went as far as to tweet about the inconsequential award show. He tweeted “F**k the Grammys and everyone associated. Unless you shake hands and send gifts, there’s no nomination considerations.”

Even though there are errors in the Grammys and faults to be held by the recording academy, some historic record-breaking events did take place during Sunday night.

Megan thee Stallion exuberated excellence during her performance of ‘Body’ and ‘Savage’, as well as her performance of ‘WAP’ with Cardi B. She also made history by becoming the first female artist to win a Grammy for best rap song.

Other women who made history at the Grammys included Taylor Swift, who became the first female artist to win Album of the Year 3 times. Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande became the first female duo to win best pop collaboration for their work on ‘Rain on Me’. Beyonce's daughter, Blue Ivy, became the second-youngest person to win a grammy. She was awarded the Grammy for best music video for her participation in ‘Brown Skin Girl’ by Beyonce.

Most notably, Beyonce set records and made history during the 63rd Grammys. Not only was she apart of Megan thee Stallions win for best rap song, but she also set a new record with her 28th win as the most awarded woman in Grammy history, surpassing Alison Krauss.

Other notable events of the evening were Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak unveiling for the first time live Silk Sonic. They performed ‘Leave The Door Open’ a silky smooth, 70’s reminiscent, R&B track.

This year's Grammys focused on music performances, Black excellence, and celebrating and uplifting the everyday business and community that were affected by the pandemic and Covid-19.

For a full list of all the Grammy winners, visit here.

-Selena Quintanilla-

La Flor Que Nunca Marchito: How Selena Continues to Influence the World, 26 years later

March 31,2021

Since the ’90s, Selena has been a household name. Even 26 years later, her influence is still seen in pop culture, Spanish music, fashion, and the identities of Mexican Americans. Movies, shows, books, makeup, and clothes are still being created in memoriam of the late Queen of Tejano music.

Selena Quintanilla was not only an amazing singer, actress, designer, but she was also a kind-hearted, caring, and inspiring soul. For many Mexican-Americans, she was a symbol of success, familiarity, and greatness.

For me, Selena has influenced me more than one can imagine. Growing up, I listened to her songs and mimicked her iconic spins and dance moves on the kitchen floor. For me and many young Latina girls, she was a role model of someone who worked hard for her family and her passion.

I saw her as a big sister in more ways than one. Not only did she guide me mentally, spiritually, and morally, but her iconic fashion, humor, and personality were also something I venerated and admired. I looked to her to make sure I was doing the right thing and used her as a measure of how hard I was working.

What made Selena so relatable was that people saw themselves within her. No matter how famous she got, it was obvious that she still saw herself as any other average person. But to describe Selena as average was anything but correct.

The Queen of Tejano wasn’t always savvy in speaking Spanish, even messing up in interviews at times and having to learn how to phonetically sing her lyrics in the beginning. Seeing that even someone so successful with a Spanish musical career struggled with learning the language just like me, made me feel seen and represented.

For many, the only representation they saw in the media and society at the time was Selena. She was a pioneer for crossing the bridge, making Mexican and American music cultures mix. She often incorporated relevant music influences of her time into her Tejano songs and albums.

Opening her shows in a disco medley with popular American music including ‘I Will Survive’, ‘Funkytown’, ‘Last Dance’, ‘The Hustle, and ‘On The Radio’ garnered the attention of American fans. Captivating the hearts of Mexicans and Americans, one of Selena's dreams was creating an English album, which she had been in the process of creating at the time of her death.

The last time the world would hear new lyrics and notes from the Queen of Tejano music came four months after her death when ‘Dreaming of You’, her crossover album was released posthumously.

Even in death, Selena continued to cross barriers and break records. Her last album debuted at the top of the Billboard top 200 and was the best-selling Latin album for the next two decades. Her success showed just how big and full of potential the market of audiences and fans of Latin music in America was. She paved the way for all the great Spanish artists to come.

Through her music, I learned more Spanish and connected with my culture, something many other Mexican Americans can relate to. She's become a bridge connecting generations of Mexican Americans, a conversation starter for parents and kids recounting stories of seeing Selena in concert.

Even now listening to her last concert brings tears to my eyes. Knowing the heinous crimes that were committed that made such a talented and beautiful person leave this earth too soon fills me with anger. Seeing how her husband and family and the music industry are left empty without her makes me hurt with grief.

There was and will only ever be one Selena. Her work ethic, warm smile, hearty laugh, and fierce performance skills can never be recreated. It goes without saying that if Selena was here now she would’ve been even more of a worldwide superstar than she is. Who knows? She’s dominated the world even in death, there is no telling what she would’ve been capable of doing now.

Selena, the world is still dreaming of you.


From Record Breaking Sales, New Releases, and Passing; What Happened in Music this Week

April 19, 2021

A number of events occurred in the past weeks for music, from tours being announced (and sold out), albums being announced and released, and musical legends passing.

At the beginning of April, Taylor Swift released her highly anticipated new version of her 2008 album ‘Fearless’. oming after a long battle to own the masters of her songs after Scooter Braun obtained the rights to them through purchasing the label Taylor was under.

The original album reached the number 1 spot in November 2008, and the new version also debuted at number 1 on Billboard’s top 200, making this Taylors' ninth time at the number one spot, and third time in a year after releasing back-to-back albums ‘Folklore’ and ‘Evermore’.Fans got to relish and relive listening to the album for the first time once again and also got to listen to 6 new unreleased songs.

Olivia Rodrigo, a singer who has had her own share of number one songs, and a big fan of Taylor (who has taken her under her wing) also had big news for her music this month.

Since her successful song ‘Drivers License’ reached number 1 on Billboard top 100 and stayed on top for 8 weeks, and her second successful single ‘Deja Vu’ also getting a spot on the chart, she announced her new album. It serves as an 11 track disc featuring the aforementioned songs, titled ‘Sour’ set to release May 21.

Another star who people have been steadily waiting for news from also shocked and sent fans into a frenzy this month. Bad Bunny uploaded a video to his Instagram announcing a 2022 tour.

The 35 city tour across North America, titled fittingly to match with the Puerto Rican’s most recent album ‘El Último Tour Del Mundo 2022’, went on sale April 15. With fans crashing the Ticketmaster site, it became the website's fastest-selling tour since 2018.

Tickets reached shocking prices,with tickets surpassing 5,000 dollars, new dates were added and major cities like Los Angeles, New York, and Miami were sold out. The tour begins February 9 and is projected to make more than $60 million.

On April 9, rapper DMX passed away in his home after being hospitalized days prior. The rap world mourned his loss, and multiple celebrities, fellow musicians, and fans shared their experience and blissful memories of the rapper.

He passed at 50 and is survived by his 15 children and mother. His successful career included a 1999 multi-platinum album ‘...And Then There Was X’, and a film career starring in ‘Romeo Must Die’, ’Exit Wounds’ and more. Signed to Def jam, his most recent music was in 2017 with his single ‘Bain Iz Back’.

Most recently, Rolling Loud announced their 2021 festival as well as the lineup, including artists Megan Thee Stallion, Post Malone, and recently released Bobby Shmurda.

Set to take place on July 23-25 in Miami, Florida at the Hard Rock Stadium, it comes as a new hope for live concerts and festivals returns with the release and distribution of the covid vaccine.

Music lovers, concert go-ers, and everybody in between are all looking forward to a concert-filled musical year that's to come, as the end of the pandemic seems to be nearing. After postponed albums, canceled tours, and a new surge of musical creativity, we can’t wait to see what 2022 and beyond has to bring for new music culture.

Online concerts have made it easier for fans to experience their favorite artist live

May 3, 2021

After more than a year in a global pandemic and with social gatherings being limited, artists have toyed with virtual concerts. And the results? A new modern solution (and cheaper) way of connecting fans with artists.

Behind the scene of a virtual concert / NYTimes

Throughout the pandemic, artists have had to find a new way of connecting, performing, and releasing new music to fans and listeners. With so many platforms with live streaming appliances accessible, it’s a no-brainer that musicians took to social media apps and other live streaming platforms to perform live virtual concerts at home.

At the beginning of the new surge of virtual concerts, most were held on social media platforms like Instagram Live and other social media mediums with the same live streaming options. Musicians would sit down, whether on a couch or the floor, face to face with a camera and their music. A live chat of supporters and people watching could interact with the artist by asking questions or just commenting. This early version created an atmosphere and close culture between musicians and their fans that had never been seen before. A connection, not quite the same as live concerts, but not necessarily a bad connection - unless it was an actual bad wifi connection.

But just as any other worker during the pandemic, they needed to find a way to make up lost revenue from canceled tours and shows that would’ve been done if COVID-19 had not put everything on halt. That’s when other live streaming services and tickets for exclusive private virtual rooms and general admission tickets were put into use.

Artists began to formally plan virtual concerts in empty stadiums and theaters with tickets for sale. Some also partnered with other companies like Minecraft and Fortnite to hold virtual concerts within the respected games and platforms. Others would put on concerts with elaborate lighting and camera angles for charity.

“We did see scenarios where people actually made more money than they might’ve on tour,” said Ben Baruch, owner of 11Elven Group, a management company that has been hosting a recurrent virtual festival throughout the pandemic.

Although for some bigger mainstream artists live streaming and performing a couple of songs was just an afterthought to do when bored at home. For other smaller artists whose main revenue came from live shows, they used these new virtual concerts and ticket selling to stay afloat.

But like in any other field, there is competition for the viewer and their money. So when big artists do a free live stream on Instagram captivating and taking the revenue from smaller artists, who charge for their put-together concerts, it can be difficult.

Rapper Murs, who has been using Twitch for years to interact and perform for fans, knows firsthand how no amount of virtual concerts can make up for the income that live concerts can bring in.

Although there are some ups and downs and disadvantages for the smaller artist through the use of virtual concerts, there is no denying that it creates a new and fresh way of performing never before experienced.

It allows for artists to see what fans are saying live and first hand, it also creates a new environment for new ideas to come. For fans who can’t afford to go to a live concert, a virtual one is the next best thing. Bringing up the question of how accessible can the music industry make concerts for the everyday listener who may not be able to drop a bill to see their favorite musician live.