Dubstep The Grammys and the Definition of Music
After winning the Grammy for Best Rock Performance, Dave Grohl went on to say a few things that pissed off more than a few in attendance that night “To me this award means a lot because it shows that the human element of music is what’s important. Singing into a microphone and learning to play an instrument and learning to do your craft, that’s the most important thing for people to do.” Now when I heard this all I could think was, wow that was probably one of the most honest and from the heart speeches I have heard in quite some time. Now what more than half of the Tumblr population heard was “Dubstep isn’t music”. A day or so later Dave issues a statement to clarify his acceptance speech for all of those who heard it so. He then goes on to say “Well, me and my big mouth. Never has a 33 second acceptance rant evoked such caps-lock postboard rage as my lil’ ode to analog recording has… I love music. I love ALL kinds of music. From Kyuss to Kraftwerk, Pinetop Perkins to Prodigy, Dead Kennedys to Deadmau5…..I love music. Electronic or acoustic, it doesn’t matter to me. The simple act of creating music is a beautiful gift that ALL human beings are blessed with. And the diversity of one musician’s personality to the next is what makes music so exciting and…..human.”
So this now brings me to this question: Is Dubstep music and are the makers of Dubstep artists? People seem to be very cut down the middle on this one. Personally I believe that what makes you an artist is using some sort of medium, whether it be a guitar, sound bites, or plastic tubing to make some sort of original creation. I asked around and this is what Sean M had to say “Some Dubstep artists use their own vocals in their works and the definition of music: (The art or science of combining vocal or instrumental sounds (or both) to produce beauty of form, harmony, and expression of emotion.) I think Dubstep producers count.”
If you listen to the end of Skrillex’s Song “Rock n’ Roll” you’ll hear a clip saying “They’re [Dubstep artists] not artists because nobody can play the guitar” (originally said by YouTube user XLR8RTV in the video “Episode 83: Glitch Mob Street Warfare”). Many people feel that in order to be an artist you need to play an instrument, but now being the digital age does the boundaries of this definition need to change with the times? Dan M says “I would consider them artists in some ways with all the extensive sampling and constant cutting and editing I bet it’s pretty hard they’re making their music like a canvas I guess”. With all said and done Skrillex did walk away with 3 Grammy awards (Best Dance Recording, Best Dance/Electronica Album and Best Remixed Recording, Non Classical) from the 5 nominations he received. So I suppose if the Grammy’s is recognizing him as an artist all of those naysayers need to sit down and shut up because he is here to stay.