ACM - Computers in Entertainment

Apple Music and Indie Artists

By Aishwary Narolia

Disclaimer: The executive producer of the album “I Am Not I” is Newton Lee, Computers in Entertainment’s Editor in Chief. The following is an independent review by Aishwary Narolia.

Thanks to Taylor Swift, whose letter "To Apple, Love Taylor," did much more than she intended. For Apple, it was a blessing in disguise. Not only did it create ripples across the industry but it was also instrumental in giving Apple Music the publicity boost it needed just before its launch. Apple agreed to pay royalties to the artists during the three-month trial period; many independent labels and artists who were initially reluctant to sign up with Apple Music will now have a very easy decision to make. Looking at the big picture, it turned out to be a win-win situation for everyone involved.

Apple Music is best described as a huge mash-up of Spotify, Pandora, Sound Cloud, and Google Music (Yay! For the fans!). Apple Music features both a streaming service and 24-hour radio station with a live DJ station called "Beats 1," broadcasting in 100-plus countries with DJ’s from New York, Los Angeles, and London. With the streaming service, users have access to the huge catalog of iTunes and playlists created by other users. It also features custom playlists created by complex algorithms depending on  user taste, recent played songs, favorite artists, and much more.

“Apple Connect” enables fans to access their artist’s feed, new music, updates, behind-the-scene pictures and much more. Shazam, just a day before the launch of Apple Music, launched a similar social feature to take on Apple Connect by allowing artists to share their posts through Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Apple Music may become a major source of revenue for indie artists. You will not need to search for a song or an artist because Apple Music automatically generates a playlist according to your taste in music (thanks to its complex algorithms). Apple has opened up the streaming world like never before for artists and of course, to the fans, who can now listen to many more indie artists across the globe.

Speaking of indie artists, I have had the pleasure to review the new album “I Am Not I” by Hungarian DJ Jus Grata and American singer-songwriter Liza Fox. DJ and composer Jus Grata has 11 songs in the Top 10 radio charts in Europe, including five songs at No. 1; Liza Fox (previously Princess X) is a U.S. Billboard and U.K. Music Week charting artist. 

In spite of the gothic music video depicting the serious subject of bipolar disorder, the title track “I Am Not I” from the album is a peppy single that will surely make you shake your hips, especially with the saxophone bit in-between. “Coffee Face” and “Unlimited” are just flawless with perfect picks and drops to set the mood. “Seize the Moment” and “Love Gun” are likely to vow dance-pop fans. “Super Jazz” had me picture Rose Bryne dancing to Jackie Q’s “Ring ‘Round” and “Supertight” in the movie Get Him to the Greek—uncanny and unsettling. Ironically, both the Jackie Q songs are the mash-up of several pop tunes parodying about the recent trends in pop culture.

The Jus Grata/Liza Fox album as a whole gives a very authentic European pop and EDM feel. It reminds me of Alexandra Stan and Inna, but with more catchy melodies and interesting lyrics. Thanks to the great dance tunes in the album, the songs can definitely go well with pre-teens and teenage girls who like pop music with a “chic” effect. In particular, “Coffee Face” will surely become a rage in the EDM circuits, given the right marketing. Rage or not, “I am Not I” will definitely make you dance no matter what you are doing.

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