I just read a post on Facebook from my friend Elie, complaining about the latest song from Alicia Keys (In common, wonderful lyrics as far as I am concerned) and I have to admit that
- I felt a little bit shocked (and you will understand why in a few)
- The idea of “creative freedom” just stepped on my mind.
How free is an artist (singer, painter, photograph), to evolve in his art. Indeed, just as Benjamin P Hardy suggests in his post here, in order to evolve in life, you keep on transforming, you change. Therefore, I can assume that based on his experience, based on the changes which occurs in an artist’s life, based therefore on the person he/her becomes, his art can tend to evolve, his art can tend to take a new direction.
And there come the fans. As fans, we often tend to believe that artists owe us. We buy their CDs, we promote them among our friend groups, we buy their concerts tickets, we buy their paintings (in case of a painter), therefore, if they can have a great life, if they have money, fame, success, it is all thanks to Us. Therefore, they owe us to produce only what we like, what we appreciate and if they tend to leave that space, they no longer deserve our attention or love.
Does that mean that a love singer, can never write about war? Does that suppose that a Rap artist can’t switch to an Electro Collaboration? Does it mean that a painter of abstract paintings can never try portraits? Does it suppose that JK Rowling will never be able to write a romance novel? And there, we get back to this notion of “Creative Freedom”.
As an artist, a writer, a content producer, how free am I to change? How free am I to conquer new frontiers? I realized through Elie’s comment that apparently, the freedom is therefore little. And, we all wonder then how our consumerist society gets to be so standardized. Indeed, an artist who has risen to fame wants to maintain it and will tend to be very risk-adverse in terms of what he proposes. We will therefore have to stand the same beats, same words from years to years. This is the same for writers, painters and any other creative producer. It all goes up to marketing, where sometimes you can observe a general trend being used in advertising at some point and everyone jumps into it (#AfricanRising for example, exploited in so many repetitive and boring ways by advertising creative directors in Africa).
Our society is therefore killing creativity. Our society shouts that if you want to be famous, you better fit in a model, you better fit in what is expected from you.
In conclusion, shout out to Alicia Keys for taking the risk to get out of her comfort zone. In conclusion, I hope “In Common” achieves great success. Yes, we need creative freedom. Yes, we need to fight against monotony.
And you? Does this ring a bell? Any thought or idea, you would like to share? Creativity? Boredom? How do we fit in? Looking forward to your comments.