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标题: 2005.03.03 江西南昌的302號房 [打印本页]

作者: wayne    时间: 2008-6-19 17:27     标题: 2005.03.03 江西南昌的302號房

12:40 am 3/3/05江西,南昌的飯店房間302

It's quite late and I'm about to sleep but I thought I'd write a few words since I haven't written a journal in quite some time now, it seems. I've been traveling quite a bit for the past week and a half as I was in Thailand last week and now I'm in China continuing my promotion. It was my first time to Thailand, Bangkok and it was actually quite interesting and fun. We were there to shoot a commercial that was quite challenging but we all made it through all right except for a few sunburns. The weather was great and it didn't rain and wasn't as hot as we had expected it to be. I picked up a few Thai phrases which was quite fun and got to know a bit more about Thailand and its culture and people. It was an eye opening experience and I’m glad I had the opportunity to stay there for so many days.

Now I'm in China on the 2nd leg of my China promotional tour and this time I'm visiting a couple cities I’ve never been before. One is 深圳 which I've heard of but only till now visited. The other city I've never heard of or been to is 南昌 I know very little about this city as so far I've only just seen the city on the ride from the airport to the hotel. Perhaps I'll get to see more of the city tomorrow and I'll share with you my findings.

The album has been out for over a month now and I've been quite busy with promoting the album lately and it will continue for a while since there are still many more cities and places to visit. I'm excited about promotion though I must admit it is quite tiring running from city to city and living out of a suitcase.

There are good and bad things to report as of late and I'd like to share them with you. First, the good news-and, that is, the album is receiving good response and I'm happy to hear that more and more people are enjoying the album, it's songs and stories. Sales are good comparably though the market overall has dropped a good 30% to 40%. There are many reasons for this including illegal downloading, piracy and, quite simply, less consumption by you the consumer. The world population is ever increasing and so are gross incomes but mysteriously sales are dropping and that's something that is very alarming to all of us in the business. Yes, I'm a musician and I care about music but I also care about the business aspect of things and why the market is shrinking. If you read the papers and press you’ll find that record companies all over the world (especially Mandarin music territories such as HK and Taiwan) are claiming how many records they're selling and how great things are. The fact of the matter is that much of what you're reading are lies and exaggerations. The truth is that sales suck and the market is ailing badly. Why they lie and continue to exaggerate is beyond me. Why not just come out and tell everybody that sales suck and that we are all struggling to stay alive? Is there more good music in the wings waiting to come out? NO. Unfortunately, I know what many record companies have in development and what's new and up and coming and, frankly, there's really not much to be excited about except for a few new artists and projects. There's little money and resources to develop new projects because record companies are NOT making that much profit. If you think record companies are making tons of money off record sales then you are WRONG. I would say that the majority of artists (85%) are not selling enough records to break even and cover their marketing and promotion costs. Why do you think so many artists are doing endorsements, making commercials, acting and other non-music related events? It's not necessarily because everybody likes to but they HAVE to because if they were to survive alone on record sales they would starve. That’s the truth and it's something I'd like to share with all of you. I'm really sick and tired of the fact that there is so much lying and exaggerating going around in the music industry. Most sales figures you see claimed and reported by record companies and in the press are padded probably a good 50% to 70%. And that's not an exaggeration on my part. You can take it from me…that’s the truth! Often times, they need to create this hype and aura that the artist is “hot” and popular so you'll be lead into buying his/her album and music. More money is spent on this hype, marketing and media bombardment than the music and so music, in the end, suffers and is often just a vehicle for the artist to get exposure. After all, the artist has to have some “product” in order to come out and promote, right? Of course, there are, in fact, some artists who are truly doing well, selling records and making good music. But that's only a select fortunate few and I'm sure you can guess who those artists are. If everybody is doing so well then why are so many artists and singers disappearing?

All of this is very depressing to me and I'm sure to many others as well who believe in music because the market will change more and more in this direction. There is a whole generation that thinks music SHOULD be downloaded for free and that it's free for the taking. It doesn't even cross their minds that music is somebody's property and enjoying it without paying for it is the same as walking into a convenience store and stealing a drink or chocolate bar without paying for it. There's really no difference except for the fact that music is something intangible and abstract and not a physical entity. Can you download a chocolate bar or can of soda for free? You can music, a movie or a photo, though.

I personally feel one of the other reasons for the “downfall of music “ is that music has been often been considered only as “entertainment” and something light and without value in the Chinese market. Because of this thinking, people may question why they have to pay for it? You pay for a car because it's something very useful and substantial. You pay for an education because it’s something that'll help you get a job and through life perhaps. You even pay for going to KTV with your friends because it's fun and can give you pleasure. However, why pay for music as it's something invisible and only for “entertainment”? That's one of the subconscious fallacies in many people's thinking. This is not the fault of the consumer but of the record companies, media and even musicians who make art and culture (films, music and the arts) out to be “light” and meaningless. If we make it out to be only entertainment and without “weight” then how do you think the consumer and audience will perceive it? If you don’t take something seriously do you think other people will? This is the same as if you don't respect yourself do you expect other people to respect you? Therefore, the majority of Mandarin music has lost respect and credibility in the eyes and ears of the consumer and audience and has become nothing more than “cheap” entertainment. Thus, people will feel less and less of a need to “honor” it and purchase it with their hard earned money. This is a vicious cycle because as less people support the arts the less profit there is for the artists and musicians and, henceforth, less budget and resources to develop more and better products, music and artists. And that is exactly what we have today in our Chinese music market. Are there more contributing reasons and causes for the current decrepit state of things? Of course, there are but I would need more time and space to go into them.

The fact is that WE need to stop pointing fingers and need to start asking ourselves what have we done to make better music and create a better environment for the audience and consumer. I ask that of my superiors and also of other record company executives. What have you done lately in terms of really making better music and artists? I also ask this of other musicians, artists and even myself. What have you done lately to make yourself a truly better musician, singer and performer? Or has money, profit and income been the most important thing on your mind? I'm no saint and I'm guilty of certain things too but I know myself and a few others in the business are trying to overcome this vicious cycle and we are trying to put in the effort to make what we think is at least real and honest music. The Arts are something very abstract so it is always something very subjective. Beauty is always going to be in the eye of the beholder and you can't say something is simply better than the other in a quantitative manner. Of course, you can say something sold better in terms of quantity but that shouldn't be the way to judge anything in this world. The sad fact is that music quality and sales are going down while illegal downloading, piracy and needless fancy marketing are on the upswing.

What needs to happen first is that WE collectively need to work together and start making better music and products. We need to start signing and developing better artists who are truly good at what they do. If they can sing then they really need to sing well. If they can dance then let them dance. If they want to dance and sing then make sure they can really dance and sing. If they are good looking and can' t sing or dance then let them be a model or have them work harder till they become a professional who excels at their craft. Would you want a teacher who can't teach or who isn't professional teaching you or your children? Would you eat at a restaurant with a chef who can't cook well preparing your food for you? I really hope we can be MORE PROFESSIONAL and RESPONSIBLE in what we do and stop acting like a bunch of clowns and amateurs. Where has the craft gone and where are our skills?! Where are the singers, actors, models, and performers of the past who could truly amaze you with their skill, presence and TALENT? It seems everybody these days off the street can be a STAR and artist…

This is getting long and it's time for me to go to sleep as I have interviews and a performance tomorrow. I hope it leaves you all with something to think about. I think about this all the time and it's quite disturbing to me. It's real and perhaps a bit serious and critical but it's the truth. I take my music and work seriously and this is what I'm thinking about. Am I being pessimistic, not really, as this IS what's happening around us it's just that most of you don't know what's going on behind the scenes. Everybody in the business knows about it but it's just that we like to pretend it's not happening and that it'll get better in time. It WON'T if we DON'T do anything about it and continuing doing what are doing now. Let's SHAPE UP OR SHIP OUT!

DT



作者: wayne    时间: 2008-6-19 17:27

2005年三月三日 晚上12:40 江西南昌的302號房內

現在的時間有點晚,我本來準備要睡了,但想到似乎有好一段時間沒寫日記,因此決定寫點東西。過去這一個禮拜,我幾乎都在到四處旅行,一半的時間待在泰國曼谷,現在則是到了內地繼續我的宣傳行程。這是我第一次去曼谷,那裡實在挺有趣也滿好玩的。我在那兒是為了拍攝一支頗具挑戰性的廣告,但是除了有點小曬傷,一切都已經順利完成。曼谷的天氣很棒,沒下雨,也沒有我們原先想像的那麼熱。我學了一點點泰國話,很有趣,並且對泰國的文化民情多了一些了解。這是一次讓我大開眼界的經驗,我很開心能有機會在那兒待上那麼多天。

現在我正在內地進行第二波的宣傳行程,這次我要走訪一些從未去過的城市。其中一個是深圳,我知道這個城市,但從沒有去過;另一個城市─南昌,則是幾乎一無所知了。對於南昌我了解不多,直到現在,我對它的認識也只是從機場到飯店的這一段路,也許明天可以到處多看看吧,到時再跟你們分享我的感覺!

專輯發行到現在已經一個多月了,這段期間我一直都為了宣傳而忙碌著,這樣的行程還會繼續一段時間,因為實在還有好多城市、好多地方我們必須去。我必須承認,空中飛人的生活實在有點累人,不過我對宣傳行程依舊感到十分興奮。

要跟你們分享的消息有好也有壞。首先,好消息是新專輯「太平盛世」持續獲得好的反應,我很高興聽到有越來越多人喜歡這張專輯裡的歌曲與故事。新專輯的銷售量相較之下很不錯,但是整體而言市場掉了三到四成。造成這個現象的原因有很多,包括了非法下載、盜版,當然還有,身為消費者的你們購買的唱片越來越少了。世界上的人口與總體收入都不斷增加,但奇怪的是,唱片的銷售量卻不斷下滑,這對於從事唱片事業的我們而言是個警訊。是的,我是個音樂人,我關心音樂,同時我也關心這整個產業的局勢,還有市場蕭條的原因。如果你們大家看了報紙或其他媒體的報導,不難發現全世界的唱片公司(尤其是華語音樂地區如香港、台灣)都聲稱他們賣了多少張專輯,整個銷售狀況有多好。但事實上,你們看到的報導都是謊言與誑語。真相其實是銷售爛透了,而且整個市場出奇的糟!我真是不懂為何他們要這樣撒謊與不斷地誇大。為什麼不站出來告訴大家,銷售很差,而且我們都在夾縫中求生存呢?還有什麼值得期待的好音樂等著要問世嘛?沒有!很不幸的,就我所知,許多唱片公司目前正在進行製作與即將發行的專輯中,除了其中的少數新人與作品,大致說來,沒什麼太多令人引頸企盼的東西。唱片公司已經沒有什麼錢和資源可以開發創新,因為唱片公司根本沒有什麼營利。如果你還認為唱片公司因為銷售佳而很有賺頭,那你就大錯特錯了!我敢說,大多數唱片藝人(85%)的銷售量根本無法打平專輯的宣傳行銷支出。你想為什麼那麼多的唱片藝人要做一些代言活動、拍廣告、演戲,還有一些與音樂無關的工作呢?這並不是因為他們喜歡那些額外的工作,而是他們必須要這樣做,因為如果只靠賣唱片的錢過活的話,他們早就餓死了!這些才是真相,而這也是我想要跟你們大家分享的。我實在對於唱片市場裡這些誇大不實的謊言感到既噁心又厭倦!大多數你們在報章雜誌上看到的唱片銷售數字都灌了五成到七成的水, 你可以相信我所說的絕對沒有誇張,是事實! 通常,他們為了製造一些宣傳效果與市場輿論,告訴你這個藝人有多麼炙手可熱,然後才可以誘引你去買他/她的專輯。更多的預算被拿來運用在製造這些媒體報導、行銷手法和衝擊事件上,花在音樂本身的預算上反而變少了,到最後,音樂是受害者,它變成藝人藉以曝光的工具。畢竟,藝人終究是需要一些好的產品來宣傳,對嘛?當然,事實上也有一些藝人做得很好,依舊能創造出好的音樂與銷售。但是,我想那些幸運兒畢竟是少數,而我想你也猜得到那些人是誰。如果人人都能夠如此幸運,那為什麼有那麼多藝人和歌手銷聲匿跡了呢?

說起這些,實在很令我、還有其他「信仰音樂」的人們感到洩氣,因為市場會繼續朝這個方向改變下去。有一整個世代的人都認為,音樂「應該」要被免費下載。他們從來也沒想過,要把音樂視為某人的智慧財產,享受音樂而不付費就像是走進便利商店竊取一罐汽水或是巧克力一樣的道理。這真的沒有什麼不一樣的,唯一的不同只是,音樂是一個無形的抽象存在而非有形實體。你可以「免費下載」一罐汽水或一條巧克力嗎?但你卻這樣下載音樂、電影,還有圖片。

我個人認為,「音樂下滑」還有另一個原因,就是在華人市場裡,音樂被視為一種娛樂,一種沒有地位以及實質價值的消費產品。因為有這種想法,人們也許會想:「我為什麼要花錢買它呢?」你付錢買車,因為它實用又堅固;你付錢受教育,因為它也許可以給你一份過完這輩子的工作;你甚至願意花錢和朋友去唱KTV,因為它能讓你很開心。然而,為什麼要付錢給音樂呢?那只不過是個看不見的娛樂罷了!這是存在很多人濳意識中的謬論。這其實不是消費者的錯,而應該怪到唱片公司、媒體、還有那些把藝文(電影、音樂、藝術都好)變得輕率無謂的人身上。如果音樂製造者把音樂變成只是個娛樂而毫無份量可言的話,,那又憑什麼認為消費者和聽眾會重視它呢?你自己都不認真看待的事物又如何期待別人會重視?就像是一個不尊重自己的人要如何期待別人尊重他?因此,多數的華語音樂對閱聽人而言已經「失信」、「失去尊重」了,所以也就被視為一種廉價的娛樂產品。於是,人們也就覺得他們越來越不需要去推崇或把辛苦賺來的錢拿去購買一張專輯。這是一種惡性循環,因為越少人支持音樂藝術,藝人與音樂人能夠獲得的利潤就越少,自然也就不會有更多的預算與資源用來開發更多、更好的產品、音樂與藝人。這就是今天的華語音樂市場。還有其它的理由和原因助長了目前的衰頹狀況嘛?當然有的,但我需要更多的時間和空間去了解與思索。

事實是,我們必須停止指責,而應該捫心自問:我們做了什麼努力,讓聽眾與消費者有更好的音樂與環境呢?同樣的問題,我會問我的唱片公司主管,以及其他唱片公司的工作人員,你們近來有真的為了更好的音樂與藝人而做了什麼嗎?我也問其他的音樂人、藝人朋友,甚至是我自己,我們做了什麼來讓自己真正成為一個更出色的音樂人、歌手或表演者呢?還是說,賺錢、獲得更多的利益和收入,已經成為我們腦中的第一要務了?當然,我不是聖人,我也會對於自己所做的某些事情感到罪惡,但是我知道我自己,還有這個產業中的一些人正在努力的想要突破這樣的惡性循環,我們嘗試著付出心力製作出我們所認為真誠的音樂。但是,「藝術」其實是挺抽象的概念,其中總會存在著一些主觀看法。情人眼裡出西施,你不能以量化的方法作為論斷的依據。當然,你可以憑藉著數字來說某樣東西賣得很好,但這不是世間唯一的評論法則。只不過,令人悲哀的事實是,音樂的品質與銷量持續下滑,盜版、非法下載,還有一些多餘、花俏的行銷手法卻是一路攀升。

當務之急是,我們要一起努力開始製造更好的音樂產品。我們要簽約培訓一些具備專長潛力藝人。要唱歌的人,就一定要唱得很好;要跳舞的人,就一定要跳得很炫;要「歌舞雙棲」,那就得做到「唱跳俱佳」。他們如果不能唱不會跳,卻長得帥呆了或美翻了,那就去當個模特兒,或是逼他們加倍的努力工作,直到他們脫穎而出,成為個中翹楚。難道你會希望一個不會教書、不專業的老師來教育你或是你孩子嗎?或是你會讓一個手藝不佳的主廚為你準備食物?我由衷地希望我們整個娛樂產業能夠更專業、也更有責任感,而不是像個小丑或像個業餘的一樣,在觀眾面前隨隨便便地表演。我們的天賦到那兒去了?我們的能力在哪裡?!以前那些真正能夠以他們的才華、表現、內涵讓你眼睛一亮的歌手、演員、模特兒、表演者,他們現在又在哪裡呢?現在看來,好像滿街的人都能夠當個明星、變成藝人…

越寫越多,但明天還有訪問跟演出,是我該睡覺的時候了。我希望我所說的這些能讓你們有一些空間好好思考。這些是我長時間以來一直在思考、並且困擾著我的事情。這些是最真實的情形,但說實話是有些嚴肅並且尖銳。我是一個認真看待我的工作以及音樂的人,所以我會常思考這些問題。我太悲觀了嗎?未必,這些正是我們正在發生的事情,是你們不得而知的幕後真相。這個產業裡的人都了解這個狀況,只是大家都假裝沒這回事,或者以為「明天會更好」。假如我們依舊故我而不做點什麼的話,事情是不會改變的!要做就好好做,否則請你不要攪和!

陶喆




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