In music, or any other form of art, there are two main entities involved: the artist and those who appreciate the art.
In respect to today’s mainstream culture of music, the formula is normally as follows: toil away in the studio crafting music the fans will love, announce the new album, release radio singles and videos that promote the album, announce album release date – this step is crucial – and finally, meet said date without conflict.
For most artists this process goes as planned, but for Toronto’s own Aubrey “Drake” Graham, it didn’t for his latest album, “Nothing Was the Same.”
Announcing the release date of his third album – his previous two reaching platinum status – for Tuesday, fans worldwide were on the edges of their seats in anticipation. That is, until the entire album was leaked onto the Internet a full nine days before its release date.
As I witnessed the social media frenzy over the leaked album, I was forced to ask myself, “Is this even a bad thing?” Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of fans and would-be fans now have access to something that Drake has been toiling over for months. And the best part about it is, the fans are promoting his work.
Labels spend millions of dollars promoting artists and their material months in advance, and sadly, sometimes fail to recoup their expenses. With this leaked album, there is no doubt the world is aware of this album’s release as song titles trend on Twitter and fans debate over and critique their favorite songs.
A possible negative to the music industry’s “leaky faucet” is that Drake may not see his expected sales because people already have access to the material. Why would they pay $10 for it if they already have it? Regardless, I think his music being heard is what’s most important. Streams of revenue will come from tours and promotional appearances.
Nonetheless, I believe that Drake is an amazing artist with amazing fans. Anyone who would take the time to find, download and listen to a leaked project is definitely someone I would consider a fan.
With that being said, who is to say that the label didn’t purposefully leak the project to gain added publicity? All I can do is appreciate the art for what it is and, of course, take notes on the clever marketing.