YouTube Musicians Deserve Better Recognition

Article by Vanessa Greene


December 2nd, clashing with the biggest media event in Ireland #LateLateToyShow, we see UK singer and cover artist Conor Maynard play a long awaited Dublin gig.

Now as someone who is very comfortable with paying as little as €6 for a multitude of talented bands play in Whelan’s and as comfortable with €30 for a headline act in the Olympia, I felt €13 was still a bargain. However ‘Caveat Emptor’ comes into play when the venue is considered, The Wright Venue, Swords.

There are many opinions surrounding the venue, it’s not great, not ideal for live music. I’d like to address the marketing culture of putting gigs on there. I get it, bring punters in early with a DJ and get them bringing in revenue with plenty of drink as excitement builds then introduce the headline act. Everyone does it, it makes sense! But to have a 3 hour 40 minute DJ set and your act on stage for barely 30 minutes, you are having a laugh!

In my case, this almost 4 hours was spent wanting to leave. I don’t really agree with the trend of live music at nightclubs, however, have had wanted to see Maynard perform live for a long time. I stuck it out as my disappointment grew.

Maynard performed very well. With a mixture of originals and covers, from early hits such as ‘Can’t Say No‘ to newer content like ‘Are you Crazy‘ alongside covers of Fetty Wap, Drake and other recent YouTube covers of his. Given the set that I witness, it was good, it was enjoyable. In saying that I’d prefer a set that included tracks such as ‘Royalty‘ and a live band vs a DJ. (This a person who is eager to hear Maynard do an Electro Swing album)

However, I can’t shift the feeling that this is not what YouTube culture deserves. Ever since a young Canadian singer broke into the industry so strongly from the platform, we’ve been obsessed with who’s going to come next. 2009 saw the interest in then 3-year-old channel skillzaisherebooya grow and lead to a record deal. 7 years on, that hype may have changed slightly but regardless of a record label’s backing, Maynard’s success is evidently brought by his own hard work and talent. Now with 3.6 million subscribers and averaging on 26 million+ views per video, Maynard is undoubtedly a YouTuber.

As YouTube and other online video content become more increasingly important in our lives and society why aren’t we supporting the musicians coming offline into decent gigs? I don’t believe it to be worth someone’s time to fly over for short gigs in nightclubs where nobody really gives a damn. If 46 million hits on a single video translated into record sales, it might be a different story.

So what can we do to ensure that everyone gets the chance to walk the same path, of offline support, as acts such as Picture This do following viral success?

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