For Hip-Hop/R&B record producer and artist, James Worthy, the music industry has evolved in such a way that is almost as if we were looking through kaleidoscopes. For this reason, Worthy's newest album, Kaleidoscope's is now available.
In a conversation with Hollywood branding manager, Andrew Rossow, Worthy shared what he sees through his kaleidoscope.
"I think there are two sides to the fragmented music industry we currently see," Worthy explained. "On one side, sonically, I think it is very creative with a mixture of genres, melodies, and arrangements. However, on the other side, I think lyrically, many of today's songs don't speak much about anything substantive. The most important factors in music involve story-telling and subject-matter that relate to the everyday listener. You never know what someone is going through and the methods in which they are discovering an artist's music. But those topics in a song can really change a listener's life. Forever."
With today's digitization of music, what we expect to see and what ends up in our smartphones playing in our cars, are very different. "The industry has changed drastically from years ago, which has resulted from the change in music consumption," Worthy says. According to the record producer, this change has made it extremely difficult for artists to sell their work unless it's being streamed by millions of people repeatedly.
"In most cases, an artist these days can go 'gold' or 'platinum' much quicker through digital platforms. Yet, to achieve this plateau, you must adapt to new ways of marketing and planning, which affect how you plan your execution for targeting your audiences."
When asked what he could change about the industry as it currently stands, Worthy, like many artists already, turned his gaze towards ownership and intellectual property. "How music rights are handled and how artists are nominated and selected for awards would be my priority because of each of these impacts how an artist brands himself or herself in the long run.
The biggest problem I see is that artists don't really own their work—from a publishing standpoint. This is long-lasting revenue that helps keep the creative process flowing. I'm talking about performance royalty amounts, publishing percentages, and sync licensing agreements."
Worthy, who began his music career at seventeen-years-old, is a firm believer in timing. He shared with us that today's political climate in the industry itself, along with facing the shift from a traditional music model to a digital model has allowed him to continue absorbing as much knowledge and industry connections as he can.
Last year, he released his debut album, 'Blu Leisure,' which according to the hip-hop artist, allowed for him to further develop his personal brand. "By traveling the world and seeing how other cultures consume their music in comparison to how we do it here the U.S. was enriching," Worthy described. "It provided me with a different perspective on how marketing truly drives revenue in music.
Earlier this year, Worthy released his latest album, 'Kaleidoscopes,' which he admitted, "tested his artistry."
"Blu Leisure was my introduction to the world, so I wanted to give my audience a second body of work that stamped my presence. With Kaleidoscopes, I want people to grow with me as an artist, so when they listen to this album, I want them to feel comfortable in the melodies, sonics, collaborations, and song arrangements. I think when crafting bodies of work, song placement is extremely important when thinking about tempos, genres, and artist features. Why? This helps determine whether a listener likes a song better than another."
And lastly, the inspiration behind the album name speaks miles. "I remember flying to Italy to figure out what this second project would be called. I wrote down at least 30-names, and none of them stuck. As soon as I got off the plane, I saw a young woman looking out of a mini-telescope at the sky—and it just hit me. Kaleidoscopes."
You can stream his new album Kaleidoscopes on Spotify:
For more information on James Worthy, you can follow him on Twitter at @KingJamesWorthy — https://twitter.com/kingjamesworthy