Words by Oliver Marshall.
A music snob is a term that gets thrown out a lot nowadays. It basically refers to someone who thinks their music taste is better than yours. Music snobs also tend to only like someone if you’ve never heard of them.
I’ve been called a music snob my fair share and maybe it has a little bit to do with being convinced that I’m the reason Lorde has taken off. I still stand by the opinion that her success is because of me, but that’s neither here or there. Now I don’t really listen to Lorde all that much anymore. Is it still because I’m harbouring a grudge for not receiving my due recognition? Maybe. But a few of my friends would argue that it’s because she is popular now. Perhaps there’s some truth to that but I think it’s important to note that mainstream music is not inherently bad. “Music snobs” would argue that no mainstream music is good. Is that true? Sometimes. Yes, there are repetitive pop tracks floating around the mainstream world and yes they can get annoying but it doesn’t stop them from being good.
If it’s not to your liking that doesn’t mean it’s bad, it just means you don’t like it. I’ll unashamedly say that I’ve drunkenly cried to a Taylor Swift song and completely stand by that decision. Sure there’s an argument for mainstream music being more about the “look” and the sound changed a lot in post-production. Sure this does happen but just because someone’s got the look doesn’t mean they aren’t talented. People like pop music, clearly, because it’s hugely popular and in my opinion, there’s nothing wrong with that and just because I don’t listen to it heavily doesn’t mean I don’t respect it.
It’s not just people not wanting to like mainstream music, it’s people who won’t listen to someone they’ve been listening to if they cross over into that mainstream. There’s a few acts who manage to cross over to mainstream music and keep that ‘indie cred’.
I remember seeing a video on Youtube by Mac Demarco and it had a Vevo tag on it. One of the top comments was something along the lines of “love this, but why is Mac connected with Vevo, he’s selling out”. Now I don’t know about you but as a professional musician he needs to make money and that’s a way to do it. I don’t know what kind of fan wouldn’t want an artist you like to be as successful as they possibly can. I understand the selfish argument of wanting them all to yourself, I’ve been guilty of that before but ultimately the more people listen to the artists the better. I don’t think any musician starts off to be small, they want to remain true to themselves but there would be few who wouldn’t want to be as successful as they can be. So really is the alternative music scene that different from the mainstream one? There’s a different calibre of musicians in both streams, all just trying to be the best they can be.
Basically, we can all be guilty of being music snobs at one time or another but isn’t the main aim of music just about enjoying it? Ultimately who cares what music you like as long as it makes you happy because in the end, as T-Swizzle said haters going hate hate, hate, hate.”