Creative Control | The Popjustice Forum

Creative Control

Discussion in 'Pop & Justice' started by Bobbyrae, Aug 21, 2013.

  1. So I have been thinking about this for days. The issue of creative control in music (especially pop music) is often a highly debatable topic. Lady Gaga recently got me thinking about this in detail. So it seems as if she has total control with free reigns and a label that fully support every move she makes, but is this a good thing? Does she have too much control? If she was forced to tone down certain things a little bit would it be for better or for worse? I for one, think that during The Fame Monster they allowed her a huge amount of creative freedom but she was still not fully free to do whatever she wanted, and what we got was a great balance. I think she went overboard with Born This Way because they literally let her have the say over everything (example cancelling Joseph Kahn for The Edge of Glory video...what did we get in the end? A messy, shit video).

    Another issue is of course is not having enough creative control. The first example that comes to mind for me is Christina's Bionic. It is clear the label came in and freaked out and totally changed up the original album plan she had, but not only did that happen it appears she was forced into doing a single that she hated, and promotion/attitude etc all suffered. (As a disclaimer I think Bionic would probably have been shit regardless) but say Glam was actually released as the lead maybe things would be different. Christina could have taken the leap by herself and then might have actually came back (interested!!) with a more suitable, commercial follow up to strike compromise and say "well at least I tried my way".

    Kelly Clarkson is another great example, except she rejected the label and of course we all know how that went. But it appears she has moved on, she obviously went down a far more commercial route with the "All I Ever Wanted" campaign but at least she gets to say "well I did it my way".

    Sorry for rambling but I just wanted to pose the question...when does creative control go too far? How do you strike the balance? And what are everyone's thoughts on the matter.
  2. Labels, better than anything else, know how to royally fuck up a good campaign, so I'm all for creative control. While it can get messy, overcluttered, lose sight of the target, and un-mainstream, would label interference really make anything better? Perhaps the chart position would be better, but do you honestly think Interscope would have cooked up the videos we got for Bad Romance, Telephone, or Marry the Night? On the flip side, do you think we would have been able to salvage the """""VISION""""" she had for Alejandro or Born This Way? We would have gotten cluttered piles of shit if the label tried to cut it down ("Oh, I don't have 10 minutes for a video anymore? FINE, LETS SQUEEZE IT ALL INTO 4!").

    I understand labels have to make money and everything, but I feel that once a pop star has had a mega-selling album, labels should keep out of it for the most part--if a pop star wants to cock up their chance at success by releasing some pretentious twaddle, that's their prerogative.

    Though I do agree that letting Gaga can the entire video for Edge of Glory was one of the Top 3 worst decisions Interscope has made managing Gaga.
  3. I think if Gaga had as much creative control now as she did during Born This Way, Sex Dreams would have been the lead single with a Haus directed video (an awfully pretentious and OTT 10 minute long video). A lot of people say Applause is a very safe song, the label obviously picked it out as a song designed for commerical appeal. As opposed to Born This Way, where Interscope suggested Marry The Night as the lead but Gaga wanted Born This Way and they immediately gave in to her. There's also the fact that she's again started to hire professionals to direct her videos and design her artwork as opposed to doing it herself. I think Interscope have definitely reigned Gaga in a bit since the negative reaction to the Born This Way era and the backlash that came with it, they're now trying to find the balance they had with her during The Fame Monster times seeing as everything went so perfectly back then.
  4. I think Katy Perry is a brilliant example of a great balance. Brilliant management but you can tell she is also involved.
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