Being a fan Vs appreciating an Artist

The difficulty of the task to draw blood from a stone bears resemblance to the mind-numbingly, painful scenario, of explaining why you don’t have to be a fan of an artist to appreciate their work.

An article by BABE for The Tab from several months ago ‘explaining’ the mediocrity of Beyoncé crawled across my Facebook feed recently, and mustered a long sigh from me. A sigh that many music fans will know all too well.

Clearly, the piece on The Tab is an opinion, as is this post you’re reading currently, however, the issues with opinions formulate when one quickly turns into a kiss-the-ground-they-walk-beneath-parade, or a slander/shade-shit-fest.

Fans and non-fans, seemingly two vastly different entities in the world of music, always share the same topic of coverage, expressing different sides of the case. A defence and prosecution, one side swears blind that the artist on trial “is amzing, love this song, they’re albums going to be amazing”, while the prosecution swears blind that “it’s crap, their not even good music, Nickelback are way better”.

Typos aside, both examples argue difficult cases but are plagued by bias and personal favourability.

The key to coming to a verdict is to find the middle ground, a shared, mutual understanding that both sides can agree on in some shape or form. Yes, Beyoncé is fierce. Yes, Nickelback is nostalgic gold.

Beyoncé, a woman so powerful that Microsoft Word corrects the spelling of her name when misspelt, and Nickelback, a group that even having faced so much disregard by people all over the world, have still managed to achieve global success.

You don’t need to know when Beyoncé’s first LP went platinum, or how many more BeyHive members there are than Rihanna’s Navy however, nor do you need to know how many albums Nickelback have actually sold globally, to appreciate both artists.

I’m not an avid fan of either mentioned, though I can appreciate them. When Beyoncé comes on during a night out, I smile at the joy it brings my friends and let them enjoy it without raining on their parade. Equally when Nickelback comes on the radio, or “finds its way” onto a friend’s Spotify, there’s no judgement or mockery, usually a bad recollection of lyrics from songs I heard when I was in year 3 or 4 of primary school.

The difficulty of achieving this understanding is that to do so, you sometimes have to place your own personal feelings on the side.

By no means am I saying you can’t dislike Beyoncé or Nickelback. By all means, you can dislike every last song they make or who they are even, that’s your choice. Remember, however, the importance of being level-headed when stating your dislike for an artist/band.

Using terms that you know nothing about (feminism, idiosynchronicity, different genres etc) or simply putting that “they’re shit” to support your argument, even stating that Beyoncé isn’t an artist because “she doesn’t write her own lyrics, produce her own music or choreograph her own dance routines”:

  1.  Makes you look like an idiot quite frankly.
  2. Shows an inability to create a balanced argument that can lean in your favour, which your English teacher from Highschool will be greatly disappointed by, knowing that they’ve failed you.
  3. Excludes a huge proportion of artists (which you probably like most of them), because they too, don’t write, don’t produce and don’t choreograph.

For a quick summary for those who are still unsure what I’m trying to say:

Your opinion isn’t the only one that matters, remove the god-complex and come down to Earth where people combine their love of rock music, together with their need to get in formation.


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