When a popular musician dies, it is his art that endures. People will remember the music rather than the man. All of the pettiness that dogged his career while he was still alive will seem so shallow compared to the profundity emanating and resonating from the work.
In the Millennial age there are devilish instruments designed to destroy rather than help to create. It is easy to create a platform to denigrate, and it is very lucrative. However it is much harder in this climate to earn respect, as it requires a certain level of courage to be truly individual in the face of so much hostility.
The platforms which denigrate trade on many things, one is brevity. Everything is reduced to something. Music, however aims to open, to flower to inspire other people to acquire greater things. It is part of our politics, of our society, but it also transcends all of those things.
This blog post was inspired by the criticisms meted out to those attending Glastonbury, and in particular those who watched the Stormzy set. Again the critics fundamentally misunderstood the role that music plays in all of our lives, it is meant to be enjoyed by everyone regardless of race or culture.
The critics also focus upon the political aspects of Stormzy
s work. This is immaterial, as it is the quality of the music which counts. Oscar Wilde said that art cannot be judged by its moral standards, it is either good or bad. Stormzys lyrics might appear crude, lewd, violent and perhaps a little naïve but that does not matter because it is an artistic representation of his life experience. He isn`t a politician, he is a sincere artist and that deserves our respect.
When Goya was commissioned as a court painter he fulfilled his role dutifully with his expert portraiture. However later on in his life he experienced a severe illness and he became profoundly deaf. His trauma is etched into a series called the “Black paintings”. Unfortunately it is the unsettling and disturbing art of his latter career which most of us remember rather than his official work demanded by his patron.
We remember this art because it is a sincere depiction of his disability. The Stormzy critics focused upon his attire at Glastonbury, in particular the “stab vest” and drew all sorts of conclusions. However it was obvious to me that it was this was a unique and sincere way of expressing himself. He was brave to take to the stage and present his work to an audience of people who would not necessarily experience the same things in life that he has. Hopefully minds and hearts were opened that night and he fulfilled his role as a Glastonbury legend.