Music is social. We gather to hear music at concerts, dance clubs, parties and bars. Musicians communicate thoughts and feelings through songs that we later share through mixes and playlists. We find community through common taste, and that filters out into style, politics and sexuality. Music brings us together.
And music can’t exist without at least a few people joining up to make it in the first place. So it makes perfect sense that music has led the way as we make the shift to social media. We’re still getting used to some aspects of life moving over to things like Twitter and Facebook, but we’ve been sharing music online for over a decade now. In that time, music culture has been shaped by artists whose work found its first and most passionate audience online and a generation of listeners whose access to pretty much everything ever recorded resulted in broad, eclectic tastes.
BuzzFeed Music is native to this maturing social space. Our focus will be on enthusiasm, and sharing great tunes from across all genres, new and old. Instead of reviews of new albums, we’ll be sharing personal stories about our experiences with music, and focusing more on how songs fit into our lives rather an artist’s elaborate discography. We’re going to look at the broader world of music, and report on artists, scenes, fan communities, and the industry and technological forces that affect how music is made, marketed and consumed. We’re going to have fun with music, and approach it with intelligence, joy, and humor. We might goof on a song or an artist here and there, but we never want to make you feel like you’re wrong to love what you love, or tell you that your favorite band sucks. We’re not ever going to give an album a numerical rating, and we won’t measure an artist’s greatness with an arbitrary number of stars. There’s enough of that out there, and it’s a waste of time.
I’ve been writing about music for a decade now, starting with my personal site Fluxblog (which started as the first mp3 blog), and on through a professional career that has included time with industries heavies like Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, SPIN and MTV. One of my guiding principles as a critic has been that while I’m often wrong about what I dislike, I’m always right about what I love. I think this is true of everyone — a positive response is always going to be honest, but a negative response is tied up in biases that usually have only a tangential relationship to the actual music. We’re going to focus on that positive response, and if we’re going to engage with that negative feeling, we want to figure it out.
I’m saying “we” a lot here, and I mean it in the broadest sense possible. Your voice matters at BuzzFeed Music; we want you to get involved and share your taste, your passions, your experiences. Don’t be shy! If you have ideas, speak up on the site, or pitch ideas to me.
…and here’s a video of Psy mashed up with Nicki Minaj. Welcome!