The other day a friend was over at my place and we listened to some of the music I’ve been making as Anderhill. It’s kind of anti-commercial music. He’s an old rock & roll and blues aficionado. After listening to some of my work he said two things:

  1. I’ve never heard anything quite like that. It’s really unique.
  2. But it’s not commercial and you’ll likely never sell it.

Creativity is supposed to be fresh and interesting, not a rehashing of the same old stuff over and over. I’ve been writing and making music long enough to understand commercial vs. true art.

Don’t get me wrong, there have been some creative geniuses who find commercial success. They’re often the leaders of the pack. Somebody had to write the first rock & roll song. In its day, rock & roll was fresh and new. People liked it for that uniqueness.

But every good thing gets worn out. It gets commercialized. Every Joe, Dick, and Harry jump on the bandwagon, hoping to cash in. For awhile there’s still some variety, but soon everything starts to sound, look, and read the same. Everyone starts using the same formula. We wind up with over commercialization. I’ve become a bit anti-commercial with age.

Why does over commercialization happen? Because we buy it! And if we want to promote more creativity in a plastic world, we need to buy less of the popular stuff and go out and explore art and music on the fringes.

I encourage you to go listen to a funky style of music, or go to a weird art museum. You’ll be supporting other people’s creativity while getting outside of the proverbial box. Plus, it’s fun. – dse

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Author: Dan Steven Erickson

Dan Steven Erickson is a great undiscovered American songwriter.