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Pop pileup: music's crowded chorus of producers, rappers and bit-part players | Musique Non Stop

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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Pop pileup: music's crowded chorus of producers, rappers and bit-part players

Clean Bandit’s Christmas hit Rockabye with Sean Paul and Anne-Marie is only the latest popular track to have a silly number of headliners. What lies behind this drive for communal credits?

As a self-confessed pop geek I enjoy poring over the credits of a song via Spotify, Wikipedia, the CD booklet or, given this is 2017, the inlay of a vinyl LP. I like to scan through the 15 or so people listed and try and work out who did what, usually double-checking Sean Paul was involved in some capacity. Loading up a webpage or a streaming site or trying to get the booklet out of the CD without tearing the pages can take time, so luckily nowadays artists are making it easier by listing all of a song’s personnel in the artist field. Influenced by the rise in streaming, the march of the faceless dance producer and the ego of the so-called “super producer”, chart pop has become a modular entity, constructed around various co-headlining elements – the photogenic EDM producer! The reasonably successful singer! Any rapper! – to leave no genre, and therefore no audience base, out in the cold.

The current UK No 1, for example, is by dance-classical crossover boffins Clean Bandit, featuring not only resurgent dancehall rapper Sean Paul (of course), but pop newcomer Anne-Marie too. Meanwhile the Justin Bieber-lite Are You Sure? is a sonic car crash involving Dutch producers Kriss Kross Amsterdam, long-forgotten pop urchin Conor Maynard and if-the-cash-is-right-I’m-there rapper Ty Dolla $ign. These two artist pileups join actor/singer Hailee Steinfeld’s collaboration with EDM producers Grey and Zedd on Starving; The Mack by Nevada featuring Mark Morrison and Fetty Wap; Shed a Light by Robin Schulz and David Guetta featuring Cheat Codes; any Major Lazer song and, deep breath, Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa, Imagine Dragons, Logic, Ty Dolla $ign and X Ambassadors’ Sucker for Pain.

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by Michael Cragg via Electronic music | The Guardian