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๐—–๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ป๐—ผ๐—น๐—น๐˜†โ€™๐˜€ ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ฟ - this week: #StopPayola - Ed Eagle

Welcome all to ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ป๐—ผ๐—น๐—น๐˜†โ€™๐˜€ ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ฟ, a series of weekly reviews by Charles Connolly - an artist in his own right. Here, Charles delves into the greatest brand new singles brought to you by the best unsigned artists on our electrifying and eclectic set of ๐™‰๐™š๐™ฌ ๐˜ผ๐™ง๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™จ๐™ฉ ๐™Ž๐™ฅ๐™ค๐™ฉ๐™ก๐™ž๐™œ๐™๐™ฉ playlists.

#๐™Ž๐™ฉ๐™ค๐™ฅ๐™‹๐™–๐™ฎ๐™ค๐™ก๐™– - ๐™€๐™™ ๐™€๐™–๐™œ๐™ก๐™š

Charles bucks the trend of loveโ€ฆ

So itโ€™s love day. So of course, Charles is going to write a soppy piece about love. Well obviously. What would you expect from someone so predictable as CC. Well Iโ€™m not going to, you see. Iโ€™m just not. Not because I donโ€™t like love. I LOVE love. Itโ€™s the most perfectly wonderful thing ever in the history of the world and probably beyond. If you believe in love beyond Earth. Ah, I see where heโ€™s going with this. Itโ€™s going to be another piece on Space. Alien love. Heโ€™s going to review a funky song about aliens making love, probably called Alien Love Making. Oh, as if I would write about something so crude as that. Besides, Iโ€™ve probably done that before. Iโ€™ve written about a lot of things, ya see. In fact, it can be difficult to come up with something entirely new, week after week after week. Love is love, and we all know it. Hallmark, Cadburyโ€™s Milk Tray, Interflora and Durex have taught us well. So I feel it is time for something a little different. An alternative message of love to our founder and to all of you. Here goesโ€ฆ!

Never mind peaceโ€ฆ Give US a chance! (Us, not U.S.). We lowly scum deserve enough to survive, surelyโ€ฆ? We peasants are surely worth SOMEthing, no? We are the many, not the few. We come in millions, not scores. And together, we can make a difference. This is how protests go, isnโ€™t it? Iโ€™m not sure because Iโ€™ve never really been part of one. Well letโ€™s do just that. Whatโ€™s the old codger on about THIS week, then? Whatโ€™s broken his biscuit before heโ€™s had a chance to dunkโ€ฆ? Well, the music industry, thatโ€™s what. The broken music industry has broken us. It may be broken, but itโ€™s far from broke. In fact, it has never been richer. Hollywood used always to be leagues ahead of music in terms of pennies, but that has very much changed. The music industry earns billions. Actually, not just billions, but billions and billions, to be more precise. But one can only be a part of this if one is signed to one of the Big Three. I am not referring to the obscure Merseybeat band from the very early 60s, but in fact the total of pretty much all music you have ever heard of. Sony/Universal/Warner. There are very few artists you could name that arenโ€™t part of the โ€œsystemโ€. This is not remotely or by any means to say that the artists are to blame for such a sinister trio existing. Those lucky artists are just that. Lucky. They are not the best. They are not the worst. They just happened to be picked. And we all feel deep resentment towards them for being in that situation. You shouldnโ€™t. They were lucky. We were not. But we still have a chance to make a career out of music, right? Just not be as huge? Well, that used to be possible. These days, very much not so much. 1000 streams is rather a lot, no? I mean, just think about that figure for a second. One zero zero zero. So we earn quite a lot from that, then? Well, actually we earn not much more than zero zero zero. Around $4. Whoop-whoop! Thatโ€™s enough toโ€ฆ Wait, what IS that enough to? Maybe buy a coffee? Couple of lottery tickets? Half a pint of shandy booze? Itโ€™s just not what I would call โ€œliving the dreamโ€.

But we artists are desperate. The blood, the sweat and the tears that go into creating our own personal art. Sure, if it gets only 5 streams from an auntie, then maybe youโ€™re not so deserving of the loot. But say you get as much as 20,000 streams, because evidently youโ€™re so bloody brilliant at what you do and people love you, then surely youโ€™re in the big bucks, no? No. โ€œDo the math(s!!!)โ€ - itโ€™s around $80. Just take in that remarkable achievement of Two zero zero zero zero. And we get Eight zero do llars. Hardly fair, is it. I mentioned that desperation. We artists will do ANYthing to try to justify our efforts. Dance naked on Twitch for an hour (or until youโ€™re cancelled, blocked and banned for life - whichever comes first)? Fine! Hashtag yourself to death in the hope that one of them might trigger some algorithm or other? Absolutely! Sleep with the CEOโ€™s wife? No problem. Wait, what? Yeah, sleep with the wife of Warnerโ€™s CEO. Oh right: gotcha! No, wait. What?? Because then you could get signed! dumb-dumb. But then you very much WOULD incur problems. And how on Earth would that work anyway?? Well yes, all right. Details, details. You get the gist. We have lost our collective mind with desperation. We shouldnโ€™t be thinking like this. But we have to. How can we get our music to as many potential fans as possibleโ€ฆ? Playlists. Right, I get that. But how? Well, you could go crazy and beg every single person you know to put your song on their playlistโ€ฆ But there are two problems with that. Thatโ€™s only a total of three playlists, and it wonโ€™t make a damned difference to anything. Because their playlist is only known by you and the other two people you knowโ€ฆ Hmmmโ€ฆ So what do I do?

Wait, Iโ€™ve got the answer! I got a message in my inbox the other day from a gorgeously bosomed young lady by the name of Rhazel Hhzaa. She promised 1000 streams for only $7, or 10,000 streams for only $20! Bonza!! Iโ€™m in, the mo-ney. Iโ€™m in, the mo-ney (sing with me). Now stop singing and start thinking. How is she able to guarantee such a specific figure? Why is it so cheap? Why isnโ€™t everyone doing this? Itโ€™s so good it should be illegalโ€ฆ Well, she CAN guarantee a figure because it is not actual people listening. It is stream farms. Robots or illegally employed workers (slaves) - not that they're not people, but you know what I mean (hardly music lovers). Or, they just type in a figure as theyโ€™ve โ€œhacked the mainframeโ€. Is $7 so cheap? It is nearly double what you would earn from that number of streams. And why isnโ€™t everyone doing thisโ€ฆ? Well, the sad truth is, so many are. So many desperate artists are falling for this ruse every hour of every day. And it sucks. Surely it canโ€™t harm thoughโ€ฆ? Well I questioned whether it should be illegalโ€ฆ IT IS! This is the biggest factor of it all. If you choose to go ahead with Rhazelโ€™s transaction, the very next morning you will be awoken by at least 12 policeman banging on your front door. Well, okay. Itโ€™s not illegal in that sense, but it is illegal by the terms of all streaming services. You are in effect stealing their money, and therefore an accessory to the crime. Yesterday, you were a broke artist. Today, you are a broken criminal. Now, maybe thatโ€™s cool if youโ€™re an angry rapper: โ€œF**k da po-liceโ€ and all that, but personally Iโ€™d rather not ruin what I have built up over months and years, through a brief moment of greed, impatience and naรฏve stupidity. And even IF you get away with it, what have you achieved? Figures sky rocket one day, then plummet the next. And goodbye $7 (or $20) Whoop-whoop! You see, young Rhazel was almost certainly not who you thought she was. In fact, that image might not even have been anything more than A.I. She is a they. Youโ€™re not in the mo-ney. THEY are.

This whole โ€œpay to playโ€ thing should have stopped at the door of the gaming arcade. But itโ€™s still as tempting as โ€œGAME OVER. INSERT COINโ€. Hence why it goes on and on. Theyโ€™ve turned us into addicts. Even if weโ€™re clean, the temptation lives on ad finitum. Once an addict, always an artist. We crave attention. LISTEN TO MY EFFING MUSIC, GOD DAMN YOU TO HELL!!!! Sound like a sane personโ€ฆ? Nope. It sounds like you. And so we go on with the barrage of 500 emails to people and companies we've never heard of. The few replies you get are from people who โ€œLOVEโ€ your music, and who would be โ€œDELIGHTEDโ€ to write about you - if you send $30 to โ€œthisโ€ PayPal address. And when you ask them to justify the fee, they get all confrontational and mention things like overheads. OVERHEADS!!! Like for the heating in your own home, where youโ€™re lounging right nowโ€ฆ?? Bastards. Then you push them further, and they suddenly switch to overly gushing and apologetic, stating that โ€œunfortunatelyโ€ it is mainly due to the upkeep of the website. Yah. Sure. Because a cheap website costs THOUsands per year to โ€œmaintainโ€. Then they start the usual guff like โ€œif it were up to me, I wouldnโ€™t charge a penny. But a manโ€™s gotta eatโ€โ€ฆ Wait a sec, you eat websites and overheadsโ€ฆ? And so it goes on. If they ask you for money for a review, just politely decline or donโ€™t reply at all. It is after all, basically a bribe.

All of this of course goes out of the window when talking about the Big Three. Of course, itโ€™s okay when THEY do itโ€ฆ The Big Three can do anything they like. They are legal mafia. They run the joint, while allowing you to take the odd puff. Or sniff. They want something? They command and pay. And Spotify waggles its tail like a good little dog. A rich little dog. Rich for the wrong reasons. Posh plastic tunes for the masses, as the true peasant art goes unheard.

The New Artist Spotlight is one of the VERY few communities that does everything for zero pennies, because it is exactly that. A community. There is no stream farm. No review fees. No podcast for a tenner. Not a single penny is skimmed across our pond. Sure, this community will get you a nice regular batch of streams, but that is so far from the point of its existence. The NAS is all about the music. And the people. The artists behind the music. It celebrates and hails the great NASians, and warmly welcomes the newcomers with open arms, knowing full well that if they support other artists, they too will be celebrated, supported and loved. It is not a cult! I just realised it was sounding that way. We just simply all have one thing in common: our love and passion for music. This after all was what it was all about in the first place. The reason you picked up a guitar. Or a piano. Donโ€™t try picking up a piano, or a paramedic will be picking YOU up.

So with all that being said, the founder of the New Artist Spotlight surprised us on Saturday morning with a brand new song. No fanfare. No pre-save begging. No tacky Instagram promo. Quite literally not even a mention. It was simply placed on the NAS playlists. I personally think thatโ€™s rather cool and classy. Maybe it was some sort of experiment to see how well it could do without promotion. Well, I have surely screwed THAT up!! But Iโ€™m happy to do so. And finally, here is Ed Eagle, with #StopPayola. A name that might seem rather familiar to many of you, as we have been using it as a hashtag for quite some time now on our social platforms. The thing is, weโ€™ve got to spread this to be not so much an opinion, as a fact. Payola (as it has come to be known) is wrong, bad, harmful and illegal. And it must, stop, now. Ed has always known the power of song, and realised he could use it to his advantage. He doesnโ€™t do love songs. He CANโ€™T, apparently. Or canโ€™t bring himself to. Heโ€™s more of a โ€œfight the powerโ€ kinda guy. So while the message is usually love, for most of us at least, we know about love. We get it. Love, love, love (bom bo-bom). But Ed uses song more as social comment. Or societal comment. You may or may not recognise a couple of NASian guest voices in the song, but #StopPayola is absolutely an Ed Eagle song. Like SOOO Ed Eagle. It has his charm, his wit, his wink, his oomph, his grit and his โ€œget outta town and donโ€™t even think of looking backโ€. Not to say Ed is a mean man. Quite the opposite. He could be making a small fortune from the NAS, but doesnโ€™t make a single penny from it. For all the right reasons. Any money that IS generated through various things affiliated with the NAS, goes straight back into the community for such things as this very website. Letโ€™s call it upkeep. Or overheads. But it certainly isnโ€™t for Edโ€™s cheeseburger. And you personally wonโ€™t be paying a penny for any of it (what a pleasing rhyme). This song really shows where Edโ€™s heart is. He basically wrote and recorded it for us. For all the struggling musicians in the world. In the vain hope that artists will realise that the best things in life are free. Itโ€™s just love and the New Artist Spotlight. Everything else costs. Ed wants you to save your pennies for that guitar you craved for so many years. Or that plugin that promises to sort everything with the click of button (spoiler alert: it won't). Or that mix you realise your song deserves. Or a new bicycle chain that doesnโ€™t go K-KLUNK every half mile. Itโ€™s about morals. And thatโ€™s what Ed is all about. I wonโ€™t speak about the actual song itself, because I want you to press play. A surprise, just like how Ed wanted it. I will say one thing though: it will make you smile.

Tell me in the comments below, about the most absurd or hilarious transaction or conversation youโ€™ve had with one of these conning sharks. I know you all have storiesโ€ฆ

Thereโ€™s one thing we can say to these thieving pirates all over the internet: โ€œGAME OVERโ€.

And as for all you desperately tempted artists throwing dollar bills away like theyโ€™re germs, I will quote The Supremes: โ€œStop, in the name of loveโ€. Happy Valentine's Day!

Listen to #๐™Ž๐™ฉ๐™ค๐™ฅ๐™‹๐™–๐™ฎ๐™ค๐™ก๐™– on the Connollyโ€™s Corner Spotify playlist HERE!

Listen to #๐™Ž๐™ฉ๐™ค๐™ฅ๐™‹๐™–๐™ฎ๐™ค๐™ก๐™– on the Connollyโ€™s Corner Apple Music playlist HERE!

Follow ๐™€๐™™ ๐™€๐™–๐™œ๐™ก๐™š on Instagram HERE!

Please share this post and let me know your thoughts in the comments below

#review #song #songreview #StopPayola #EdEagle #Canada #Toronto #musicindustry #TheBigThree #Sony #Universal #Warner #Spotify #desperation #sharks #conartists #conmen #justsayno #stopinthenameoflove #gameover #ValentinesDay #love #CharlesConnolly #ConnollysCorner #CC #NAS #NewArtistSpotlight #IWantMyNAS #StopPayola

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