Friday, January 17, 2014

Why I'm Totally Okay With Daniel Johns Singing on a 360 Track




Thursday, rapper 360 released a new track, "Impossible", featuring my beloved Daniel Johns. Even though the song jumped into the top ten of Australian downloads overnight, there are so many mixed reviews coming in that I decided it was my duty to come on here and tell you why it's okay for Daniel Johns to have sung on a 360 track.

For all of you who don't who 360 is, he's an Australian hip-hop artist who broke into stardom back in 2011. He pulled Daniel Johns, former frontman of the semi-defunct Silverchair, onto his latest track, "Impossible," landing him a top ten Australian downloads spot. That's all you really need to know for the rest of this.

I saw a few of the comments posted on the Silverchair Facebook page, Twitter, Youtube, etc. and cringed a bit. Then I remembered most of those people were plebeians and can't appreciate the true nature of music.

Music is art and art has no real boundaries, savvy? Keeping that in mind, are we angry when an artists switches from sculpture to oil paints? Not particularly. As long as the effort is there and there is feeling and emotion behind it, then we're all happy (in fact, I know people who don't even care about the feeling and emotion; they just care about recognizing what they see, but those individuals, good people, are peasants and should be avoided at all costs.) Musicians should be held to the same idea- if the work has feeling then why should we, the recipients of the art, care what genre it is?

Daniel has always been an artist. He quickly pushed Silverchair away from the grunge scene and helped develop the band into something more than just four chords and power; he created a style that really can't be mimicked. There's something so big and beautiful about the latter Silverchair works and it was because Daniel and Ben and Chris were willing to take chances.

Daniel took another risk with joining in on "Impossible" and it works. His voice is a perfect addition to this song, adding a bit of melody to an otherwise gritty, yet powerful, track. It really is a solid hip-hop song and kind of reminds me of Plan-B's work over in England. 

There are some ignorant people out there who think that Daniel killed Silverchair or that Silverchair became the Daniel Johns show after Freak Show. They are entitled to their opinion but I am also entitled to mine which dictates that they are incapable of recognizing good music, even if it hit them in the face. Silverchair started out as a grunge band when they were young teens. They were the equivalent of freshmen or sophomores in high school. In freshman and sophomore year I could barely write a four stanza poem. I progressed and can now write three hundred page stories. Daniel, Chris and Ben became capable musicians who experimented with new sounds. Sue them for being artists, for being brave and trying new things.

And now Daniel is back and he's giving us new music THIS YEAR and already people are all over him for trying something new, for jumping genres. Trying new things is the only way the world progresses, people. And art is all about trying; art is not so much about the result but about the process and the experience. 

There's also something completely inorganic about genres and classifications of music. If it speaks to you and you enjoy it then it shouldn't matter what kind of music you normally listen to or make; you should be able to enjoy music no matter the genre. Daniel is merely joining a long list of artists who have a similar way of thinking- Thirty Seconds to Mars and Kanye West with "Hurricane"; Hayley Williams and B.O.B "with "Airplanes"; the mashup of Marilyn Manson and Eminem with the remix of "The Way I Am". All of these artists saw the potential in mixing genres and defying the very idea of classifications of music. We, as listeners, should be just as open to it.

I, for one, like this track and really enjoy Daniel's voice on it and can't wait for his solo music to be released. If you hate the song, then hate the song, but don't hate Daniel because he tried something new. In fact, don't hate him at all; dislike the art but do not hate the artist for taking chances. 

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