Environment, technology, equality – What concern is on your radar?

By Beverley Knight

The creative mind is a bustling bazaar of ideas. Melodies and masterpieces dance merrily in there. But it’s also a marketplace of issues that can keep one awake in the evening or call for in-depth debate with pals until resolution is closer. Public Pressure dove headfirst into people’s thoughts from all corners of society with one question: What concern is on your radar? From the environment to technology and beyond, the answers varied. 

Indie Electronica artist LEXI hails from Bangalore, India and lives in Nimes, France. She champions global environmental activism. With determination, LEXI harnesses the power of music as a catalyst for change. “I understand it’s a mammoth task, not designed to be a solo act. Music should bring people together to get the core of our planet’s problems.” LEXI felt a profound calling to express herself authentically. “It was time to break free from the shackles of a profit-obsessed culture and reconnect with my true self.” The deeper she delved into making music about nature, the more she metamorphosed. There was a personal evolution with significant changes to her lifestyle, including diet, spending habits, and observing her carbon footprint, as she became attuned to the interconnectedness of all living beings and the environment. Art spurs change, reshaping perspectives and driving action. LEXI is adamant positive change is possible. “While we may not be able to mend all that’s broken, we can certainly strive to rediscover our humanity and set a new course for the future.” As a result, she created a website, LEXAHOLISM, where green-loving artists can curate playlists and collaborate to inspire action for environmental and social harmony. The website educates artists on moving towards a more sustainable music industry. “We raise awareness and ignite efforts towards eco-consciousness.” LEXI knows that when the right people come together, progress is inevitable. “We’re all about crafting awesome playlists for our planet, teaming up with eco-conscious musicians. We hope to light up the path to someone’s green groove with every track.”

Dance outfit House of Allegro consists of Londoner Alec and Micheline from Baltimore. They also see us moving away from the natural world, envisioning a War of the Worlds-style AI uprising. “This will surely shake the industry up if it hasn’t done already.” They hope society doesn’t go on worshipping AI as much as they’re noticing. “People should value the quality a human can bring to a song, rather than something a bot created quickly using a few prompts or clicks of a button,” Alec remembers a new Drake track that was dropping and created with AI vocals. It made him think, ‘Should there be rules to stop AI from using artists’ voices? “Without any regulations, real singers might be out of a gig. Imagine if AI starts churning out endless hits from our favourite artists. Although I did see a hilarious rendition of Gangster’s Paradise, sung by a toothbrush!”

Michelina is also a voice actor. She’s witnessed colleagues missing out on jobs when companies go down the road of AI voices instead. “It saves them money but puts us creatives out of work.” And what about raw emotion? “Recently, the BBC overlooked theatre and voice-over actor Sara Poyzer to use AI.” As the march of technology continues, artists will inevitably harness AI to enhance their craft. However, House of Allegro grimaces at the prospect of AI eroding the genuine, inventive spark that defines a musician’s creative voyage. They advocate for regulations to safeguard the integrity of art. “All AI music should have watermarks. Also, if people use AI in the creative process, the information should be clear. Do we truly want to outsource this beautiful human experience to a bot?”

Originally from Nigeria, Afro-fusion artist OVIEL calls Liverpool his home now. The issue that floats around his mind, whether artists embrace AI or not, is the disparity and gap between top musicians and other equally capable, undiscovered talents. He echoes the struggle of many grappling with the challenge of recognition in a competitive realm. “It’s even more difficult to be successful in the music industry if you don’t have a record label behind you.” One day, it dawned on him that despite pouring his heart into art for some time, the recognition he anticipated had yet to materialise. “Somehow, I’d expected the journey to be easy.” It was taxing. He’d always felt like a bit of a lucky person with his talent. “After a while, I felt stuck on the same level and grew uncomfortable there.” He realised emerging artists can only work on bettering themselves. He believes there are things independents can do to reach a level of output that looks to the outside world like they have that covered label push. “From your branding and image to the quality of your sound and content.” Setting up his home studio and investing in content-making equipment, he learned to self-tape and shoot content. It empowered him to take the reigns. “These are aspects I can control.” All one can do is keep making great stuff and putting it out there. “One day, you’ll bubble up to the top.”

But let’s put the wider-scale issues discussed aside for a moment. Sometimes, thinking about where you’re going in this thing we call life can steal your thoughts from the moment you wake up until your head hits the pillow at night. Rapper Naro from Fresno, California, finds it hard to think of anything else but moving his music on. “It’s never off my mind: getting my name and songs out there.” It’s not just a job – it’s an entire lifestyle. The ultimate goal is to get to a secure place where music isn’t just a craving but a solid way to earn a living. “You’ve gotta tighten up and move correctly.” Feeling at home in the studio, performing at open mic shows and marketing himself is taking Naro in the right direction. “Creating art in any shape or form is therapy for some, if not all. It expresses whatever I’m going through, my past experiences, or what I see myself having in the future.” 

So, what do you align with? The environment, technology, wage equality, a robust music career, something different? Food for thought.

Follow LEXI
Follow House of Allegro
Follow OVIEL
Follow Naro

Cover photo: LEXI



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