Article | Onlythebeat

An Open Letter To Simon Cowell

Saturday, May 16, 2015
Erik Skoog

Dear Simon, Bummer about American Idol, right?
But don't let it get you down (we all know it's only a temporary thing so you can "revive" it in a year or two). I already have an idea for your next show! You ready? Let's partner the third most popular search engine and a record label notorious for being incredibly neurotic with the content produced by the artists they represent. Okay? And then we'll have an America's Next Talented X Factor type star search show. Except this time, we're hopping on that Electronic EDM music thing that's so popular. We'll bill the whole thing as the World Cup of EDM. And all the voting will take place on Tumblr. We'll call it...
[caption id="attachment_32974" align="aligncenter" width="639"]/r/punchablefaces /r/punchablefaces[/caption]
Oh. You''re serious? Look Simon, we all remember the travesty that was the Chainsmokers on American Idol. It's going to be that, except for a whole entire season. I struggle to see how this show could possibly produce a talented musician. Because what truly makes a talented DJ...the hours spent tweaking sounds in the studios, combing through tracks, and shaving milliseconds off of a layer in FL Studio isn't exciting to watch. Instead, we're going to be exposed to an Australia's Got Talent-esque parade of aspiring DJs in leather jackets all with the same haircut mixing their four minute sets using the sync button. If that's not bad enough, I want you to suffer through all two minutes of this Martin, "performance" on whatever this show is. Fatboy Slim and Gorgon City both declined your invitation to be judges. I mean, I don't think you're worrying too much about that (I'm sure Hardwell would love to be on board), but don't you see that as a bad sign? Don't you think that when you have a bunch of fairly respected and educated experts in a field telling you you're making a bad decision, maybe you should listen? That's exactly what happened on Jurassic Park, man. Everyone Richard Attonbourgh brought on the island told him it was a bad idea, but he just had to have his raptors and then Jeff Goldblum hurt his leg and Samuel L. Jackson died.
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="717"]Stupid, sexy Goldblum... Although we did get this...[/caption]
You promise the show will be "made with respect," Simon but you know as well as I do that's not possible. The electronic music culture has a hard enough time as it is being taken seriously by the outside world. It's a difficult thing to explain. There's this intense emotional connection and genuine community that we form through this music that's overshadowed by the surface level of pyrotechnics, pacifiers, and drug overdoses. What we don't need to show them is a one-dimensional neutered version of something they don't already understand. Maybe you'll have some real aspiring producers on the show, but it's almost exclusively going to be awkward productions that have no depth, no time to develop, and will probably all contain just "epic drops bro." Except for when they have the deep house episode. [that's my idea and I want credit for it] What is the point in pitching fans and genres against each other? The elitism in electronic music is already so bad, sometimes I can't tell if it's just some meta joke that I'm not in on. Seriously, if I have to listen to someone refer to "real trance" one more time, I'm going to lose it. You're right. There is a level a objectivity to what makes music good, but even so, especially in terms of style, man, that's all personal preference. Don't let yourself be defined by a genre. Listen to what sounds good to you, listen to what connects with you, listen to what makes you feel something.
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="667"]Above & Beyond brb crying[/caption]
Here's the real problem with your show, Simon. The dedication, the community, the real human emotion isn't what's at stake here. It's about the money. And ultimately, this show is going to make money because that's how things work. And you know that. Of course you know that.

However...not that it'll matter, but I think that it'll fall on deaf ears.

Yes, we all know electronic music is popular. But the people who are not invested in this culture just won't really care. Sure, you might get a few casual viewers in addition to those people who just can't seem to stop watching reality TV, but ultimately a consistent base of voters is going to suffer as it's most likely going to be people that don't understand the context of the music. Other the other side, the strong majority of the community isn't going to sink down to your level to participate in or even watch the show. Or if they do, they're just going to take a page out of Deadmau5's book and troll in "Rob Ford" as the winner. Actually no, that'd be pretty much the greatest thing ever. Can we get him as a write-in contestant?

PLUR & stuff,