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“Do artistic practices transform the world?”, the subject embodied by Coldplay, Muse and Taylor Swift

It’s D-Day for thousands of high school graduates in France! This Wednesday, June 15 was held the (sometimes) terrible test of Philosophy. On the program, no less than three subjects;

While opinions and opinions are already flowing on Twitter, at Virgin Radio, we looked into the subject: “Do artistic practices transform the world”? We would like to believe it. So, we dove into our discography. Who are the contemporary artists who, on their scale, are trying to transform the world? What are they doing to leave an imprint that will perhaps last? From Muse to Taylor Swift, here is the copy we would have made.

Taylor Swift facing streaming.

In 2014, just before the release of the album 1989, Taylor Swift chose to remove her entire discography from streaming platforms. The reason ? His desire to draw attention to the (very) unequal system of this new way of consuming music. “Music is art, and art is important and rare. Important and rare things have value. Things of value must be paid for. I believe music shouldn’t be free, and I predict that individual artists and their labels will one day decide the price of an album.”will express the artist in an essay written for The Wall Street Journal. For its part, Spotify will go so far as to create a playlist entitled “What to play while Taylor Swift is gone? »

While at the time, Apple Music offered its (future) subscribers a three-month free trial, Taylor Swift, she stepped up to the plate on Tumblr : “ Three months is a long time not to get paid, and it’s unfair to ask someone to work for nothing. I say this with love, reverence, and admiration for everything else Apple has done. I hope I can join them soon in the progression towards a streaming model that seems fair for those who create this music. I think this could be the platform that will make it happen”, she wrote. Apple will finally accept to pay royalties to artists, even during the free period of three months- what will sign the return of Taylor Swift on the platform. In 2015, Apple Music will even broadcast the 1989 World Tour, recorded in Sydney. After long years of negotiations (and above all, after changing labels), Taylor’s music is, on this date, available on all platforms. The little bonus? Red (Taylor’s Version)released last November, broke streaming records on Spotify.

By fighting for the rights of artists in the face of streaming, Taylor Swift has put her influence at the service of her peers. In almost 10 years, streaming has taken the time to review its copy to better serve the interests of artists. It may not have saved the world but in any case, this act of rebellion changed the music industry.

Coldplay limits tours to preserve the environment

More than ever, the climate situation is alarming. As global warming worsens a little more each year, each country is called upon to review its energy consumption. On their own scale, the citizens try to bring their stone to the building – by reducing their waste or sorting it, for example. But, what about artists? When the album was released Everyday Life in 2019, Coldplay, a very committed British group, announced that it wanted to review its way of filming in order to preserve the planet. The group has thus sought to produce series of concerts that are less harmful to the environment: “We take the time to see how our tour can be actively beneficial…we all need to do our best work”, explained Chris Martin to the BBC. ” Our next tour will be the best possible version of a tour like this [leur dernier tour du monde] in respect of the environment. We would be disappointed if it was not carbon neutral”.

“How can we reverse the situation if we don’t give back what we were given? asked the group. Coldplay (who had chosen not to film when Everyday Life was released) took the time to imagine a less violent way of filming. Two years and a pandemic later, Chris Martin and his band will be back in France next July.

Muse and her vision of the world

Muse is one of those artists who have always observed, analyzed and dissected the world to better offer their own vision of it. Renowned for always being one step ahead and a futuristic (even sometimes apocalyptic) vision of the world, Muse tries (in his own way) to alert his fans. What world will man build? What would we leave to future generations? Will technology take precedence over humanity? All these questions, Muse has raised them in nearly nine albums. Next August, the British trio will release The Will of the People – an album that, instead of thinking about the future, analyzes the present while observing our world as it is : “ But the idea for this album was this: let’s make it focus a bit more on what’s really going on in the world right now. We took this turn at the end of 2019. What I didn’t know was what was going to happen. “, vsMatt Bellamy was recently told by NME media.

By sharing her vision of the world, by immersing fans in an almost alternate reality, Muse pushes her fans to question themselves… and who knows, maybe it’s a first step towards a new world?

When it comes to knowing whether or not artistic practices transform the world, everyone has their own opinion. There will be those who feel that art is subjective, that it has no real impact. And then there are those who, touched by art, will try to re-invent themselves to become the change they would like to see in the world. Finally, there are artists who, on their scale, put art at the service of their convictions… and that’s already a good start – isn’t it?

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