79 comments on “Vanity Projects

  1. I was a day late and dollar short, HG, and posted my comment to the last thread as you were posting today’s blog. I think the last post and this one speak to similar ideas, so I’m bringing my comment forward.

    “I’m another who agrees that his success in all other markets should be embraced and encouraged. The US market is complicated, and even those who have great success often get chewed up and spit back out at rapid rates. And it is ALL about image. Many young relationships are more about PR than truth. (See Swift, Taylor.) Lady Gaga worked for years before the meat dress era, and she was hot and is now not. Those who gain popularity at young ages often have to reinvent themselves to continue, and most fade away completely. I believe that David was aware of this and decided to take a slower approach. I hope he proves that his talent is larger than any hyped up image that he might have agreed to.

    The makeup in Asia? I just thought it was about the market there. He doesn’t need it but I sort of like his amiable relationship with the various teams he works with.”

    And this ties to what you’re saying, I think, HG. Beyonce is really working that image with her documentary, but it is about image and not truth. I like Beyonce. I was not thrilled with her Superbowl performance because it was more performance than music. But my college-age daughter is loving her right now, so it is working for her.

    • I agee with you Kathy H. I still don’t understand why some fans seem to not like his popularity in the Philippines. To me it’s a good thing. He can absolutely be popular in the U. S. and Asia. One does not rule out the other. Also there is the matter of money, like it or not. It takes money to record and mount a tour and, of course, just living expenses in general. David will either need a major label to sign him or he needs to make some money another way. If he can make money in Asia then that is a good thing. I’m not sure there is a major label in the U.S. waiting to sign him when he returns, or if David wants to go down that path again. We shall see….

  2. It’s not that anyone resents David having fans in the Philippines; it’s that those kinds of fans have lower standards in what they like about American pop culture, so their love for David signifies nothing of great importance.

    Trust if he was popular in a trend-setting Asian city like Tokyo or Beijing or even Mumbai, we’d have a very different impression of David’s universal appeal.

    • I’m not disagreeing with you on that, Potluck. My comment was based more on perspectives of certain folks from certain world regions. I’m not trying to be mean in what I said about fans from the Philippines. But unfortunately, they don’t get the same global respect as, say, folks who come from Tokyo, Beijing, or Mumbai. They’re not as “influential” when it comes pop culture. Would “Gangnam Style” have ever taken off if it didn’t start in Beijing? A lot of that has to do with how big or marginal the market, which I imagine is why the Philippines isn’t on the radar or map for those of us over here.

      Folks who want David to chart in Latin America knows that, sooner or later, what’s trendy in Latin America will reach the Latin communities over here, and just by numbers, they have a larger market.

      That is all. :)

    • And all of this is to say: those fans who are not impressed with David’s popularity in the Philippines are only commenting on how that won’t cause a dent in his popularity in other places around the world. Depending on the market, folks pay attention. Heck, if David was doing well on a tiny island like Jamaica, that bodes better for his musical career, and that island doesn’t have half the people as the Philippines! And that’s mostly due to Island Records and how they helped launch reggae music on the world stage.

      Being in a Philippines soap opera, I imagine, is one of those ventures an American star does to 1) pay the bills and 2) keep below the radar from his American fans (unless they happen to be ODD like some of us!).

  3. Re. Beyonce, I don’t think I could take watching her documentary; I’ll pass. There are many things I respect about Bey — she’s very hardworking and always seems to strive for excellence as she has defined it.

    I also was impressed with how she diplomatically dropped out of the movie venture with Clint Eastwood after his empty chair speech. On the other hand, I think we saw glimpses of the real Bey when she posted the “Take that Mitches” sign on her tumblr after the presidential election. At the time, I initially thought someone must have hacked her account because I couldn’t imagine her being the type to use her popularity to taunt those who differed from her politically. David has made a couple of blunders via social media but I don’t recall him ever using it to intentionally taunt or hurt someone else.

  4. HG, I’ve reread your comments but it’s still not clear to me what’s considered a lower standard w/regard to American pop culture vs. what’s considered a higher standard.

    • Is “lower standard” the wrong word? Perhaps. More like they like more what’s “cheesy” than “cool” in American pop culture. Whether that’s “high” or “low” depends on interpretation, right? :)

  5. Loving the post today Hg, thank you.
    Cool and Cheesy, hmm. That word cheesy might be what is keeping David from a major singing career here in the states..I love all of David’s songs because I love his voice, but I do feel he needs to bring that angst, soul and deep emotion into his songs in an adult way that I know is there and hasn’t yet completely released, if that makes any sense…I’m hoping that when he returns that he will be ready to pour all those emotions into his songs, then I don’t think any of his diehard fans will survive, lol.

  6. I really enjoyed your post hg. I think I will pass on Bey’s documentary. Just not that interested but her and JayZ have more money than any of us could possibly imagine so Bey pretty much can do what she wants. Money is power whether it’s fair or not. I agree with you cq about David’s perceived cheesy image not helping him in the music industry. The problem is it does not help with the younger fans and I just don’t think he should give up on that fanbase.

    • Marie, you are right, it really the younger fans that are more into the ‘cool/cheesy” thing…I too agree that David still needs his young fanbase.

  7. American Idol is a pretty cheesy show to come off of and not be considered cheesy. This is actually a topic that has been debated quite a bit over at MJ’s, since their primary focus is AI contestants. Tbh, that’s what you sign up for when you audition for Idol. Kinda like selling your soul to the devil lol. But cheesy is the perception of the show. Some people feel that’s one factor as to why no male contests have really been able to establish huge careers post-show. While “cool” is important to female artists, it’s not held to the same standard as for males.

    My personal feelings on the ridiculous cultural need for “cool” are inconsequential as we can all see that it does have an impact on a career in the US and some other places. To me, the current definition of cool is so materialistic and put on. Real coolness doesn’t have to be proven. But yeah, my personal thoughts on it don’t really matter.

    • I liked reading your comment though, Ali. Because the discussion of cool comes up with David, maybe because of the Idol connection.

  8. I’m trying to think of male solo singers who manage to be vulnerable AND cool. Michael Jackson was wonderful in this regard, but he sure had problems as an adult, many of which were probably related to image/public perception/chasing image, etc. Buble doesn’t seem to try for that young fanbase — seems to embrace the cheese. As does Josh Groban. Bruno Mars puts on a tough act, or maybe this is just my perception of him. He also seems to nurture industry relationships that would help him maintain a cool image. Bieber is also all about image. (Although I hate to put him in the same conversation as the others, because the others, IMO, can sing.) Maybe Prince?

  9. To me, “cool” is not trying to fit industry standards, which is why Prince still rocks and why David still has potential to get there.

  10. I so agree with you about Prince ,hg. I have seen Prince in concert twice and he is amazing. I am a big fan of Prince. David has tons of potential. I think that is why many of us remain fans. Very Off topic but I really have to give the drummer Patrick Carney of Black Keys credit for standing up to Bieber and his OTT fans. All the guy said was “Grammys are for, like, music,” Carney said. “Not for money … and he’s(JB) making a lot of money. He should be happy, I guess.” The Biebs being the brat he is then told his followers he wanted to slap him around. Good to Carney for standing up to the Biebs and his fans. I like the Black Keys. music.http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/gossip/black-keys-patrick-carney-angers-justin-bieber-fans-article-1.1266467

    • If someone wants to draw attention to themselves like Patrick Carney apparently wanted, which is a classless act in itself, then yes choose someone who will get you noticed.

      David’s not here, let the kids have someone to follow. Do you really think that they care just how wonderful JB’s vocals are, how much of a perfectionist he is? Katy Perry is not Adele or Lady Gaga Celine Dion, so why bother comparing singers when they just can’t be compared?

      SB

      • I disagree SB. Justin’s followers may be very young but many are bullies to others online and JB and his team know that and don’t care. The hatred tweets that Carney received from Bieber’s followers and the language they used were really bad. I saw the tweets posted. Carney did nothing to provoke that kind of response and I don’t blame him for exposing what these “followers” tweet to others. I do blame Bieber and his team for creating this. This is not about comparing singers. It is about bullying online. But at some point you have to ignore it and move on which I am sure Carney will do.

  11. I like the point that I believe Patrick Carney is trying to make. When you look at the tweets from these Bieber fans that are being sent to him you really see how out of control the social medium has gotten. The Biebs and his team encourage this type of behavior and I find it concerning. We need more David’s in the music industry. Can’t waif for David’s return.

    • Yes, more like David, but most of all we need the original (our man) to be a star in the music industry.Besides his phenomenal talent, he has such a fun dry sense of humor that is so appealing. I just hope that when he returns that he just lets loose and blows us all away with his awesomeness, lol.

    • It is still a long time before David returns and we will not know with certainty until then in what capacity he will be returning to the music industry.

      Beyoncé…Life Is But A Dream…is on now…”As she says, it is tough in the music industry. People are brainwashed and people do not see the human form…you do not see their every day life and it is none of their business…they are so exposed. No one should be able to judge you because it is from the heart.” We pick on them continuously don’t we?

      SB

      • So true SandyBeaches, but people like Beyonce can walk away, they have enough money to live comfortably for the right of their lifes, sure it would take some time for them to be left alone, but it would happen…the limelight is something that they also need. Imo, it’s part of the job and you have it find a way to balance it all.

      • Just checked. Bey’s net worth is 300 million. Jay-Z’s net worth is 475 million. Bieb’s net worth is 110 million. I would not feel bad for any of them. They say money is not everything but ..

  12. I remember a while back that a commentary was linked to, on one of the David sites, noting that in the Philippines, there is a strong preference for the artists to be light-skinned and exceptionally good-looking. (The skin-color preference supposedly had something to do the the colonial history of the country). This was stated as a reason that Charice had to go overseas to become more successful. She seems very cute to me, but perhaps the standards for the greatest popularity in the Philippines, are more along the lines of David’s glamorous co-stars in Nandito Ako. It could be one reason why David is so popular there, and also why they put all the overdone make-up on him.

    Kathy H, I think David being “amiable” is the perfect word to describe his tolerance of being made-up so heavily in the Philippines. I remember a candid video of him, quite a while ago, in which he’s griping about having to wear makeup, and rolling his eyes during a phone call with his dad. I just love how normal and human he seemed in that video, when he’s not doing his usual super-nice and righteous thing.

  13. Lol, cchalo. I remember that and much ado is still made about him writing “crap.” Probably similar reasons.

  14. Marie, maybe Carney will wish that he had never started it. There are no two stars alike and they make their own beds and lie in them so whatever happens will happen. The stars are all unperdictable each in their own way.

    • But Carney did not start it. He just answered a question by a reporter and he did not even say anything that bad. He even wrote this on twitter “It’s cool when you get cornered outside your hotel by a guy with a camera and they ask you a dumb question and then put it on TV. :(” He also responded to Bieber’s comments with a sad face.) I am sure the drummer never expected this video to go viral. He was then was attacked by Justin and his fans on twitter.

      • I don’t follow Justin and his fans on twitter so I didn’t see the tweets. I know from hearing that Rihanna had a few choice words to say on twitter recently, that maybe fans get too close to their idols.

        SB

      • Actually I don’t have a twitter account and this is why. I do check twitter online but I don’t have an account. The comments on some sites are not the best either. But this it is what it is and I guess it is not going away. lol. I can understand young kids but adults can be just as bad.

  15. HG, thanks for responding to my question (above). I don’t know much about cultures outside the U.S. but overall, I think it’s a good thing when there is variation in terms of how individuals of different cultures, ethnicities, gender, races, etc., may (or may not) embrace a particular art form.

    Once when I was traveling in the UK, I was asked where I was from. When I mentioned the state, I was told …”Oh, they’re not cultured there— right?” The person saw that I was a bit puzzled and then went on to explain, “I mean, your state isn’t as advanced as NYC or Los Angeles”. I laughed because I’ve always felt that within the U.S., there’s a bias towards LA and NYC in terms of what’s relevant in U.S. pop culture.

      • At the time the comment was made, I was living in the midwest.

        On another note, I was at the gym this evening and they played “Crush” over the sound-system ! :D

  16. HG – “thankfully, David doesn’t take himself that seriously”. Can’t agree with you more. I sense that whenever he has to do all those obligatory “cool” stuff, he does it tongue-in-cheek. He is more concerned about the human connection between his fans and him than how his image comes across.

    This is one of the main reasons why I like him so much and have such a deep, unshakeable connection with him and give the other artistes a pass. To my mind, it is unlikely that there will be another David. It is unfortunate that most fans succumb to the impact of “Image”.

    Love this post. Thanks!

  17. Glad to see the conversation here about ‘coolness’ evolved.
    I have no interest in accepting the values of the mass media, telling me what is cool and who is cool and which culture is more sophisticated in their tastes and therefore worth paying attention to and which culture is cheesy and not noteworthy. I’ll judge for myself who and what is cool and sophisticated and act accordingly thanks.

    If we just go along with what the mass media tells us to like then we are just perpetuating the problems. Change only comes about when enough people realise that their little drop of water into the bucket will eventually add up to a bucketful.

    The Filipino’s and their tastes in music are just as important as any cool kid hanging in Cali, thank you very much.

    • You know…i think one way this fanbase completely misunderstands David, is in their obsession with what is current and cool and edgy and constantly hoping David will come to his senses and squeeze himself into that mould. David has said time and again and shown through his actions time and again that he has no interest in moulding himself into a persona thrust upon him by the mass media. Lets get over this fascination with what the media thinks is cool and support our guy in blazing his own trail. Success can also come through doing it differently and offering an alternative. And if success doesn’t come that way, then at least his life was real and authentic and not some illusion conforming to the group think of the dumbed down masses.

      • As a child my grandmother would repeat to me…”Don’t be a sheep, sheep follow the crowd.” Guess I was raised to be a non-conformist and it worked. Think David is also a non-conformist.
        Who cares what is cool out there. I’m sick of hearing about it actually. Can ya tell? lol

      • The discussion was about “the industry”, not so much about our personal opinions on cool. Clearly if any of David’s fans were concerned with only following someone that exudes the industry idea of cool, then we wouldn’t still be here.

        But the fact remains that the coolness factor does exist in the industry here in the US and in other places. As we talk about anything that could affect David’s career, then it rightfully will come up.
        Do I think David’s current persona means he can’t have a career in the music business? No. Do I think its one factor that affects his overall popularity in the US and in other markets? Probably.

        As Kathy alluded to, blanket statements saying what the fan base does or doesn’t understand don’t fly too well.

      • Ali, I included you in my comments to Kathy. :-)

        Also, I guess I wasn’t really meaning to upset people, was kinda just venting a bit you know…teasing, stirring a little maybe lol…but not in a malicious way.

        Hugs and as david would do… *peace sign* lol

  18. Shanny, yes, I can tell. But I think if you believe “this fan base completely misunderstands David…” then you need to go back and read what people said here on this post. Everyone here has expressed an opinion that is much more complex than that. Many of the commenters here have mentioned an admiration for David’s ability to remain true to himself.

    • Kathy, no need to feel bad. I’m talking in general, not thinking of anyone in particular. It’s a pretty pervasive and constant theme amongst the fanbase. Yes, people want him to be true to himself but that doesn’t stop them from also wanting him to change. One thing I’ve learnt since becoming a DA fan is how contradictory human beings are, myself and David included.

      • I don’t feel badly, but thanks for explaining further. :) This topic has been discussed since the beginning, and although I don’t agree with everyone, every time, I don’t think this particular discussion hurts David or his image. I see this as an honest sharing of opinions and ideas which comes from a very common sentiment among David’s fans: we all want him to continue making music. And as we, the fans, are diverse and knowledgable in different areas, this sharing is a positive. IMO.

      • Kathy: ”This topic has been discussed since the beginning…”

        Haha! You got that right! lol And that was kinda the point….
        Look, I know I spoke with some passion earlier and I do stand by what I said. I know I used a blanket statement and to be truthful, I think it’s pervasive enough in the fanbase to stand by my blanket statement too. What I over emphasised, due in part to the heat of the moment and in part as a kind of tongue-in-cheek,, stir-the-pot-in-good-humour kind of thing, is how much it bothers me. Sometimes I wish people would just let david be, accept him as he is or move on, kind of thing but mostly I know it’s people just gabbing, doing what fans do, dreaming, hoping, squeeing etc. Having said that, I do hope people will use this time that david is away to analyse themselves and their expectations, so that when David comes back we can allow him to just be, without our pressure adding to the noise.

        Ali, probably what got my knickers a little twisted was the suggestion that the Filipino market is irrelevant because their tastes are not sophisticated enough. What was it that Forest Gump said…? Stupid is as stupid does. Not saying anyone is stupid lol but I am saying that something is only cool or unsophisticated if that’s how we choose to think about it. I choose to think that everyone’s opinion counts whether.they live in the Philippines or California. Who cares what the mass media thinks. It’s about time the people told THEM what to think. Not the other way around.

      • Shanny – I completely agree with you that the opinions of the Filipino fans matter just like the opinions of any other fans and, as I have posted multiple times previously, I think that his popularity in the Filipino market as well as several other Asian markets is one of the things that has kept his career going at the level is has and enabled him to do so much before he left for his mission. It may well prove vital to helping enable his future endeavors as well and I am a-ok with that.

        However, no matter how we personally feel about the topic of cool, the simple fact is that it does matter in the US market. I’m 100% with you in that I think it’s ridiculous posturing (as I said early in this thread) but that does not negate the fact that it exists and it impacts careers. We can bury our heads in the sand and say “oh I don’t care about coolness, but why isn’t David a huge star, why doesn’t he have 10million hits on all his videos, why is there not as much sales, why why why” or we can open our eyes and see some of the reasons. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. This discussion is merely talking about the facts. The facts are “cool” sells in the pop market, especially aiming at young people. Am I saying David should change himself to match this? Absolutely not. David’s difference is one of the main reasons that I’m such a big fan. It’s just that an understanding can be had here with regards to expectations. Other factors most certainly influence a music career: talent (although sadly not as much anymore), label support, timing, luck. And about a trillion other little things. The importance of each of these factors also varies greatly depending on the genre and market you are looking to impact. These things should be taken into consideration when mapping out his career for the years to come. We’ve already seen a bit of this in the press release for the new album, where they specifically mention AC as the market the single was looking to impact.

      • Ali, I agree with absolutely everything you’ve said.

        Trust me, I do not have my head buried in the sand. I fully and completely understand that it’s all nice and romantic to talk about doing it his way and who cares about cool etc, but when I say who cares and just let him be, it is not just romantic notions to me. I mean it. I mean it to the point that if it causes david to no longer tour and produce music, so be it.
        I am at complete peace with David doing things the way he wants to do it. I really, really do not care about what is cool out there. I care about david being happy. If david being happy leads to me never hearing or seeing him again, then while that would be hard to bear, that is what I want for him. His happiness, no more, no less.

        Haha, and you know what…what I really wanted to emphasize but may have lost amongst the discussion is the idea of conforming to what is considered cool out there. (and i’m not speaking to you specifically Ali, just speaking in general) Lets not let others define what’s cool for us. Let’s define it for ourselves. We are the voice of the people after all.

  19. I dont feel its the fanbase that “misunderstands” David, its the music listening audiene in general. He deosnt fit “their” idea of cool. He fits ours (fans) perfectly.

    • Candy, I do think the fans do see David’s cool factor. But I think they get swayed by the media’s definition too.

    • I agree you Candy. It is not to the fanbase but the general listening audience that does not see David as “cool.’” Specifically the younger listening audience.

  20. Sorry-for some reason it wont let me change my screen name to Candy, keeps reverting back to an ancient one I had before.
    HG-Love your posts, they keep my brain from turning to mush,you actually provide interesting, stimulating food for thought, and for that I thank you. Been reading here since you started the site.

  21. Shanny, AMEN to everything you said!!! I love David because of his voice,of course, but mostly his sweet,adorable, quirky,authentic and selfless personality. I abhor the vain, empty “coolness ” of the current music industry.

    • I abhor it too Olive Oil, I abhor it too. Empty is an apt word. And I think that’s what David senses and is resisting also.

      • Shanny, giving another AMEN to what you said. One of the things I like most about following David’s career, is that he is so true to himself, regardless of what others may think or advise. Like you said, it may or may not bring him “success” in the eyes of many in the industry, but “success” to David may be an entirely different thing…and I believe it will involve music one way or another.

        Most of the music and artists my kids (teenagers, and 20 “somethingers”) listen to are not the mainstream top 40 stuff. They think a lot of that stuff is just pumped out for the masses by the same old artists. They think it is actually “cooler” to find unique and different artists that aren’t shoved down their throats every time they turn on the radio.

      • Just A Lurker – ah yes! When my young children complain about ‘old fashioned’ music I always remind them of David and how a truly sophisticated music connoisseur appreciates music from many era’s and many genre’s not just the current top 40 that the young ones are told is real music by the media. ;-)

  22. Wow! Maybe I am not understanding what you mean by the vain, empty coolness of the current music industry. David seems to enjoy listening AND singing and knows the lyrics of this same stuff. I don’t think it’s ALL vain and empty.

    • Haha, no it’s not all vain and empty but much of it is. Even if it’s fun to listen to it will chew you up and spit you out. The artist that is.

  23. I don’t get that all music has to be deeply philosophical, message-y, or inspirational. Therevis a time for every purpose…. There is fun music that was created long time Monster Mash etc and other silly tunes for dancing and to just enjoy that have stood the test of time. Music enjoyment for different folks and different strokes I say. lol. :)

  24. It’ not like David has to be silly. I am not saying that but sheesh he create all kinds of great music. Not even the greats like the Beatles have made stellar choices, I Wanna Hold Your Hand. They went on to do reallybgreat music in my opinion. Btw, I loveI Wanna Hold Your Hand.

    Sorry but I think I got way off topic.

  25. Imo, there is a place for every type of music including empty mindless, just fun music. I don’t believe every song needs to be serious and have deep meaning. Of course we all know that David likes songs that have message/meaning, but I’m sure he probably enjoy just fun songs.

  26. I think the music industry is more about sex appeal than talent. The more skin you show or the more you girate the better, even profanity seems to be the norm now. We have the Beav shirtless, Lady Gaga’s antics, and not too many really good singers. I blame the consumer for buying this stuff , so what does that say about the consumer? The music industry is getting rich off of these consumers so the industry will continue to do what they do.I am not saying it is all bad but soo much of it is shocking to me atleast. I love David for who he is , a genius talent and a pure soul.

  27. Don’t mean to put down the whole music industry. There are lots of talented performers and singers out there. I just don’t like the overtly sexualized image that so many of them put out there

    • Sexualized image and a sensual/sexy image is, to me anyway, different. You are right about a lot of entertainer/singer being over the top with sexuality, but David oozes sensuality/sexiness without trying, just by going on stage, lol. I know some fans wantt to put him in that purer than drivensnow box, but he just can’t help it, that’s what he oozes…now all he has to do is be comfortable with it, then it’s all good, lol.

  28. if david’s pants get any tighter they will be jeggingsLOLOL! i think he knows he’s sexy and likes it, otherwise why the tight pants really? :) he’s not stupid and there are mirrors in his apt i assume!

  29. used to like beyonce but now kind of scared of her because of all the illuminati rumours! very freaky stuff on YT.

  30. sorry, it’s too scary to even talk about. if u search illuminati on youtube you will find lots of videos about it. don’t know if it’s true or not.

Comments are closed.