Last week as I watched television a commercial for the insurance company Allstate appeared. There was that very familiar statement, “You’re in good hands with Allstate.” I’m sure all of you reading this post have heard those words thousands of times. It certainly brands Allstate as a reliable source for insurance. However, as I listened I wondered about the reliable source for music. Is there such a statement that can be made about a particular artist or group of artists? We all know much about the great musicians of the past. We know some things about present artists who will be considered great for many years. Most people I speak with about music are concerned about the future. What will become of music in future years? There are clues to be found among the very young, aspiring singer/songwriters starting out today. This week I got an opportunity to feature an artist who just might leave the industry in good hands. This week I feature ARRA.
Who is Arra? She is an American Singer, Songwriter, Dancer and Actress. She was raised in New York and been singing since age 7. She has performed live at many events in the Tri-State, NY area. Arra is only sixteen years old.
Of course, Arra is not the first young artist ever featured in Weekly Music Commentary. In fact, she is not even the youngest. So far that distinction belongs to Kaya Stewart, daughter of Eurythmics David Stewart. Kaya was fifteen when featured. Arra represents how the next wave of young singer/songwriters may approach a music career. Most will be at home within social media. Interaction with music fans will be frequent, allowing fans an understanding of why the artist wrote particular songs. Music fans will be in good hands because they will truly get to know an artist.
As for Arra, part of what seems to be factor in shaping her musically is where she grew up and now lives. I remember my start several years ago recording music was easy because I was able to find a network of help. The South Florida metropolitan area provided access to support of which I took advantage. When I think of Arra and others in New York city, it’s unimaginable how much support is available. Not only local support. Arra has been able to meet and interact with many international musicians and industry insiders. As she starts to make her way up the industry ladder, she won’t be unknown to those ready to welcome her at the top.
Something has to be said about music training and education. There are several options for the aspiring musician seeking formal music instruction. Cuts in public school programs have left the arts lacking much of a curriculum. However, there are some programs outside the public school system that do a good job of filling voids. There are a few college programs doing a great job at offering well-rounded musical instruction. Arra has had many vocal coaches and choreographers. Like many other young artists Arra is preparing for a career in the performing arts. It’s not a shock to find her performing live on a stage in front of an audience. It certainly will not be unusual to see her at larger venues in the future. I think she’s right on schedule making sure music will be in good hands.
While keeping an eye on the young entertainers of tomorrow, I always am curious about the choice of music genre. Why? Normally that choice comes down to background and understanding of the style of music, but the artist of tomorrow has a different approach to choice of genre. An article in EconoTimes by David Greenberg explained that music genres are outdated today. Imagine what they will be in the future. He stated, “technological advances have now put millions of songs at our fingertips through mobile devices. Not only do we have access to more music than ever before, but more music is being produced. Places like SoundCloud have made it possible for anyone to record and publish music for others to hear. With this increased diversity in music to which we are exposed, the lines separating genres have become even more blurred than they were previously.”
He went further, “Genre labels are problematic for several reasons. First, they are broad umbrella terms that are used to describe music that vary greatly in their characteristics. If a person says they are a fan of “rock” music, there is no way of knowing whether they are referring to The Beatles, Bob Dylan, or Jimi Hendrix — but all three vary greatly in style. Or if a person tells you that they are a fan of pop music, how do you know if they are referring to Michael Jackson or Justin Bieber?”
Along comes an artist like Arra, and she will seamlessly offer hip hop and R&B, and perhaps a ballad that is inspired by her classical musical training. Rest assured this is a good problem. It means that the music fan in the future will enjoy the same diversity enjoyed by the artist. The future will give us more choices of the artist instead of a particular genre. I notice younger artists like Arra have various musical abilities, and are not afraid to put them on display.
Arra has not recorded an album yet, but there is enough music to give evidence of her immense talent. I love this period in the career of an artist. Simply because when she breaks big, I can point back to this feature with great pride. Therefore, I’m listening and waiting for you Arra, realizing that music’s future will be in good hands.