Sunday, May 11, 2014
New Zealand's Rock Star Economy
There is no doubt at all, New Zealand definitely does have a 'Rock Star' economy. Our four biggest rockstars are called Dara Dairy, Rebuild Rex, Len Lumber and Property Boom. These are our four biggest acts and they are constantly at the top of the charts and on most peoples's play lists. We do have a couple of wannabe stars that have some following, notably Oil Slick and Park Miner, but some feel that their music is dated and they probably have no real future.
Dara and Len are into fairly primal, raw rock and have gained a fair bit of international attention, especially in China. The Chinese are keen to buy anything being released by both artists. Our two largest domestic artists Rebuild and Property are rocking out with a steady stream of popular music.
Many People feel that Boom is over pricing the tickets to his concerts and few ordinary New Zealanders are ever likely to be able to afford one. Some feel that ticket prices have been pushed up by overseas fans. Rebuild has been criticized for employing his all his roadies and backing band from overseas.
New Zealand's Rock Star economy is operating in the same way as it does in most places. The money is pouring in but only a few are benefiting. There are the usual mansions and luxury cars and managers and financial advisors have creamed off the profits. The roadies, supporting musicians and recording studio technicians have seen little of the money that they have helped generate. The nannies looking after the rock star's children have struggled to have their efforts recognized and are generally taken for granted, they are told that they should feel grateful for just having a job.
The music industry can be quite fickle, it only takes a nasty rumor to lose a fan base and destroy a career. Some music suffers from over exposure and can experience a sudden collapse of support.
Relying on a handful of successful artists to continue the income stream is actually a huge risk. While many compare Dara with the Rolling Stones and think that she will have a long and successful career, this can never really be guaranteed. We probably need to have more artists on our books to take advantage of future markets. We haven't really invested in identifying new trends in music and supporting potential new stars. There has been hope that Oil Slick and Park Miner may develop into future stars but those who support them are nostalgic for past music genres that have little support from younger generations.
We definitely have a rock star economy, but fame is fickle and the industry is often corrupt. It produces great wealth for some but it is an economy often based on image rather than substance. I am also reminded of the great rock band, Spinal Tap, that claimed that they were louder than any other band because their amplifier had volume dials that went to 11 rather than just 10. The Government is using similar methods to amp up our economic our success.