Belfast Telegraph

Feargal Sharkey: Harder for talent to push through now

The 80s star also said up and coming artists are also too focused on their marketing and online presence.

Feargal Sharkey has said it is harder for talented songwriters to make themselves heard these days, as there are now a “gazillion” songs online.

The singer – frontman of pop punk band The Undertones in the 70s and 80s – also said young artists are too concerned with their marketing and social media and that he advises them to stop worrying about that and focus on writing better music.

He told The Sunday Telegraph: “In the modern world we think because you can make a noise that that noise has some sort of intellectual, creative or artistic depth and integrity attached to it.

“It hasn’t – it’s often a noise.

“For those who have some innate talent and ability, it’s become more difficult because there is a much greater volume of noise and static that they have to push their way through to get noticed.

“That’s made life way more difficult for them.”

Sharkey, 59, who has worked as a talent scout for a record label, said up and coming artists put a lot of store in their marketing campaigns and online presence but said he asks them: “Why are you worrying about all of that?

“How do you have a long, successful, productive and creative career in the music industry?

“The answer is if you write utterly fantastic music.

“So I say, ‘Stop worrying about your Facebook page and go and write a better song’.”

'How do you have a long, successful, productive and creative career in the music industry? The answer is if you write utterly fantastic music' - Feargal Sharkey

The star said streaming has also had an impact, saying songwriters “will be better off working in a hamburger bar on a minimum wage” because they will probably make more money than from their music.

He said: “Streaming is killing the ability for songwriters and artists to make a living. And, that may impact on their desire and capability to make music.”

Sharkey suggested The Undertones may not have got their break in the music industry as it is now, because they broke through at a time when record companies were signing up a wide range of artists.

“Most major labels are no longer in a position or willing to take that kind of risk and make that kind of investment to develop cutting edge artists exploring the fringes of what is possible creatively,” he told The Telegraph.


From Belfast Telegraph