Musician Anohni has given Apple both barrels, and then some, based on her experience of having a music video funded by the company.
In an interview with Kickstarter’s The Creative Independent site, she said that “the income streams of musicians have all been upstreamed into the pockets of computer corporations” before expanding on the idea.
“Having diverted our income streams into their own pockets, they now siphon the ‘lucky’ ones back a tiny lifeline of resources to keep us going,” said Anohni.
“You see artists hailed as a new generation of independents, only to be enlisted to leverage product. I’m as guilty as the next person in having signed up for this.” Apple paid for Anohni’s ‘Drone Bomb Me’ video, which she admits seemed like a way to get “a wider reach”, as well as funding a video that her label couldn’t.
“My being bought as a politically outspoken artist is a more potent advertising tool for Apple than a 100 more explicit ads,” she said.
“It creates the false aura for Apple of being cutting edge, of being artist advocates, of being innovative mavericks, of being environmentally friendly, of caring about people and communities, instead of being the McDonalds of consumer high tech whose wealth was largely pilfered from what was once a biodiverse music industry.”
It’s the most trenchant criticism yet of Apple’s strategy of funding videos as part of its investment in original content. And yes, this is just one artist: the likes of Drake and The Weeknd certainly don’t see Apple in similar terms for its investment in their creative work.
Even so, Anohni’s views will be finding a wide readership this week, and provoking some valuable arguments about the value of art.
“You can kiss the independent music industry goodbye. Consumers think they’re swimming with the tide, but faster, with their computer purchases, when really all we are doing is shackling ourselves to further homogeny…”