Looks like some of what the Nashville TV series has to say about the music industry and changing markets is true to life. Country artist Toby Keith comments on the state of radio airplay:
“There are a lot of those types of songs . . . but you play that for [the label’s radio promotion staff], and they’re like, ‘Eh, it doesn’t sound like what’s going on the radio today,’” he tells Country Weekly. “Well, OK.”
Toby, who himself has explored various styles throughout his career—his 2001 No. 1 hit “I Wanna Talk About Me” features what are essentially rapped verses—has no beef with the direction of today’s country, but he won’t chase trends either.
“You hear the hip-hop thing start kicking in, and you start going, ‘Is that what we gotta do now to have a hit?’ I don’t know how to do that,” he says. “Is that what I need every one of my songs to sound like now? But . . . I’m not going to change much. And when it quits working, I’ve got other stuff to do.”
The more things change…
There has always been the tug between the previous country sound and whatever the new country sound happens to be. And while it may not please everybody, development of new sounds is what music, no matter what the style, is all about.