The Significance of Taste, Uniqueness, and Individuality for Music Platforms and Music Curation


In today’s digital age, music platforms have become vital in curating and sharing music to local and global audiences. From festivals and digital playlists to DJ sets and digital publications, these platforms possess the ability to shape the music landscape.

Dj king her Zimbabwe music platforms curation
DJ King Her has made a name for herself by dint of her unique curation. PIC/Earground

However, not all platforms display the all-important elements of taste and individuality, resulting in a dearth of originality and creative diversity. This article explores the importance of taste, uniqueness, and independent thought in curating music platforms.

The Power of Curation

Curation is an art, involving the careful selection and organization of content to create a meaningful and engaging narrative. The curator’s taste and discernment determine the quality of the selection, whether it’s a festival lineup, a playlist, or a DJ set. Platforms that lack developed taste risk becoming redundant, merely duplicating content without contributing anything fresh or exciting to the music scene.

The Need for Unique Perspectives

In an ever-changing music landscape, a multiplicity of perspectives is indispensable. The absence of originality stifles creativity and impedes the discovery of new artistic voices.

Platforms that embrace unique perspectives and showcase fresh talent create opportunities for artists to shine while allowing audiences to explore new sounds. Encouraging individuality in curation leads to a richer, more authentic musical experience.

Breaking the Monotony

The prevalence of repeated content across various platforms is commonplace. Seeing identical posts or media stories circulating without new perspectives or insights is disheartening. Platforms that cultivate their own taste and perspectives can break away from this monotony, breathing new life into the experience for audiences and fostering a sense of refreshing discovery.

Embracing Independent Thought

Platforms should promote independent thought and critical thinking when curating and presenting music.

This means going beyond the mainstream and championing emerging artists, underground scenes, and diverse genres. It involves taking risks and challenging conventional norms to uncover hidden musical gems.

Thoughtful and independent curation allows platforms to provide an alternative space for meaningful music experiences.

Taste and individuality are essential assets in the realm of music curation. While numerous platforms exist, each one should develop its unique perspective, encouraging independent thought and embracing diverse talent.

By doing so, platforms can break free from the uniformity of repetitive content, offering audiences a sense of discovery and excitement. Let us encourage platforms to cultivate their taste, foster their independence, and contribute to a more vibrant and diverse music ecosystem.

For Example: The lack of taste-makers and music curators in Zimbabwean radio stations, clubs, etc is disconcerting.

While it is understandable that radio stations and clubs do not have an obligation to provide a platform for every artist, it is crucial to recognize that music is also a business. If the curation of music on radio stations and clubs is not on point, it can have detrimental effects on the industry as a whole.

One major problem is the dominance of mainstream artists, both local and international, on the airwaves. This leaves little room for equally talented but lesser-known artists to shine. 

Countless undiscovered gems never make it onto radio, forcing listeners to consume the same Drake, Taylor Swift, and Davido albums repetitively. This not only limits the diversity of music choices and stifles creativity, but also discourages aspiring artists from pursuing their dreams.

Another notable aspect to address is the repetitiveness of club DJs playing the same commercial hits. It can be frustrating for music enthusiasts to visit clubs and hear the same songs like DJ Khaled’s “All I Do Is Win” or switching to “Niggas in Paris” by Jay-Z and Kanye West. While these songs may be popular, the lack of variety can dampen the club experience and limit the opportunity to discover new and exciting music.

Club DJs have a unique platform to introduce audiences to different genres, underground artists, or remixes that can stimulate the crowd and create a memorable atmosphere. By diversifying their playlists and embracing lesser-known tracks, DJs can elevate their performance and provide a refreshing experience for club-goers.

Moreover, club DJs have the responsibility to cater to the diverse tastes of their audience. Music preferences vary, and by sticking solely to mainstream hits, DJs may inadvertently exclude certain segments of the crowd and miss out on the chance to showcase different genres and styles.

Club DJs can greatly benefit from investing time in researching and sourcing fresh, innovative tracks that align with their audience’s tastes.

This can involve exploring local artists, international underground scenes, or even collaborating with independent musicians to create exclusive mixes or remixes. By doing so, DJs can enhance their reputation, build a unique brand, and create an exciting atmosphere that stands out from the repetitive playlists commonly heard in clubs.

It can be frustrating when festival lineups do not align with the main act or the festival theme. The decision to include artists from different genres solely based on their pulling power rather than their relevance can lead to a lack of cohesion and disappointment among the audience.

If a festival is focused on a specific genre like amapiano or hip-hop, it’s important to stick to that theme and avoid mixing in unrelated genres like ZimDancehall.

Promoters should consider the expectations of the crowd and deliver a full show experience that aligns with the original promise and vision of the event.

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