ty digital stamp of authenticity is the use

  ty One of the common features of these videos is the production of familiar imagery and language of the region as part of the media. As the genre emerged in London, music videos often feature references to iconic locations. The geographical context is deemed relevant and significant in this sense, with artists describing the feature of such imagery as, “Authentic.” In the same way that products are stamped for quality, their digital stamp of authenticity is the use of visual feature within the videos.

Images of the area and famous landmarks often feature in videos and some music videos are even recorded in these areas in their entirety. This offers value twofold. The visual imagery provides a sense of identity, a recognisable visual cue that signifies authenticity. Introduction Grime is a genre of music that emerged during the 90s, originating as a hybrid-genre containing elements of rap, hip-hop, dance, drum and bass and old school garage. The genre first become popularized through pirate radio and online, live video streaming sites such as AxeFM. These websites offered a means by which artists could stream live performances to an Internet audience, allowing interactive elements around the performance such as chat and voting.

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The emergence of technologies to support interactivity between musicians and audiences2 presented new avenues for distribution and conversation. Services such as YouTube in 2005 and SoundCloud in 2007 then superseded this medium. These services emerged in the second half of the 00’s and offered new video and audio-sharing platforms by which artists could share samples, beats vocal sections for critique, commentary and entertainment. The presentation of new technologies such as the iPad enabled creativity to grow within this domain4. SoundCloud provides a more recent offering, a space in which artists can share their work with the world and offers the opportunity to post comments in-line with audio.

Unlike a top-to- bottom commentary offered by YouTube, inline commenting offers the opportunity to point to specific sections of tracks and adds an additional layer of contextual meaning to the comments. The submission and presentation of time-oriented metadata in this context consolidates the need to describe and point to sections through identifiers such as visuals or lyrics. Unlike YouTube however, SoundCloud does not afford the opportunity to upload a music video with a track.

For this reason, artists typically rely on both a YouTube and SoundCloud social media profile and attach different contexts of use to the affordances of each. Though these services offer a means by which media can be distributed and shared across the genre, these services can also be used to network, talk and share multimedia. In the same way that Facebook and Twitter offer text-sharing capabilities, YouTube offers the opportunity to upload video clips that are not primarily music content, containing elements such as lyrics or photographs. These include production processes and video logs posted to YouTube. These mediums provided a broadcast platform for individuals making music in this space, without the financial and technical barriers to entry that are evident in traditional production models.

It is no longer necessary to possess technical skills with production and distribution tools to produce and share music. Artists no longer require an affiliation with a recording label to financially support their work. Indeed, the emergence of affordable home studio technology has blurred the lines between professional producer and amateur hobbyist. Sites such as Soundcloud and file hosting services such as MediaFire offer a platform for this type of content to be distributed, shared and accessed. These venues allow artists to share their work with as many, or as few people as they choose. The growth in popularity and connectivity of musicians in the social space has been explored at length both inside1 and outside6,7,10,13 the grime community.

This research builds upon on our initial research into the cultural and social significance of such emergent tools and their usage in a growing community of artists in this space3. The work here aims initially to untangle some of the complexities around the working practices of these artists and explain how and why they use social media as part of their larger workflow. We 


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