I received a PM over FB about a recent statement I made on efforts to have Kyary Pamyu Pamyu’s singles broadcast over terrestrial radio. My initial statement may have come off as a little snarky — hence the rebuttal, but I certainly won’t apologize for that as I do not believe in sugar-coating my opinions.
In the interests of not having to rehash everything I said in reply to the PM, I’m putting this up here. Feel free to direct flames to the comment box.
PM: But one probable reason why most JPop/JRock fans can’t buy (which I observed from fellow fans) is that most fans are still young; they don’t have yet the means to purchase from online shops. So in the end, they result to downloading.
I do not see being young as a valid excuse. I was also young once — I didn’t pop out of my mum fully-formed with a credit card in hand. I went through university on a miniscule allowance, yet still managed to purchase CDs and merchandise from my favorite artists through a lot of patience and sacrifice.
I would refrain from purchasing meals and bring lunch boxes instead, and would watch films at the UP Film Center instead of cinemas because their tickets were cheaper by 50%. Whatever money I saved, I would deposit in a working friend’s back account, and she would purchase the items online via her personal credit card.
Sometimes, she and I and other friends would do group purchases, wherein we would all pay her beforehand and she would get all our stuff shipped in on one go. As a system it was not fool-proof (sometimes the Customs people would tax us unfairly), but overall it was doable — which is why I don’t believe people when they say it’s impossible for young people to purchase things even if they wanted to.
PM:But amidst all this, I think all JPop/Jrock fanclubs here in the Philippines really try their best to promote the artists here; they already joined in different events starting last 2011. All try to help each other in promoting different fan club activities. They work hand in hand.
Congratulations and welcome to the club: I have been an organizing team member and group moderator for Ongaku Society since 2003. Yes — 2003, eight whole years before you started your club. But why has nothing major happened so far, you ask?
Because it is very, very hard work with very, very little pay-off in sight. No matter how many connections we managed to make and how many emails we sent and how many times we tried to get events organized, if the management of the artists we supported had no interest in performing in Manila, then there was nothing else we could do.
I’m not being negative, I am just trying to show you the realities of the music business. No matter how much you want want it and how hard you try, in the end an online petition is just an online petition, and the decision will still be made by the talent agencies and record companies. The only way to convince them — and convince them completely, is to show them the money, and lots of it.
PM: I also got a hint regarding your comment about an online petition. This must be for One Ok Rock?
No, it’s not. Let’s face it you’re not the only group to petition a Japanese artist to come to Manila. You’re really not that special.
PM: Going back to KPP, it has been opened (sic) that Warner Music Philippines is planning to release KPP’s newest album here. The fan club opened a survey days ago regarding the release here.
Good for them! However this just cycles back to my previous statement that the best way to assure the release of a Japanese single or album locally (and perhaps convince the artist to come here and perform live) is to vote with your money.
No matter how many thousands of so-called fans sign the petition and call the radio stations and spam Facebook — if less than 10% of that number end up purchasing the album or single, you are never going to make the Philippine market big enough for the Japanese music industry to take seriously.
PM: The very point that I want to convey is that all JPop/JRock fanclubs do their very very very best to promote their respective artists here. Personally, I really really reallyyyy do love JPop. I’m trying my very best to reach out to fellow fans through my blog.
I do too, that’s why I also have a blog. However, I have become quite jaded with the years of disappointment with some of my fellow Philippine fans, so instead of being all rah-rah with online petitions and email campaigns and the like, I just keep to myself (or my friends), save up my money, and fly to Tokyo, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Bangkok to actually go see gigs.
There is a point when you get tired of campaigning for people to stop downloading songs illegally and stop making pirated merchandise and start buying authentic CDs/DVDs/BDs — because there are always people who make up excuses on why they can’t. “I’m too young.”, “I’m too poor.”, “Everybody’s doing it anyway.”, etc. etc. — please can the bullshit.
PM: If you have any suggestions on how to promote the fan club or the artists, please don’t hesitate to message the admins of the fan clubs!
No, thanks. I don’t want to make it a habit of haranguing people on their blogs or social media sites. If I wanted to say something, I’d go to my own blog — at least that gives people the option to just click “Close” if they don’t agree with me.
One of the problems of messaging people directly is even your intentions are well-meant, because it’s a PM the recipient feels singled out and is put on the defensive. I tried that a few times when I was young and stupid, and all I got for my efforts was to be labeled a complete and total bitch.
Suma total, the music industry is a business. It may run on a lot of passion and creativity, but in the end it’s the money that speaks the loudest. After all — what dumb-ass record company would put in the effort to promote their artists in a country that is neck-deep in illegal downloads and pirated CDs?
If you genuinely want One OK Rock or Flow or Kyary Pamyu Pamyu or Kalafina to come to Manila so you can rock your little fanboy hearts out, step one is to go to a store and buy their CDs! Yes, saving money and buying merch and going to gigs is a long, hard process — but nobody ever said it was easy. If it was really that easy then every single petition that came out of the internet would’ve been successful by now — but they’re not.
If you want to be treated as serious fans, start acting like serious fans. I dare you.