By Pinto Lokesh |

Throughout history, music has always had an impact on society. It has changed peoples’ perspectives and tastes. Even today, music is still powerful.

Although music has arms that reach across the world, there is no country that dominates the music industry the way the United States does. The U.S. has the most influential artists and performers in the world like Ariana Grande, Charlie Puth, Beyoncé and Taylor Swift.

As wonderful as the U.S. music industry is, it has some problems with constantly sexualizing artists, catering to only one demographic group, and maintaining double standards against women.

 The music industry uses sex to profit from artists, which is quite obvious from music videos and on-stage choreography in performances. Once upon a time, Elvis Presley shaking his hips was considered unsavory and quite scandalous. Now, however, it’s nothing compared to Nicki Minaj shaking her butt in the  “Anaconda” music video. And it’s not just the videos and concert performances that are vulgar; now, the lyrics are just as sexualized and graphic. We went from Dean Martin singing “sway with me” to Nicki Minaj rapping “yes, I keep the nana real sweet for your eating.” 

Occasionally, I don’t mind songs with raunchy lyrics, however, almost all the songs I hear now are about sex. 

Another thing I found to be problematic is the fact that the American music industry is quite exclusive. I never see any older performers pushed by record labels- even those that still have strong voices. It seems like all of the music made is focused on pleasing a younger audience only.  I don’t think that Usher’s “Yeah” and Cardi B’s “Please Me” really resonate with the older generation, most of whom are a little more traditional. 

The last problem with the American music industry is the double standard it holds against women: women are more criticized for the music they release than men. For example, Marina and The Diamonds has a song about merely playing with boys’ emotions called “How to be a Heartbreaker.”  A lot of men hated the song, saying it was objectifying and embarrassing to men. I can’t help being annoyed because I’ve heard so many songs written by men objectifying women, calling them names of a sexual nature and talking about their bodies inappropriately. Ginuwine’s “Pony” and Migos’ “Fight Night” are just two examples in which women are regarded in a sexual nature.

Because of the problems that American music industry has, I like to listen to French music. It’s a great alternative if you want to take a break from American music or just want to switch up your tastes. 

So far, I’ve haven’t seen as many of these problems in all the French songs that I’ve listened to. There are many creative French music videos that I have seen with little to no nudity. Not to mention, the French music industry represents artists of all ages and ethnicities. Indila, Black M, Médine, and Julie Pietri are just some examples of diverse artists who create meaningful and good music that sells.

There’s nothing wrong with appreciating the American music industry’s catchy bops, but if you’re tired because of some of the glaring issues found in the American music industry go ahead and check out French music. Because music is one of the strongest connections that countries from all around the world share, choose your music wisely.