Today’s musical audience bestows artists with the “Icon” title well before their work warrants such an honor. The notion of being “iconic” has become as watered down as an artist christening new music as “organic.” Some assert that the time is gone where true icons are born and the new generation will fail to produce global icons such as Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, or Prince. After the jump we will breakdown what we feel it takes to be a true “Icon” in today’s musical landscape.
Below awaits That Grape Juice’s four T’s of being an Icon.
Talented: [adj. having talent or special ability; gifted]
First and foremost, a trait iconic figures (such as the Jacksons, the Bowies, the Bowies) possess is talent. An authentic ability and connection with their craft that is unmatched by others. These artists contain a true gift that you either have or you don’t. In a climate where acts are constantly pinned against each other, an artist’s talent is often challenged. Sadly, the abilities of many artists of today should be chastised and scrutinised, because more often than not their tabloid stories show more promise than their natural or honed skill-set.
Trancing [n. a state of complete mental absorption or deep musing; to put in a trance; stupefy]
Every icon has that “it” factor.. that presence that can be felt when they walk across that stage or when he or she enters a room. They have magnetic draw that instantly pulls you in. Icons are able to connect with their audience and create movements with their craft. It is more than a dismal interest or periodic attention shift. These artists manage to create a bond that carries on despite any obstacle.
Tenacious [adj. pertinacious, persistent, stubborn, or obstinate.]
Tenacity is engraved within the confines of their being. They contain a work ethic that many lack today. Artist development is a thing of the past, and it shows in the diluted arena that is the music industry. Icons put in the time, the work, and the effort needed to achieve their fullest potential. “They don’t practice until they can do it right; they practice until they can’t do it wrong.”
Timeless [adj. without beginning or end; eternal; everlasting.]
Above all, a true icon is timeless. In the realm of Instagram models, purchased Twitter followers, and Facebook thirst traps, people are caught up in the now. Sure Kim and co are hot now, but history has proven that the likes of ‘Keeping up with the Kardashians’ will be of interest but for so long. ‘Love and Hip Hop’ too. A timeless artist is able to have their music transcend generational gaps and current trends. Their music resonates with the initial listeners and the audiences to come.
While this list is not conducive of all the elements it takes to be a true icon, it does signify four key characteristics that any authentic “Icon” holds. We have a few names in mind, but we want to hear from you. Will this generation birth an Icon? Who is on their way to Iconic status?