With a voice that can make even angels weep, it’s no wonder Adele is being hailed as the next female superstar of our times. Even more, Adele can save the music industry, by shifting the focus from an artist’s image to an artist’s voice, the boss of her record label believes.
In an interview with The Guardian, XL Recordings founder Richard Russell launches a bitter attack on the music industry today, where female artists are being marketed solely based on their image, and too little (if at all) on their voice.
Images meant to boost music sales are closer to the adult industry than they are relevant to music, Russell believes.
With Adele, there’s already a change noticeable: she makes music for the ears, as she puts it herself, and not for the eyes.
For the first time, we have an artist who can sell millions of records and top charts without selling her body in the process.
This is what music should be all about, Russell stresses.
“The whole message with [Adele] is that it’s just music, it’s just really good music. There is nothing else. There are no gimmicks,” he says.
“I think in the American market, particularly, they have come to the conclusion that is what you have to do,” Russell adds.
“I felt a bit queasy [about seeing some videos from female pop stars]. But now you see that Adele is No 1. What a great thing, how amazing. Not only are young girls going to see that, but [also] the business people who are behind all those videos. It’s going to make them rethink what they should be doing,” the record label boss explains.
He says Adele is important to the music industry in that she’s operating a “radical” change in the way business it’s being done: she’s proving that music can sell without having the female artist also sell herself for attention.
“It is clearly about the music and the talent and the things it is meant to be about. I think there has been a certain amount of confusion, and it’s resulting in garbage being sold and marketing with little real value to it... Adele is a good thing to be happening,” Russell adds.
Adele too believes the same, saying in a previous interview she as a woman fades into the background when she as an artist comes on stage. That’s why her weight is irrelevant to how people experience and enjoy her music.
Case in point: the beautiful Adele singing live “Someone Like You.”