Are these 00s singers still relevant?


Diana Vickers, Ms Dynamite and Kate NashImage copyright
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L-R: Diana Vickers, Ms Dynamite and Kate Nash

Earlier this week, Kate Nash took to Twitter to criticise BuzzFeed for their article about noughties singers who are no longer in the charts.

The listicle features 33 artists who “only exist in the memories of British millennials”, but Nash was quick to argue that a lack of recent chart success doesn’t stop them from being active or credible musicians.

“I have huge problems with how the industry disposes of artists,” she tweeted, “it’s a difficult career to maintain.”

BuzzFeed told the BBC: “We love Kate Nash and really did want to be her! Many of our posts reference nostalgia for things we love and this list is one of those, definitely not intended to be taken literally.”

But Nash’s comments raised questions about the wider issue of how much high chart positions and record deals equate to success in the music industry.

The 30-year-old’s last top 40 hit may have been in 2010, but she has recently written for Willow Smith and Rita Ora, and will release a new album next year.

Nash also has several film and TV credits and is currently filming the second series of hit Netflix show Glow.

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Rebekka Johnson, Sydelle Noel, Kate Nash and Kia Stevens all star in Netflix’s GLOW

Peter Robinson, music writer and creator of Popjustice, told the BBC: “Hit records have a magical ability to take us to a specific time or place in our lives so it’s fair to say Kate Nash’s hits will have a special significance for a certain age group.

“But several entries in the article might have benefitted from a brief visit to Wikipedia.”

The musicians on the list included Ms Dynamite, Blazin’ Squad, Diana Vickers, Mis-Teeq, La Roux, 5ive, Rachel Stevens, The 411, and So Solid Crew.

“If you’re a fan, it’s natural to be excited when your favourite artist does well commercially, and disappointed if their latest release looks like a failure, particularly because labels tend to drop acts when sales take a dip,” Robinson said.

“But if you’re ignoring new music because it’s not selling, and if you’re allowing your tastes to be dictated by whose records are selling well, then, well, enjoy your Bradley Walsh album.”

The BuzzFeed piece refers to millennials – people that grew up in the 00s.

But according to singer Sandi Thom, who is also one of the 33 artists on the list, they are not as fickle as some may think.

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Sandi Thom performing at her album launch in 2008

“Some of my biggest fans are kids under 10, and with the new era of Spotify anyone is discoverable or re-discoverable,” she told the BBC.

“I couldn’t care less what a journalist writes about me and my career.

“Making music is a privilege and if you can continue to do so throughout your career like all of the artists have been doing that were mentioned in the article, you’re one lucky person!”

Robinson also addressed Nash’s tweets about the mental health impact of being an artist who is trying to make it in the industry.

“Being dropped is like being made redundant, which is gutting in any line of work, except to make matters worse, for an artist it happens in public,” he said.

“And whereas most of us could bounce back and look for other work in the same area, in the music industry people are often seen as damaged goods: they had their chance, they blew it.

“The irony of course is that many of the planet’s biggest artists, from Lady Gaga and Beyonce to Katy Perry and Bruno Mars, were all dropped before they became huge.”

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Peter Robinson says Beyonce was dropped by her record label before she became famous

Being dropped is something Nash discusses in her tweets, saying its unfair to make fun of “artists that got dropped or aren’t in the charts anymore.

“Most artists I know are struggling to be able to continue and may have to give up.”

The BuzzFeed article describes Nash as “the cute vintage-dress-wearing girl we all wanted to be back in 2007.

“Presumably these days she’s wearing baggy jumpers and DMs [Doc Martens] but who knows?”

Nash references these comments in her tweets, saying “the media have talked about me this way my entire career, since I was 20 years old”.

Sandi Thom agreed: “It doesn’t matter what anyone writes in the press because me and Kate and whoever certainly aren’t sitting crying into our cornflakes about it, we’re out there keeping on keeping on!

“Doing what we love, being discovered and rediscovered every day thanks to the advent of streaming and playlists.”

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