Let's Give More Credit To People Behind the Scenes

The success of an artist has far more people behind it than some realise. (Yes, this photo is me when I still hoped to be a producer.) Credit: Marcus Johnson

We all love our favourite music artists and many young people in particular think the world of them. They work hard, record the songs and tour around the world for the fans who love them so. They live the dream that we all had as children, and most of them have put a lot of effort into achieving their success.

But is it fair that the artists get all the love and praise? Because they're not alone on this journey. Behind many of them are songwriters, without whom there wouldn't be any music to perform in the first place. Even artists who do write their own music will normally need a producer/engineer to record it and make it sound good on a single or album. When touring, there'll be a mixing engineer or two maintaining the sound, plus a team of people setting up the cables and whatnot. Artists with choreography may get all the plaudits for performing the moves - but someone puts their sequences together for them.

None of this is meant to imply that the artists don't work hard or deserve the love they get - of course they do. But behind every artist is a slew of other people who also work incredibly hard to help the artist and maintain their music, image and performances. The vast majority of these people get little more than a credit in an album booklet, and maybe a thank you in the notes if the artist is feeling generous. The truth is that, without these people, the artist wouldn't get nearly as much praise or success.

It only seems right, then, that more credit should be given to these people. How can it be fair that the performers make all the money and get all the fans when others are doing so much work on their behalf? The artists, surely, must recognise the work that other people put in for them, so is it really too much to ask them to publicly thank them from time to time?

Admittedly, it's tough to know how this could be done, but it must surely be possible. The artists could shout these people out at gigs and have the audience support them. They could put these people in videos so the fans can see them and give them their recognition in the comments. Iron Maiden did it well in their documentary Flight 666, often showing the tour crew at work and drawing attention to how important they are. They'll never get the same amount of love as the artists, but they should receive more from the public than they currently do.

Songwriters, producers, engineers, choreographers and more should all be proud of the work they do, and they all work closely with the artist in order to attain the best possible results. They do this not only for the artists, but also for us, so that we can continue loving the material that our favourite artists put out. So let's start giving them some love as well - they definitely deserve it.