My assistant producer and I are working on scheduling a series of Friday night shows on SistersTalk Radio. The Friday shows are designed to highlight independent musicians in the LGBTQ community. We’re interested in presenting a diverse group of musicians who create dynamic music in all genres. We’re facing a few challenges:
#1. Finding out and ethnically diverse musicians who can bring something different to each show.
#2. Finding members of the LGBTQ community who represent the L, G, B, T and Q segments of our population.
# Finding enough out members of the LGBTQ community to represent all genres of music (jazz, blues, country, rock, punk, folk, gospel, R&B, hi-hop, etc)
We’ve received inquiries from lots of white lesbian and bisexual folk singers. Hey, that’s great! But, I need to be very honest here: we don’t want the show to be all about white folk musicians. Other members of the LGBTQ press/media have done a very, very, very good job at that for years and years.
In addition to the diversity requirement, we decided we didn’t want to interview cover musicians. To me, a cover musician is someone whose entire career has been built on performing someone else’s hit music. A cover musician does not write her own original music; she records her version of someone else’s very familiar hit song.
A few questions came up after meeting with my assistant producer:
#A. Do we sacrifice the main goal of the show and present the musicians we can find – even if they don’t meet the diversity requirement we’ve established?
#B. Do we present a cover musician who meets the diversity requirement just for the sake of being able to say we’re being inclusive – even though we originally didn’t want to interview cover musicians?
#C. Does a cover musician deserve the same kind of recognition as a struggling indie musician who is writing her own music?
My assistant producer and I debated item #C using the song Feeling Good as an example. Nina Simone performed the original version of Feeling Good. Michael Buble did an amazing and unique cover of the same song. Both the Simone and Buble versions are happy feel-good songs, but in comes Muse with a very tortured and painful version. Three different artists presented three different sounds – all performing the same song.
What’s your opinion? Does a cover artist deserve the same recognition as someone who writes and performs her own original work?