Genres in music have been blurred for a long time and often the freshest sounds come from those that are by design straddling a few. The music of Ozomatli captures the latin, hip hop, and rock music sounds. The music of New Orleans has always represented the mix of cultures that inhabit the Crescent City. The latest addition to this legacy is young phenom Trombone Shorty and his band Orleans Ave. They describe their sound as “SupaFunkRock” and bring all the elements into a power packed sound. When a band is hard to categorize they often find it hard to get their sound out there because the existing channels (venues, radio, etc.) are often programmed by genre. Marketing can be tough as well because without the accepted shorthand descriptions by genre it can be difficult to get the sound across in words. Despite this, these “platypuses” of the music game may be the best out there. Bringing together the best sounds with little regard for what “normally” done.
Businesses need to think like this as well. Having worked across any number of industries it is often the cross pollination that leads to breakthrough value. And for companies today, the internet provides a powerful distribution channel that is not bounded off by pre-determined categories. When I work with companies I look for patterns. Who has solved this before? How did they grow so big? What makes their customers so loyal. You would be amazed how much one can learn by removing the filter of industry or the limitations of “exact fit” when looking for analogies and solutions.
I know it is easier when you can fit into pre-existing buckets but for my money the best music comes from forgetting the buckets and creating a unique sound. So this weekend, while you are sitting out on your back deck with a cold beverage, put your iPod on shuffle and just listen. You may find it’s the best playlist ever.
10 From My Playlist
You can also check out my Last.fm feed on the right.
O Le Le – Ozomatli
Orleans & Claiborne – Trombone Shorty & Orleans Ave
Diamonds on the Soles of her Shoes – Paul Simon
14th Street Break – The Beastie Boys
Rental Car – Beck
Steal My Kisses – Ben Harper
Save A Horse (Ride a Cowboy) – Big & Rich
War Pigs – Bonerama
60 Revolutions – Gogol Bordello
Rodeo Clowns – G. Love & Special Sauce