One of the big breakthrough acts of the last year has joined the increasing ranks of artists who don’t mind if people share their music. Duffy, the million-selling 24 year-old vocalist and winner of this year’s MOJO Song of the Year Award has been downloading for a couple of years. “It’s amazing,” she said.
If the media is to be believed, some artists spend most of their time going to big parties in hugely expensive designer clothes, drinking expensive champagne, driving around in prestige cars, smashing up hotel rooms - and the rest of the time complaining about piracy. It’s very difficult for the average Joe in the street to feel sorry for them, such is the lifestyle gap, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
In recent times we’ve written about the positive attitudes towards file-sharing shown by some big names in the music business. The Nine Inch Nails are probably the most outspoken but there are others, including 50 Cent and more recently Joss Stone, who called file-sharing “brilliant”. Others, like ‘Travis’ are happy for their fans to share.
One of twins, 24 year-old Duffy has sold over a million copies of her debut album Rockferry, making it the biggest selling album of the year in the UK, netting 180,000 sales in the first week alone. In America, the album sold 72,000 in its first week, entering the Billboard 200 at Number 4. Her track ‘Mercy’ has been viewed over 17.6 million times on YouTube (although I quite like the just-for-fun remix from ‘The Game’)
But if you don’t have the cash for the album, don’t worry - Duffy is pretty forward thinking when it comes to ‘legal’ versus ‘illegal’ downloads: “Somebody asked me the other day what I thought of illegal downloading, and I thought, ‘You know what? I don’t care,’ because I think the majority are kids and as they get old and get more income they’ll probably buy records. It’s just making music a part of everyone’s lives.”
Duffy notes that access to music is all-important but due to where she lived in her childhood, she had no easy access herself, having to take a two-hour bus trip to get to a good record store.
She’s pragmatic when looking at the big picture: “Well, I mean, it can go two ways – there are pros and cons to everything. Some people think it creates illegal access, but I think the big wheel is round, y’know?” I think it’s got more positives because it basically gives people access, what’s the harm in that?”
“It’s just making music a part of everyone’s lives”