cheesy music

Cheesy music and cheesy commercials. We hate them, we love them. And we can’t stand their music, but sometimes, we find the coolest songs. 

From my childhood I remember this commercial of a group of friends driving in their Volkswagen car, sun roof down, starlit sky the only thing lighting the windy road, and “Pink Moon” by Nick Drake playing. I had NO idea who he was at the time, I was like 7, and we didn’t have internet. Yet that artificial moment sank deep within the pockets of my brain, and I looked up the lyrics later in life to find out I was in love with someone who died back in the 70s. Nick Drake, baby, you could have been it. Probably for the best though. My hubby and I are stars aligned.

Ew.

Then sometimes we’re like, gross, too much cheese. Especially when we hear that ridiculous song paired with a silly commercial. Yet there’s something about those corny, funny commercials that pull you in, and make you want to buy anything that they have to offer. Seriously anything! 

But why? Why?

WHY do I want to stuff my face with that Cheesy Burger and fries, when I KNOW it’s bad for me, but really I don’t even care. (I really don’t. I’d go to In-N-Out right now if I could. I love hamburgers.) However, if an image dances across the screen, with this orchestral music, the cheese is melting over the meat, the tomatoes, dewy, red, and the bacon looks like it’s even sizzling. DAH DAH DAH DAH!!! And you’re sold. You’re dancing out the door to buy yourself that big mac. Or at least I am.

So let’s be candid. I love burgers and I love cheesy music. But if someone asked me, do you like ‘Oh baby, baby, baby OH!!!” by Justin Bieber. I’d say no, no I don’t. Even though I used to sing it with my little sister to make her smile. But is it my favorite music? No, no it’s not. Sorry, Justin, I guess I’m not a Belieber. 

So what’s the deal?

If you combined that repetitive lyric with a commercial of someone eating a Chipotle burrito, I would literally beg my husband to take me out “Oh Baby Baby Oh, take me out.” Because hello! Guacamole. HEY! To almost completely change subjects. I heard they have queso now. Speaking of queso… CHEESY! Actually if you’re from Texas you probably HATE their queso. Sorry Chipotle. 

Here’s the thing.

We love cheesy music. But we don’t. We’re too cool for the cheese and repetition. We’re so into saying which next undiscovered, indie musician is the best right now, but really, we’re not going to be loyal to them. Let me explain.

Feist. You remember Feist right? She had her song licensed to Apple for their commercial. “One, two, three, four, tell me that you love me more….” You remember that one? Well because that song got licensed to Apple, a lot of her fans quit being her fans. They felt like she sold out. That’s what I mean, people who loved her music quit loving it, because a commercial made it cheesy. They were loyal, until she made money on something with too much cheddar.

Which is sad, because she had a fabulous song that made a ton of cash. And I get it. Her song was written from a deep place of the heart, for mending, healing, and working out the tough times. As a musician my art means to much to me, and to have a big time company take it and shred the intended meaning to pieces for their cheesy commercial is so discouraging. She even had to take a year off to regain her perspective on music.

But let’s ask this.

What about the people who got to listen to her because of the commercial? What about the hearts who were touched and actually understood the meaning behind the polished, shining, dancing mini iPods? Her fans were hurt, she was hurt, but what about the people just discovering the glory that is Feist? Like when I discovered Nick Drake. Who knows, perhaps it’s the reason I only drive Volkswagens.

I feel like there has to be a balance.

There must be a balance of listenable, relatable, but also authentic songs written from authentic musicians for authentic brands. Deep crying out to deep. Blessing people with tunes and images that all people can celebrate. Where fans aren’t sad because their fave artist didn’t have to “sell out,” and artists don’t feel like they got screwed, but rather feel that their music blessed peoples’ ears and lives.

That’s one of our goals at Synchoney. Is to pair authentic, and often times, music from local DFW artists, with videos from brands that have a good heart, and a spectacular craft. Sounds like a win-win to me.

So you tell me, can there be authentic cheesy? I would never deny having more cheese in my life. I mean, have you seen me and my hubby? We really love each other. And it’s real, and it’s so cute, you could cry tears of gouda. 

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Loren Pappas

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Mountain Natives + SpeakHappi