Rixton Talks the Boy Band Industrial Complex

05/15/2014
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(Radio.com) If you haven't heard of Rixton just yet, you will soon enough. The band's single "Me and My Broken Heart" is currently at No. 14 and rising on Billboard's Hot 100 and at No. 8 and rising on the Mediabase Top 40 radio airplay chart. The group is managed by Scooter Braun, the man behind Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande. The four bandmates play their own instruments and write their own songs, but their work is produced by pop mastermind Benny Blanco (Katy Perry, Kesha).

Modern boy bands try to avoid the pecking order discussion, as established by the genre's original Svengali, Maurice Starr, with New Edition and New Kids on the Block. With that model, someone is established as the 'heartthrob,' and he may or may not also be the lead vocalist. That differential (along with the fact that they play instruments and write songs) pushes Rixton out of the boy-band category and into the band-band category.

They're still very much a pop act, but one working on the bleeding edge of the new guitar-based pop from acts like with Imagine Dragons, Bruno Mars and the Lumineers - all who made it to the Top 20 of Billboard's Hot 100 for 2013. The difference is that those three acts each started with a wide demographic and then found that women under 25 came to them, eventually. Rixton's primary audience out of the gate is women under 25.

And that's a powerful demographic, not to mention one that is often underappreciated - teens in particular. Rookie published a piece in January of 2014 blasting the adult "mansplaining" about the music that teens listen to, characterizing it as "always condescending and insulting, and never itself much of a surprise." For whatever reason, it's commonly accepted in music writing that the opinions of grown men are more valuable than those of teenage girls.

As Wilkin points out, however, from the Beatles to Beyoncι, girls pretty much run the music world, and they have given their seal of approval to almost every respected mainstream artist ahead of older listeners.

"With the different artists who've been put on that kind of pedestal [by teen girls], it's made a huge difference to society," says Wilkin.

"If you take someone like a Justin Timberlake, girls go absolutely crazy for him, and guys seem to like him as well because he's cool and his music's really good," Roche adds. "I think if you find that balance, you're laughing all the way to the stage." more on this story

Radio.com is an official news provider for antiMusic.com.
Copyright Radio.com/CBS Local - Excerpted here with permission.

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