For years we have watched the producers of the X Factor present us with singer after singer balling in tears in a moment of triumph or world ending pain chasing a record deal. Not that we don’t find it entertaining, but I for one, year after year have found myself quietly thinking, where are all the songwriters? Yes we have singers and yes we have some talent in the UK that without doubt occasionally makes open your eyes wider staring at your television set before exclaiming, “Wow, This girl is going to get a record deal, win or lose this show!”. So why is it I can wholly enjoy this show and yet I am left with a feeling of shallowness?
You only have to take a look back in time to know the answer to why many people in the UK love and hate the X Factor. We as a nation are incredible songwriters. It is something we can be proud of. We can’t always be proud of our country but when it comes to songwriting, be proud. John Lennon, David Bowie, Marc Bolan, to name just a few! So I have to ask why we have we not been searching for songwriters as much as we have for singers? The answer to that question is probably in the question, what makes good television?
So in this latest series of the X Factor we have seen a change. Songwriters walking on to the stage, guitar in hand ready to show the world their song, chasing a record deal. Talented undiscovered songwriters appearing on the X Factor is the most welcoming sight I have seen since the show began. This entertainment programme has shown many singers the road to, how to get a record deal. And many of those singers have fallen out of favour with their fans after one album of their record deal.
Song writing is an art that makes this country proud of itself. The rise of solo singer songwriters in the X Factor is a welcome addition. Could this lead the way to something the show is still missing, bands. Not singing to backing track bands, but real bands! And not just bands but there are still thousands of solo artists who would rather not take the X Factor route. Take in a night out in London on any given night and stroll into a bar in Shoreditch, Islington or Camden and you will see plenty of incredible hard working bands and solo artists building their own fan-base and ignoring the X Factor. Will the X Factor door open to these bands and solo artists? Maybe. Will the bands and solo artists ignore that opening if they do? Probably. John Lennon entering the X Factor, I don’t think so.