What ails the industry?

After spending half a day, thanks to Kyiv’s wonderful road infrastructure, to attend one meeting with my boss, we headed back out of town towards the Komora Studio where the Telnyuk Sisters were holding their last rehearsal before hitting the road for their promo-tour for their new album. We listened to a couple of songs only to be interrupted by phone calls, and then a little surprise.

I heard the music from the newest video clip to the song Sad Rizdvianyiy [words by Ivan Malkovych, music by Oleksandr Melnyk] produced by Taras Khymych for the Telnyuk Sisters emanating from the control room of the studio. I walked in and there were a number of people involved in the Telnyuk Sisters project watching the video on the monitor, and amongst them all was Taras Khymych.

I had met Khymych briefly during the shooting of the video for the Telnyuk Sisters’ song Vechirnyk from their up coming album. We greeted one another then he told my boss and I that if we needed a lift anywhere, he would be glad to drop us off. My boss suggested we go have a beer and a bite to eat. Well before we had a chance to take off there was some waiting for everyone to gather up their stuff, and have their last minute discussions.

Khymych and I discussed some of the problems of the monopolists in the music TV market, the hope that MTV would have come on to the market, it never did. We speculated about what actually happened, but we are not really sure. Maybe it is time to do a little research on that matter.

We piled into Khymych’s vehicle and headed to one of the restaurants not too far from our office and the Komora Studio, believe me there are not many, given our locations. There were four of us who had decided that beer and a bite were at hand so we gathered around the table at the Vitryak. Kymych, Ivan Nebesnyy [musician], my boss and myself. Over dinner, the discussion led to a philosophical discussion of problems in Ukraine’s entertainment industry.

Some of the salient points were brought up by everyone around the table:

  • Is there actually someone who really wants the industry to develop, if so who is it?
  • There is a lack of accountability in the industry, this can be considered part of the post-Soviet syndrome;
  • There is clearly a lack of competition in the area of radio and TV channels in this country that are interested in the development in the industry as a whole; as many of them are involved in payola in one form or another, and cleaning up the industry hurts these people the most;
  • There seems to be a tendency of Ukraine’s popular musicians copying something that has already been done, and many session musicians are stuck in the rut of what they grew up with listening to and liked.
  • In the area of video production, musicians often misunderstand their role in the production of their videos, and sometimes this is even the case in the recording industry itself – there is simply a very low level of professionalism in the industry, and that in order to put out a top notch product requires a great deal of hard work.

The conclusion around the table was simple, if there are some like minded people that want to change things they will simply have to work together to do so.