Neil Young wasn’t bluffing when he said he would pull his discography from Spotify. A significant risk for the Canadian-American music star, as the streaming service holds almost every record he has released so far. It also represents 60% of his total global streams. But this didn’t stop him from voicing his opinion and standing his ground.
In a statement posted to his website, the singer said the streaming service has become a “Very damaging force via its public misinformation and lies about COVID-19”. It currently gives a platform to Joe Rogan, a podcast host known for exploring controversial opinions on vaccines and the coronavirus.
Young’s bold move has triggered conversations about free speech and misinformation. It has also raised questions about the control musicians hold over where their work is heard. This by and of itself, might just be exactly what he wants to communicate to members of the music-loving community. Let’s dive deeper into his background and activism work.
Who is Neil Young?
Neil Young is a Canadian-American singer-songwriter whose discography revolves around a distinct mix of folk, rock, and country. Apart from singing, the musician plays the guitar and the harmonica.
The artist started gaining attraction with Buffalo Springfield in 1966. Since then, he has continued making great music, with many of his songs becoming beloved folk-rock hits. Almost six decades later, his work continues to be played around the world. His music hasn’t faded away even in today’s diverse and competitive scene.
Young is also an activist and humanitarian. Much the same as his music career, his success across all areas stems from doing what he wants; when he wants to. He doesn’t fear losing followers along the way. “I don’t give a sh_t,” he says, “if my audience is a hundred or a hundred million,” as long as he knows he’s standing up for what he believes to be right.
What does Neil Young stand for?
Neil Young is aware of how his influence can empower others, so he’s always remained vocal about a range of social activism issues. Specifically, he aims for the youth to unite against ideas and institutions that don’t prioritize humanity.
Young’s six-decade musical career has included a powerful soundtrack for protests, such as the 1970 hits Ohio and Southern Man. He has released songs like Vampire Blues and Indian Givers that rally against corporate interests. His passion for environmentalism is evident in albums like After the Gold Rush, Time Fades Away, Greendale, and Fork in the Road.
His more recent albums — Storytone, The Monsanto Years, and Colorado — urge listeners to take matters into their own hands and take collective action against harmful ideas and institutions.
Given his background, it isn’t surprising as such that Young would pull his discography from a streaming service that provides a platform to people who showcase false information especially within the vulnerable context of a pandemic.
How Deezer Supports Artists Like Neil Young
Deezer supports Neil Young and many other artists by providing a progressive platform that celebrates their music. Our streaming service is available to all listeners. Here, people whose personal values align with the activism work of their favorite artists can freely support whatever music they like.
We are proud hosts of Neil Young’s complete music discography.
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