Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre have very little hope for the state of music — at least, beyond what they’re doing at Apple.
“If you tell a kid: ‘You’ve got to pick music or Instagram,’ they’re not picking music,” current Apple Music boss and former cofounder of Interscope Records Iovine said in this month’s Wired cover story. “There was a time when, for anybody between the ages of 15 and 25, music was one, two and three. It’s not anymore.”
And things are only getting worse, per Dre’s Beats partner. “The last 15 years of the record industry allowing itself to get pounded and not moving the ball forward, I think it’s going to affect popular music,” Iovine continued. “The next Prince might just get really good at something else.”
Dre, whose likeness is currently dominating the movie box office in N.W.A. biopic “Straight Outta Compton,” agrees. “I don’t feel like there’s exciting stuff happening now,” the super-producer offered. “A lot of the real artists are not motivated to go into the studio. They have real jobs.”
The dynamic duo recently sold Beats Music to Apple for $3 billion. The corporation Iovine and Dre now work for surely assisted in the decline of the music industry from which both men originated — with the iPod, iTunes and unimpressive earbuds — but it’s also the only one that can save it, Iovine opined. That said, it’ll be far more difficult without visionary Steve Jobs.
“I knew in the first two seconds,” Iovine said of Jobs’ cultural acumen. “People say, ‘Oh, I like music.’ No kidding. You also like spaghetti and meatballs, but you’re not a chef. Just because you like something, that doesn’t mean that you have a feel for it. Steve did. He understood what popular culture was, and how to move it.”
“Apple got the best people in pop culture,” Iovine concluded. “Whether [Apple Music] succeeds or not, it’s the beginning of what the future should look like.”
Read the full Wired interview here.