On Gretchen’s “Industry,” the Richmond, VA-born, Nashville-perfected songstress details some of the pressures an artist can suffer in the mainstream (and, sometimes, in the underground). From dealing with fans who seemingly want to know everything about you to executives who want to focus more on your look than your sound, she goes down the list and talks about all of it. The sound of this one reminds me of a 1990s/early 2000s R&B cut, which is intention because it gives listeners a throwback to the days where it felt like the music was the end-all, be-all (and not just a portion of the marketability). This one also delves a bit into the mental health of your somewhat typical up-and-coming artist. That’s to say she sings that she thought she “checked all the boxes” in the toxic industry, only to be told that there’s some other imaginary goal she’s got to accomplish. That sort of thing can damage an artist and make them question themselves and their talent. Hell, it’s one one of the reasons I’ve personally stayed independent since my high school days.
Sonically, Gretchen’s vocals are smooth and powerful on this production. She kind of reminds me a bit of an Alessia Cara or a Jojo. I could definitely see this one blowing up and getting mainstream traction because of the bluntness it exhibits. She also makes it known that she’s not going anywhere. Even if the industry is toxic and wants to silence her, she’s still going to stand strong. That is important and one of the reasons why I’m talking about this one now. Check it out below and remember to support dope music in all its forms.