This is a gem of an interview with Quincy Jones.
Question from : Is there innovation happening in modern pop music?
Quincy Jones: Hell no. It’s just loops, beats, rhymes and hooks. What is there for me to learn from that? There ain’t no fucking songs. The song is the power; the singer is the messenger. The greatest singer in the world cannot save a bad song. I learned that 50 years ago, and it’s the single greatest lesson I ever learned as a producer. If you don’t have a great song, it doesn’t matter what else you put around it.
This was the critical line for me. If you don’t have a great song, it doesn’t matter what else you put around it.
This is true for a house. If the location is terrible, then it doesn’t matter how much money and design you pump into a home, you won’t get your money back
This is true for a product. If you don’t have a great product, then sooner or later your customers will cotton on. You can create smoke screens with marketing and PR, but over the long term, it’ll get beaten by something better.
This is true for people. If their core principles are rotten then when the pressure is on the true colors will come out. It’s doesn’t matter about clothes, cars, entourage.
It’s the same for shitty songs, shitty products, and shitty people. Develop a knack for spotting the great ones early, and you’ll have a happier life.