Fan Base Wars: Who Wins?

September 25, 2013


As a fan of many musicians and many things, I would like to say that I am a “rare-breed” of sorts- seeing as I like the music of almost everybody on the charts. I can be considered a Belieber, a Directioner, a Swifty, a Sheerio, a Barb, a Lovatic, and basically any other fan-related term that has been created over the last few years. It’s a lot for one person, but it allows me to see the good, and the bad, that comes from sharing artists with millions of other people worldwide.

I’m pretty sure, at some point in their career, every artist has considered their fans “the best in the world”. Thing is, if every fan base continues to hear this on a daily basis, all of them will start to believe it. Correct? Keep in mind this is DOZENS of celebritiess considering their fans the greatest, so at some point, the different fan bases are bound to collide, right?

There have been dozens of times where I have taken a stroll on Instagram or Facebook in the early hours of the morning, and it never ceases to amaze me that one fan base takes it upon themselves to hate on another. Now if I wasn’t a fan of literally everybody, this would be a situation easy to ignore. The two main artists I listen to on a regular are Justin Bieber and One Direction. This poses some “interesting” experiences, because I’m bound to feel conflicted on whom exactly to vote for on certain awards, which I want to win more than the other.

Being one of only two Directioners on the WeKnowTheDj team, whenever One Direction comes up in conversation, there are always comments being made. Essentially, it’s a Belieber vs. Directioner war going on! Granted, One Direction doesn’t target women in their twenties so I don’t expect my girls to like every single thing about them as I do. That’s fine and understandable; NSYNC and The Backstreet Boys are their boy bands and nobody will compare to them, according to the girls. If I was to take it upon myself to say that Justin doesn’t compare to anyone of my mum’s time, how would they react? They’d take to defending Justin just as they should. But when there are people who aren’t the most tolerant of 1D coming at me, how fair is that exactly?

WeKnowTheDj is such a close-knit website and the team is a family. But even then, we still have heated discussions and banter over our favorite music artists, agreeing to disagree most of the time. There will always be haters who feel like throwing a “no talent” comment here and there. But if the artist they are slandering didn’t have any talent, why would their records be selling? “Their looks.” Well I can’t speak for others on this site (or anybody else for that matter) but I know damn well that I won’t be spending $1.29 on a song from iTunes if it sucks, no matter how good-looking the artist is.

But what baffles me the most is the fans who take it upon themselves to like or dislike an artist based on their personal lives. With music artists interspersed with each other in the industry, it is only natural that spending loads of time with each other can cause them to develop feelings for one another. For instance, Harry Styles was in a brief relationship with Taylor Swift in late 2012. As usual in the world of fandoms, this poses a conflict of interest between Directioners and Swifties, but why? I have seen MANY fans who have liked an artist previously, flip a switch and hate them simply because said artist is in a relationship with another. Let’s fast forward to the break-up and watch the 2013 Grammy Awards. Taylor performed her smash hit, “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” and in true Taylor fashion, she just had to “shade” her ex-boyfriend ever so slightly. In the bridge of her ex calling her up, she either did or did not use a posh-British accent to say “I still love you”, and that left both Taylor’s and One Direction’s respective fandoms to start a war that I read for HOURS on Instagram and Facebook. “I lost respect for Taylor.” “Harry deserved it.” “It wasn’t even a British accent.” “Taylor was joking.” Are we, the FANS, a part of their relationship? Are we, the FANS, a part of ANY relationship between ANY artists? No! So how do we know the details of what exactly happened, besides reading news headlines from websites who almost never have their facts straight? We don’t. So do what a fan should do, support the artist.

But back to what I was saying earlier, why should an artist’s personal life influence your taste in music? It’s the most ludicrous thing I’ve ever heard, but it exists. Personally, it doesn’t for me. The Wanted and One Direction have been in an on again/off again Twitter war over the past year or so, but does One Direction’s subsequent hatred for The Wanted mean that I should just hate “Glad You Came”? No, it shouldn’t (I still jam to it when it comes on the radio, to be honest). I know good music when I hear it and my personal views on a person don’t influence my taste in music. My personal views of Miley Cyrus don’t keep me from jamming to “We Can’t Stop” and “Wreckingball.” Good music is good music. But what I don’t understand is: If an artist that you love and an artist that you hate can become friends, why can’t their fans? Niall Horan and Zayn Malik of One Direction are good friends of Justin Bieber, but does that mean Directioners and Beliebers can co-exist in a competitive music world? Unfortunately not. The fan bases just live to one-up the other. There is no happy medium.

So where does this put fandoms as a whole? I know from personal experience that members of one fandom will hate on another artist, no matter how much you argue with them. That’s just their ignorance speaking for them. But we as fans have lost the entire meaning of why we’re fans in the first place: Music. There are dozens of times throughout the year that every fandom comes together for award shows, whether it’s the Grammys, the Billboards, the VMAs, etc. If we can survive three hours co-existing on Twitter, and make respectable comments about performances without starting arguments, why can’t this happen 24 hours a day, 365 days a year? The music is what brings us together whether we realize it or not. The music is why I consider myself a Belieber, a Directioner, a Sheerio, and whatever else there is to name. It’s not how sexy Justin Bieber is. It’s not how Zayn Malik from 1D says “Vas’ Happening?!” (Even if he doesn’t say it that often anymore). Those are the perks. The perks are why my obsessions with these artists will never die. But I wouldn’t have those perks if I wouldn’t have listened to Justin’s cover of “With You” or if I wouldn’t have watched the boys on The X Factor UK all those years ago. The music is why I’m still here. Hell, the music is why I’m a part of this writing team. My first article for WeKnowTheDj was about a “Haylor Breakup Song”, and I am forever thankful that the song lead me to where I am today. (But if you haven’t read that article, you should. It’s a good one 😉

So forget about their relationships, forget about their looks (or don’t), and forget about an artist’s personal hatred for another. Focus on the music. That is what keeps every single fandom tied into one. That is how we can co-exist, despite our pointless battles with each other. That is why I’m writing this article in the first place. That is what is most important: Music.

-Blake M


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