Interview with Vocalist Norman Skinner of Niviane

By Mick Michaels 

COSMICK VIEW: Hello, Norman! Welcome to The Cosmick View. Thank you for taking some time out of your day to chat with me, it's greatly appreciated.

CV: Given so many major changes over the last decade, do you believe the music industry is a practicable and stable enough environment for new artists to even consider making it a valid career choice? Can a level of sustainable success really be achieved in your opinion?
Norman Skinner: Unfortunately, no. I do not believe with the current systems in place in the music industry that a majority of emerging artists could ever make a full-time career out of it. Making the music costs money and it is basically given away for free nowadays. The most popular way listeners get their music is from streaming and musicians see little to no money from that which means bands need to tour non-stop to sell tickets & merchandise. Social media is flooded with bands trying to get noticed so hiring marketing and booking people is more money. If you are touring you need to be on a high level tour and hope the buy-on and travel expenses help you break even.

CV: What do you see as the biggest change in the music industry since you first started out?
NS: The internet is one of the biggest changes…much easier to reach a larger audience with less effort. However, with the internet came streaming and downloads which has killed the musicians ability to generate money from their music.

CV: How do you see your music separating itself from your peers and avoiding just being another cog in the wheel? 
NS: We try to bring a more modern and heavier sound to our Power Metal formula. To say we are the only band doing it would be untrue but we are definitely in a small group.

CV: Has the industry’s many changes affected how you write music? Has it influenced your songwriting style in any drastic form?
NS: Not really. Aside from being able to write and record in our own home studios and share files the core soul of the writing remains unaffected.

CV: Has digital technology led the way for almost anyone to be a musical artist in your opinion?
NS: Yes, a lot of things can be faked or made to sound perfect without ever being played live. Artists can simply create music & content and never tour or even have a full band these days.

CV: Has music in general been broken into too many sub-genres? Why do think there are so many classifications of music types? Can this be confusing for an artist who is looking to build a brand? As well, can it be confusing for the fans?
NS: It makes sense that more and more sub-genres would be created. It’s inevitable as different sounds/styles are combined. People who are unhappy with the classification will always term a new one.

CV: How would you define “iconic” when it comes to being an artist or musician? What do you think makes an artist iconic?
NS: I believe an artist’s track record and influence is what defines them as an Icon. Only 1% or less will ever reach that status.

CV: Who would you consider to be a modern day “rock star?” And is being a “rock star” something to aspire to?
NS: Metallica is obviously the largest and most popular Metal band in the world. Iron Maiden is another. These are bands whose members are rock stars! Do I want to be a Rock Star? Uh, Yes!

CV: Does music need to have a message to convey to the world for it to be worth listening to in your opinion?
NS: No. Some bands preach a political message while others try to be intelligent with their lyrics. Some try to tap into emotion and write about feelings…. then you have bands that write about fantasy & dragons or bands like Van Halen that were essentially party bands.

CV: What's next for you? What can fans expect to see coming?
NS: Niviane is currently working on a new music video for our song “Psychomanteum.” For Skinner, I begin vocal tracking for my next album “The Dark Design” in January 2022.

CV: Thank you again Norman for spending some time talking and sharing with our readers. It was a pleasure. I wish you all the best and continued success.

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The Cosmick Voice
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My name is Mick Michaels...I'm an artist, music fan, songwriter, producer, show host, dreamer and guitarist for the traditional Heavy Metal band Corners of Sanctuary. Writing has always been a creative outlet for me; what I couldn't say in speech, I was able to do with the written word.  Writing has given me a voice and a way for me to create on a multitude of platforms including music and song, articles, independent screenplays, books and now, artist interviews. The Cosmick View is an opportunity to raise the bar and showcase artists in a positive and inspirational light. For me, it's another out-of-this-world adventure.

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