Thursday, November 3, 2016

A Most Foolish Exemplar of Swindling: The Akademia Music Awards

Upon reading the title of this piece, perhaps you thought I had committed a case of erroneous spelling as well as a conceptual misunderstanding. No, I am not referring to The Academy Awards / Oscars, which is for movies and is legitimate; I am referring to exactly what I spelt out in the title. I came across this simultaneously melancholy-invoking and humorous scam in the summer and thought the subject would make for an interesting post. Some observations, which I should like to call "red-flags," will be listed below.

Red-flag 1: The vaporwave aesthetics of their website. The sight has a strange blend of 90s and contemporary visuals. What is perhaps most peculiar amidst the New York evening background of the header, the random pillars and sculptures and what have you, are the four images located at the footer of the homepage. Notice how three of them are just general outside city pictures, while only one actually shows off the brand name. That last one must be a Photoshop.

Red-flag 2: The fake radio station. The Akademia has a radio station called KMIX. It appears to be an internet-only radio station, which isn't questionable in itself, but what is questionable about KMIX is how they describe themselves. On their website, the heading reads "playing the best mix of top artists from around the world." However, in the video that's on the same homepage, the DJ makes it sound as if the radio station is playing more alternative music, at least in terms of popularity, instead of opulent, famous musicians. The interviewee at 0:52 sounds disingenuous to say the least. And does anybody else think that KMIX sounds like cat food?

Red-flag 3: The bizarre Gala event. The video for this is also on the homepage of the Akademia website. The scam does not entirely exist in cyberspace as the company has hosted an awards event at the Rose Bowl in Los Angeles. From what I've read via Reddit, artists have to pay for their own flights, are not provided chairs at the event, and have to pay to submit their music in the first place. Basically, artists are buying their own plaques and Akademia will not deny anyone.

Red-flag 4: Everybody wins. There are numerous winners for the same categories. Were you awarded best alternative rock album? So was I! Now, you'll have to take my word on this one because it appears that they have buried the evidence, but in the summer all I had to do was type winners1, winners2, etc. after the main web address. The same categories were listed on these pages, yet there were different artists listed underneath. If I remember correctly this was also discussed on the Reddit thread.

3 comments:

  1. What a weird scam to run. Looks like it's kinda working, though.

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    1. It's very goofy. Yeah, some of these artists seem to keep wanting to be affiliated with the company. That these promoters and musicians are so desperate to resort to such craftiness and want fame so badly is depressing.

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