Ralph Siegel is against downloading music

by Ilari Karhapää 63 views

Ralph Siegel – or Mr Eurovision – who has composed a total of 18 songs in the Eurovision Song Contest over the years and wrote the only German winner Ein bißchen Frieden back in 1982, spoke to Deutsche Welle about downloading music from the Internet. �The human touch is very important� he says �I don�t get that from the Internet�

Ralph Siegel owns Jupiter Records and has registered over 2,000 titles with Germany's music rights authority, GEMA. When asked what he thinks of the shift of music distribution from records to CDs and now to Internet downloads he says: "It's a huge catastrophe. It used to be when you wanted a CD you had to go out and buy it. Now you pay 99 cents that the artist has to share with the Internet site — there's actually not much left. It's getting harder and harder to put new products on the market, because the marketing costs are crazily high. This download nonsense isn't enough, it's just drop in the bucket. When the normal means of distribution for a CD, which you can hold in your hands, is lost, the business — sooner or later — will be reduced to a couple of big acts or purely Internet-based platforms where some people put something on the Internet and then hope to make a couple of euros off it. That won't be enough to keep the music market above water."

He continues: "These days everyone can say, 'I composed a song and put it on the Internet' and then see what happens, turns a hobby into an occupation, and professionalism gets watered down. It's just like all the newspapers that open up and then close down. I think it's dangerous. There always has to be some professionalism in the world. By the time a little Internet site makes it worldwide — that's going to take a long time and an Internet shop isn't going to be enough."

He also calls after the human touch in music making: "The biggest problem is that the Internet isn't alive. The exchanges you have in conversations and in cooperating with others, or in a lot of other private ways, are what keeps music alive and are what music needs. Creativity can't just be hunted down in the ether or created alone in a room. I know what I'm talking about, I've been in front of a computer many a time in the past 20 years and always look forward to when I can be with my artists in the studio or out on the road. The human touch is very important. I don't get that from the Internet."

Ralph Siegel (61) has won the Eurovision Song Contest once (1982 with Ein bisschen Frieden – Nicole), has been second three times (1980 with Theater – Katja Epstein, 1981 with Johnny Blue – Lena Valaitis, 1987 Laß' die Sonne in dein Herz – Wind) and third twice (1994 Wir geben ‘ne Party – MeKaDo, 1999 Reise nach Jerusalem – Sürpriz). All before mentioned for Germany. His first entry was in 1974 for Luxembourg (Bye bye I love you– Ireen Sheer, 4th) and the latest in 2006 for Switzerland (If we all give a little – Six4One, 17th).

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