What to do when you disagree with a performer’s work
It’s happened to most of us at one time or another. Your favorite performer releases their long-awaited new song, but instead of being elated, you find yourself feeling disappointed. Perhaps the song is a departure from their previous work and you just don’t care for the sound. Or maybe their new concept presents an image that’s a drastic change from how they previously presented themselves—from innocent to sexy, for example, or from cute to dark—and it makes you uncomfortable.
An internal conflict results. You still enjoy this performer and you’re looking forward to their future releases, but you don’t like their current work. What now?
First: Do not feel guilty.
Fans sometimes think that if they dislike a performer’s concept and choose not to support it, this makes them a “bad fan.” This is particularly prevalent in the realm of East Asian pop music, where fan support is a key ingredient in a performer’s success.
Please understand that choosing not to support a performer’s work because you don’t like it or are uncomfortable with it does not make you a “bad fan.” Rather, it is an indication that you are exercising wisdom and discernment in regards to your entertainment choices, which is to be commended. What can change you from a discerning fan into a “bad fan,” however, is how you choose to express your dislike or disappointment.
Second: Lovingly express your opinion via social media.
As Christians, we are called to speak the truth in love (Eph. 4:15). This means being honest and straightforward while still expressing love and encouragement.
The best way to accomplish this balance is to put yourself in the performer’s position and imagine how they would feel while reading your social media message. Choose words and phrasing that will encourage them to take your opinion seriously instead of discounting your message as mean-spirited.
How outspoken you should be depends on the reason you dislike or disagree with the performer’s current work. There is quite a difference between disliking the hip-hop influence in a performer’s song and being uncomfortable with a risqué music video and choreography.
Letting performers know how you feel about their work is important, as fan response determines to a degree what kind of music performers release and what kind of concepts they pursue in the future.
Third: Encourage them in regards to their next release.
Make it clear to the performer that, although you may not like or approve of their current work, their future releases do still have your tentative support and interest. If their next song is something you enjoy, be sure to let them know and to reinforce your verbal support by buying their album and sharing information about their promotions through social media.
Performers need prayer just as much as anyone else, perhaps even more so due to the nature of their work and the broad influence it can have. Pray for their creativity, for their relationship with God, and ask God to give them guidance, wisdom, and courage in their careers so that their work would be pleasing to Him as well as to their fans.
How have you responded when a favorite performer released a song that you didn’t like? What are your tips for dealing with such a situation?
– Teresa Santoski
Looking for guidance on how to pray for performers? Check out Prayers for Oppa, my performer/fan devotional, which offers godly encouragement for performers and helps fans to pray effectively for their favorite performers. For more information, including a sample devotional and how/where to purchase, click here.