"Yes, we have been seeing more cover songs lately, but it's not more than in the past," says Kimo Akane
, programming consultant for radio stations KCCN Hawaiian Radio (AM 1420, FM 100) and KINE FM 105.1. "In the past, local artists covered primarily local music.Everyone always wrote a few songs here and there, and then added other songs to fill the album.Today, there's more covers, but it's partly because of the mass appeal of pop and country music.It's good music, and local artists are doing it in their own style."
..."One reason for the amount of covers today, I think, is that in the '70s albums were released much less frequently," consultant Akane explains.
"Today it's different, the local music scene is so big.As a matter of fact, according to the last ratings period, which ended in summer, 26 percent of audiences listen to local music.With the advent of digital recording, it's very easy for virtually everyone to turn out a pretty decent product."Akane
believes MP3 and Napster have something to do with the cover craze as well."People are not buying music as much, which is a concern of the labels.They not only just download directly.My kids tell me their friends sell compilation CDs to other kids - not for lots of money, but because they are just into the music; they want to share it.It's their version of creating art.And ultimately that's healthy for audiences and the music industry."What's not healthy, some argue, is a lack of appreciation for original artists.