Forget gimmicks: music needs real talent

It seems nowadays that unless you have some type of a “shock factor,” it would be difficult for artists to sustain a career in popular music.

Madonnas and Lady Gagas come around every ten years or so. Some art­ists stick around a bit longer than others, but eventually their shtick gets very old, very quickly.

The following artists don’t really have a gimmick. They aren’t there to shock or offend, but simply to perform qual­ity music for your listening enjoinment.

Above & Beyond: These three prom­inent British DJ’s have been around since 2000.

The trio is popular because of their progressive, forward-thinking produc­tion style and collaborations with the biggest names in the electronic dance music scene.

Above & Beyond’s tracks are con­stantly being played by DJs around the world. Their latest 2011 album “Group Therapy” already produced a couple of number one electronic dance hits includ­ing my favorite “Sun and Moon.”

Above and Beyond is all above innovation in synthesized sound.

Sky Ferreira: I have a confession to make about something I am not proud of.

I was at American Eagle. It was there that I heard the song “Obsession” by Sky Ferreira.

Loved the song. I took my cell phone out, and recorded a snippet of it so I could find it later.

Sky Ferreira started out as a sensation on MySpace where her songs still exist.

Her musical style is an extension of what was lost when Avril Lavigne grew up: gutsy and angry post-teenage rock music with a twist of electronica blend­ed with fabulous vocals.

Sky Ferreira is not all about one style of music though. She is more of a mix-tape material where you get a bit of ev­erything.

Ana Tijoux: She is a daughter of Chilean exiles living in France.

That fact alone should provide her with enough material to sing about, but she doesn’t just sing. She is also known as a rapper.

Her second album “1977” came out last year and a song with the same title instantly became a hit.

“1977,” the single, is so good that it was featured in an episode of AMC’s original series “Breaking Bad,” along with other songs from this album.

Ana Tijoux’s raps are mysterious in presentation, and the fact that they are all in Spanish, makes her songs even more unique.

Her storytelling flows smoothly along with beats and Latin samples, and al­though I am not personally a fan of “tra­ditional” hip hop, Ana Tijoux is very good at what she does.