Funny story: I originally wasn't even going to write about this until it crossed my mind just the other day. I don't know why, but I randomly wondered about what happened to Kidz Bop since, like, 2007, which is the last time I can recall ever seeing a commercial about the songs they covered.
And wouldn't you know it, my pit stop at Wikipedia revealed that they're still going to this day singing songs they shouldn't be, even if some of the lyrics are changed around.
Here's the thing: I've never been a fan of exposing impressionable young children to the entertainment industry unless it's on an occasional basis and especially for minor roles. Though when it comes to music, I double down on my opinion even harder, because not only would kids have to put more effort into developing at least somewhat competent vocal and dancing abilities instead of, you know, actually living out their childhoods, they would also need to sing lyrics and dance to choreography suitable for their age group or else they'll probably have a pretty unhealthy view of the world later on.
I'm already noticing this with talent shows, in fact, where I'll see a little girl put on a "coquettish" act during a song for example. It's not because this behaviour falls in line with her brand, or that she's proving some sort of point with it, obviously; it's because that's what she's been taught to do to secure any opportunity she can get in the business. Talent and acumen surely don't come into the picture. Meanwhile, she's squeaking out some club anthem she more than likely doesn't know the meaning of and squirming around awkwardly on stage—shouldn't we feel embarrassed for her?
It's cases like this where children are going to be so busy doing what they think they're supposed to do as opposed to exploring their identities, finding what they're comfortable with on their own, and growing into them as they gain more experience and come to understand certain things about the adult world. Naturally, insecurity and reckless behaviour will ensue otherwise.
That is my biggest fear with this whole Kidz Bop thing. If it were all just a fun, wholesome activity for school, I wouldn't mind, but this is an actual business we're talking about that's taking advantage of naïve youth and popular music. While we're on the topic, why don't the kids have original songs written for them? Think about it: Nobody in their right mind, except for maybe the parents out of goodwill, is going to pay money to hear songs they already like and listen to regularly by professionals being amateurishly sung by essential nobodies.
I'm not even sure how they're touring solely on other people's music, but that's beside the point. I'm sure this has the potential to be a safe platform for kids who might consider dipping their toes in the industry, but if we're not giving them something or allowing them a way to be fondly remembered by without having to resort to cheap gimmicks that could scar them, then there's nothing to give them much of a competitive edge when we've already got the likes of The Wiggles and The Mickey Mouse Club as far as children's music itself is concerned.
We're starting to see film and literature take children more seriously again, so why not music? There's nothing wrong with them reaching out to others in their age range, but this needs to be done in a way that's not insulting. Between the neon colours, terrible photoshop, and no personality to connect it all, I personally feel offended for everyone involved.