These days, it’s hard to believe that there was ever a time before the Internet. Even the music industry itself has become completely immersed in and anchored to the likes, shares, tweets, views and other online audience interactions. It’s strange to think, looking back now, how different the general mindset in the music industry used to be before the global communication network was born. The possibilities, reach and closeness of the music communities have only grown stronger and more elaborate since the ’90s. The modern relationship between audience and artist, ease of connecting with other likeminded creators and listeners, and clarity about the entire industry process have all been catalyzed by the Internet.

Before this was the case, very few people could have foreseen the impact this new development would have on the scene and society in general. Unsurprisingly, however, David Bowie was one of them.

In an interview conducted 15 years ago with journalist Jeremy Paxman, Bowie perfectly predicted the future of the Internet and its relation to the music scene. His statements about its importance and relevance are shockingly accurate and deep in meaning.

Read some of his best insights below, and watch the full thing further down!

“The internet now carries the flag of being subversive and possibly rebellious and chaotic and nihilistic.”

“I embrace the idea that there is a new demystification process going on between the artists and the audience. I think when you look back, let’s say at this decade, there hasn’t really been one single entity, artist or group that have personified or become the brand name for the ’90s . . . Now it’s just sub groups and genres. It’s hip hop, it’s girl power, it’s a communal kind of thing, it’s about the community. It’s becoming more and more about the audience.”

“I like to see what the new construction is between artist and audience, there is a breakdown. They’re personified by the rave culture the last few years, where the audience is at least as important as whoever is playing at the rave. it’s almost like the artist is to accompany the audience and what the audience is doing, and that feeling is very much permeating music and permeating the internet.”

“I don’t think we’ve even seen the tip of the iceberg. I think the potential of what the Internet is going to do to society, both good and bad, is unimaginable. I think we’re actually on the cusp of something exhilarating and terrifying.”

Watch Bowie perfectly predict the internet’s impact on music and society 15 years ago.

Posted by FACT Magazine on Monday, January 11, 2016