How To Become A Successful Music Artist

How To Become A Successful Music Artist – Right, first of all, this is my (guy) opinion, which also applies to commercial pop artists, so don’t @ me!

I have long been fascinated by this topic and have had many arguments/discussions with various musician friends about it. I heard the standard points; “X factor is shit”, “check out the local bands that are good”, “people who write their own songs are better”.

How To Become A Successful Music Artist

How To Become A Successful Music Artist

Now this pie represents what I believe to be the optimal percentage of each, however, this may vary from artist to artist and some will dominate one section over another. Examples of this can be:

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I just want to talk about songwriting and timing for a minute because those are the most important points.

Time is of the essence for everything, anytime. Businesses, artists, shops, products… everything has to be presented to the world at the right time or it will fail (or semi-success at a very slow pace). An artist can be practically perfect in every way, but if the moment is wrong and the audience doesn’t feel that moment, they don’t go.

1975 and Billie Eilish are great examples of hitting the right time. Play “When We All Fall Sleep, Where Do We Go?” For children of the seventies, there is no doubt that Eilish would not have had the same influence. It is worth mentioning authenticity here; It’s not about researching music trends and making educated guesses about what the world might pick up on. It has to be ‘you’, it has to be real and authentic, or the appeal and image will suffer.

Songwriting is another must-have. I don’t mean a technically impressive song, I’m talking about catchy, pop anthems that immediately grab the audience and make them sing along. Think Shotgun, Havana, and Her Form. Of course, there are other popular songs, but the ones that become classics must dominate every radio station, be on repeat on your Spotify, and get stuck in your head instantly.

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I think this is a factor that a lot of people think is unimportant. I heard phrases like “it’s all about the music” or “we want to be authentic”.

Having a professional team working on an artist’s image and branding does not mean less authenticity, if anything it should mean more. All super successful artists definitely have a team to do it, and there is a reason for that.

As in business, branding helps build trust with your audience; They know what they’re getting, and that familiarity translates into loyalty.

How To Become A Successful Music Artist

The image is probably the biggest slice of Lady Gaga’s pie (lol). We all wanted to see what she would wear to each event, how she was going to push the boundaries even further for the shock factor and be totally blown away by her creative live show. And this picture is you. This is your real one.

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Another interesting band to talk about here is the Sex Pistols. They were known as real, DIY, working class and punk and that was their image. Their image captured everything they were about and communicated it visually to their audience.

The image and branding visually captures the essence of the band/artist and exaggerates it. I think the confusion comes from thinking that the fundamentals and philosophies will be lost in the glossy image, which is not the case at all.

Another point I heard was about John Mayer. “It doesn’t have a brand, it’s about technical capabilities.” This is his brand. His album covers, his live performances will be aimed at an audience that appreciates musical ability and has a more sophisticated musical taste. It’s all planned!

That takes us pretty far in terms of musical ability, doesn’t it? I have no doubt that most people would argue that this piece of the pie is too small, but it’s not, it’s not.

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Beatles songs are not the most technical, some pop artists will pick up the bass and learn it because there is an opportunity to be part of a successful band, not all pop bands have singers who can hold their own on stage.

Anyone who prides themselves on their technical ability and focuses solely on this element of their career should not aim to become a famous musician, but rather to be a session player.

You know on the X Factor when the great singer gets sent home early and everyone screams “It’s fixed!”. This is because a great singer is not necessarily a great artist. They will show musical ability and songwriting skills (since they are most likely singing a classical song), but they will likely lack image (authenticity and knowing who they are) and charisma. Maybe they’re a little boring and until you watch 10 more singers, some of them a little witty or OTT, you’ve forgotten Mr. Nice Singer and definitely won’t be voting for him.

How To Become A Successful Music Artist

The X Factor is tough if you walk away without even a glimmer of a brand identity. Buyers and call center workers with phenomenal voices struggle from song to song with a different image every week and fail to impress. Basically, you need to know your mood to attract your tribe!

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Sometimes great singers who also have some similar ability win, but without an image or brand, they can’t make their mark in the real world, leading to forgotten winners and increased skepticism about the show’s credibility.

Well, that leaves us with charisma and likability. I think it’s the smallest piece of the pie because I’ve seen some artists who are a bit boring and can’t hold their own in an interview, and to be honest, that probably has a lot to do with the long hours that nobody always appreciates . I know I would have struggled with 3-4 hours of sleep for years.

However, some people really make their DNA work for them, and reality TV stars are a prime example of that. Their pie would be mostly charisma with a small piece of branding. Enter Rylan from X Factor; His whole career started with a mostly charismatic pie, so there’s nothing to spit on there.

John Mayer, Harry Styles, and Matt Healy (1975) are examples of artists with a healthy slice of the charisma pie. They’re well-articulated, fun to listen to, and entertaining (if you haven’t seen John Mayer’s smoky eye tutorial on Insta Stories, I highly recommend it). The benefit of this skill is that it allows the audience to get to know you better, and the more they like you, the more they feel they know you. This helps sell records and show tickets. If you’re looking to increase your income, this can also lead to other opportunities, such as scoring a TV talent show to coincide with the release of your new album, wink wink.

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Before I wrap this thread up, I’d like to mention a couple of artists who had long careers before being catapulted into the (very) mainstream almost instantly.

Sia and Green Day are well-respected in their respective fields and highly successful, but both have been criticized for “selling out” as they reinvented themselves and achieved commercial success.

It’s really tricky, as both their imagery and branding are authentic and exaggerated versions of their former selves if tweaked a bit more, but when you make the transition from a little more alternative to commercial, you’ll no doubt lose some of your original audience. . However, you win more than you lose, so it comes down to personal decision. I loved watching them grow, enjoyed their new slightly more OTT style and continue to enjoy both their older and more mainstream music.

How To Become A Successful Music Artist

This brings me to my last point. I would argue that in order for an artist to achieve longevity in their career, a rethinking is required. This doesn’t mean losing authenticity, but rather embracing the natural progression and staying abreast of changing trends in popular music.

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Taylor Swift, Madonna and Eminem did it flawlessly and kept the momentum going by taking their audience with them. A little controversy never hurts on a trip!

With incredible songwriting and an ever-evolving brand and image, they take any mistakes or negativity in stride, embracing it and focusing on constantly moving forward, staying true to themselves and maintaining their authenticity. Faye. Not an easy task, right? Content Created by Members of the Rolling Stone Cultural Council The Rolling Stone Cultural Council is a network of industry professionals who share their ideas with our invitation-only audience.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of the editors or publishers of Rolling Stone. Content is created and managed by the Rolling Stone Cultural Council, a paid, invitation-only community of members operated by the Cultural Council, LLC. , courtesy of Rolling

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