Bet that’s one title you never expected to read on our website. And yet here we are. We’ll be talking about 5 famous colors and their proper application in the music industry. While some artists change their look with every show, others are smarter and patiently and consistently deliver a main color overall to create a sense of expectation and familiarity thus intimacy with the public. Read below to learn how colors play a major role in branding, who is applying this efficiently, and how you can adopt colors as an independent artist depending on your genre and message.
A secondary color on the color wheel, green symbolizes vitality, freshness, growth, wealth, balance, health, youthfulness. And lo and behold, the IT face of green in the world for the past couple of years has been none other than Billie Eilish. Her choice of the neon green went so far and prompted the singer to stratospheric levels of fame, that she had an entire (mostly green) collection line with H&M. Here’s the fun twist that this particular shade of green brings to mind: biohazard sign.
And her narrative fits perfectly the potential toxicity of this very specific color combination. She goes from being the bad guy, to a lonely Lucifer, to burying friends, and strange addictions. This element of weirdness paired with nostalgia and utter sadness, would probably be exactly what the biohazard sign would sound like if its colors could speak. Initially, Billie had platinum hair but turns out that combination wasn’t memorable. It was only when the green hit the scene that Billie truly landed mainstream. Your lesson from Eilish should be identifying a color combination that the world is very much used to and strongly associates with a feeling your music transmits. Then play with variants of it until you find the one that speaks most to you.
It sure helps when you dedicate one of your most famous songs to the one color you’re wholeheartedly adopting, displaying, promoting, and helping elevate. It will be a good decade or two until someone else will be able to claim the purple color as Prince famously did. Color Matters explain the amazing history of purple: “Purple’s rarity in nature and the expense of creating the color and has given purple a supernatural aura for centuries. Purple is also the most powerful wavelength of the rainbow. […] Taking all aspects of purple’s past and present into consideration, purple symbolizes magic, mystery, spirituality, the sub-conscious, creativity, dignity, royalty – and it evokes all of these meanings more so than any other color.” So purple is a big deal. As was Prince.
Observe in the above clip, which is NOT Purple Rain, how from the stage lights, Prince’s costume, instrumentists, background singers, and dancers are all dressed in purple. Prince made it his mission for people to associate him with the color and he accomplished his goal successfully. His creativity, eccentricity, novelty, are all congruent with purple’s meaning and fit his personality like a glove. What’s YOUR personality like and what color would describe it best?
Pink symbolizes fun, femininity, youth, boldness, and even an element of childish, careless behavior. Dye a 60-year-old’s hair pink and see how you instantly react to it! Very few could sport pink the way Ariana Grande does. The woman has been perpetually dominating pink and its ramifications more than anyone else in the world. Well, we’re probably missing some K-Pop stars here but that’s not our audience. Yet.
And yes, Ariana Grande is extremely youthful in her appearance, her mannerism, her outfit choices, and her music too despite being almost 30 years old. Her music is highly feminine, often sexually charged but more so in a very alluring way rather than an extravagant way. Even when Ariana is not dressed in pink, her background is. If not the background, then the lights. If not the lights, then the furniture. But you will almost always find pink in her visuals. Like her most recent live performance.
Your takeaway: is there a trait of yours, be it musically or personality-wise that stood the test of time and you’d like it to be displayed more often? If so, what’s the color that represents it in the eyes of the world?
Who would have thought that the very representation of confidence, passion, fire, and hot times is a man? Good job Bruno Mars. You claimed the color before any woman did 😀 In Bruno’s defense, his music is indeed a lot about sex by the fire at night. Notice how the entire color scheme of Please Me is red through and through. Then you also have Treasure, The Lazy Song, Leave The Door Open that heavily feature the red color. Oh! and his album’s cover artwork. If you snoop through the studio recording sessions or jamming segments on YouTube, you’ll instantly notice how Bruno Mars heavily favors his red shirts.
The undeniable Funk, Jazz, and Reggae influences reverberating through the singer’s records are all lively, organic, and imposing presences on their own. Red is also the blood’s color. When you’re alive, you’re red. When you’re dead – any trace of this vital hue is gone. Accordingly, lively music – lively color. You wouldn’t take Bruno Mars seriously if he decided overnight to sport green or neon blue for example. It has nothing to do with his personality, music, or influences.
Those you listened to when growing up, what color did they associate themselves with? Has it passed enough time for you to borrow the color yourself or can you adopt a tangential hue?
1. Gold (Yellow)
Look… there’s not one artist in this world who has claimed this primary color as much or as authentically as Beyonce Carter Knowles. Gold symbolizes since ancient times wealth, luxury, opulence, royalty, jewels, magic. It is, after all, the color of one of the most precious metals in the Universe that exists in very limited amounts, gold. In case you didn’t know, gold “is thought to have been produced in supernova nucleosynthesis, and from the collision of neutron stars, and to have been present in the dust from which the Solar System formed.” So there’s no more gold being produced anywhere in the Universe according to modern scientists. Back to our case study, Beyonce. She appropriated gold since her early days. Look at the images below to see the incredible consistency the singer has proven over the years.
And these are just SOME of her golden/yellow outfits. From music videos, red carpet events, special guest performances, and her tours, Beyonce branded herself as this golden goddess with a touch of magic to it. And it worked. It also suits her musical style which is mainly R&B. R&B features organic instrumentation (even the instruments are golden such as trumpets, saxophone, clarinet) and it comes from an era where sophistication was rare and not many could afford it. If any other female artist jumps in a golden catsuit and dyes her hair blonde, she automatically becomes a Beyonce copycat. That’s the level of association you should aim for. Think of the genre you’re claiming. The instruments it’s based on. The feelings and vibes it transmits. The era it comes from and fully embrace it. The color of your brand has already been decided by human history. You just have to crystallize it.
From Avant-Pop to Rap and Rock music, these 50 talents need and deserve support more than the ones you hear on the radio. So pay us back for the free articles by hearing THEM out. Thank you.