Here’s something you won’t hear everyday: just because you got to the top, it doesn’t mean you’ll be able to stay there. Albeit one-hit wonders and temporarily famous musicians blaming the unfair market and rapid change of global music taste, the core issue is only one for their fading popularity and lukewarm commercial success. What do Fetty Wap, Fat Joe, Iggy Azalea, Soulja Boy, Christina Milian, Rita Ora, Hilary Duff have in common??? One, very ugly, very serious underlying issue for their spotlight dismissal. Read below to find out how to avoid the same mistake.
They stopped expanding their music and brand. Simple as that. They’ve gotten to a comfortable level, decent numbers and 15 minutes of fame, and then stopped pushing for more. In the music industry, you have to CONTINUOUSLY push forward in all areas or you start SLIDING backward.
Case Study #1: Fetty Wap
All of Fetty Wap’s material post Trap Queen’s success was sounding the exact same. They felt like copy/pasted records (My Way, 679, Couple Bands, For My Team, etc) and that worked for the first two years then… silence! He overused his shtick and people moved past that. Barely now in 2020 his material started sounding different and more up to date but it’s too late. 6 years have passed and people now prefer DaBaby and Roddy Rich. Fetty should have released only 2 more records like Trap Queen and a more progressive type of record right after or at the same time as to beat the iron while it was hot but also show people he’s more than prolonged syllables and long, repeated verses. You have to get your people used to hearing you on VARIOUS types of records and sounds. If you put yourself in one box only, you will have a hard time keeping up with the industry changes.
Case Study #2: Fat Joe
This guy never changed his flow. You are guaranteed to ALWAYS hear the same ol’ type of flow and same type of lyrics. You know what that is? The definition of boring! He’ll forever remain famous for Lean Back because nobody really cares for his new material. Get OUT of your comfort zone and switch up your sound, your flow, your message over the years. Especially when you’ve amassed enough of a fanbase to support your living. Those fans have heard ALL you had to say and have seen ALL you had to offer. So please reinvent yourself ’cause your lack of innovation will cost you your longevity.
Case Study #3: Iggy Azalea
So Iggy has managed to salvage her independent career but definitely fell out of favor with the mainstream audience. Her brand image unfortunately has become a constant and not a variable. We know right away she’ll be sporting glamorous outfits, long nails, long blonde hair, and rap fast on the verses, and have someone else singing the hooks. You see, familiarity is needed but within reasonable limits. Iggy should try slowing down her flow, lowering her nasal pitch, and probably even singing a hook herself. Also, she’d gain more traction if she produced a music video that shows her being in pajamas at home with her baby rather than pushing continuously this I’m fancy narrative.
Case Study #4: Soulja Boy
This guy’s music sounds like it’s still being produced in FL Studio. Low, subpar quality just as Crank That was. Crank That worked because it was new, lyrically repulsive, had a fun dance to it, so people ignored the lack of proper mix and master. The issue is, he NEVER moved past that production style of 12 years ago. Soulja Boy, WAKE UP if you want to make ANY money off your music anymore. Hire a young music producer that’s born after the 2000s, get one of the best sound engineers on the market to polish your records, and level up your damn quality! You can only listen to wack music that much.
Case Study #5: Christina Millian
One word: boring. She got everything though! The voice, the looks, the appeal, the charm, the prevalently respectable reputation, and yet… Her new material flops and flops and flops. Who’s going to watch you just moving your head from 100 different angles in 2020? No one. When you see and hear her, you obviously realize she’s still living in the 2000s. Christina Millian’s “software” is pending a total reboot and an insanely large update.
Lesson from the 5 case studies: NEVER stop learning, evolving, growing both your image and your sound. The very second you get comfortable, you can start counting down the minutes to anonymity. Making it in the music industry comes with a big price: you can NOT stop. So unless change is something you thrive on, don’t do music.