Over the last few months I’ve tried to figure out what are the differentiators between successful and unsuccessful artists and why in particular rappers often lack of these factors. During my research I found 3 certain attributes, that were always to a great extent responsible for the artist’s achievements. Let’s take a closer look at these observations in detail below:
1. Work ethic
And I’m not talking about the hustle of doing constant Facebook or twitter updates here. I’m talking about relentless hard work. This means being absolutely professional in interviews, maintaining a fan base and having an unquestionable image to a unified sound. You can’t expect the release of your first mixtape to be a total success. But maybe your third release will be. This process takes undoubtedly time but the truth is that the correlation between the success and the consistency of an artist is a proven fact. You don’t believe me? Let me give you two examples:
50 Cent flooded the underground rap scene with mixtapes for years before he got his first major deal.
Macklemore has actually been distributing his mixtapes since 2000. It took him nearly twelve years to reach the status that he has today. Therefore it’s not enough to believe in yourself, you also have to work extremely hard.
You want to become successful? Then DO THE WORK!
What is your artist image? Is your artist branding consistent? What set’s you apart from other artists?
Most artists I look at can’t even provide a biography upon request – which is the absolute minimum to have available when it comes to telling your story. If the person that might be interested in your music can’t find any background informations about the artist, you make a bad impression and appear unprofessional.
To make my point clear: I’m not saying that great branding alone does make you a great artist at all. If your music sucks and your social media marketing strategy is weak an interesting image will not save you. But having a clear vision of who you are and what you stand for is important for the impression you want to make on your potential audience.
3. Quality content
Your music is your most important asset and THE crucial product that defines you as an artist. It is the most essential piece for the emotional connection you want to create with your fans. Your message, your delivery and your style are reflected in each of your songs and responsible for how your fans perceive you.
Therefore it is so important that your music equates to the industry standards. Unmixed or unmastered songs, fuzzy vocal records or muddy rap instrumentals are fatal and should always be avoided. Ensure that your songs are ready to be released in terms of sound quality – because once they are online, they will be available forever.