I'd like to start this by saying, I have premonitions....real talk. This entire entry was inspired by a conversation that took place in my dream. So when I said, "I don't see dead people, I hear voices", I wasn't lying.
In music, I've always felt that there are unspoken rules that haven't been quite articulated. Well here's my synopsis of the 3 step song process that will ultimately determine if you have a successful career.
Step 1: "The Introduction Song"
Your 1st song should always be you be your set up. By this I mean the record that puts you in people's consciousness. Of course you want your song to be a hit, but you must constantly be aware of your audience. They will always be motivated by 2 thing; direction & action. Direction simply describes their feeling toward your music, while action... is self explanatory. Will they act on their direction? 1st Time out, probably not which ultimately leads to step 2
Step 2: "The Breakthrough Song"
Now I have to explain why your 1st song can't be your "breakthrough song". The problem is, if your 1st single is by far your hottest record, how can you possibly follow? We've actually seen this illustrated in the careers of Mims & Cassie. Its counter intuitive, and doesn't help your career. The breakthrough typically happens when listeners are finally familiar with you, and your music, forgive the pun, strikes a chord. In other words, they are willing to spend $$$ now. I could use the analogy of any other consumer product. When something is 1st introduced, only the early adopters, and those believing they are trend setters will purchase whatever. However, it takes time before the product can truly reach its potential and be mass market. Also, it should be noted that the "breakthrough" doesn't have to take place immediately after the intro song, its just better if it does. The "breakthrough" can essentially be your 3rd attempt or maybe even your 4th, but once the foundation is built with the "intro song", you're on your way
Step 3: "The Follow Through Song"
It is imperative to have the follow up to your breakthrough prepared, and if not, your career may be doomed. Oftentimes artists try to establish careers off of one song, and it can't be done. This is almost as important, if not more important, than having your "breakthrough". Follow up is essential, and needs to be well orchestrated. Your follow up should actually come before the breakthrough dies down, and this way, you can ride success' wave. In general, people will always be more willing to hear what you have to say if you have momentum, as opposed to months after your hit has faded.
voila....my 3 Step Key to Success
Just think, where would Jay-Z be if there were no, "Can I Get A", followed by "Hard Knock Life", followed by everything else. Where would 50 be if "Wanksta" wasn't followed by "In The Club" followed by "21 Questions"
...I have seen careers not pop because artists have not followed these rules. 1