(Marketing) Feel free to get involved with your views on this subject in the comments…
I’m sure you’ve heard people say something along the lines of “you need to be original as a musician to stand out from the crowd”.
Originality is held by many as the way to get heard over the thousands of other musicians in your genre. There are many acts who have benefited from bringing something new to the market, so it can work well when done right.
But is being totally original the only answer to standing out as someone worth listing to? Are there any times where using proven styles can work well for you? This is what I want to discuss today.
In this post I’ll give my views on when originality can be helpful, and when you need to use tried and tested styles to progress your music career. Read in full then get involved with your views.
The Benefits Using Proven Styles
As you may or may not have noticed, there tends to be patterns in the music industry in terms of what’s popular at the moment. Particularly in chart music, at any given time you’ll notice that a certain style of music is taking up a lot of the positions.
In recent times for example, indie sounding bands were doing very well in the charts. A while down the line rappers were the new in thing in the charts, and now it’s all the dance influenced tracks which are doing well.
Now this is not to say that types of music outside these trending styles can’t do well during these periods, as they absolutely can. That said, noticing these trends and perhaps incorporating them into your music where appropriate can give you a head start in terms of giving people what they want.
Remember, chart music is based on music sales. If people are buying the kind of music that’s currently trending, it shows there’s money to be made following these trends.
Of course, not everyone who makes a song that suits a trending style will sell well, you’ll also have to ensure what you’re doing is at a very high quality and that you market yourself property. If your music isn’t as good as what’s in the charts, then keep practicing.
In terms of talent, observing what others do and being influenced by that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Of course, you don’t want to outright rip off someone’s style or lyrics, that’s wrong. But if you see a certain element of what someone does is something fans and yourself like, there’s no harm in doing something similar. After all, it’s been proven to work, often by multiple different musician.
The truth is, there are very few musicians who are even 90% original. Not only has a lot of things already been done before, but as we listen to music growing up, we naturally gain influence from the music we listen to and music videos we see. So whether or not you consciously do it, musicians do incorporate things others have taught them into their own performances.
If you’ve only done it unconsciously up until now, it might be time to start consciously looking at what’s proven to work well for others, and if you can use any part of that for yourself.
Ok, so in your opinion what are the benefits of being a highly original musician???