You may be at a point in your music career where you are considering making a shift in musical style or genre. Whether it be an act of exploration or finding your niche, it is important that you make the shift in a way that will be most beneficial to your music, your brand, and your career.
Here are some famous examples to guide you through this next step in your career.
1. Crossover completely.
If you have made the decision to make a shift or if you’ve noticed that you are naturally starting to shift towards a different genre of music, you may want to make a complete shift to that new genre. If you are working on your next single, EP, or album, you can use this as your announcement of the shift. Make sure the new music is a bold expression of your shift. Commit to it.
A great example of this in the industry is none other than T-Swift herself. Starting out as a country girl, Taylor Swift made a bold statement of her shift to pop music with the album 1989.
This video is from Taylor’s country beginnings.
This video was one of her bolder pop statements from the album 1989.
2. Become a multi-genre artist.
There is no rule that says that you have to belong to one genre or another. In fact, many successful artists represent two or more genres with their music. This can also work for you.
It is important to make sure that your choices are clear and that you commit to each choice you make. If you want to create a pop/rock hybrid album, then make sure your music clearly reflects that.
The Beatles are a great example of experimentation with music style and genre. Though they are widely known first and foremost as a rock band, they experimented with everything from pop to hard rock, sometimes incorporating elements of classical music, Indian music, and psychedelic music.
These videos show the widespread talent The Beatles were able to display across many different music styles and genres.
3. Understand how your genre or music style shift affects your brand.
Essentially, a shift in genre calls for a re-branding of you as that new artist. These changes do not have to be dramatic if you do not want them to be, but re-branding to better fall in line with your new musical style might be beneficial.
If you are experimenting with pop ballads, then creating a high energy show around it might create a disconnect. Something more intimate may be appropriate for pop ballads. These changes overall will typically involve changes to style and type of live shows that you will produce.
An artist who has recently made a big change is Lady Gaga. Her start as the mother of her “little monsters,” creating an image that supported self-expression, was a brand that was very recognizable even when she was not on stage.
Now Lady Gaga has spoken out about behind-the-scenes manipulations of her image, but she has shifted toward a truer reflection of the artist she wants to be. This is more evident with her new music, videos, and even her appearance, as she has shied away from her previous over-the-top fashion to something truer to her new experimentation with jazz music and overall new brand.
This video shows the former musical style and brand of Lady Gaga.
This video is one of her most recent, displaying a much simpler Lady Gaga.
This video shows Lady Gaga and her recent dabble in jazz music.
The changes you make as a music artist art important, as they will impact your music career moving forward. If you have been considering making changes, using some of these famous examples can help you get on the right track to taking the next steps to becoming more of the artist you want to be.
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Rhonda Williams is a writer, blogger, and maybe, your number one fan!