Over the past year, Justin Bieber has had one of the biggest music comebacks in recent memory. After falling from grace, Justin has dedicated the past year to winning his fan base back, while also gaining new fans. His album Purpose has done just that. With an international tour and merchandising campaign to go along with it, Purpose has tracks like “Love Yourself” and “Sorry” infiltrating radio stations.
Justin recently took home the Favorite Pop/Rock Album Award at the American Music Awards. Here are some secrets for musicians looking to gain traction on upcoming projects.
1. Find an amazing management team.
It’s important to learn the business aspect of music. Great musicians like Sly Stone have come out the other end of a long career penniless because of poor management. Some artists do not have the means to pay for management, but it is an important step to take before becoming a well-respected artist.
Most musicians do not make the best management decisions. A musician should do what he or she does best, make music. Scooter Braun is Bieber’s brilliant manager. He has also managed Ariana Grande, who took home Artist of the Year at the AMAs.
2. Building a concept.
Purpose, to many fans and journalists, is an apology album to Bieber’s ex, Selena Gomez. Others cite the album as a growth from adolescence into more mature themes. The songwriting has improved, but beyond each song having a message, Bieber presented the body of work as an experience and a movement.
When an album is advertised as more than a disposable piece of music, it gains a greater following. Create work that asks listeners to join a movement, rather than just pressing play.
3. Go on tour.
As much press as Bieber’s new album has received, the tour brings the experience element of the album’s concept to a new level. It is vital to support great albums with amazing tours and a setlist that fans will be excited about. The Purpose Tour has featured support from artist Post Malone and has already produced a box office of $139,000,000.
One of the biggest moneymakers for a fantastic tour is the merchandise. After Justin collaborated with the brand Fear of God, people who wouldn’t consider themselves fans of Bieber wanted to start wearing his merch. The international tour is planned to continue until April of 2017.
Even if aspiring musicians aren’t looking to emulate Justin Bieber’s music, there is a lot they can take away from his impressive comeback. Tour as many cities as possible and design great merch to sell when travelling. Hiring management costs money, but it will lead to greater organization, and ultimately better business. Make albums that exist beyond the audial experience. This is the formula to making a potential album of the year.
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Will Randick is a blogger and educator working out of the Bay Area.