Creating music is like telling your life story, and every new album represents a new chapter of your life. Many successful musicians show their fans their musical journey and growth by maintaining continuity between their albums. They do this by making each of their albums different and by giving the collective albums overall themes. Often times, the themes are change and growth.
Here are three ways to make each album sound unique.
1. Like Adele, use your age.
International superstar Adele is known for titling her albums according to her age. Her three albums are called 19, 21, and 25, and she created each album at the corresponding age.
She has said that each of her albums reflects a snapshot of her life when she was a certain age. These three albums are very different because they represent different ages, but they are all connected by the themes of time passing and personal growth. Adele’s use of her age in her albums makes her personal growth clear and relatable for her fans.
Check out this video, in which Adele says that she is finished titling albums after her age. However, she also explains why doing so was important to her.
2. Like Nicki Minaj, change up the style.
Nicki Minaj loves to change up her style with every new album. Her first few albums, Pink Friday and Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, have many songs that show her wild side. For example, many of the songs contain fast rapping, alter egos, and funny noises.
However, Nicki’s newest album, The Pink Print, has a different style and feel. Her songs in this album are generally slower, more soulful, and more personal. Nicki said that she wanted this album to show her fans that she is not a caricature, but a real person. This change in album style definitely helped communicate her personal growth and maturity.
Nicki talks more about her personal growth in her interview on The View.
3. Like Taylor Swift, switch genres.
There is perhaps no better example of an artist who successfully switched genres than Taylor Swift. She shows her gradual shift in genres with the musical progression in her albums.
In her debut album Taylor Swift, the songs are full-on country. However, when she released her second album Fearless, she began to verge into the pop genre. By the time Taylor released 1989, her songs were full-on pop.
This shift in genres showed worldwide audiences Taylor’s evolution as a musician. She has become extremely successful because of her musical changes. Check out this video that highlights her path to success.
It is crucially important to vary your albums so that fans can see your personal growth. When people can see how you’ve grown as a musician, they will appreciate you and your journey so much more.
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David Yaghutiel is a Bay Area native who enjoys traveling, theatre, playing the ukulele, and learning as much about the world as he possibly can. He also occasionally daylights as a senior at UCLA.