What Beyonce’s “Formation” Taught Every Musician

“Formation,” the first single off of Beyonce’s sixth studio album, Lemonade, was released in February 2016 and effectively rocked the music world. Beyonce released the single and its accompanying video without any promotion or advertisement. It was catchy and unforgettable, and the video held strong political messages.

Whether you’re part of the BeyHive or not, here are a few things that any aspiring musician can learn from “Formation.”

1. Celebrate your culture.

“Formation” was praised for being a shameless tribute to aspects of African American culture, in both the song and the video. With “Formation,” Beyonce unapologetically celebrates her heritage and race.

When creating music, never forget where you came from. Always make a point to celebrate your own culture with your music and videos.

2. State a strong opinion.

The video for “Formation” is full of strong political messages, including support for the Black Lives Matter Movement and perceived allusions to the overlooking of lower income communities after Hurricane Katrina.

When creating music, never be afraid to express a strong opinion. Incorporating strong opinions into your music can help it become as authentic as possible.

3. Let your music speak for itself.

Beyonce did not promote “Formation” at all before its release. If you do not feel the need to promote a new song, do not waste time doing so.

Let your music speak for itself.

“Formation” by Beyonce is an inspiring art piece that musicians and budding musicians alike can learn from.

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Jana DeGuzman is a Communication Studies major and French Studies minor at the University of San Francisco. She loves Mac DeMarco, Beyonce, and the ocean.

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