Every great musician started somewhere, and every great musician had his or her “big break.” Aspiring musicians can learn a lot from “breakthrough” videos because they can study what made each musician appeal to the public.
Here are three examples of “breakthrough” videos and what made each video and musician so popular. Enjoy the trip down memory lane!
1. Justin Bieber’s “One Time” featured an already famous musician and had a fresh sound.
Justin Bieber was discovered on YouTube, and his popularity quickly grew after his first official video! In the video “One Time,” Justin collaborated with Usher and held a fun house party that appealed to his younger viewers. By appearing with an already famous musician, but also adding a fresh sound that set him apart, Justin drew in fans.
This video reminds musicians to seek advice from and collaboration with more experienced musicians. They don’t have to be “Usher-level,” but experienced musicians can definitely help new musicians get their feet off the ground. Also, don’t forget that Justin found initial popularity on YouTube!
Check out Justin’s first major single, “One Time!”
2. Destiny’s Child’s “Say My Name” featured Beyonce in a girl group and helped launch her career.
Most people know that before Beyonce was a revolutionary solo artist, she was a member of a popular girl group. Destiny’s Child was hugely influential to Beyonce’s success, which encourages aspiring musicians to consider starting out in a group.
Being part of a group is a great idea because you can have fun with your group mates, and there’s a little less pressure. Then, if you later want to go solo, you’ll already have recognition and will be more prepared to take on the pressure and attention. If you join a group, though, make sure that it is because you enjoy performing with the group, not only because you eventually want to go solo!
Check out one of Destiny’s Child’s breakthrough songs, “Say My Name.” This video stuck out because of the great group dynamics, powerful vocals, and bright colors!
3. Miley Cyrus’ “The Climb” jump started her musical career from her TV show.
Miley Cyrus first truly entered the public eye when she starred as Miley Stewart in the Disney Channel TV show Hannah Montana. Since she was playing a “normal” teenager who was secretly a pop star, it seems inevitable that this show would lead to her music career. The song that jumpstarted Miley’s singing career was “The Climb” from the Hannah Montana movie because it is the first song that actually credited the singer as Miley Cyrus (and not as “Hannah Montana”).
This song was a breakthrough for Miley Cyrus because it is motivational, inspiring, and widely appealing. This breakthrough also reminds musicians to consider acting as well because acting can give you exposure and jump start your music career! Of course, you have to be passionate about acting as well, but remember that all of the performing arts are connected!
Overall, musicians find their big breaks in all sorts of ways, and learning from these breakthroughs can help you create your own! If aspiring musicians seek help from accomplished musicians, join or create groups, and gain exposure through other performing arts, they will be much closer to their own big breaks.
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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.