The 4 Most Predictable Elements of a Popular Song
Ever wonder which songs will become hits and which will floop? Sometimes, the answer is right in front of you. As it turns out, there are certain elements that if present in a song, it will increase the likelihood of that song becoming a worldwide hit.
In the following, you’ll discover the elements that predict the success of a song. In addition, you’ll find out how to tell whether or not a song is ultimately destined to become a hit.
1. The #1 Most Predictable Element of a Popular Song
The most direct route to hit status is through song recognition. If people can’t find your song on their radio, they won’t necessarily seek it out in a music store either. The more people that can identify your song, the greater the chance that they’ll want to hear it. This is why having a recognizable and popular singing artist is the best path to creating a hit track.
According to HubSpot Blogs research, 85% of people have heard of John Legend. The rapper will be performing in Toronto on October 4th. If you’re one of the 15% who haven’t heard of Legend, you’ll soon enough. He’s been on the radar of music lovers for a while now, thanks in part to his collaborations with singers like Jennifer Lopez and Rihanna.
Legend is certainly prolific. He co-wrote Beyoncé’s “Feeling Myself” and “Sweet Dreams” with DJ Mustard. In addition, he contributed to the song “Hotline” by Chance the Rapper and Lil Wayne. He’s also a featured artist on Kanye West’s acclaimed album, Jesus is King.
The point is that if you want to write a hit song, collaborate with a well-known artist. They’ll be able to help you position your tracks in the right markets and get the word out about your song. In the meantime, you can work on perfecting your craft and establishing yourself as an original voice in the industry.
2. Popularity Across Genres
The key to truly broadening your audience is by appealing to as many people as possible. One of the best ways to do this is by crossing over into other genres. Everyone loves a good bop, but how many of us can associate jazz with serious reflection and thought? Not many, we suppose. This is why it’s important to know how to combine multiple genres in your music. Having a jazz track next to a rap track will make the average person realize that you’re capable of more than one type of music. One of the most effective ways of demonstrating this versatility is through having other artists appear on your song. The more artists that contribute to a song, the greater the likelihood of it becoming successful.
This brings us to our next point.
3. Collaboration Is the Key to Success
The majority of people who discovered and supported Future’s record-breaking album, DS2, did so because of his collaborations with prominent artists. Future’s ability to attract and retain such a large audience is a direct result of his willingness to collaborate with other high-profile musicians. The album contained a total of 17 tracks and featured guests such as Kanye West, Jay-Z, and Lil Wayne. Future’s success is a clear demonstration of the fact that collaborating with established artists can open up significant new opportunities for unsigned musicians.
Though collaboration can be incredibly beneficial, it doesn’t always guarantee a hit. Take Drake’s “One Dance,” for instance. The Canadian rapper collaborated with French DJ and producer Wojtek on the track. It was only after the song was released that people began realizing its potential. Even then, the single only became a top-ten hit in Australia and New Zealand. In other countries, it didn’t chart at all. This, of course, is to be expected. Nothing is written in stone when it comes to music, and there are often unforeseen circumstances that prevent songs from being as successful as they could be. Still, it’s always a good idea to pursue opportunities to collaborate with well-known artists. While you’re at it, try and bring in some high-profile guests too.
4. Marketing and Media Exposure
If you want to be successful, you need to have the proper marketing and media exposure. The way you do this is by establishing yourself as a go-to artist for certain topics or artists. For instance, let’s say you’re a rapper and you’ve got a track called “Rap Genius.” Most people would assume it’s a straightforward hip-hop track, but it’s actually a bit more complex than that. On the beat, you’ve got some very subtle flourishes of jazz in there too. If a record label hears about your track and likes it, they’ll naturally seek you out to promote their latest release by an acclaimed, yet relatively unknown, jazz artist. This is the type of exposure that gets you noticed, and eventually, helps you become famous.
Though it’s important to establish your song in the right markets, it isn’t always enough to have a hit. If people don’t know what your song is about or they don’t know how to describe it, you’ve still failed. To be considered a real success, you must be able to convince people your song is worth listening to, and worth buying. In the end, this is why having a recognizable and popular singing artist help you write your song is such a good idea. If people can’t find your song on their radio, it typically means they either don’t know who you are or they don’t like your song. Having a popular song by an established artist can help correct this problem. Once people recognize your talent, they’ll flock to your side. This is why having a recognizable voice behind your song is important. It will help you stand out among the masses. In the meantime, continue perfecting your craft and establishing yourself as an original voice in the industry. Ultimately, the fewer elements that can be duplicated, the greater the chance of a hit. When it comes to songs, sometimes the simplest things are the most effective. On this front, John Legend is the master.
How to Tell Whether or Not a Song Is a Hit
If you want to find out whether or not a song is a hit, you need to look at a number of indicators. This will vary from genre to genre, but certain standard rules apply across the board. Take a look at the song “Hotline” by Chance the Rapper and Lil Wayne.
In 2016, the song entered the top ten in both the United Kingdom and Australia. More impressively, it reached the top of the charts in New Zealand. Unfortunately, it only stayed in the top ten in those countries for a short while before falling off the charts. Still, this was enough to make the average person believe that “Hotline” was a massive hit.
In contrast, when the song was first released in the United States, it only reached number 68 on the Billboard Top 100. Despite this poor showing in America, the song still managed to top the UK Singles Chart for three weeks. These are the types of contradictions you need to be aware of. One standard indicator that most often determines a hit is the commercial performance of the song.
In most cases, a song that debuts on the Billboard Top 100 will be considered a success. In fact, this is the case for most songs. Still, in order to be a real hit, a song needs to be able to sustain itself on the charts for a considerable amount of time. This is why having a top 10 hit in 2021 is a whole lot more impressive than having one in 2021. Similarly, having a top 20 hit in 2021 is more impressive than having one in 2021. The more times a song appears on the Billboard Top 100, the greater the likelihood of it being considered a hit. In the end, this is why collaboration is such an important part of songwriting. When other artists appear on your track and the song is able to connect with an audience, this is usually a clear indication that it’s a hit. In other cases, this could simply mean that the song is popular among your fans. In order to find out for sure, you’ll need to look at a number of indicators.