Not that there aren’t exceptions, but people like to feel good. If they are going out to dinner, generally they like to order food that will make them feel good.
When they get the check for said dinner, they like seeing a check that will make them feel good. When driving home and clicking on the radio…I won’t insult your intelligence finishing that statement.
For a long stretch I was playing for a major label artist. During my tenure with that artist we watched quite a few artists, some that started years after this artist, soar up the charts, ring the bell and achieve super stardom…and all the while he struggled to his records up to crack the top 20.
Now there’s probably several reasons why the artist I was with suffered from poor name recognition and relative obscurity, but I can’t help but believe one of them was that most of his singles (and the corresponding videos) were of depressing, darker songs. The artist formerly known as “I don’t know who that is” may have got the girl at the end of the video, but listening to the disc the lyrics and over-all mood of the song wouldn’t have you believe so.
While in the videos he was trudging through the desert, empty houses and desolate bars wearing a long face and wondering if he’d ever find whatever it is he was looking for, other artists’ videos were beach parties, campfire parties, house parties and for the most part…people were smiling. The songs were upbeat, full of optimism, and…well…fun. If you were going to have a party, you’d put these songs on the playlist.
Not that there isn’t a place for darker and moody songs, particularly if they have the vibe, but when looking at a tip sheet (an industry newsletter that tells which artist is looking for material and where it should be submitted to) you’ll often see the words hits and upbeat paired together.
It is fairly understood that when you’re lonesome and depressed it’s fairly easy to pickup a guitar and write a sad song. But when you’re out rocking a good time, keep in mind that if you could bottle up that feeling and sell it, you’d have something sweeter than YooHoo.
Originally posted 2011-11-28 16:34:36.