As a leader in the hip hop culture space through his position as an OG and connecting brands to the culture on digital platform SlikourOnLife, Slikour has his finger on the pulse of the culture. Before he introduced a self-upload feature for artists to upload their music on his site for free downloads, he received between 80 and a 100 song submissions a day.
“I don’t think that there’s an art to it but I do think that hits are seasonable and it’s about figuring the formula in that season or either creating something that’s so in line with the social and economical climate that it resonates with people’s souls yet catchy at the same time”, he says on whether there’s an art to making a hit song.
A common criticism in music, particularly hip-hop, is that all artists sound the same, yet when an artist is a bit offbeat, it is often difficult to breakthrough. So how does one find the balance? “Every trend or season comes from a vacuum where a particular artist might’ve recorded a million times before finally getting the right sound that the public hears in the end. All genres, be it Trap, Gqom, Hip Hop or Rock ‘n Roll, are sounds first finessed by people who initiated the sounds over time and when the sound finally made it to the public, it grew to become something on its own. Every other artist that does these genres is merely interpreting it from the master creators who did it first. As an artist, you either do a good interpretation, a fake one or a bad one. The first way in doing a good interpretation is being honest with yourself from what you’re about to write and the sounds that have influenced you to actually make music. If you can’t do that, I’d assume you in for the ride.” An interesting take on artists finding their own identity within sounds that already exist.
Bearing that in mind, what are the key elements for artists to look out for to ensure they have a chance at getting their potential hit record into the right spaces? “Understand your audience and don’t segregate yourself from them. If you can’t tell their story or your own story in a way that connects to that audience through your music, then you’re just making songs and shouldn’t worry about mainstream success”.
According to Slikour, making a hit record is not necessarily an art form, but you can differentiate yourself by finding your unique voice within existing sounds. Your next step is finding and understanding your own audience is key, you’ll then need to connect to that audience through your music and grow your sound and audience from there.
This is part one of our series on “The Art of Making A Hit Record”, look out for part 2 in the near future.
You can check out SlikourOnLife here.