It’s not often that an artist enters the music industry just to find their niche straight away. I mean we can’t all be like MARINA or Lana Del Rey and have a recognisable sound by the time we’ve released our first album. Through experimental genres and current trends, musicians and their producers take a look at the music that is moving along with them to develop their own sound.
We can take the 2011 pop stars One Direction and Carly Rae Jepson as examples. I mentioned Jepsen’s album Emotion in my post yesterday, and this truly was a pivotal moment in her career. She had stopped making music the general public wanted to hear and instead made music she and her fans enjoyed. One Direction, on the other hand, matured their music each year. Up All Night was an oscillating teen pop project. Take Me Home was also a teen pop project but was arguably more commercial and tuneful. Midnight Memories was an experimental piece that shaped the next two albums. FOUR was an unskippable collection of songs which emulate influence of many artists, 70s stars Fleetwood Mac in particular. Made In The A.M was a splendid introduction to the differing solo careers each member would pursue.
Discovering your sound is also a fantastic way to gain a dedicated fanbase. Take a look at British singer-songwriter Charli XCX, who shifted her music with a self-titled album in 2019, taking the risk of leaving behind her potentiality as a consistent charter. It’s not often those types of artists gain a loyal fanbase though, with Rihanna and Beyonce being the only two singers I can think of who have done just that.
So how do you know whether you have found your niche or not? If you’ve only released one single, album or EP then it is unlikely that you have, but it is not inevitable. You may have planned out your image as a musician for years, or been apart of previous projects that have shaped your present work. The questions you need to ask yourself are: Have I previously experimented with music enough to form my own musical atmosphere? Does my music resemble any other individual artist(s) more than I had hoped? Am I still willing to explore new sounds and incorporate them into my music?