If you want to make it in the music industry, then you need to stand out and be a star. Everybody recognises the big personalities, the artists who are willing to push the envelope and try something a bit different; nobody remembers those musicians who stay firmly in the middle of the road and try to please everybody. A certain amount of confidence, belief and courage is needed to be a successful musician and you certainly can’t hide your light under a bushel.
So, with that in mind, who can you look to for inspiration? The biggest personalities in music from the past century have certainly left a lasting impression, including lessons that today’s up and coming stars can use during their own rise to fame. Whilst we now live in a vastly different world to the one that first gave birth to the idea of a ‘popstar’, we have more resources at our disposal than ever before.
The internet has brought with it greater access to entertainment for everybody. You can now catch up with TV shows on demand, play your favourite casino games from anywhere in the world on Poker Stars and, crucially, access an enormous library of music, both new and old, using Spotify, Apple Music and other resources. It’s interesting to imagine how David Bowie’s or Elvis Presley’s career would have looked if they’d had access to Soundcloud and Tune Core.
Read on to find out more about how the following big personalities used their charm and charisma to make it big in the music industry.
The Man Who Fell to Earth; Ziggy Stardust; Aladdin Sane; the Thin White Duke; and plain David Jones – these are just some of the names that David Bowie went by during his fifty year career. As an artist, he was constantly reinventing himself and courting controversy with his zany, mystifying alter egos. From hippie guitarist to glam rocker to New Romantic and, ultimately, genre-defying musical superstar, he certainly never tried to fit in or blend with the crowd. In fact, he chose to accentuate and draw attention to the things about him which were different, in order to make his mark in a tough industry. He used make-up, clothes, artwork and aliases to project his chosen image and to express his bold personality.
From young performer to girl group member to solo artist, Beyoncé has always had something unique about her and she’s coupled this with her hard work ethic in order to propel herself into global superstardom. It was obvious from the beginning that she had something extra above and beyond the other members of successful girl band Destiny’s Child; whether this was her voice, her look or simply her determination it’s difficult to say, but her pursuit of a solo career has certainly paid off. Beyoncé is a great example of when raw talent and dedication come together to create something special. She puts 110% into everything that she does, and makes sure that every project she is involved with has her signature style stamped all over it.
Love him or hate him, you can’t argue that Kanye West is a major figure on the 21st century mainstream music scene. His career as a rapper, singer, songwriter and record producer has recently been somewhat eclipsed by the diversification of his career into fashion, charity work, acting and politics, but this is just proof that he has used his success as a musician to achieve other dreams on his list. He is certainly unapologetic about his own opinions, style and decisions, sometimes taking big risks with his career but ultimately maintaining a solid fan base through his creativity and willingness to push boundaries. Over the past 20 years he has created some iconic work and is certainly referred to by many as a living legend.
Just like the other artists mentioned in this article, Lady Gaga (or Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta to use her birth name), has gone through many public transformations in order to better explore her creativity and entertain her loyal fans. She has a reputation for being an artistically inclined popstar, striving for inclusivity in her creative output, and looking to push forward towards new frontiers in the areas of music, video, art, fashion and more. Recently, she has tried her hand at acting in major works like American Horror Story: Hotel and A Star is Born, winning awards not just for her musical endeavours but her acting work as well. She is a great example of the modern creative artist who plies their trade wherever they can find rewarding and challenging material to work with. Rather than alienate her fanbase, her constant reinvention of herself just keeps people excited to see what she will do next.