By: Cree Armstead & Darriell Butler
Everyone knows the heat isn’t the only thing that signifies the start of summer-it’s the soundtrack, baby. Summer isn’t the same without a hit song to underscore those long days on the beach and hot vacation nights where anything can happen. How do you create a summer anthem of your own? Try these helpful tips.
1. Keep It Breezy Use the bright, sunny mood of the season to your advantage. People are focused on letting loose, having fun, and feeling good and they want a song whose lyrics and rhythm will encourage that. Throughout history, the Billboard Songs of the Summer are the ones with upbeat, lighthearted lyrics and a tempo that inspires us to move our bodies. The vehicle may change but the content stays consistent-partying, romance and freedom from responsibility. For example, smooth, seductive island beats were trending in recent years-in 2017, Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee ruled the charts with “Despacito”, Drake kept it sexy in 2016 with “One Dance” and Omi helped us gas up our baes on 2015’s “Cheerleader”. Currently Drake’s “Nice for What” is reigning strong, and the lively girl-do-you message and accompanying New Orleans bounce is part of it. Whether your song hypes up ladies to “hit them angles” or induces partygoers to confess their wildest thoughts with the help of an acoustic guitar, honing in on the primal need for fun and movement will certainly get you on the right track. Pun intended.
2. Repetition is Key The human brain uses repetition as a tool for retention. This means songs that utilize repeated phrases are most easily remembered. To ensure your hit is on steady repeat in the heads of your listeners, keep your hook simple, catchy and interactive. “One Dance” was the Billboard summer hit of 2016, and its simple, catchy hook was partially responsible. It was easy to learn and sing along to, not to mention served as a pick up line for many a hopeful club goer. Call and response (think Uncle Luke) is also a great way to engage with listeners. Repetitive hooks are not only effortlessly retained, they also make for a conveniently searchable song when new fans don’t catch the title. For our deep songwriters-you don’t necessarily have to sacrifice lyrical depth for popularity. Just consider reserving the thoughtful, innovative wordplay for the verses and keep the hook simple and straightforward.
3. Come Early to the Party Roman philosopher Seneca said “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity”. Yes, getting to the top of of the charts does involve a bit of luck, but the real work is in the preparation and timing. Unless you are the Carters or Champagne Papi, dropping a song in the middle of the season is unlikely to result in a summer anthem. Most summer hits are actually born in the spring. With a sizable fanbase and the right song, it is possible to release in March-May and generate enough force to become a summer smash. This means you should be writing, recording and releasing music during the “off” season to prepare for the opportune play time in the summer.
Are you ready to get a head start on next year’s race to top of the charts? Book your session with The Sound Machine today!