“Didn’t you just release an album last year? Oh, that was your EP. Gotcha. No, wait that was your re-release of an album from a year ago. And now this is a totally new album?” There’s no doubt this is regular timeline of some of favorite music artists dominating the Billboard now. Some music artists can live off one CD for a while but others seem to stay in heavy rotation.
See the newly red-headed Barbadian or and “Mr. Steal Your Girl.”
I know I’m not the only one who has noticed the constant release of albums from artists such as them; I’m not even sure how a person can release up to 3 albums in two years. I haven’t even learned all the songs from the current album and you’re already doing heavy promotion for a new one.
With the decline of record sales, it’s no wonder new artists have even latched on continuing to keep the legacy alive, only to sell more records. Very often, music artists rush their new albums or EP’s release without considering what the best time-frame for that release may be. Then there are other artists who are able to constantly release albums. And let’s not forget there are artists who are just dying to even put out one album.
What makes record companies pump money behind these artists? Is it sex appeal, international success or current market trends?
For R&B music artists this trend is something new while for rap, this is something that has already been around. Since modern advancement of recording technology, there has been a common trend of re-releasing albums. Artists will come out with an album then a few months later, they’re offering some type of “deluxe”, “platinum”, or “special edition” album. Just because an artist adds four songs, which I’m sure was already produced and ready to go when the album was complete, does not really warrant a new release.
At a time where music is being devalued, how can record labels afford to stay afloat when constantly pushing new albums for artists?
It’s no doubt record companies are really looking and evaluating expenses. With the economic downturn, record companies have to be strategic when it comes to artist development.
Even though government regulations and record companies have lead the fight against piracy, the internet is a constant channel to push new music to fans. As music fans increasingly use the internet to source and buy records, artists can make the most of digital distribution to reach a wider audience. This helps artists gain an advantage and cut down some costs when it comes to releasing a new project.
Back in the day, music artists would go into to studio record a few tracks and drop a new record every two weeks. Yes, an actual record. Then over the years music evolved allowing artists to be able to put more songs on a release–some of you might not remember A and B side of tapes. But there was definitely something preceding CDs.
Now that the record industry has lost its monopoly on copying and distributing music to technology but gained an edge to produce better sounding, “enhanced” artists, it’s very important for them to rethink its approach if it is to survive.
Perhaps, this frequent rotation is just the revisit from a prior era to maintain quick revenue.
— Drew-Shane Daniels
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Drew-Shane Daniels is a Philadelphia based writer maneuvering through life and graduate school. Hailing from Dallas, his Southern charm and East Coast hustler mentality fuels his ability to tackle stimulating lifestyle and cultural topics. He’s the creative genius found on his personal blog www.heardhimsay.com. His work has been featured on Clutch Magazine, Black College Wire and BET.com. You can also follow him on Twitter @drewshane.