This isn’t one of those soin disant utterances often used by music artists anytime they record a new song or about to release a new song. It’s far from these confident filled declarations like “I just released a hit”, I just created a banger, “The industry isn’t ready for this” , I just dropped a club banger” it’s very important to have a positive mindset obviously when doing your arts, however this isn’t one of those cases. A hit song is far from just mere words- it’s a whole blockbuster of actors involved in the music universe and a process which each actor has a chain of other contributions.Saying an artist knows a hit song before leaving the studio is like saying every parent knows their kid(s) will be successful billionaires in future. But before these thoughts turn to subsequent declarations there are evident potentials, so to an extend it might be a fact.
Applying this concept to music is a little complex because there are so many things to take into consideration. However, for a fact before an artist drops an album he/she knows for sure those tracks in it which will sell or hit the radar of music parameters, wreck the ringings and obviously top music charts and billboards so they capitalize the promotional and commercial appeal on it. You could equally view it from another perspective that many artists never really realize they have penned down a hit song until it hits the media. Just as music consumption by the audience remains complex as to what can make waves there are equally hit songs that never hit the mainstream media [radio plays and definitely don’t reach their potential] and then occasionally there’s the other side filler tracks that become massive hit songs.
So what actually makes a song a hit? 𝙄𝙛 𝙮𝙤𝙪 𝙖𝙧𝙚 𝙬𝙖𝙞𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙛𝙤𝙧 𝙖 𝙛𝙪𝙣𝙙𝙖𝙢𝙚𝙣𝙩𝙖𝙡 𝙙𝙚𝙛𝙞𝙣𝙞𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣 𝙤𝙛 𝙖 𝙝𝙞𝙩 𝙨𝙤𝙣𝙜 𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙣 𝙄’𝙢 𝙨𝙤𝙧𝙧𝙮 𝙄 𝙘𝙖𝙣’𝙩 𝙗𝙚 𝙤𝙛 𝙝𝙚𝙡𝙥 𝙗𝙪𝙩 𝙄 𝙘𝙖𝙣 𝙘𝙤𝙣𝙛𝙞𝙙𝙚𝙣𝙩𝙡𝙮 𝙩𝙚𝙡𝙡 𝙮𝙤𝙪 𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙧𝙚’𝙨 𝙣𝙤 𝙙𝙚𝙛𝙞𝙣𝙚𝙙 𝙥𝙖𝙩𝙝 𝙤𝙧 𝙛𝙤𝙧𝙢𝙪𝙡𝙖 𝙛𝙤𝙧 𝙖 𝙝𝙞𝙩 𝙨𝙤𝙣𝙜, 𝙗𝙪𝙩 𝙮𝙤𝙪 𝙘𝙖𝙣 𝙗𝙤𝙤𝙨𝙩 𝙖 𝙨𝙤𝙣𝙜 𝙩𝙤 𝙞𝙩𝙨 𝙛𝙪𝙡𝙡 𝙥𝙤𝙩𝙚𝙣𝙩𝙞𝙖𝙡𝙨 𝙗𝙮 𝙚𝙢𝙥𝙡𝙤𝙮𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙧𝙞𝙜𝙝𝙩 𝙚𝙡𝙚𝙢𝙚𝙣𝙩𝙨 𝙞.𝙚 𝙘𝙤𝙣𝙨𝙩𝙧𝙪𝙘𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙖 𝙙𝙞𝙨𝙧𝙪𝙥𝙩𝙞𝙫𝙚 𝙛𝙧𝙚𝙨𝙝 𝙡𝙮𝙧𝙞𝙘 𝙘𝙤𝙣𝙘𝙚𝙥𝙩- 𝙖 𝙪𝙣𝙞𝙦𝙪𝙚 𝙖𝙣𝙜𝙡𝙚, 𝙞𝙣𝙩𝙚𝙜𝙧𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙙𝙞𝙨𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙘𝙩𝙞𝙫𝙚 𝙢𝙚𝙡𝙤𝙙𝙞𝙘 𝙞𝙣𝙩𝙚𝙧𝙫𝙖𝙡𝙨 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙧𝙝𝙮𝙩𝙝𝙢𝙨 𝙞𝙣 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙫𝙤𝙘𝙖𝙡 𝙢𝙚𝙡𝙤𝙙𝙞𝙚𝙨: 𝙪𝙨𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙝𝙞𝙜𝙝𝙡𝙮 𝙘𝙤𝙢𝙥𝙚𝙩𝙞𝙩𝙞𝙫𝙚 𝙚𝙛𝙛𝙚𝙘𝙩𝙞𝙫𝙚 𝙘𝙝𝙤𝙧𝙙 𝙘𝙝𝙖𝙣𝙜𝙚𝙨 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙜𝙤𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙗𝙚𝙮𝙤𝙣𝙙 𝙣𝙤𝙩𝙚 𝙢𝙖𝙧𝙜𝙞𝙣𝙨 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙤𝙗𝙫𝙞𝙤𝙪𝙨𝙡𝙮 𝙡𝙖𝙨𝙩 𝙗𝙪𝙩 𝙣𝙤𝙩 𝙡𝙚𝙖𝙨𝙩 𝙞𝙣𝙘𝙤𝙧𝙥𝙤𝙧𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙫𝙚𝙧𝙮 𝙪𝙣𝙞𝙦𝙪𝙚 𝙚𝙡𝙚𝙢𝙚𝙣𝙩𝙨 𝙞𝙣 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙥𝙧𝙤𝙙𝙪𝙘𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙞𝙣𝙨𝙩𝙧𝙪𝙢𝙚𝙣𝙩𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣.
These are a couple of the focus areas when it concerns making a hit song internally – incorporating the right tools and techniques that have appeared successful over the years and as I’ll say the only limit to your creativity is your inability to imagine. Therefore pushing your creative envelope by given fans and listeners something new, unique and different might be a plus in making a hit song. Break those conventions that tell you how successful music should sound like by infusing your songs with melodies, rhythms and lyrics only you have the potentials of creating- that’s how you maximize your chances.
These are the elements that if you as an artist have full control over are effective factors of making a song a hit.
𝙇𝙔𝙍𝙄𝘾𝙎 𝙘𝙖𝙣 𝙢𝙖𝙠𝙚 𝙖 𝙨𝙤𝙣𝙜 𝙖 𝙝𝙞𝙩.Lyrics ie your word play and choices can be a bait to hook your audience. Most of the time the way you express a topic or tell a story that relates with the mass is what contributes to music consumption habit by the public. Songs that cut across circumstances of daily livelihood are usually the most competitive in the music market so you will have to raise the bar anytime you are going that lane by using lyrics that are hardly predictable or cliché bound. Reference to two songs considered as hit songs in Cameroon.
Franko’s COLLER LA PETITE undeniably has the most viewed YouTube song in and out of Cameroon. It’s definitely a hit song if we have to contextualize it to the streaming goals nawadays. The song went viral nation wide with lyrics on the lips of almost every youth, that’s because it was our story retold as we could all relate to it. Despite the lyrics the instrumentation alone was a vibe.
RENISS’ LA SAUCE is/was yet another one of those masterpieces in Cameroon. This music piece was able to penetrate both the French and English communities because it had that vibe music lovers could relate to. A message passed across via a coherent witty story- it depicts the typical African atmosphere with elements of Cameroonian way of life, culture and language. It’s safe to say it gave birth to the frananglais commonly used slang “la sauce” which could mean a couple of things when contextualized.
Aside The lyrics another potential element…
𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝙈𝙚𝙡𝙤𝙙𝙮 𝙘𝙤𝙣𝙩𝙧𝙞𝙗𝙪𝙩𝙚𝙨 𝙞𝙣 𝙢𝙖𝙠𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙖 𝙝𝙞𝙩 𝙨𝙤𝙣𝙜 Just like harmony and lyrics , melody is another fundamental element : it actually gives meaning to lyrics when melded. Ultra catchy rhythms in vocal melody play a big role in the success of numerous hits. For a deeper understanding of this particular factor I’ll invite you to listen to @Charlotte Dipanda’s COUCOU and ELLE N’A PAS VU and @Salatiel’s ONE DAY NA ONE DAY/ TOI ET MOI. These tracks will throw more light on this aspect.
𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝙥𝙧𝙤𝙙𝙪𝙘𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙞𝙣𝙨𝙩𝙧𝙪𝙢𝙚𝙣𝙩𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣 𝙘𝙤𝙣𝙩𝙧𝙞𝙗𝙪𝙩𝙚𝙨 𝙩𝙤 𝙖 𝙝𝙞𝙩 𝙨𝙤𝙣𝙜.It won’t be valid if this factor wasn’t uplifted, it’s like an embodiment of all the other elements I refer to as internal let me take you to the external element.
𝘼𝙪𝙙𝙞𝙚𝙣𝙘𝙚 𝙘𝙤𝙣𝙨𝙪𝙢𝙥𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣 𝙘𝙤𝙣𝙩𝙧𝙞𝙗𝙪𝙩𝙚𝙨 𝙞𝙣 𝙢𝙖𝙠𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙖 𝙝𝙞𝙩 𝙨𝙤𝙣𝙜.Permit me turn this table sideways by introducing to you the people factor. I’ve been thinking of how to define this particular element often snubbed. The audience will forever remain central to what makes a hit song- music is made for listeners so what happens if they don’t consume ? Today fans detect what should trend and chose what to consume as music. With the digitalization of music it’s very easy to qualitatively and quantitatively label songs as hits based on streams , views, purchases and downloads. Every music artist definitely knows a hit song before leaving the studio – remember I’m referring to potentials in a song.