Some artists just can’t catch a break… no matter how talented they are, or what kind of bops they produce. I can rattle off a ton of artists that fall into this pop purgatory category, but two musical acts really stand out to me… Tinashe and Little Mix. Both acts have been in the game for a little while now, and while they’ve seen some success, I don’t think the accolades they’ve achieved do their talent justice. Lets dive a little deeper…
When “2 On” first fell on my radar, I thought it was a wrap… Tinashe was on the fast track to becoming a superstar. The single peaked at number twenty-four on the Billboard Hot 100 (US), and was certified platinum. To me, Tinashe was a lucky find for RCA. She’s beautiful, can sing and dance her ass off, she has that crossover appeal, and SHE CAN WRITE.
But despite the success of “2 On”, her follow up singles, “Pretend”, “All Hands On Deck”, “Player”, “Superlove”, “Company”, and “Flame” did nothing. And I’m not sure why. I loved “All Hands On Deck”. I loved “Player”. I loved “Company”. The only conclusion I can come to, is that there isn’t a place for Tinashe on terrestrial radio. Is she R&B or is she pop? Where does she get played? Where does she fit? I imagine it’s a frustrating thing. As an artist, you don’t want to conform, but if your goal is to be the next Rihanna, and your sound is a little too ‘indie’, for lack of a better word, then what do you do? That’s a question Tinashe has to answer. I’d be bummed if she started turning out ‘generic’ pop songs, but hey, maybe then she’d get the recognition she deserves.
Little Mix. Where to begin? When it comes to the UK, Little Mix is a household name, but they’ve had trouble dominating the rest of the globe. I personally thought their single “Touch” was their best effort, and the song that would get them to the next level. But it didn’t. So, what went wrong? All signs point to the record label. Too many singles were released too quickly, and they weren’t properly promoted or pushed for a long enough time.
Usually, hit records don’t happen overnight… unless you’re a radio station’s ‘core artist’, where upon release of your new song, it almost immediately goes into heavy rotation (i.e. Justin Bieber). Normally hit records are a slow build, that require a lot of promotion, positive data research, and early commitments from key radio stations. Little Mix’s record label should have pulled out all the stops for “Touch”. I don’t think they did.
But look, you never wanna be Carly Rae Jepsen… have a single so massive, that following it up becomes impossible. Everything else, no matter how good it might be, pales in comparison. Very few artists have come out the gate with a song as big as “Call Me Maybe”, and then had longevity in the music business. Just like most hit records are a slow build, so are most careers. You have to believe that talent and persistency will always be a winning combination… eventually.