What would it take for a new Enya-esque, Yanni-like, Enigma-tic superstar to come along? Here I will preset a few ideas for anyone who wants to become the next New Age music superstar. It is not an easy job, but the right artist can expect make millions and become an international celebrity. It has happened before, so there’s no reason that it couldn’t happen again…
The premise for this article is simple. The stars of the past are getting old and we desperately need new talents to show the world what New Age music all about. Wouldn’t it be great if someone from our genre once again made it big on the main pop charts, and got airtime on all major channels and formats? It is possible, especially because of the genres new-found status (see all articles regarding the I Am the Center – Private Issue New Age music in America 1950-1990 success here).
Today and tomorrow
When we are talking about tomorrow’s music we cannot use yesterday’s artists as a guide. But there are some ground rules. I believe that Enya would have become a major artist if she debuted today, and her success on the mainstream pop market shows that this is actually possible. New Age music can be played on MTV if it is pop-ish enough and has broad appeal. If the artist in question has the right stuff to become a true celebrity, Enya’s fame will fade in comparison since her public appearances are very few.
A new superstar in New Age Music? It has happened before, so there’s no reason that it couldn’t happen again…
In order to fill the position you will need;
* Unique, unparalleled material. You’ll need a bold sound, like Tubular Bells in 1973 or Enigma’s monks in 1990. In other words; you’ll need excellent melodies. Atmosphere is also a key word here, although it is hard to say what atmosphere is the most effective. It all depends on the expression and artist. In today’s world of science and globalization, something mystical and ethnic would be possible to market. Or perhaps something with a fantasy/sci fi theme?
* A characteristic vocal is important since instrumental music does not have the same appeal (although if your material is J. M. Jarre or Vangelis quality then you might have a chance to become a superstar without a great vocal.)
* The X-factor. It is almost impossible to predict success, and what the New Age music version of the X-factor might be is equally hard to describe. The artist must offer something different, yet not too strange or alternative. In today’s
But the artist in question will have to become famous in some way or other. Amazing music is sadly not enough if you want to become a major star. A scandal or two will help sell albums…
* Label and promotion. Is a label necessary today to become a star? No. Is it necessary to become a superstar? Most probably. Only a large label has the right tools and connections to do a large scale promotion.
But would a such a label sign a New Age music artist? I believe so. If he or she has the right material, appeal and image, they will be fighting to sign the artist.
* Timing. They say that timing is everything, yet when it comes to great music it will sell no matter what. But in order to become a true star, the market at the time of release must be “ready” for that expression.
We can only hope, dream and pray that such an artist will come along. If not, there is luckily no shortage of great New Age music artists out there. The good thing is that we don’t have to “share” these with a main stream audience… They will not be as famous though, but they will be ours.
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