If two walking music monuments such as Jayz and Beyonce can talk about…
- The trials of their marriage
- The renewal of their vows
- Their children
- Tidal Scandal
- Becky with the good hair
- Colin Kaepernick
- The Grammys
- The Superbowl
- Their net-worth
…etc, all in their 9-track Everything Is Love album, you, my darling upcoming or established artiste, have no business trying to pull off a “Heartbreak On A Full Moon.” You?Are?Not?Chris?Brown? (whose management I’d sincerely like to ask how well that seemingly…tough strategy has worked out so far by the way).
For the benefit of our diverse audience, Heartbreak On A Full Moon is Chris Brown’s most recent album containing 45 tracks with an additional 12 on the deluxe edition.
Pusha T’s Daytona album was 7 tracks deep. Kanye West’s Ye was just as long. Nas’ latest album – Nasir that they told us was almost done for years, came out with same 7 tracks.
Why? Well, because attention spans nowadays are shorter than the weekend.
There’s probably more music in the world than there are human beings or Nigerian mosquitoes. I already feel bad that I will never get to listen to all the music that would have warmed my soul and touched my spirit… Why would you want to complicate this already sad complication?
Okay… On a more serious note, long albums are no longer sexy and the reasons are not farfetched. Why waste time, money and human resources on 16 tracks when you can use half of all of that on an 8-tracker?
There is one clause, however.
Making a shorter album is in no way easier than a lengthier one. It is in fact, more dangerous because there won’t be any beating around the bush if the content is BS. It will stink by track 3.
If you’re going to be brave enough to call your 7-track project an album, you better hope to God that it is a punch-packing body of work laced with your blood, sweat and tears. I guess this is where the other forms/nomenclatures of music packaging come in. EPs would no longer be extended plays simply because it is a longer play than an album, rather, it could fully take its place as an intermediate level based on the maturity of artistry.
Here’s why this is particularly important for Nigerian artistes. If we are going to make proper headway in exploring all the monetization means possible, concessions need to be made. It is much, much easier to stream 5, 6, 7 or 8 songs than it is to stream a 16-track album.
I understand that some might want to argue that art is subjective and an artiste should be able to put however little or however many tracks into an album as he/she so pleases.
This is completely true but if you’d also like to sell some decent records, you might want to consider trends that have worked and currently working in various markets (and for Kanye, Jay/Bey, Nas, Pusha T ???).