The importance of the first single and why many albums like Ciara’s “Basic Instinct” and Kelly’s “Here I am” fail
“Ride” By Ciara “Motivation” Kelly Rowland “Pretty Girl Rock” By Keri Hilson “Bittersweet” By Fantasia “Champagne Life” Ne-Yo and “Can’t Be Friends” by Trey Songz are all great examples of first singles gone wrong.
All of the aforementioned singles are songs that got airplay, were introduction records for those artists’ new era and got people talking. But what happened? The artist let the momentum die. Whether it is a time gap in when they released the second single, or if they stopped pushing the first single to push another it confused the fans.
If you space out your singles too much the audience will turn to someone different, as a single is only good for a short amount of time. Artists need to treat their audience like they have ADD and that they are always ready for the next big thing. Its important to let a single run its course, but don’t let it run out.
Also when an artist gives up on a single, it makes the audience give up on them as well. A perfect example of an artist NOT giving up on a single was Beyoncé with “Run the World” she received so much backlash for how stupid the song was. But she kept pushing and pushing it, she did not give up on the single, so her fans did not give up on her.
The first single is very important for any era. But more important that the actual single is the support and the follow up. Both are needed in order to begin a successful era. Ciara’s “Ride” is a great indication of this. With almost no support or promotion, “Ride” was a top 40 hit Ciara was on her way. But Ciara had no follow. Kelly Rowland had all the support in the world for “Motivation” which was the biggest hit of her career, but she had no follow up. So the momentum for Kelly’s album died.
All in All artist and labels need to understand the importance of a single set up. Just because you have a hot record does not mean you should throw it out there with no support or follow up because it may do more harm then help.