Gone are the days of following all the standard channels to insure success in the entertainment industry. It may not serve as well as it used to to go follow the typical advice from the past. The ever changing and constantly morphing venues available to artists these days have completely blown the recipe out of the water. No longer do you have to be born into a famous or wealthy family like the Kardashians, or groomed by a famous record producer like David Foster or be discovered by a major record label like Sony or Universal. Small scale artists have gained more and more access these days through social media to main stream public, and seem to be making news worthy splashes on the scene.
Take the music industry where artists like Billie Eilish, Shawn Mendez or Josh Pfeiffer have achieved varying degrees of fame stemming from unconventional means. All could not have had the success they have achieved without the current advent of social media.
Shawn Mendez, a Canadian singer and songwriter, gained a big following in 2013 through posting song covers on the video sharing application vine. The next year he caught the attention of Island records and signed with the record label. Mendes went on to release an EP in July 2014 and his debut studio album Handwritten (2015), whose single “Stitches” reached the top 10 in the United States and Canada, and number one in the United Kingdom. His second album Illuminate (2016) was supported by the singles “Treat You Better” and “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back”, which reached the top 10 in several countries. His self-titled third studio album was released in 2018. All three albums debuted atop of the US Billboard 200, with the ﬁrst one making Mendes one of ﬁve artists to ever debut at number one before the age of eighteen.
Billie Eilish is an American singer and songwriter who chose a slightly unconventional path. At age eleven, Billie began writing and singing her own songs, taking after her older brother Finneas O’Connell who was already writing, performing and producing his own songs with his band. Her debut single “Ocean Eyes” was released on SoundCloud in 2016. A music video was released on March 24, 2016, and a video of Eilish performing a dance to the song was released on November 22, 2016. “Ocean Eyes” was rereleased worldwide through Darkroom and Interscope Records on November 18, 2016, to mainly positive critical reviews. On January 14, 2017, Eilish released an EP with four remixes of “Ocean Eyes”. Eilish has since gone on to add many more hit singles to her EP and released songs used in a popular television series and collaborated and performed with popular mainstream artists.
Josh Pfeiffer is another American singer, songwriter and independent music artist from Sacramento, California who started singing and developing his passion for music in high school.
Pfeiffer has gained impressive exposure and developed a strong fan base through releasing singles and music videos on social media outlets such as Youtube and Facebook showcasing his classic, rich vocals, charming personality and heartwarming stories about life and love that have proven to strike a cord with a lot of people and warmed the hearts of his audiences. Pfeiffer has had an impressive 2018. His single “Life” reached the top 10 on the iTunes UK singer/songwriter chart, and held a spot in the top 40 for the ﬁnal week of February 25, 2018. The single peaked at #6 on the UK chart. Josh’s newest single, “Brand New Shoes” reached #63 on the iTunes Canadian Chart peaking at #15 on the more speciﬁc Canadian “Pop” Chart April 15, 2018.”
All of these artists, in their own way, have broken the mold and proven that there is a new recipe for success in our current society of modern social media, where anybody with amazing talent, determination and some sort of relevant, current platform to express it, has a shot at being discovered and making it in new, uncharted territory.