19 Sep 2018

7 Signs That An Artist Is Going To Break

It is vital to cut through the noise when looking for potential stars. Check out the 7 signs that an artist is going to break.

Across the globe, music scouts are trying to find the artists that have the potential to “break, blow up and make it big”. On a daily basis, 20,000 tracks are uploaded to Spotify alone - it is fair to say that the industry is swamped with prospects. It has become increasingly important to cut through the noise when looking for the next Bieber’s, Stormzy’s and Monkey’s. We think there are 7 core signs that an artist is going to break.


On average, a Top 10 Billboard hit has been contributed to by an average of 4 writers. This means it is even more crucial for artists to be prolific songwriters, even if it is in collaboration. Look out for the number of tracks an artist has demoed - the more they have written or recorded the better. Like any learning process, songwriters perfect their craft by writing loads of tunes. If an artist can’t write, longevity is very hard.


There is one rule artists should strive to follow: “always finish your songs”. Even if it’s hard, it’s the only way to identify what works and how not to make the same mistakes over and over again. If an artist has persistently grafted when it comes to songwriting and committed everything to their music, they have the right character to make the most of your investment.


Similar to the above, look for artists who are constantly striving to create, innovate and share. These artists are often the best investment for two reasons: 1) they are more likely to generate a better ROI, and 2)  they will make your job in encouraging their growth a lot easier.


The artist is unreal at their instrument - whether that’s vocals, guitar or trumpet.

Artists that shift records are a goldmine. However, while streams and album sales will drive numbers and expand audiences, artists that can’t play live will struggle to connect with a long-term fanbase and build long-term credibility. You will also miss out on a very important revenue stream.


A lot of scouts are chasing trends and others are trying to set them. In order to “break”, it is vital that an artist has commercial potential within a market. What does an artist bring to the table that is new? If they’re quite clearly latching onto a trend, that’s fine, but what do they do better than other artists in that niche?


You are a music scout for a reason. The value added by A&Rs, managers, promoters, agents, publishers and lawyers is crucial to the artist development journey. Make sure you park your prejudices in the process, but always trust your gut instinct.


As we’ve touched upon above, the biggest challenge for music scouts is to cut through the noise and discover the highest-potential talent. Data is an incredible indicator of an artists trajectory and it is critical to use it, especially in the early scouting stages. In a year-long, head-to-head with a team of 8 scouts, Instrumental’s data science team beat them to hot artists by 13 weeks on average (and sometimes by as much as 6 months)!

You need to use a tool that surfaces perfectly matched prospects every single day and helps you hit your targets. Our music scouting platform is tracking over 440,000 artists and 4,900,000 tracks, unearthing the artists who are enjoying dramatically fast growth.

To find out how Instrumental could solve your music scouting challenges, get in touch via hello@weareinstrumental.com OR request a demo.