The Changing Face of Dancehall Virality: Navigating the New Path to Lasting Stardom
Delve into the challenges facing emerging artists and discover why high-quality releases and consistent output are essential for lasting success. Uncover the stories of Valiant, Blk H3ro, Armanii, and Jada Kingdom who have risen above the fleeting trends to become enduring household names in the competitive dancehall music arena. Join us as we analyze the shifting paradigms and emphasize the need for authenticity, engagement, and strategic branding in today's homegrown dancehall scene.
By Lloyd Laing, Music Analyst | Published on August 15, 2023
In recent years, the dancehall music scene has experienced a seismic shift in how new artists break into the spotlight, thanks to platforms like TikTok that can propel musicians to stardom overnight.
However, as the dust settles and we cross into the midway point of 2023, a stark reality has emerged: while the initial burst of virality can grant a ticket to the music industry's center stage, only a handful have been able to sustain their prominence and influence.
This prompts the question: what differentiates the flashes in the pan from the long-standing luminaries in today's homegrown dancehall music arena?
In 2022, a staggering 28 viral hits from 21 new acts surged to prominence, captivating listeners and fans across the globe.
Yet, as the fervor subsides and the music ecosystem evolves, merely six artists have managed to cement their status as household names.
Valiant, who catapulted into the limelight during the third quarter of 2022, stands as a prime example of maintaining momentum.
His consistent presence, coupled with engaging content, has allowed him to remain at the forefront of the scene.
Accompanying him are the likes of Blk H3ro, Armanii, and Jada Kingdom, each accomplishing remarkable milestones and extending their reach beyond their home markets to the US and UK.
However, as the euphoria of instant fame fades, the challenges of the algorithm-driven industry become glaringly evident.
Artists like Slikboss and Hoodcelebritty, once burning brightly in the dancehall cosmos, now find themselves struggling to pierce the low orbit of recognition.
Similarly, talents such as Jahshii and Javillani, despite flashes of brilliance, have encountered difficulties sustaining relevance.
Amidst a musical drought, many new faces have failed to rise to the occasion and truly solidify their standing.
A recent revelation from Certifiedstreams' July edition of the Homegrown 200 Report paints an intriguing picture: the current success rate for a dancehall artist is now at 28.7%, down from a more promising 33.4% in 2018. This decline underscores the need for a new approach and mindset amongst aspiring dancehall artists. No longer can viral virulence alone guarantee enduring prosperity.
Instead, the key lies in a delicate blend of high-quality releases and consistent output.
As the data suggests, it's evident that the initial explosion of TikTok virality is merely a stepping stone.
To truly shine and thrive in the contemporary music landscape, artists must adopt a strategic perspective. One-hit wonders, though enticing, are not sustainable. Audiences today seek authenticity, relatability, and a genuine connection with the artist's persona.
It's not just about releasing a catchy track; it's about crafting a narrative, a brand, and a legacy that resonates far beyond the trending charts.
In conclusion, the music industry's rapid evolution demands that aspiring dancehall artists recalibrate their approach.
The decline in the success rate of breaking out underscores the necessity for more than mere virality. High-quality and consistent releases, coupled with authentic engagement, are the cornerstones of lasting stardom.
As Valiant, Blk H3ro, Malie Donn, and Stalk Ashley have demonstrated, the path to enduring prominence lies in the fusion of talent, strategy, and connection, echoing the sentiment that only the true stars will continue to shine, long after the viral dust has settled.