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  • Writer's pictureVanessa Barrientos

What's Music Without Visuals?

When you listen to a song from your favorite artist, what’s the first thing that pops into your mind directly about them? Perhaps it’s the album cover you first saw when you heard the song, the music video, or maybe their artist logo they constantly promote. Whatever it is I’m sure there is some type of visual that is engraved in your mind.

Humans are visual creatures, artists that are able to visually communicate tend to create a very strong and committed fan base. Artists that can master this skill are able to market themselves effectively to mass audiences.

As hip-hop/rap continues to be the new mainstream genre in the world, the industry is more than just sound. Visuals have a great part in representing music. It’s not just music that artists are focusing on. Examples of ways that artists visually communicate in the music industry would be using their brands/logos, music videos, photography, album covers, commercials, social media, etc.

In reality to be able to visually communicate with your fan base is a lot of work on top of the music work that an artist is already doing. A lot of artists have teams to help them out with this type of work. I admire artists that are in control of what the type content they are creating to show the world. It makes their brand stronger and more original.

In 2018, Beyoncé performed as the headliner for Coachella. This performance was very important to her because she wanted to show the world all aspects of how far Black culture has prospered. Throughout a year’s long preparation, she was documenting the whole journey up to her performance. She wanted to be able to share with the world the sacrifices, struggles and work that was put on to arguably one of the best performances ever. Her documentary ‘Homecoming’ ended up winning a 2020 Grammy for best music film. She was able to connect with the world by visually communicating everything that it took to put on the performance.

In a Complex Music article, they ranked the best rappers to follow on Instagram. These rappers have strong visuals, brands, and follower base. Whether independent or signed, social media continues to be the biggest outlet for artists to visually communicate what type of work they are doing or simply what’s going on in their lives is what attracts many to continue following their success.

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