developing your brand story

Now that we have an idea of your overall brand, it’s a good time to dig a bit deeper to consider what aspect of your story will be your most defining trait, or a better term your narrative. Your narrative is what casual fans and spectators know about you at a high level. People who become more serious fans will know of this narrative but will associate you with other things past this initial narrative. This is also why you should not worry about "only" being your narrative. Yes, it is powerful and will set the tone of who you are as an artist but it is meant to provide a first-impression that attracts people while the rest of your music and brand should make the right people stay. 

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For example, if you are a fan of any of the artists below you probably would say this isn't the only thing people know about them. BUT there are legitimately people out there who only know this one thing about the artist. These are spectators. 

  • 50 Cent was shot 9 times.

  • Desiigner sounds like Future.

  • Juice Wrld can freestyle for an hour.

  • Lil Nas X sings Old Town Road.

Casual fans know a little bit more but the primary narrative is still takes up a large portion of how they think about the artist.

narratives evolve over time

Your primary narrative changes with time and your levels of success. 


A perfect example is Kanye West's "College Dropout" narrative. Kanye's impact with that project and narrative resulted in him having fans who said he made them feel like they didn't need college to be successful. With that said, he's shown how other "moments" can replace previous primary narratives over time. When people hear the name Kanye West today, they likely think of several things before "college dropout".

Take note of this so you do not spend too much time worrying about communicating everything at once or getting stuck in a box. You need to focus on the most attention-grabbing narrative you can come up with that won't repel the type of people you are looking to call fans. 

consider every angle

Narratives do not have to revolve around you, the artist. The focus can be on your brand, one of your songs or even an entire project. 

Again, Kanye West did this not only with the entire College Dropout series, but almost every one of his albums. Each project was used to reinvent himself or to communicate where he was in his artistry - not just through the music but through name and concept. 

Rihanna did this as well. After coming into music as a teenaged good girl, she released "Good Girl, Gone Bad" and hasn't lost her edginess since. 

There's countless examples of projects being used to create or capitalize off of a narrative. You'll start to notice it everywhere.