What Constitutes a Perfect Hit Song?
    • WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2016

    • Posted by: Amy Tang

    Last month, Alex Da Kid sat down with the Elvis Duran and the Morning Show to talk about his latest track "Not Easy" released in early November. It features X Ambassadors, Elle King, and Wiz Khalifa...But there's one more collaborator that you might be surprised to know is also featured: IBM's Watson. If you're not familiar with what Watson is, it's an artificially intelligent computer system capable of retrieving and answering questions in a natural language. So what does Watson's role play in Alex Da Kid's musical process? Alex states that Watson's ability to "scrape all of social media and analyze millions of conversations" about the human condition and musical trends serves a significant role in his creations in order to produce the "perfect" hit song. But what constitutes a perfect hit song? And is it really perfect?

    Sure, having the help of an artificial intelligence may be incredible, but with constant technological developments, artificial intelligences such as Watson have made its way to the music industry revealing the truth in musical processes. And there, it raises a question mark over whether or not these newly founded methods are truly expressive or if, in fact, it's essentially a marketing tactic. "I asked questions about trends in hit songs for the last 5 years and trends in cultures in the last 5 years," Alex stated. "I looked at all the data and just saw if there was any correlations and what technically constitutes a hit and why people like certain songs." In summary, Alex Da Kid produced what should be the perfect hit song, capable of becoming viral in no time. So why isn't it?

    A multitude of artists have initially started out in the music industry within their respective genres, genres that they're known for. Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus? Country. Beastie Boys? Hardcore punk. But what caused Swift and Cyrus to go pop and the Beastie Boys to sidle into rap and hip-hop? I'm not going to lie, they've become much more popular due to their mid-career change and their songs are certainly catchy. But what prompted them to make this definitive decision? Conforming to what audiences want to hear in today's society is something that seems to be all the more relevant as various artists release new music that mimic the same tropical house we've been hearing on the radio or the same four-chord progression that's been slightly enhanced because of a bass drop.

    Theres no doubt a marketing tactic is prevalent here. Yes, these artists want to follow these trends and reach to younger generations. But at the same time it raises a questionable conflict in whether or not these songs truly inhibit genuine intention or just following suit with the rest.

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