Issue 1.1 Monday, April 7, 2003

Artists Going Solo
by Andrew Doucette
Performers such as Justin Timberlake are taking their stardom a step further and going into uncharted territory when they decide to make albums without their groups behind them.

What it all comes down to is good music. If a solo artist decides to sing in a completely different genre, then the fans may not buy into it. Fans enjoy familiarity.
Some speculate that the reason why singers go off on their own is because they want the entire spotlight to be on them. With others, money may be the driving force for them to become solo performers. Without having to split their earnings within the group, solo artists can earn more money.

Becoming a solo artist is nothing new in the music industry. Singers like Beyoncé Knowles of Destiny's Child and Nick Carter of the Backstreet Boys are two of the most recent examples of group performers taking the risk of going solo. If their albums fail to generate the big sales that are expected, they cannot point the finger at anyone but themselves for their flopped album. There is no safety net if they fall.

Despite what critics might say, established group artists already have a built-in fan base. However, success is not always guaranteed to every artist.

Jordan Knight and Joey McIntyre are prime examples. After being in the enormously successful pop group New Kids On The Block, they decided to each make albums on their own without their counterparts. The result was two flopped albums and two bruised egos. What it all comes down to is good music. If a solo artist decides to sing in a completely different genre, then the fans may not buy into it. Fans enjoy familiarity.

If singers like Timberlake and Carter stick to the formula that made them stars in the first place, then that will likely translate into successful solo albums.