Sitting on Music: Why You Shouldn’t Wait to Release

When it comes to releasing new music, timing is everything to sales. Whether it be a single, a small EP, or a long-awaited album, fans will support you under certain conditions. An artist’s fanbase can’t be in the peak of enjoying their previous music as it will detract from sales, and they can’t have forgotten about the artist due to too much time passing in between releases. 

However, an artist can only release so much music depending on how much they have created. Some artists often tend to store hundreds, if not thousands, of songs on hard drives. Other artists will release music within the same week they finish a single song. While there are pros and cons to both sides, there’s certainly a risk factor when it comes to waiting and sitting on large amounts of music. 

Rappers such as Lil Uzi Vert and Young Thug have claimed that they have over 1,500 songs created together that have yet to be released, while Juice WRLD reportedly left behind over 2,000 unreleased songs. With Juice WRLD’s sad and untimely passing away, many of those songs will never see the light of day. While his estate has announced plans to release “some” of the music over time, it’s highly unlikely that the public ear will never be able to hear his catalog in full. 

Whether it be a bad situation that prevents an artist from releasing music such as a tragic passing, or any other reason that could prevent music from being released, it would be a shame to have the hard work and effort of thousands of songs created thrown away when the majority of people can’t support them. Another aspect to consider is the timing of a release, as fans will feel overwhelmed if those 1,500-2,000 songs were all released at once. Most wouldn’t consume all of them and could cause a severe loss of potential streams if not slowly released. 

On the other side of releasing strategies, some artists release music shortly after completion. For example, rapper Russ will often release one new single week after week to keep his fanbase satisfied and music fresh to the ear. This method allows his fanbase to stay entertained and always experiencing new content, rather than letting his music become potentially out of date by the time of release. While this may seem like a bulletproof strategy, this method is more likely to hinder progress on an album or larger project of any kind, as these songs aren’t being released as pre-album singles and are made for short-term enjoyment. 

It’s key to find a safe middle ground between the two, yet still veering away from sitting on music for long periods. With the danger of the music becoming stale or out-of-touch, as well as the fact that you could lose a hard drive or any other unpredictable situation such as Juice WRLD’s could happen, it’s safe to keep your fanbase satisfied and not let unreleased music stack up over time. However, don’t overload your fans with content, as it could wear them out and force them to feel burnt out by the new music, but we’ll focus more on that next time.