Author: Zakaria Sabbagh

During my years of making music and working on different artist projects, I have contemplated what makes a song a ’hit’. Many times I have heard people say “that is a hit”, or “what a hit-melody”. Definition wise, I guess it is rather easy to say that a hit is a piece of music that is nationally or globally renowned. Though, what actually takes a song from being unknown to such a state is not always clear.

What I think is important to keep in mind when working within the music industry, especially for those struggling with breaking through as an independent artist, is that there is no recipe for such a song. Just as fashion trends, no one can predict whether a song will make it or not. This is not to be confused with having the ear to spot great music, which, with the right marketing or push, could make it a hit.  

It is important to keep in mind that opinions are nothing more than the definition of the word. If someone “big” in the music industry says your music is not good, it is significant to not take it too hard. The person is - as every single listener - just a human being who has her own musical preferences. Most likely your music fits thousands and thousands of other people that have yet to hear your music.

"I would say it is of more importance for a musician to be able to look away from these trends and be innovative. I believe an industry where copycats flourish could lead to the stagnation of that industry." 

Nowadays, practically anyone can produce a high-quality song from a laptop with a low budget. This enables many more to explore and broaden the world of music, where the majority of new entrants are not ‘schooled’, forcing many of them to learn by themselves. This opens up for new ways of learning and therefore new ways of understanding music. I truly believe that this will generate new interpretations and discoveries that would perhaps not have been found from students derived from a schooled environment.  

It is indeed in some manner necessary for a musician to be aware of music trends and acknowledge them as guidelines. Nevertheless, I would say it is of more importance for a musician to be able to look away from these trends and be innovative. I believe an industry where copycats flourish could lead to the stagnation of that industry. Sadly, I believe that the last decade has led to the music industry is stagnant. From record labels and artists previously focusing on album centered marketing, music has nowadays become very focused on releasing singles. This could be the consequence of the consumer's society and how big music streaming services make all music accessible, and therefore indirectly lowering the value each song has for the listener.

A company like Ollo is very important for someone like me - an independent artist who is responsible for every step of the process of finalizing a song. Working alone when writing the song, recording & performing it while producing & mixing it. I am reliant on trustworthy hardware that is easily learned and also being a provider of high-quality sound. My budget is not infinite since I am a full-time student aside from my artistry, and I believe that headphones are the most economically efficient way for me to afford a pro-quality mixing environment. Ollo’s headphones have increased the quality of my mixing since they deliver a very honest result that translates well to other audio systems. They are not the only headphones I own, but they sure are worn the most throughout my process of making a song.

To round off, I hope this reflective post has brought new thoughts to mind. I thank OLLO for letting me share this post while stating my gratitude to a company ensuring high-quality products for both professionals and for the ones keen on looking extra sharp while being provided with high-quality sound.

OLLO Endorser Zak Ria is a musician, photographer and artwork designer from Stockholm, Sweden