Outside The Box - From Overnight Sensation to Forgotten Hits

Published 3 months ago • 1 min read

Hey, Reader, it's Jerome -

From #1 to Unknown

Ever noticed how a song by an unknown artist skyrockets to the top 10?

Then, as quickly as they rose, they vanished into obscurity.

It's a curious trend in pop music, where an artist can suddenly be everywhere and then... nowhere.

This is part of the magic of the entertainment industry. But did you know there’s a kind of secret formula behind this and even a psychological aspect at play?

We're all aware of the power of repetition in music.
As artists and producers, it's a tool we regularly use. However, its effects extend beyond just creating catchy hooks.
Ever tried repeating something in your head to remember it, only to forget it later?

This phenomenon is known as Semantic Satiation.
Basically, hearing something a gazillion times makes it lose its meaning.

And as a mixer, I’ve been there too.
Starting a project, all hyped, only to feel disinterested by the end…


Hearing a track on loop can lead to a loss of interest.

Over the years, though, I’ve figured out a few tricks to maintain a fresh perspective. I’ve had my fair share of semantic satiation moments, trying to recall a name or a number.

Who knew this thing was actually backed by psychology?

Let me share a couple of things to try to beat the fate of those songs:

  1. Working on Multiple Songs: Juggling between tracks keeps things interesting (being fully ITB is a big plus here).
  2. Taking Breaks: It sounds simple and may be an overshared trick for any work, but it does wonders. Go grab a coffee. Better yet, come have one with me.
  3. Light Multitasking: I find that enjoying a cup of coffee while working strangely helps me focus, and no, I'm not sharing that cup.

This principle of Semantic Satiation explains why overnight sensations often fade quickly.

Remember “Gangnam Style”?
Now you do because I just mentioned it, but when was the last time you listened to it?

Understanding Semantic Satiation sheds light on the transient nature of pop music success and opens doors to fascinating production techniques.

Stay tuned for a future issue where I'll dive deeper into leveraging this in music production.

For now, consider this a peek behind the curtain of pop music's fleeting fame and how to keep your brain engaged through those endless loops.

Stay fresh, stay curious, and who knows, maybe your next song will be the one to break the cycle.


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