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Achieve Success by Being Unconventional

Edited by Admin
Achieve Success by Being Unconventional
Open up any consumer behaviour textbook and you’ll see—nothing sells quite like scarcity. Just slap on a limited-edition tag and kick back, relax, and watch those goods as they fly off the shelf. But in the realm of music, scarcity isn’t really an option. With the popularity of music streaming and file-sharing platforms, it’s near impossible to release music in limited quantities. 

So, if the end product cannot be marketed as limited, what about the artist’s persona? Their brand? Their public image?

That is precisely what UK’s enigmatic electro-R&B crooner Jai Paul did. For those of you who are unfamiliar with his catalogue, let alone his backstory, here is a brief rundown:
  • 2011: Jai Paul bursts onto the scene with the sleeper hit, “BTSTU”
  • 2012: XL Recordings founder catches wind and sign him to the label
  • 2012: A demo of Jai’s second and last official release, “Jasmine,” is made available online
  • 2012: “Jasmine” mastered version is uploaded
  • 2013: Jai conducts his first and only interview with Dazed magazine
  • 2013: The following day, Jai Paul’s debut, self-titled album is leaked online; queue media firestorm
  • 2013: Jai Paul creates an official Twitter account, posting his first and final tweet “To confirm: demos on bandcamp were not uploaded by me, this is not my debut album. Please don't buy. Statement to follow later. Thanks, Jai”
  • 2014–2016: Literally nothing
  • 2016 (late): Jai and his brother, A.K., found the Paul Institute, a label-slash-artist collective
  • 2017: Jai Paul resurfaces in the most unlikely of places after a 4-year period of dormancy: a UK-based realtor magazine (again setting the blogosphere ablaze)
  • 2017: Paul Institute releases two new songs, one of which co-written by Jai, where he also provides backup vocals
Not your standard operating procedure for an artist. Not even close. With only two genuine releases under his belt, Jai Paul leverages the merits of scarcity—and mystery—to sculpt an artist identity parallel to none. As a result, the music community is in a perpetual state of demand, leaving both fans and critics empty-handed, grasping for whatever they can get ahold of. In order to stay in the know, people have employed a creative mix of online resources. There’s a popular subreddit that offers up-to-the-minute briefings on all things Jai: possible sightings, unearthed but unverified releases, and speculative conjecture. Others have taken to Google Alerts, crafting search phrases that can adequately capture every tidbit of information posted to the web.
Now think about it, how many brands could create that kind of interest? How many would be brave enough to risk it? To drop off the face of the Earth and not lose so much as an iota of momentum. In fact, it is highly like that Jai’s absence actually gave him traction. So, what can we learn from Jai Paul?
To forge your own path. To be a trailblazer. To not concede to industry norms and historical definitions of success. Never do anything solely because “that’s the way it’s always been done”.
Should you be grappling with a problem, or evaluating the opportunities of a new idea, throw away the proverbial yardstick and find a new way to measure your progress. Consider alternative strategies, unconventional approaches, or any kind of deviation from existing models. Do you think anyone expected Jai Paul to resurface in a B2B realtor magazine? No way! But Jai is going about things in the most Jai way possible, and we could all take a page out of his book.