After having the safety blanket of being surrounded by a group or band, sometimes artists take the solo route, but what does it take to go from a successful 5-piece to a successful one man / ‘woman’ band. As we write this, Nadine Coyle’s debut Album ‘Insatiable’, is sitting disappointingly at number 38 in the chart whilst Cheryl Cole’s sophomore ‘Messy Little Raindrops’ album has slipped down from the number 1 spot to number 3.
Both women are of course from the powerhouse that is Girls Aloud, who have 4 number ones and 20 consecutive top ten hits and they are the only two members of the group to have gone solo. To us it’s easy to see that Nadine is the better singer of the pair, but why has this not translated into album sales?
Cheryl’s star started to really rise since she was made a judge on the X Factor, the highest rating programme on TV. Through this new role and her friendship with fellow judge Simon Cowell, Girls Aloud got a performance on the show, scoring them a number one single, ‘The Promise’ and a number one album, ‘Out of Control’. So it was no surprise that Cheryl used the show as major promotion for her own solo endeavours. Performing both her number one singles and getting two number one albums.
Cheryl’s solo performances have always been based more on the production and the dance routines, rather than the live vocals, which for some reason have been bi-passed by the media. Whilst Nadine, who states herself that she will only ever sing live and with a live band, mainly performs in the center of the stage with a mic stand, which is pretty boring in comparison. She also does not have this giant platform that is X Factor, so she used smaller TV shows like Daybreak and the Paul O’Grady show to try to market her first single.
The other question is… could her record label Tescos be the reason why Nadine’s failured to set the charts on fire? Nadine was their first big signing so it’s possible that they weren’t as experienced in running her launch, compared to record label Fascination on the other hand, whom Cheryl is signed to. Fascination signed Girls Aloud, so they clearly knew their target audience and the type of music to record.
With these two artists it is clear to see that to be a success in the music industry; you don’t have to be the better singer, but you need to have the right people around you and backing you. You need to secure the right platform to launch the single and you need the public’s backing. It’s the same with a lot of industries, its all about who you know, not just having what it takes!