Updated: Oct 5, 2019
Ed Sheeran, Miley Cyrus, Billie Eilish, Khalid, Ariana Grande, Mark Ronson, Katy Perry; Names of just a few of the biggest selling recording artists and songwriters breaking into global charts year after year.
As an artist goes from being unsigned to then having a large advance, to then touring the world they gain more knowledge in their career than ever and with a growing career is a growing team - managers, A&R's, label executives etc. So an artist isn't only gaining knowledge from their experiences but it's mostly from their professional team working actively to ensure the artist puts out the right songs and is constantly developing their skills as an artist. But the key factor is that the artist listens and takes on this advice.
There are many situations where an artist or songwriter has been signed for records or publishing as the label sees the talent and wants to grow it into a successful career. Though they have had no choice but to drop them shortly or years later as the talent isn't developing and evolving due to perhaps the artist becoming too comfortable or lazy thinking 'now I have a contract, I've made it' when in reality the record deal is step one and the journey has only just begun.
Another reason and probably the most common is that the artist is too closed-minded or stubborn to be in certain sessions, meetings or listening sessions in order to strengthen their songwriting and sound as they feel they already know it all when in fact there's a bunch of pieces to the puzzle they need to be aware of before their artist / sound idea can become strong enough to compete with the bigger names.
Every big artist breaking charts throughout the years continuously grow, become stronger writers, understand what creatively does and doesn't work, adapt to the changes of sound and implement that in their music and they will non stop ensure their songwriting is at an even greater quality than the previous release.
To all those unsigned artists, songwriters, producers, rappers, DJ's - Persist in what you love and welcome all criticism good or bad. This is where it matters most as it'll only lead you to become the best version of yourselves. Growth is key so work on mastering your craft non-stop.
A&R, Unsigned Bible Founder