Beat Project: An Analysis of Music Branding

For my Fashion Journalism class, each of my classmates and I were asked to write a series of 5-6 200-word articles called “beats” on a specific topic.

I decided to write about how artists brand themselves.

Click here for the articles:

Taylor Swift

Bruno Mars

Ed Sheeran

Ariana Grande

I find it very interesting that nowadays, more than ever, a musician’s image is just as important, or maybe even more important, than the artist’s music itself. People want to know their celebrities now, it’s no question. It’s not enough for Selena Gomez to sing, she’s got to be a girl with a dating life and friends and a personality. It’s not enough for anyone to just make music, they have to build an empire through branding and social media.

So I set out to study this. I was inspired by music profiler named Friedemann Findeisen, who coaches some big producers in Germany. He has a YouTube channel called “Holistic Songwriting.” In his channel, he dissects music and artists in different ways. In his “The Artist Series,” he dissects artists one by one through things like melody writing.

Here’s an example of how he analyzed Taylor Swift, who was the first person I wrote about:


This guy focuses a lot more on songwriting, but I was very inspired by how he seeks to understand artists and why they do what they do.

Here’s another example with Ed Sheeran, another artist I wrote about:


He also dissects whole albums, which are super interesting. Below are some examples. He even dissected Taylor Swift’s new album, Reputation. I have mixed feelings about this album, but was super interested at his take on why she did what she did and why Swift is so clever to be taking such risks, even if so many hate it.

Screen Shot 2018-11-19 at 6.22.06 PM.png

In his analysis of Adele, he dove into the artist’s image, which is a lot closer to what I ended up writing about.


At first, I was trying to stick to the “fashion” theme so much that it got hard to stay with my original idea. I was going to write about what artists wear at their concerts. But I had trouble having enough to say about it. I wanted to add more depth to my beat. So I decided to cover artists’ branding in general. Basically, I wanted to write quick blurbs on some aspects of how artists present themselves to the public through social media and publicity.

This project reinforced my realization this semester about how much I love writing about music. I find it so interesting all the things that go into the music industry and entertainment journalism in general. The music industry includes branding, fashion, design, drama, and so much more. Covering this beat made me realize how much I love writing about this subject.

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