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One-hit wonders in music: What makes a one-hit wonder?

Frederik Nielsen, in Music lessons
Oct 30, 2023 | 4 min read

Ever found yourself humming along to a tune that you haven’t heard in years, only to realize that you can’t remember any other song by that artist? Yup, you’ve stumbled upon a one-hit wonder!  Today, we’re diving into the fascinating world of one-hit wonders in music and uncovering the secret sauce that makes them so memorable. 

So, grab your headphones, tune into your favorite playlist, and let’s get started!

What is a one-hit wonder?

A one-hit wonder is any entity that skyrockets to mainstream popularity, often for just one piece of work. It becomes known among the general public solely for that momentary success. 

It’s a term most commonly used in regard to music performers with only one hit single that completely overshadows their other work. 

Interestingly, some artists labelled “one-hit wonders” in a particular country have experienced great success in other countries.

The makings of a one-hit wonder in music

What factors contribute to a song becoming a one-hit wonder? 

There’s no fixed recipe, but here are a few common ingredients:

  • Catchy tune: A melody that’s easy to remember and sing along to.
  • Memorable lyrics: Lyrics that resonate with people or tell a compelling story.
  • Mass appeal: A song that appeals to a broad audience, crossing age, gender, and geographic boundaries.
  • Timing: Sometimes, a song becomes a hit because it captures the zeitgeist of a particular moment in time.
  • Luck: Yes, sometimes it just boils down to being in the right place at the right time!

Not just a flash in the pan

While one-hit wonders in music usually see their popularity wane after their hit listing, it’s not always the end of the road. Some artists use their moment in the spotlight as a springboard to pivot into other areas of the entertainment industry or even entirely different careers. 

Moreover, some artists with multiple hits have sometimes been erroneously labelled as “one-hit wonders” if one particular hit has become much more well-remembered years or decades later than their other hits.

How to make the most out of one-hit wonders in music

Soundbrenner Core
Soundbrenner Core Steel
Soundbrenner Pulse

Now that you know what goes into making these gems, how about taking a shot at making your own? At Soundbrenner, we offer wearable metronomes to help you get in the groove while practising your instrument. It’s like a personal rhythm coach but way cooler! 

Next time you find yourself jamming to a one-hit wonder, remember that behind that catchy tune and one-off stardom, there’s a world of hard work, perfect timing, and a sprinkle of luck. And who knows, maybe your one-hit wonder could be the next big thing!

If you want to make your own one-hit wonder, then check out our blog on effective techniques for music production. It is the ultimate guide to producing the most influential music that is sure to become a one-hit wonder.

Thanks for reading our article “How to make the most of your music practice time.” We at Soundbrenner are dedicated to helping musicians stay focused on what truly matters: their music. By creating innovative devices, such as Soundbrenner Pulse and Core, our goal is to deliver the best practice experience for musicians. Click here to find out more.

Do you have a question about Soundbrenner products? Reach out to us at [email protected], we’re happy to help!

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