4 Lessons Indie Artists Can Learn From Adele’s ‘Hello’

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With the success of Adele’s hit song ‘Hello’ and it’s accompanying  video, I started to wonder what it was that made it so successful. Why has it broken records? Why do people have it on repeat? Why are celebrities posting Instagram photos of themselves crying listening to it? (I’m looking at you Kate Hudson)

Below are what I believe to be the 4 main factors that have contributed to Hello’s success, and what we can learn from it.



Showcase Your Talent

How many times have you listened to this song? Did you notice that for most of it, it’s the same few soft piano chords played over and over? and yet, the song sounds full and has a big sound thanks to Adele’s voice.

Adele sings the entire song almost acapella. There’s nothing crazy happening sound wise in the background, and there’s barely any instrumentation or autotune, it’s all Adele and her talent.

Connect With Your Audience

Adele isn’t singing about hanging out on yachts or going on a shopping spree, or hitting up the hottest club. This isn’t about exclusivity. She’s singing about heartbreak, about love, about need and desire. That basic human connection we all yearn for, and doing it in a way that doesn’t feel overplayed.

Whether you’re rich, poor, black, white, gay or straight we’re all searching for love, and we all know what it’s like to be on either end of that phone.

Keep It Simple

By now you should be sensing a theme. Did you watch her video? Simple character settings, and black and white. It’s captivating and amazingly well done, and yet nothing that a dedicated film student couldn’t create on a lesser scale and budget.

You don’t need elaborate sets or props, focus on the story or idea you’re trying to get across and use what you have. Don’t distract your audience, connect with them.

Give Your Fans A Break

How long did we go without new Adele? A couple years at least. Her fans didn’t run away or quit supporting her.  To be clear, this doesn’t mean stop interacting with your fans or stop sharing or creating.

What it does mean, is not shoving new music down their throat every day, every chance you get.  Take your time, create a campaign around your material, show your fans you care about your work and that it’s something they should care about too. This way when you do return with new material you’ll be excited to share in the experience, and your fans will actually be eager to discover your new material.

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