Akil F. '20

Research Question

With psychology and the science of music, can a person formulate an algorithm to make a hit song?

Artist Statement

I produced two of the songs on the demo and the other two of them were songs rapped over instrumentals.

(Coronavirus was over “E. Coli” by the Activist, and Long Time was over “Nantes” by Beirut.)

All songs were produced and recorded on FL Studio 12.

In these 4 songs, I experimented with psychological repetition and absorbance/reflection (how much a listener sees themselves in the music) when listening to music.

Coronavirus was an independent variable in the track. There is no chorus but it's just a display of consistent memorable bars. The instrumental on this track gives a rocking feeling (similar to a lullaby) and the vocals in the back give a slightly nostalgic feeling. But this track was meant to be a consistent song to compare to others with repetition.

Versace Hearts was the opposite of Coronavirus. The beat starts off with a really sweet piano layered with strings. The melody of the piano stays consistent throughout the song (similar to an ice cream truck). The lyrics start off with the hook “I got a feeling that I just don’t wanna tell my bros.” This melody of the hook is repeated 3 times throughout the song. And after the hook there is a “Pay the fee” chant that happens twice after the hook. This song is jam packed with easy to say lyrics and memorable melodies. This song is the most likely to be a hit according to the algorithm.

Long Time was a play on a very specific audience to have a level of absorption and reflection. The use of Nantes by Beirut was an attempt to stimulate nostalgia felt in the 2000s by listeners who listened to alternative music. Additionally this song was used in Long Time by Chance the Rapper on his debut mixtape 10 Day in 2012. So, for hip hop fans and alternative pop fans alike, this song would resurface memories from a time that always seems to be better than it was: the past.

Dream Killers was the most direct attack on the absorption piece of music but also significantly intertwined repetition into it. The song starts off with a piano chord with my voice imitating guitar strings. Then you hear a pitched up vocal sample of me saying “Dream Killers”. This is an earworm, which is already a parallel to the title. This “Dream Killer” vocal stays consistent throughout the song. On top of these repetitive musical components, I focused my lyrics on an audience of highschool seniors about to leave school. Speaking about issues and problems that these current students are facing is supposed to trigger reflection for the listener. They see their own lives in the lyrics and therefore the song is meaningful for them. Additionally, I took this further by taking samples of Poly students saying what they want to be.

Creative Work