By: Lauren Royer
Cover Photo: David Rams
Here’s the thing… Y’all have heard of Migos. It was hard NOT to hear Migos with “Bad and Boujee” playing nonstop and all the funny (and unfunny) parodies that followed after its release. These dudes boosted into platinum status quicker than you could say ‘raindrop’. They are the example of the ideal path for artists, their success is admirable. Released this year, ‘Culture’ has already hit number one on both Billboard 200 and Top R&B/Hip-hop Albums, and features big swingers such as Travis Scott, Gucci Mane, and DJ Khaled. Migos has been in the game since 2009, which means it took 7 years to reach the level they have. What’s been their formula for success?
Loyal fan base
ATL is on the hip-hop map for a reason. Having brought forward legends such as Outkast and the Hot Boys- Migos was able to walk in their footsteps and do Atlanta proud. Besides repping their hometown, they’ve clearly worked to achieve a loyal following. The first thing you can do to be successful as an artist is building from within your city. Connect with your fans, do them proud and do it big. They will lift you up and follow you for as long as your career.
Distinct style… Maybe a new dance trend
Having a distinct, fresh, recognizable sound has brought Migos along a steady road. Their authenticity to their strengths as individual artists and as a trio has served them well. If you’re setting standards in any way, creating something fresh… you will continue to progress your career. Find a style that works for you, experiment, make it your own. Migos created a style that was distinctly their own and they motherf*cking ran with it. On top of their sound, they began a dance movement with ‘Look at my Dab’. This move is so well known, little old biddies at my day job even know how to do a dab… kinda. This method also assisted other artists (such as Soulja Boy) boost their careers. If you create a signature move and throw it into a catchy beat; people love to spread those trendy moves right around.
Steady growth and smart connections
With steady growth, you must pick your connections wisely. As Migos climbed, each step has been carefully aligned in connections with labels, artists, and managers. In catching Drake’s attention with their hit ‘Versace’ (he remixed it as well) their followings received a mass boost and eventually they began working with legend manager Coach K. At one point, Kanye tried to align with them in signing the group for management with GOOD Music imprint but they announced they weren’t aligned with his label. Talk about choosy! It was a smart move to collaborate with youngin’ Lil Uzi Vert as it exposed their sound to another audience and brought their sound to another level. When choosing your collaborations, it’s crucial to line yourself up with people you really f*ck with because it will come out in your work. As people trace the steps you’ve taken in your career, you’ll want to eliminate as many side steps as possible.
Straight up Luck
With any artist’s career, sometimes simply being in the right place at the right time is an aspect of reaching platinum level. Not one person in the industry is able to truly predict what song or group will reach the level of success Migos has. The same goes for all the others you hear about. The secret to luck is to work like what you want will never come unless you create it. Build yourself, your sound, your crew, your town and the rest is supposed to fall into place. If you’re focused on your own success and the success of those around you, luck will find you. Don’t ever assume you are owed anything from this world, none of us are.
From what I can tell, Migos combined hard work, unique style, dedication, thoughtful alignments, and sheer luck to be successful. Regardless of opinion, they have created a name for themselves and aren’t going anywhere any time soon. You can catch them on the Nobody Safe tour, in Washington state this week or elsewhere on the road. They’re joined in tour by Future, Tory Lanez, A$ap Ferg, and Young Thug. Maybe you can tell your grandkids you saw Migos perform back in the day.