How To Pick Your Lead Single

With anything in life you always want to put your best foot forward, first. The same can be said for an artist, specifically musicians. When you’re crafting a project, standard procedure is to give your audience a little taste of what’s to come before the entire offering. These musical offerings are referred to as singles. So what needs to be taken into consideration when choosing the lead single for your upcoming project? Here are a few things to think about when making that very important choice of how to pick your lead single.

Steer The Way

An ideal lead single should give the listener the general direction in which the entire project will be going. Whether it is a new sound you’re developing or the same ole goodness your fans are used to. Allow the audience to prepare themselves for what they will be getting into this time around.

Bread & Butter

Your first single should be your bread and butter. It is not the main dish but it’s neither bad nor better than the full meal to come. I mean how many times have you listened to the lead single of a project, was utterly amazed, bought the album and the single was the best thing about it all? Find the middle ground. Let it be great but also let it be something that keeps the listener begging for more.


This is something to consider with every single you choose to put out. How marketable will this particular song choice be? Best piece of advice I can give you is to test the song out on five different people who have differing taste in music, are of different ages and backgrounds. This might be a little task depending on how diverse your immediate reach of people is but it does help in scoping the approximate reach of the song and where you could possibly take it.

Using the above considerations and careful decision-making skills you will come out with the best single possible.

Did you learn how to pick your lead single? Do you have other advice or aspects you consider? Sound off in the comments below!

Header image based on “Your Mixtape Here” by Daniel, CC-BY-2.0.

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About Jermarco Britton

Co-Founder of Blue Light Underground, Jermarco serves the creative community as a radio personality, blogger, and artist in areas such as St. Louis and New Orleans. He strives to lead this generation into making advancements in the arts and entertainment fields.

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