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The moment a newcomer has a HIT, everybody wants to crash the party, take a selfie and CASH IN – the songwriters, music producers, and chart topping artists. It’s an open game for the new player, and naively, they let everyone in, and shortly after, they’re squeezed out. Today, this takes the form of artist collaboration and features.

But collaborating is killing artist individuality.

Here is an example. The Kid LAROI is a breaking artist. His track Without You is a hard-to-come-by radio hit. I love the track. Then Miley Cyrus is added to the remix of LAROI’sWithout You”.

The track is just gathering steam. It’s pre-mature for a feature. I barely know The Kid LAROI. He’s a 17 year old that rose up the music ranks in Australia before moving to Los Angeles. I want more of LAROI, but now Miley Cyrus is singing the opening verse. I like Miley too, but maybe not Miley with LAROI. Now, LAROI and Miley are rooted in my mind. Brand association. It’s a marketing mess. The artist is losing individuality that was sacrificed on the alter of audience reach.

And now LAROI has paired up with Justin Bieber for a track titled Stay. This keeps Bieber on the top shelf while LAROI sits in the stockroom, never given a chance to make a first and lasting impression.

I understand the team wants to reach the largest audience possible, but artists’ need more time to develop a face, a brand, a statement before they start attaching themselves to brands and other artists. I hope Olivia Rodrigo is listening.

There are two ways to climb to the top. You can affiliate yourself with others and be a guest at the kings table, or you can dominate and be the king. Eminem came out as a king. He wasn’t releasing remixes with guest vocals by Britney Spears or Nick Carter of Backstreet Boys, instead he aligned himself with Dr. Dre. His name, his brand, his influences were important to him. He didn’t want that tossed for profit, and nobody cashed off of Eminem.

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