Griffin Ell / Art Director

In the modern world of music, artists frequently branch out from the musical act that made them big to pursue their individual ideas and dreams.

An example of this is early 2000s pop-punk powerhouse Paramore. Founded in 2004, the band released many albums that topped popular music charts year after year. In May of 2019, lead vocalist of Paramore Hayley Williams released her first single apart from her world-famous band titled “Simmer,” switching from her pop-punk sound to a more mature, ambient and softer sound.

Keene State junior Colin Hobbs said that artists who manage being in multiple projects while also maintaining quality are the ones to watch for and remember.

“As long as the music they are making is still good, I’m fine with it. Misha Mansoor, one of the guitarists for the progressive-metal band Periphery, and Periphery’s lead writer have multiple side projects, and yet the band still makes very good music,” said Hobbs.

Artists leaving big groups to pursue their own sound has not just been a trend of this generation, however; one of the biggest and most well-known groups to branch apart so each musician could pursue their own personal style is The Beatles.

Samuel Foley, a sophomore at Keene State, said that while he loves the music that The Beatles put out together, he also has a passion for the music that came after the disbanding of the group.

“I have songs from The Beatles as a group, and a few songs from their individual works. I also have a few solo songs from Paul Simon, as well as songs from his time in Simon & Garfunkel,” said Foley.

The hip-hop community is another place where artists are known to break from their groups and create their own solo work. One of the most well-known examples is the group N.W.A., and all of the members who made solo music also topped popular music charts throughout the past three decades. Some of those popular solo acts include Easy-E, Ice Cube, Dr. Dre and MC Ren. 

Keene State sophomore Robert Tarantelli said that his favorite example of a hip-hop group turned-solo project is the group Odd Future, a rap group known for giving each of the members a shot at creating unique, individual music. 

“Most of Odd Future is a good example of this. I love the solo music from Tyler, The Creator, Frank Ocean and Earl Sweatshirt, and they were all in the same group. As long as the projects aren’t rushed, I’m fine with as many being worked on at a time as they want to,” said Tarantelli.

For anyone interested in discovering new music based on what they currently listen to, the easiest thing to do is simply Google search your favorite artists to see if they have produced any solo work and from there you may be introduced to a new genre of music you may have never known you would love.

Alex Dube can be contacted adube@kscequinox.com