The Psychology of Follow UP

Play it again, Sam: the psychology of Follow up

I am writing this article which expand the post “What’is an anchor and to benefit form it”.

There I wrote that doing a follow up /clone of a successfull track is an OK idea. But those are words that needed a further development…

Before starting

  • I am not saying that creativ- wise is OK cloning your own music (it’s not)
  • I am not saying that all tracks should have a follow up ( they should not)
  • I am not even saying that it will help the music industry ( it will not: but it stinks anyway 😛 )
  • To say the truth I am also ashamed to publish it in a blog were there are so many way to be creative (and whose mission is to bring creativity to an other level with the use of Sinaestesia.), but again my point is not bring on an hidden agenda, but to make you think about the way you can success.

If you are reading my blog it means you want my insight: and you will get my insight… I am not also claiming that to do this will make you rich: any activities has risks and music is not different.

What do I mean with the concept of follow up?

When i speak about “follow up” in this context I am speaking about taking a piece of your that was successfull (for the groove, the melody, the base and so on ) and “clone it”:

open the project: change some sounds, new EQ here and there, change 3 notes in melody, add a couple of vocals, correct some stuff you feel it should be corrected… and a remix/follow up is done in a fraction of the time.

In popmusic and softer EDM style it s very common and to say the truth soooo boring, abused and useless. in harder EDM styles I guess the follow up could be used with more intellingence.

Let me explain:

Why making a follow up is good?

The main enemies of a “musician/ producer /dj” are (among others):

  • Money (or better, the lack of it).
  • The necessity to have a lot of music people want to listen to  to stay on the top.
  • The constant Pressure of producing good stuff.
  • Once you are more famous The lack of williness to take too much risks and disappoint fans
  • last but not least: TIME. Social network sucks a lot of time and energies, having 60+ gigs a year drain energies.

A single follow up of a big hit solve a lot of these problems

  • Ability to produce a new track in a little fraction of time of the original one.
  • The success of the follow up could be even bigger than the original.
  • It will enlong the life of a track.
  • It will please most of your fans.
  • The time you free can (and MUST) be used to make new stuff.
  • You might start creating your Brand sound.

Basically with a hit track you create a new, Blue Ocean to fish while Others are still in the bloody red ocean.

Trap NOT to fall into

Repeat forever the loop

Let me read into your head: “If the follow up track went so great, let me do it again (and again, and again, and again) ” – at the end it s easy money isn’t it? Yes maybe it s easy money in the short run but you are burning in few months the star staus you have earn in years and/or you are selling your “musician” soul for some money.

And both are bad:

  • In the first case you become the shade of yourself, and unless you really became popular (very very  popular) you need to start from the beginning once again. And probably you don’t have the energy.
  • The second is even worse: you are positively reinforcing your own idea that you cannot produce any longer, making worse production and calling you out from the music.

What you can do.

Lemme repeat: maybe it s not going to work for your particular style… and any operation have a risk. for example

  • If you are already out of ideas this strategies will do bad for you. Read my “Brain” & my “Creativity” sections to improve that area
  • if you are already a Vulcano of ideas and creativity maybe this strategy will slow your creativity

A suggestion could be: If your “record” (read:mp3 release has 4 tracks on it be sure at least one is more experimental… Most peole will not like / understand it but it will be loved but few others and will keep you sane 🙂


Real life example

Let’s take the 90s… so no one get offended.

I ll use two example:

  • Robert Miles
  • Rex Anthony

Robert Miles destroyed the dancefloor with his seminal “children” the copy paste follow up “Fable” and then “one and one”.

Rex Anthony to a much lesser extent was able to brand himself in mid-90s… and 20 years after in italy a lot of people still remember him.

Robert Miles

He created a new Blue Ocean of piano trance with children… (a master piece)

he  filled his pocket with Fable (basically the same samples, same tempo, very similiar melody)

And while all other people living in the red Ocean were thinking to move to Blue Ocean he already moved away with an other strong piece of music



He is a very prolific producer and his first HUGE hit was a remix of a progressive rock track his father did in the 70’s . Listen to this: you will remember it

Rexanthony – Capturing Matrix

Rexanthony – Polaris dream

Then while the people was still trying to understand what was happening he did a great follow up (again very similiar to original) which had a even bigger success storming the dancefloors here in Italy

Along the way he also produced/ co-produced a million version of Mix and  “Remixes” of capturing Matrix… some with an other name like this Key to universe :-).. in this way he was still earning money from his original track.