First of all the least amount of songs you can do and call a project or EP or mixtape is 4. Why? I just find that when you’re creating and you make that one song that’s “the one”, the one you feel like defines your sound at this moment in time and for this particular project, you tend to try to make three other songs that capture the same feeling of that first song. Of course, they’re not as good as “the one”, how can they be? They’re basiclly movie sequels: taking everything that was good about the first one and amplifying it and exploiting it to it’s deteriment.
The difference with music and film is that you can make songs faster than a movie (though I think they’re on Sharknado 12). This means that usually by your fifth song you realize your mistake by chasing after a sound and usually do a complete 360 experimenting and what not. This will last for another 3 to 4 songs and while you may think your output is groundbreaking, you’ll later want to slap your former self for making such nonsense. However all is not lost as it is all a stepping stone. I like to say, “The only way you can make a good song is by getting all your bad ideas out of the way first”. It’s kind of like finding a spouse. Hi honey!
Okay so now you have 6 to 8 songs. Congrats you have an EP. Now should you continue making more songs? I know that number 10 is looking mighty inviting. That big round beautiful ten is calling your name right? I think if you’ve developed a buzz from releasing a song or or three from your project already you should aim for ten to twelve songs. This is because if you’re going to put your project up on iTunes and why wouldn’t you it’s dead easy now a days, then you’ll get more revenue from your project as well as give more value to your fans. For some reason, people think a project with more songs is worth more than a project with less songs. Obviously, we don’t want to get into Lil B territory and drop a 1000 song mixtape and if your music is bad no amount of songs can save it.
Should you go over 12 songs? Absolutely no. And my reasoning has nothing to do with you but my phone. You see as an avid user of apps like Apple Music and Spotify, I’m reluctant to download an album from a new artist that has like 17 songs on it. I’m sorry I don’t know if your music is worth that many precious megabytes on my iPhone (and you know how stingy Apple is with storage). On the other hand, if your project has 8 to 10 songs and I’ve vaguely heard good things about you I’ll give it a rinse.
What do you think? Let me know in the comments what you think is the perfect number of songs for a project from an unknown artist.