The song is king and it will always be.
You can have a $50,000 production budget for a song, record it in the best studio in the world, use the best studio musicians available, have 10 million followers on Instagram and have a major record label spend two million dollars to market it and yet, if the song isn't right, you have nothing.
Or you can have an authentic, resonant and powerful song that's produced in someone's bedroom by someone who knows what they're doing and it can sell ten million copies.
That's the beauty of the music business, the fact that the song is the great equalizer.
It doesn't matter if you're an independent artist writing a song in your bedroom or an A-list artist who's sold millions, in the end, your success depends on the power, resonance and authenticity of your songs.
The ability to know when a song is "right" is a combination of years of songwriting experience (which can be learned) and instinct (which is very difficult to learn.)
When a songwriter writes five hundred songs over the course of many years, she develops abilities that someone who's written only five songs doesn't yet possess.
She recognizes the patterns that work, knows how to tell a compelling story through words, great melodies flow through her like water and she knows when something is right and when it isn't.
A writer becomes great by writing more than anyone else is willing to write.
That said, an experienced songwriter doesn't write a hit song every time she writes but an experienced songwriter is much more likely to write a hit song than someone without experience.
Your image, how many followers you have on Instagram and how powerful your manager and record label are mean nothing until you have powerful and resonant songs.
And though having powerful, resonant songs is only the beginning of what it will take for you to become successful, it is the one necessary component without which success isn't even a possibility.
Develop your songwriting abilities and let your songs reveal your soul, only then can you move on to all of the other necessary steps required for success in the music industry.