The 7th Anniversary of Beyoncé's Self-Titled Album: How It Changed The Game
Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter is such an inspiration to all who have grown up in her legacy. From being the first black artist headlining Coachella to having 12+ songs on the chart at the same time to winning six Grammys in one night, that artist lives to make history.
In celebration of the seventh anniversary of her self-titled album, Beyoncé, we're going back to when it all started. On December 13th, 2013 Beyoncé dropped an album that changed the game for her career and the music industry entirely. Not to discredit the many artists who have done a self-titled album, but in our opinion, she was the best artist to do it.
Hold your wigs, lock down your edges, and bust out the tennis shoes because we're going on a special walk down legacy lane. Here's what made Beyoncé's self-titled album so special and how it paved the way for music.
After Beyoncé, the bar was set pretty high, lets take a look into how this happened:
The Visual Album
On top of the album release, Beyoncé also dropped a visual album. She wanted to capture the essence of music how she experiences it because music to her is not just an auditory experience, it is immersive.
With this project, she wanted to bring her visions to life so she told her team that she wanted to "...shoot a video for every song, and put them all out at the same time...". Many of her team members thought she was crazy, but nonetheless (as a Virgo), she persisted.
The artist described how she wanted people to have a different impression of her music and not just feel it through the lyrics but to be within the music and experience her vision. She then decided that she wanted to release an entire album with no promotion, no word around town, which we'll dive into a little later.
"My message behind this album is finding the beauty in perfection," said Beyoncé in her self-titled mini art feature. As we slyly mentioned before, the artist is a Virgo, and we can all attest to Virgos and their constant analysis and self-criticism. It can be very hard for this Earth sign to not strive for perfection.
We see this in how she perfected every single video, show, and album. Her tour and interview footage depict her tedious and precise work ethic. In this album, she decided to flip the script and show the imperfections she has and feels through her songs like "Pretty Hurts".
She had used her life experiences to really dive deep into what it is to be a woman in such a perfectionist world and described how perfection is a disease. This album reminded us that Beyoncé is indeed a celebrity, entertainer, pop, and R&B sensation, but she is also a woman, a mother, a sister, a daughter, and an actual human being that goes through the same emotions that many women may face.
Throughout the creation of this album, Beyoncé recorded 80 songs and chose the ones she felt were the most organic. She stated that she "wanted to carry (the) idea of being in the moment and embracing mistakes and effortlessness in the videos". During the shooting process, nothing was planned and everything was very go-with the flow. The crew did not use any theatrics like lighting or retouches, just raw footage. Very few artists are able to master the creative flow in such a nature.
This put Beyoncé on another level of creativity and expression. To add the cherry on top, Beyoncé was a new mother, breastfeeding, and recording. When talking about her new motherhood she said she "worked crazily to get (her) body back." She wanted to be an example for women who were also mothers or soon-to-be.
"You can have your child and you can still have fun and still be sexy and still have dreams and still live for yourself," she said. She firmly believed that you have no limits even after you're a mother and that you can still be who you want to be.
She expressed how she wouldn't have done or sung things from this album in the past out of fear and how she chose to surpass her comfort zone. When an artist as idolized as Beyoncé comes out and shows her development in her art and bravery in her music, it truly impacts an entire music industry and women, as well.
Before we get into the numbers, we have to understand that Beyoncé did absolutely no promotion. There wasn't any type of publications, no campaign ads, no anything. All Beyonce did was post the picture of an album compilation on Instagram with the caption saying "Surprise!"
The world literally stopped because she had taken a two-year hiatus and didn't let anyone know she was recording or planning to release any music. Within six days the album surpassed one million copies sold worldwide and on that Wednesday she set a world record for iTunes, Apple, and Columbia Records.
To this very day, many music industry experts and artists still cannot comprehend how one artist can do that, but SHE did. Not to mention she topped the charts on the Billboard 200 that same week. Her power within being consistent and taking risks lead to the successful impact of her self-titled album, Beyoncé that has forever changed the music industry.
Of course, this album was soon followed by another great success of Beyoncé's artistry, Lemonade, which was another audio and visual album. It also shook the world (no surprise there) with people taking to social media and almost every news outlet covering the release. We hope to see more from her but we Bey stans in the Beyhive will be forever grateful for all the barriers she's broken down.