Alvarez, Lauren. “R&B Newcomer Summer Walker Makes It 'Clear' She's Here To Stay With New EP.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 27 Jan. 2019, www.forbes.com/sites/laurenalvarez/2019/01/26/rb-newcomer-summer-walker-makes-it-clear-shes-here-to-stay-with-new-ep/#7427b3c340b0.
Kellman, Andy. “Summer Walker: Biography & History.” AllMusic, www.allmusic.com/artist/summer-walker-mn0003733766/biography.
Robinson, Chris A. “The Effects of Commercialization on the Perception of Hip Hop Culture and Black Culture in Mainstream Culture in the United States.” Electronic Theses and Dissertations, no. 554, 1 Jan. 2011, pp. 34–36., https://digitalcommons.du.edu/etd/554.
“Summer Walker Went from Housekeeper to R&B It Girl - and She's Still a Mystery.” Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times, 21 Oct. 2019, www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/music/story/2019-10-21/summer-walker-over-it-drake.
Jaden Richards Final Artist Post: Summer Walker

Although she is very talented, Summer Walker is the perfect example of how an artist is commercialized.

INTRO

Summer Walker was born April 11, 1996 and grew up in Atlanta. Before her fame she operated her own cleaning business. Summer Waker gains her inspiration from soul singers like Jasmine Sullivan and Ari Lennox. She taught herself how to play the guitar by watching YouTube videos. Like many singers, Summer Walker started her music career by singing covers and uploading them to YouTube. With Atlanta having such a thriving music industry, she was discovered by a woman from LoveRenassiance and was later signed to that label. Summer Walker’s first song ever released, “Session 32”, is what jumpstarted her career. The recognition from this song also enabled her to ultimately produce her first album, “Last Day of Summer”. This album was very successful as it debuted at No. 2 on Billboard 200 charts

HIP HOP or R&B

Summer Walker’s most recent album was produced by London On Da Track. If you look at a list of all of the songs he has produced, you’ll notice that he mainly produces rap songs. This is probably the reason for the change of sound. London On Da Track is a very successful producer and he would’ve known what sounds would be perceived better by mainstream audiences. In “The Effects of Commercialization on the Perception of Hip Hop Culture and Black Culture in Mainstream Culture in the United States”, Chris Robinson explains how hip-hop culture is used as a marketing tool. Hip-hop is one of the most influential music genres. This paper illustrates the numerous examples of businesses that use hip-hop to market their products because it has proven to produce higher sales. This same idea could serve as an explanation to why Summer Walker and many other artists are commercialized.

LESS IS MORE

Although her most recent music is more popular, many would agree that Summer Walker’s older work has a better sound. Before her fame and success, her songs were made up of a single instrument and her voice. This style of music is seen as more soulful as you are not distracted by any technologically produced sounds and you can focus on the voice and feeling the emotions associated with the song. If you listen to an old cover song versus her most recent song, you realize that her older music is what really showcased her talent. This is a common theme of popular artists where their talent is what gets them to the top then they have to alter their usual style to stay at the top and keep up with society’s preferences.

Summer Walker Earliest Video

Summer Walker Latest Video

INFLUENCE OUTSIDE OF THE MUSIC

Summer Walker has been very vocal about her social anxiety. If you watch a performance or an interview, it is very easy to see how uncomfortable she is social situations. She serves as inspiration to a lot of young women around the world who suffer with the same condition.

Summer Walker's Interviews

MY THOUGHTS

Overall, I think Summer Walker has a really beautiful voice. Although I prefer that she sticks to producing R&B/soulful music, I also like her latest songs and features. Artists will always need a large amount of people to support their work in order to be successful so their commercialization will always be a problem. I cannot blame Summer Walker for having to switch it up in order to boost her career and I ultimately still love her sound.

REFERENCES

  1. Alvarez, Lauren. “R&B Newcomer Summer Walker Makes It ‘Clear’ She’s Here To Stay With New EP.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 27 Jan. 2019, www.forbes.com/sites/laurenalvarez/2019/01/26/rb-newcomer-summer-walker-makes-it-clear-shes-here-to-stay-with-new-ep/#7427b3c340b0.
  2. Kellman, Andy. “Summer Walker: Biography & History.” AllMusic, www.allmusic.com/artist/summer-walker-mn0003733766/biography.
  3. Robinson, Chris A. “The Effects of Commercialization on the Perception of Hip Hop Culture and Black Culture in Mainstream Culture in the United States.” Electronic Theses and Dissertations, no. 554, 1 Jan. 2011, pp. 34–36., https://digitalcommons.du.edu/etd/554.
  4. “Summer Walker Went from Housekeeper to R&B It Girl – and She’s Still a Mystery.” Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times, 21 Oct. 2019, www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/music/story/2019-10-21/summer-walker-over-it-drake.