In the opening statement of this debate, a journalist puts down the idea of being able to both possess a soul and being able to leverage it into popularity and financial success. Of being able to have both commercial and critical acclaim.
No. Achieving both the adoration of the multitudes and a profitable outcome is not a common occurrence. But it does happen. And like most videos that go viral, it appears to happen mostly by chance. The artists themselves often don’t know why things blew up the way they did and left a lasting impact on culture. It’s bigger than the artists themselves. It’s timing, the complexities of the culture and luck.
But we can say this:
More of these success stories paint a picture of artists who aimed for critical success and received commercial success as a byproduct than the other way around.
If the artist has a job, it is to balance out the bias society has towards commercial acclaim and reclaim the value of cult status.