360 is arguably one of the country’s most well-known and most beloved hip-hop artists, but even if you have a strong fan base, have crafted countless bangers, and have performed sold out shows across the country, it’s still a unique achievement to be able to hit the upper regions of the ARIA charts. It’s even more of an achievement when you’ve been able to accomplish that same feat with almost no radio play either.
This week’s ARIA charts saw 360’s fourth album, Vintage Modern, hit #3 on the charts – the highest spot for an Australian artist this week, and 360’s highest chart debut since Utopia hit #2 in 2014. Charting behind international starts such as Pink and Ed Sheeran, and managing to beat the likes of Niall Horan and Chris Brown, this is no mean feat, but what’s even more amazing is how 360 managed to turn his grassroots approach to music into an international success story.
When 360’s Utopia was released a few years back, it was hard to escape the rapper’s influence. With singles all up and down the ARIA charts, and with constant airplay on triple j, 360’s album was destined to be a success.
Fast forward three years, and after struggles with depression and addiction, 360 has crafted Vintage Modern. With only a pair of singles cracking the lower reaches of the ARIA charts, and with relatively minimal airplay on triple j, on paper, it looks as though 360’s fourth LP was set to be a disaster. Instead, it’s turned into one of the great Aussie success stories.
So how was 360 able to become the most successful Aussie act on the charts this week? Well, a large majority of it comes from his ability to connect with fans on a personal level. While a large number of artists tend to keep their fans at arm’s reach as their fame rises, 360 has managed to maintain an almost personal level of contact with fans, staying in contact with fans old and new through social media and Facebook groups.
With 360’s personal struggles shining through in the vast majority of his music, his honest, approachable, and genuine nature turns him from less of a hip-hop superstar into something akin to your best mate making music. With this approach, 360 is able to continue to evolve as a musician, managing to continue to keep and engage fans who have followed him from day one.
But arguably one of the most impressive aspects of 360’s success is his innate ability to turn passive listeners into fans. How often have you heard music on the radio and been inspired to go out and check out the artist’s music based on one listen? It’s a rare talent to be able to deliver music that can be considered so relatable and immersive at the same time, that fans are drawn into the world you create, and are inspired to learn more about the music you create.
With 360 serving as Australia’s most successful musician this week, music fans from around the country can look him with pride thanks to the music he has created and the struggles he has overcome to craft an album that has resonated with so many people.