Nobody on the outside can judge whether someone is selling out or not. That's an inner dialog. We can say, "Oh, I wish [he/she] stayed true to [his/her] original style." We can say that we resonated with a bands younger, or original sound more than we like their new one. We can say a lot of things... but the fact is, a person's journey is between themselves and their spirit. The journey is so individual. So, what is a sellout really? A sellout is when you do something that goes against your grain to gain someone else's approval, or to gain materially while you hurt in spirit.
If you are not a pop star, yet "suddenly" you write a hit that uplifts others, and with in a year you are playing large venues and selling songs and albums, and others are inspired, and you are enjoying your ability to uplift and inspire, you are not selling out.
If you are not a pop star, and you are given this opportunity, and you really want to take it, but your friends accuse you of selling out, and in spite of the fact that you want to do it, and you have the talent, you listen to them, and you DON'T take the opportunity, for fear of disapproval and being called a sellout, you have actually sold out, but in a different way than is commonly understood.
If you are a poet/singer songwriter, and that is what you want to do, and your wife and father-in-law are always coercing you into "at least writing something with a hook," and you do this because of them, and not because it is something that will prove in your best interests over time—and you are not aligned with it, you are a sellout.
If you are this same singer songwriter, and you get inspiration one day, and finally write a song with a hook, because you wanted to, and you sell it for four figures to an advertising company via Broadjam, and this begins a new phase of your creativity, and your wife and father-in-law celebrate your success, you are not a sellout.
I purposely used these examples, because they illustrate the internal landscape that is not often considered. It is not what it looks like from the outside, but what it feels like on the inside.
Be true to thyself, or thyself will make you feel your sellout acutely.
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