Music is an art. It is a talent given to few, but whose mastery can unleash a whirlwind of inspirations that affect people beyond those who produce it. Music flows from her creators and goes on to touch the lives of individuals that may be worlds away. It can bring together and bond people who are otherwise unable to communicate.
Music is also a business. It is much more than recording and broadcasting. So once you have some songs written, how do you get heard and get signed with a record label? Here's a little advice to help get an aspiring musician to the top.
Branding and Fandom.
Branding yourself goes hand in hand with building your fan base. Your brand becomes who you are; your fans then fall in love with who you are. You need something to be remembered by. Your appearance is a good place to start. Your look becomes your brand and, ideally, it should relate to your genre of music. Whatever you choose, make it your own. Wear it with pride. Remember; confidence is sexy.
Now take your music and new look to the stage. I don't just mean a video on Youtube. Don’t get me wrong; sharing your music on social media is a good idea, but it isn't enough to simply transmit your music on social media in hopes that someone will like you. You must be proactive and not only get your music heard, but gain an intense fan base.
Local venues and radio spotlights are great place to start. Reach out to them and have them play your music for the community. This can also be a bragging point when negotiating with a potential producer. Take every opportunity you can to play your songs for the world. Inquire about playing at coffee shops or look for establishments that have an open mic night.
Once you get on a stage, it’s time to throw out the hook and bait. Attracting fans involves some social skills. Having talent is an essential part of getting fans, but a musician needs be sociable and approachable. When you perform live, let that charisma shine and engage your audience. Get them involved in your performance. No one likes a boring show. Get creative. Have the crowd sing along with you. When you’re starting out, don’t be afraid to get into the middle of the group and get them dancing or clapping their hands. Give them a show they’ll never forget. Your performance becomes a part of your brand. Before you know it, fans will fall in love with you, and more importantly, your music.
Local gigs are a great way to get your start. Eventually you’ll want to roll with the big dogs. You need to get in touch with record companies and show them your passion. This can be accomplished by already knowing someone or using a source such as Beat Street Connection to reach out to A&R execs at top record labels. Whenever you present yourself to someone, they must see the value in what you have to offer.
There are thousands of artists trying to be heard. Labels know they are taking a risk with every new artist they bring on board. You must be bold and show a potential producer that what you have to offer is worth taking the risk of signing you. Develop deep relationships with your connections. Let them see your talent and dedication. Show them you mean business.
Finding success in the music industry is tough, but you’ll go a lot further when you ditch the negativity. There will be times when a friend, family member, maybe even a band member, starts to doubt you. Let me tell you, it is a terrible feeling. If the world begins to test you, find strength within and become your own biggest fan. Never succumb to doubt.
That being said, don’t sit on your bum and wait for something glorious to happen. Take the initiative and make the changes that need to occur to give you the boost you need. If you continue to work hard, then there is nothing you can't accomplish.
Every band from Guns N Roses to Three Days Grace had their share of ups and downs. They all had to start somewhere, and many started from nothing. Never quit improving yourself and never quit making music.