How to Get Your Music Career Started

by Justin on December 21, 2016

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Having a music career is much different than any other. Becoming a renowned musician comes down to a number of things: talent, persistence, connections, and luck, meaning that it’s not enough to be really good at your art, you need to set yourself up for success. Over the years, the culture of music has changed, with new channels like iTunes, YouTube and Spotify entering the market, and it’s not about being discovered by a record label manager at open mic night anymore.

If you have that passion inside you but don’t really know where to start, here’s a list of important steps and tips that emerging artists use to get exposure and some recognition.

  1. Find your Voice

Music is a personal art, and it requires the artist to share some of himself for the listener to connect with. Find a way to translate your ideas, your emotions, and your heart into your music so that there is something unique and touching about it. Experiment with different styles, renditions, and sounds to see what best reflects your unique voice while still maintaining a dedicated audience. Sometimes it’s worth going for a niche sound rather than mainstream, as it can be easier to gain popularity in. Ask some trusted friends and mentors about their opinion, however remember to stay true to yourself. That authenticity will resonate better with your listeners than a fabricated persona just trying to fit in.

  1. Performing

If you are looking at becoming a successful artist, you need to get comfortable performing. No one said you have to take dancing classes, but remember that music is part of the entertainment industry, and people like going out for concerts and performances. Work on your stage presence by performing often, even if it means going to small venues or even doing it for free. Even if no one is really listening, you need the experience and a small audience might even allow you experiment with several different techniques and styles without feeling overly shy or self-conscious. A good idea is to get a friend to video record your performances so that you can watch them at home later. It’s a great way to see what you sound and look like onstage and you can change whatever you don’t like in future performances. Once you start to like performing and your confidence is higher, look for opportunities to team up with more experienced artists and do a mini tour for more exposure.

  1. EP Recording

Back in the day, emerging artists would record a couple of singles on some tapes and send them into radio stations or even hand them out on the street. Today the expectations are a bit higher due to the advances in technology and the relatively low cost of producing a high quality electronic press kit. Many artists starting out are tempted to make their own with equipment that they have at home, however professionals will hear the difference immediately. Find a team of producers and recorders which includes a tech with a certificate of completion in audio engineering and music production. This investment is an essential step in gaining recognition, and paired together with your performing experience is something that you can always benefit from.

  1. Release Recording

There are many different methods in which artists now release their music. From going through record labels, to releasing their album on iTunes, to allowing free downloads on their websites, everyone seems to have their own way of doing it and for different reasons. Based on your following up to this point, you might want to charge a small fee for downloading or listening to your music, while if you are looking to still grow a dedicated following, your best bet it to have your music easily accessible everywhere.

  1. Branding/Social Media

Once again, music is a type of showbiz and artists are personalities that people like to follow and connect with from a superficial to a genuine level. As a self-made, emerging artist you need to be present on social media and create a “brand” around yourself and your music. From the way you dress, speak, write or even take pictures, people will become interested in you and what you do. Having a big following also helps you with creating “hype” before performances, with new releases, and can assist you in connecting with other artists for future collaborations.

There is no perfect formula for becoming a successful musician in today’s society, however, there are some basics that you need to have to even open the door to the possibility of getting your “big break”. And though many wait for good luck or perfect timing, more often than not, it takes hard work and patient persistence to get you to where you want to be.

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