by Jessica Brandon
There are millions of talented musicians who already know how to make music. However, how do you get to success as a music artist?
- Listen and Learn
Listen to genres outside your music genre and get inspiration. Remember Rock ‘N Roll in the 1950’s? It came from various musical styles such as gospel, jump blues, jazz, boogie woogie, and rhythm and blues, along with country music. It was revolutionary at that time and drove millions of people to buy the music.
So, if you are a Folk Acoustic Artist, you may listen to Black Gospel music to get some inspiration. Not to copy but use influences in your music making, such as music composition, arrangement, rifts and feel.
There is much to be learned from other styles. All music offers a vast reservoir of new melodies and rhythms to experiment with, and to incorporate into your unique sound.
- Focus on Your Strengths
Stop making the same foolish mistakes over and over. Insanity has been described as repeating the same habit continually while expecting a different result. Knowing your strengths and skills are pivotal to succeed in on your road to becoming an artist.
Say if you are a great music creator in songwriting but not so good in writing lyrics, you may want to find a lyricist to help work on your song lyrics. In that way, you focus on your core – writing great music such as great melodic lines, chord progressions and overall song idea.
Similarly if you are not a good producer, you may want to find a good producer to help you craft the sound you want in the recording. In the meantime, you would record you ideas on your DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) and later bring that to a producer to make progress on your music making.
- Work on Your Artistry
The great Irish poet and playwright Oscar Wilde had a great quote: “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken”. Many music artists tend to sound just like any artist out there and their songs tend to sound derivative. They didn’t stop and look back and see what they can do to become more original sounding.
Work on developing your own signature artist sound rather than trying to shape something to please A&R people, be hip on what’s on the charts or future fans. Strive to find your own true identity through your music. And don’t feel like that once you’ve established a musical identity that it need be set in stone. Great artists such as Madonna, Elton John, Metallica, Bob Dylan and Neil Young have continually reinvented their personas and music throughout their careers.
- Be a Self Promoter
You may realize that no one is waiting for your music. If people are going to become fans of your music, you must approach the promoting of your live shows and the promotion of your music, CD and Video releases with the same planning and professionalism as the artists whom you admire have promoted their music. Marketing music has changed radically in the age of the Internet and social media. Spotify, YouTube, Soundcloud, Reverbnation and Bandcamp are great places to post your music and you can promote your music in social media such as Facebook and Twitter.
That technology has the potential to take your music to the world. But knowing that it is up to you to let the world know about your music, is an important first step to take as a responsible independent musician.
- Perform Live
Many up-and-coming music artists do not perform live and tend to just focus on recording in their home studio. However, gigging and touring are keys to success and getting your name out. IAMA (International Acoustic Music Awards) winner Meghan Trainor performed in Gay Pride festivals all over United States before becoming a household name. LeeAnn Rimes would cut her teeth performing at County Fairs before getting signed. Both Meghan Trainor and LeeAnn Rimes would go on to win Grammy Award for Best New Artist in separate years.
Play gigs outside of the usual clubs that cater to your genre of music. Branch out a bit; consider gigs at schools, fairs, festivals and perhaps parks in the summertime. So many artists think that the only valid venues to play are the clubs. Look around, start noticing where you see performers playing music, and ask yourself if that venue isn’t a valid one for you. Give your fans more than one place to see you perform while finding new followers. And at every gig, be sure there is an email signup sheet. Staying in touch with fans via emails is critical.
- Show Gratitude
This pays major dividends. It is vital to grateful to the people who help you. You might be surprised how often music reviewers, DJs at college radio stations, and club bookers don’t get thanked by artists. So, make their day by sending a card, a small thank-you gift, or simply by giving them a shout out on the tray card of your next CD. Some artists tend to feel they are owed something because of their amazing talent. Cultivate them and watch your doors swing open wide!
For more information on the 15th Annual IAMA (International Acoustic Music Awards), please go to: http://www.inacoustic.com