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Music news, reviews, and interviews.
As a musician who’s just starting out, you might be wondering just how to break into the music industry. You’ve got so many artists that you look up to that have made a huge name for themselves, but how can you find your own way into the spotlight? You might also have questions about music distribution and promotion, and feel uncertain about how to release your music and get people to listen to it. While breaking into the music industry might seem like a daunting task when you’re just starting out, with consistent commitment and drive, you can find success as a working musician and experience the joy of having others listen to and appreciate your music. If you’re looking for tips and tricks on getting your foot in the door of the music business, read on to learn how you can get your music heard, and become a part of the creative industry that you adore.
When starting out as a musician, it can be easy to play cover songs to practice your craft and build your singing and instrumental skills. You’ll also want to take the time to hone your voice as a songwriter and craft original songs. If you’re not sure where to begin in terms of songwriting, think about the singer-songwriters that you love, and what themes they touch on in their music. From there, explore those themes from your own personal perspective, and attach lyrics to them. Just like practicing an instrument, songwriting is a skill that you build over time, and one that’s incredibly useful, as it opens up different opportunities for you in the music industry. In addition to this, songwriters are paid separate royalties for songs thanks to songwriting copyrights, so it can be financially beneficial to write your own songs as well. Writing your own songs allows you greater ownership over the musical work that you create, which can give you greater agency in your career further down the line.
A great way to build recognition for yourself as an artist when first starting out is to attend open mic nights near you. An open mic is a performance event where people of various talents are invited to showcase their creative work. Sometimes open mics are specific just to musicians, while others showcase a variety of entertainment including stand up, poetry, and spoken word monologues. By attending open mic nights, you get the opportunity to perform your music for others (typically for free, though some mics may have a small admission fee in order to perform). Open mics give you the chance to practice your music in front of a live audience, who just might become fans! Additionally, the more involved that you become in the open mic circuit in your town, the more often you’re likely to meet other musicians who may run shows of their own that they can book you on. While you might be nervous to perform your songs at an open mic, don’t let your nerves get in the way of a great performance opportunity that could lead to more widespread recognition of your work.
As a new artist, you’re likely to be an independent musician, meaning that you’re not signed to a record label. While record labels typically have deals with music distribution companies to release their artists’ work, independent artists are left with the task of distributing their music on their own. As digital streaming services like Spotify have become more popular in recent years, many independent artists have focused their efforts on releasing their music online via digital music distributions services.
A digital music distribution service helps musicians by releasing their work to all the major music streaming services, as well as popular apps like Instagram and TikTok, which have music add-on features. Typically, a digital music distribution service will require you to pay a monthly subscription service or a one-time fee per song or album to upload your music. Some of these services may also take a small portion of the profits that you make from streams and downloads of your songs; however, there are others that let musicians keep all of their profits. Given the differences between different digital music distribution services, it’s a good idea to do your research to figure out which one is right for you.
Breaking into the music industry can seem almost impossible when you’re just starting out, but you can do it! By taking the time to develop your music style and write your own songs, perform at open mics, and utilize a digital music distribution service in order to release your music to streaming platforms, you’ll be able to take your first steps in creating a lasting name for yourself in the music industry.
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