You might be a great musician, producer, rapper or singer, but the golden question is ‘how do I get my music heard?’. There’s so much competition these days, how can you get ahead? Read on for some ideas to help your music stand out from the crowd.
Create a digital demo
Before the internet, this was the only way to get heard, you had to make a bunch of cassette tapes or burn your own CDs and send them to a record company, hoping they would even see it amongst the sacks of posts from young hopefuls arriving every day. A demo is still as important as ever but now exists in digital format, such an MP3 or WAV download from your Dropbox account or even available on your Soundcloud page.
You will need to create your own EPK (Electronic Press Kit), this can be a page on your own website that has download links to your music, press pictures (get some professionally done, think about friends or contacts that do this and see if they are up for helping you, perhaps you can help them with something else if you don’t have a budget yet) and a video (same person might be able to help!). If you want your music to be used as a soundtrack for films, used as placements on TV shows, adverts and games, make sure to create visuals to that along with your music.
Find the right contacts
Finding the right contacts isn’t easy, but the internet is your friend, spend time researching for appropriate bloggers and vloggers, journalists, podcasters, playlist curators, event organisers, label managers, publishers etc… Schedule time to reach out to a few people each day and your network will slowly grow (don’t expect many people to hit you back at first but keep grinding away).
Don’t be afraid to meet new people and be open
Get out there and network, network, network! I make sure I get to as many music-related events, particularly in London so that I can step out of my comfort zone and have conversations with people about the things they are doing, you’d be surprised how open and willing to share people are in the music community, so you never know what you might gain. Get yourself out to music trade shows, open days, producer sessions, courses, meet people and converse with them, don’t just talk about yourself!
Here’s a bunch of events happening in London on Eventbrite over the next few weeks: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/d/uk–london/music-production/?crt=regular&sort=best
Here’s an event I got asked to run a live ‘making a beat’ session for Native Instruments at the Barbican on 11th April 2018 called BARS
Build your online brand and use social media to your advantage
This is the first step for any budding artist, and there are no roadblocks to getting your own Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, SoundCloud or YouTube account. You can create your own basic website these days for free (but you can also pay peanuts for a professionally designed one too – hit me up if you want help, I’ve built over 3000 sites in the last 10 years). Join music websites that can help your fanbase grow such as PureVolume and Bandcamp.
When you create new music, you want people to know about it. Aggregator sites such Digg and Reddit have ‘listen to this’ threads where people post links to new music. These sites are a great way to spread the word, make sure to use them and don’t be shy! You must be prepared to do your own PR and be your own biggest advocate, do your own marketing and in effect, be your own record company, think like a business person as well as a musician, you can do this!