As a new artist trying to get your music heard can be a daunting challenge. Whilst in theory the internet and streaming has given your music a huge potential platform from which to showcase your beats, you may have discovered that the stage is rather large and your voice is not carrying particularly well. Like many other new artists you may have encountered some of the following common pitfalls; minimal YouTube plays, fake likes on your Facebook page, followers on instagram who only seem to be interested in offering you free likes, silence from every blog you’ve ever emailed, no record deal and ultimately a loss of faith and belief in your music. But how can you change this? Hopefully over the next few months I will write a series of articles that will give you a helping hand. First up: ‘How To Get Your Music Noticed‘ [Part 1].
Like me you have probably watched many X Factor auditions and either laughed or felt pity for the unfortunate wanna be’s who seem to have no concept of why they have not been picked, often vehemently believing that the judges simply don’t know what they are talking about. On the odd occasion the judges may miss a diamond in the rough, however this is the exception rather than the rule and the reality for many of us is that we are simple not good enough. This is not to say we never will be, but we need to be realistic and therefore this is my first fundamental step to getting noticed: SEEK FEEDBACK
Step 1 – Seek Feedback on your music from a respected source who is credible and most importantly will be honest. You may think your first finished tune is a sure fire main room heater but chances are your rose tinted lenses are thicker than the average Premiership Footballer. A second or third pair of ears will hear things you may have missed, and whilst the feedback maybe disappointing it should spur you on to keep pushing the boundaries of you art and knowledge. Unless you happen to be a child prodigy, I am very confident when I say that after one tune there is NO WAY, NO WAY you know everything there is to know about musical production, music theory, arrangement, melody, groove, rhythm etc etc. Even if you got lucky and wrote a killer tune, do you know how you did it, could you replicate it? There is always more to learn. A common misconception is that people we perceive as talented just effortlessly write music all day everyday with minimal effort, and whilst some may have a innate ability we dont naturally posses, it is naive to think that they are not working hard at their craft, which leads me to second fundamental step: HARD WORK
Step 2 – Hardwork. Sorry if you feel like you’re back at School, but the truth is if you want to write great music its going to take some serious graft. Yes you may get lucky with a late night post partying production session, but as I said before these sort of genius moments will be the exception rather than the rule. Keep learning, push your skills, try new ideas, read & watch tutorials, try and emulate your peers, learn an instrument, take a production course, put the hours in and above all dont give up. Which nicely leads into my third fundamental step: EMBRACE DISAPPOINTMENT
Step 3 – Embrace disappointment. The truth is with anything creative you are taking a personal risk, you are opening yourself up for criticism, rejection and failure, all of which can be intensely painful; damaging your belief, confidence and desire to keep writing. However you need to remember this does not define who you are, its just someone else’s opinion. This is not to say you should bury you head in the sand like the X Factor hopefuls who belligerently ignore all criticism and advise that comes their way, but it does mean you need to take it on the chin and channel it positively. Dont try and prove people wrong as that will just lead to perpetual disappointment, trust me on this, but rather use the disappointment to motivate you to keep writing.
In summary i’d like to give you a little context from my own personal experience. I started DJing in 1999 and there is no way of getting around it, I was hopeless, so much so that after 12 months I still couldn’t match a beat. My disappointment intensified when my younger brother who had not been practising for 12 months picked it up within the space of a few hours. Sadly for him he was unceremoniously given a life time ban from my 1210’s. However, and this is a very short non grandfather type account of events, I kept working at it and by 2011 (12 years later) I was playing every weekend to 600+ people, I was resident in two of Brighton’s key clubs at that time, I was also recording 2 radio shows a month, running a music magazine, a record label and a successful party. I know what you’re thinking ‘blah blah blah’ but I hope my brief personal example helps give the points above a bit more weight.
[Part 2] New Artists – How to Build an online profile