How to take the next step as an artist
So you’re an artist & your music has had a growing buzz for a while now. You’ve done some shows & picked up a decent fan base & you feel like now it’s time to take that next step in your music career. Great. Good. Awesome. You’re ready to get started, but how? I mean after all you’re the creative right? You write great music & perform amazing shows & hire a business manager or partner to handle the rest… Well, nowadays it’s crucial for you as an artist to know the business roles so you can take that next step in your career. Luckily we’re here to help you out.
Here are a few things you can do to take that next step:
Create A Musician’s Portfolio
As cliché as it may sound- your portfolio will serve as a way to brag on yourself & your band’s accomplishments. A resume is cool or whatever, but a musician’s portfolio will allow you to include every aspect of your musical background. According to an article on Our Everyday Life your portfolio should constantly be evolving with your career & include what you have to offer “such as your image, genre, style & achievements.” Also, make sure you include photography, a cover letter & bio, a demo & press clippings. Putting this bad boy together is a good step towards moving forward in your career.
Gig Outside of Your Comfort Zone
It’s so easy to perform around your city in clubs & small venues, but have you really taken the time to branch out? According to The Hub’s 10 Steps To Success for Independent Music Artists musicians should “consider gigs at schools, fairs, festivals & perhaps parks in the summertime.” I go to college in a growing town & our city always has annual festivals that promote musicians with different genres of music. It’s a great way to find a new following!
Spend Money To Make Money
Many musicians know the struggles of paying for recording time & tracks so it’s no secret that in order to make money you gotta spend some. There are a lot of music blogs & streaming services with a large following that charge to feature your music on their site. Some don’t even charge at all! You may have your own Soundcloud link that you constantly pub, which is great, but you should really look into getting your music across to more listeners. Check out blogs like Pitchfork.com, Stereogum.com, Datpiff.com & The A.V. Club. These are some popular music blogs that have played a vital role in the success of many musicians today.
Get a Good Manager
This step ties into the step of spending money. You may have a manager or promoter now that you’ve been with since you first started, but now that you’re ready to move forward are they really able to help you advance your career? Do they have the connections? Do they know how to roll with the big dogs? Your manager should ultimately love your music & be a go-getter. They need to know the ins-and-outs of the music industry. If after a few months you’re still feeling stagnant & they haven’t really been making moves to your benefit it’s time to move on and hire someone else. You may have to spend some good money on a manager, but just make sure what they’re charging matches their experience & credentials.
NEVER stop making music
Last but not least, NEVER give up. At times you may get frustrated & feel like your music hasn’t gone far enough, but trust me…you will find a breakthrough! Before The Weeknd blew up, he put out many single tracks & short mixtapes for years. Bryson Tiller used to put out song covers on YouTube before his song "Don’t" went viral. And let's not forget about Kanye. Yeezus himself used to make 5 beats a day for 3 summers straight. Now, 21 Grammy's later he's one of the most respected & successful music artists to date. If you’re passionate about your music & you have the mindset to succeed, never give up, even when times get hard. Keep on pushing. Remember, “What comes easy won’t last, & what lasts won’t come easy.”
Written by: PR Asst. Krystal D. Solomon
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