Music is an interesting field to be in. Most people learn as they go, and a lot of people who have the knowledge don’t particularly like to share. I guess there’s fear that giving the information can eat away at their pockets and fan base. The thing about it is, there’s so many people in the world that everybody can have a secured place in music. Most of us do music for the love of it, but we all would like to have the opportunity to do what we love to do, all while being able to do it full time and take care of our families. Although I’m not the biggest artist in the world, I do have some tips that could possibly help you out and save you a lot of frustration and headaches.
Who are you?
Figuring our who you are is the most important step in the right direction. Most people will say, well I know who I am, but the fact is, who you are and who you aspire to be are two separate people for the time being. In figuring out who you are as an artist, you’ll not only find peace in music, you’ll find your sound and lane. That’s a major discovery because most times, artists that are either just starting out, trying to reinvent themselves, or trying to catch the next wave, are constantly listening to the new sound and trying to replicate it. The issue with that is, it really leaves no room for improvement because it’s not yours. Sure you can build on it and make it a part of who you are, but you won’t be able to sit back and say, that’s my sound.
In music we all take bits and pieces from our favorite artists and songs, and are influenced by them, but being influenced by, and copying are two different things. As a singer, sometimes I may hear a note, or a run, and I’ll practice it until I get it, but most times I don’t use it in a song. I just appreciate it and want to know if I can do it. It helps me think of new runs that I’ve never done and heard before. That’s what listening to music should do. It should inspire us to do something better than what we just heard.
Finding out who you are is essential to your growth as an artist.
Who’s your target audience?
Although it sounds better to say that your target audience is 100k people,which range from all ages, genres and areas, if only 19k like it, then your chances of capitalizing is only 19%, whereas if your target audience in a solid 50k of targeted people, you have a 50% chance of winning them over.
Those odds are a lot better than 19%. Now you continue to build on that 50k of people, which you may only get up about 25k of supporters, figuratively speaking, but if you can manage to gain 25k of supporters every time you drop something whether it’s a full project, or single, then you’re growing your brand. Once your brand gets to a certain level, your brand markets and represents itself.
Think about this. When Justin Timberlake dropped his 20/20 album, he announced it the night it dropped and it still did numbers. Amazing numbers at that. His brand precedes him. He doesn’t have to put as much time, effort, energy and money into marketing and promo because he has years of gaining supporters and M&P that help him maintain. He also stays consistent but not too consistent in dropping too much music.
What type of song are you planning to release?
Songs and seasons go together more than people could ever imagine. You see, I have this song called Reminiscing and the chorus says, “Riding through the city with my windows down. And my music turned up to the max, yea.” That’s a portion of the chorus. I released it in the summer of last year because I paid attention to the detail of the song. It wouldn’t have made any sense to release it in the heart of winter when nobody is riding through the city with their windows down.
Pay attention to the types of songs that are released during each season. Just because you got a hit, doesn’t mean it’s time to release that particular song. If you missed the window to release it, hold off on it and figure out what other songs you have that are just as good, but serve as a better option for the time and season you’re in.
These are just a few tips that can help you along your journey in music because that’s exactly what it is. A journey that has many ups and downs, twists and turns, and a vast number of plot changes and twists. The way you thought that it would happen, is very seldom the way that it will happen. Be prepared to change directions and course at any given moment, but stay focused on your goals, and stay true to yourself as an individual first, and an artist next. Become very flexible in schedule and execution. There will be times where you have to step outside of yourself and your norm in order to accomplish the next goal, but accomplishing each minor goal pushes you that much further to the main goal.
I hope this was a little helpful. It was, please feel free to share and tell a friend that you know could use the advice.
I’ll be doing more blogs on this as well as anything else that I think of, or that you all may want some insight on.
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J. Stephens Music