Becoming a successful recording artist is not easy and requires a lot of work, but it’s now easier than ever for artists to build a career for themselves. The internet has greatly democratized the industry and allows artists to build a fanbase, release their music, and make money from shows on their own. Not everyone wants to be a small-time independent artist, however. If your goal is to become an international superstar, you first need to be very realistic with yourself and be ready for the challenges that come with building a career. Let’s take a look at a few things you’ll have to do if you want a long successful career in the music industry.
Assess Your Talent
The first thing you must do is make sure that you have what it takes to become a successful artist. If you can sing and you have a good image, this could be enough for some people to sign you, but you’ll have to add some things to your package. You may have to learn how to dance and work on your live performance, for instance. If you’re a self-taught singer, you should also think about getting some singing lessons.
If you know how to play an instrument and you think that you have the kind of image the industry is looking for, you may have a much easier time getting signed. You will still have to work on your stage presence, however.
One way to tell if you have the level of talent needed to be successful would be to perform as a busker. You’ll be able to tell by people’s reaction if you have something special. Pick a spot with good foot traffic where street artists are known to perform. If a crowd starts building around you and they have a strong reaction to your music, you may have what it takes.
The next step would be to release music on YouTube and see how people react there. You can release your own compositions but covers work well too. You have to be ready to release a lot of content before something takes off, however. It could take over 100 videos for one to hit, so be patient and pay attention to what people have to say about your music.
Release a Demo or EP
If you feel like you have the goods, you could then decide to create a demo or an EP. Creating a demo is the traditional way of doing things, but it can still work; you just have to find a way to get your demo in the right hands. You can go knocking on record companies’ doors or try to reach A&Rs, but your best bet would be to find an agent that believes in you and allow them to do the leg work.
If you want to start building an audience and both showcase your work, however, going with an EP is the best option. You’ll have something you can put on platforms like Bandcamp or Soundcloud. You’ll then be able to link agents and executives to this page. This will give them an idea of how good you are and how much engagement you’re getting.
Another thing we would suggest is that you get as close to record companies and executives as you can. Here, you have to pay very special attention to your type of music. If you do country music, for instance, then you’ll have a much greater chance in a place like Memphis than a place like LA.
If you don’t want to relocate to the other side of the country, then at least go to a major hub in your state. If you live in Texas, for instance, then you could move to Austin, Houston, or Dallas.
One of the benefits of a city like Dallas is that it has tons of affordable studios that will give you top-level quality. If you’re looking for a great Dallas recording studio, you should check out PIRATE. They have all the equipment you need to produce professional-level records. You can go in with your team at any time of the day and night and have all the freedom needed to create something great.
You should still consider moving to one of the major entertainment cities in the country if you have the chance, however. Atlanta, New York, LA, and Miami are all great options. You’ll get the chance to bump into record executives, agents, and even artists that could help you with your career, so don’t underestimate the power of location.
Work On Your Social Media Presence
You also need to start building traction on social media. Social media is everything for artists nowadays, and many record companies will simply refuse to sign an artist that does not have a solid following. As a matter of fact, this could be all that it takes for you to get signed.
There are many approaches that you can take there. You can let either your personality or your talent speak. If you feel like you have a very strong personality, or even a polarizing one, then this could help you get noticed. But know that careers that are built on controversy rarely last.
It would be much better to grow your social media organically and try to build a connection with your audience. Simply posting videos of you performing in public spaces could be enough for you to get attention. Don’t worry if things start slow either. If you notice that you get a strong reaction at the beginning and instantly get followers, even if it’s a small number, then it’s a good sign. You’ll simply need to continue working on your content and be consistent.
This is all you need to know if you want to build a successful career as a recording artist. Great careers don’t happen overnight, so be ready to deal with a lot of rejection and persevere if you want to make it.
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