10 Things Every New Artist In The Music Industry Should Know
Breaking into the music industry can be difficult, so here are 10 tips every new artist should know to assist them.
On May 27th, the Demo Tape was granted the opportunity to attend StreetSmart Magazine’s Industry Xposure event. This event was beyond amazing, and extremely informative. The general purpose of the Industry Xposure was to help new artist make connections with other artists and the panel of five incredible men as well as learn from the panel and have the chance to perform in front of them for feedback. The panel consisted of WPGC 95.5 personality Tony Redz, recording artist Starrz, producer and executive VP of Street Fam Mally the Martian, WildChild DNA the DJ, and Omar from D1 Entertainment. Listening to the panel, I have chosen ten very important things that every new artist should know.
Make a strong connection with a DJ
DJs are the ones who will be constantly spinning your tracks at events or clubs in front of large audiences. As DJs travel, your music travels with them. Why is this important? Well, you do not want to be subjected to just one type of fan base. When a DJ spins your music, mixing your beat with another beat to appeal to the crowd, it is expanding your fan base.
Make a strong connection with a producer
If you’re an a cappella artist, you can skip this fact. If not, having music producers in your corner can be extremely beneficial to your success. As you vibe with your favorite artist’s lyrics, you are bobbing your head to an awesome beat. Without beats, you are stuck with just lyrics. Therefore, having a strong connection with a producer can help you. Producers have a vault of beats just waiting to be released. If you connect with a producer, there is a great chance that you might get first picks for the producer’s best beats. Say for instance, you’re in the studio trying to write a song but do not have a beat. Just being able to have a reliable producer in your corner means you can have one of their best beats within minutes. Another reason to have a producer in your corner is that the producer will be willing to tailor some beats to fit your specific sound.
When performing at a show, use a show track
A show track is the track to the song you are performing that only includes the beat and the ad-libs. A show track is important to a performance because it makes it easier for you to display your talent to the audience. If the artist is not in perfect sync with the song, then there is a constant echo that the audience hears. After finishing a song, ask your engineer to also master a show track for you so that you always have it on hand, ready to perform at any time.
Come to a performance dressed like an artist.
This is very simple. If you are a performing artist, it is important that you look like one. And no, this does not mean that you should spend a lot of money on clothes just to impress the audience, but you do want to look impressive. Buying a simple outfit that portrays your personality and the performance is essential in keeping up your appearance to your fans.
Do not always worry about getting paid
If you are a new artist, you should not always worry about getting paid. Beginning your life as an artist means that you should want to increase your fan base. Also, you should want to appeal to the people who make the decisions to book you for events. Yes, money is an important factor in living like an artist but it should not be the most important part of your journey in the beginning. It is okay to make an appearance for free if it is benefiting the growth of your fans. A great example is making an appearance at event in which kids are attending. Some artists fail to realize that kids are a great percentage of heir fan base. The kids are constantly replaying, streaming and sharing their favorite songs, so, appealing to them can increase your success.
Continuously rehearse your performance prior to performing
Although performing might seem easy, like a “I am just going to get on the stage and do it” type of ordeal, you should rehearse. Thinking about performing and performing are two different things. Constantly rehearsing your performance ensures that it will go how you want it. Being nervous can cause you to forget to say, do, or express something that you had in mind. Unfortunately, the audience can see if a mistake happens, and as an artist, you need to bounce back from the mistake quickly. The repetitive rehearsals can decrease the number of mistakes you make which will make your performance better
“Stamp” or code your music before leaving the studio
The Nielsen Broadcast Data System is a service that tracks what’s being played on the radio, both broadcast and internet, as well as television. This is actually what Billboard uses to determine its charts. This is important, even for new artists, because if your song goes viral, gets all this radio play, etc., and it isn’t registered, this quantifies as a “ghost spin.” When labels or anyone else go to search your name in the database to gauge how popular you are, your name will not show up because you aren’t in the database. In a day and age where songs can go viral off of Twitter or Instagram in a matter of minutes, don’t play yourself by forgetting to stamp your music before putting it out, or even leaving the studio. Register your music on Nielsen here.
When performing, decide who should be on the stage.
This fact might not seem as important as the other nine, but this is very important when planning a performance. You may think it’s cool to have everyone on the stage with you, displaying that you have support, but everyone is not needed on the stage. To start, if there are too many bodies on the stage, it makes it hard for the audience to focus on the artist. If everyone on the stage is jumping around, swinging their arms and rapping to the top of their lungs just like the artist, the audience might be confused as to who the artist is. Make sure the select few hype men on the stage are hype men. The job of the hype man is to add to your performance, not take away from it. Hype men are supposed to stand behind or around the artists and add to their energy which makes sure the audience will feel the energy
Have a clean version to vulgar tracks if it has potential to be played on the radio
If your track has potential to be played on the radio, there needs to be a clean version. The DJ at the radio station can put fancy filters in place of vulgar language but that can take away from the song. Perfecting a clean version of your single helps everyone involved be able to push your single out, which again can help increase your fan base. Songs like “Shawty,” by The Dream, “What You Know,” by T.I and A$AP Rocky’s “Fucking Problems” are great examples of songs that have clean versions that do not destroy the flow of the song. Also, push that single to its fullest extent. Often times, artists release too much music too quickly. Push a single to its fullest extent, to blogs, DJs, radio, etc., before releasing more music.
Do not spend your time trying to be like anyone else
Be yourself. Do not waste your time trying to sound, or look like anyone else. It is okay to have inspirations and to study the way your favorite artists display themselves, but you should not be an imitator. Developing your own style, musically and with an appearance is also important to growing as an artists.