When big artists such as Radiohead become disenchanted by the corporate world of greedy business men in the music industry, it’s all too easy for them to cut the ties and progress onward without a label. When you’ve already achieved a huge fan base, of course you can still achieve success when independently releasing future albums; people will flock to your music no matter how you market it if you’re already a well-known name.
What about the little guys? If you’re a small, new artist trying to break through in the industry, it seems impossible for that to happen unless you purchase streams for Spotify or get noticed by a big record label and sign a deal with them. Despite your hesitancy to take the plunge and go solo, however, there are more successful artists out there who ‘made it’ independently than you might think. Arctic Monkeys, for example, were one of the first bands to build a huge fan base using nothing more than their presence on the internet. The following pieces of advice might help you also become a successful independent musician.
Balancing your business and creative head.
As an independent musician, you’re going to need to learn about the business side of music, as dull as that may seem. Approached correctly, however, you can combine the art of making music with the art of promoting and spreading that very same music. You’ll need to come to terms with the steps to success in terms of branding yourself, marketing your tracks and reeling in people to attend any gigs you might be performing.
If you’re part of a band, it’s much easier to complete these tasks as a collective; as a solo artist, you might need to enlist a little help from friends, family and anyone who wants to support you. Look at the ways in which the top artists present themselves in terms of their personal image and their music; borrow ideas to form your own personal brand.
Learn how to record and produce professionally.
Usually, the main thing a record label brings to the table for a musician or a band is the studio, managers, production assistants and so many other people who help turn a well-written song into a well-produced recording. However, there’s no reason you can’t achieve this yourself; with the beauty of affordable modern technology, even bedroom musicians can achieve a sound which is produced to a professional standard if they know how to use their gear and software correctly.
It’s important to use quality kit, of course, so you could check out sites such as The Box Tiger Music for reviews on the best guitars and pianos available. Maybe you won’t sound professional at first, but you’ll learn how to better produce your own music over time, and you definitely don’t need a big label to achieve that. You could even pay for a little studio time just to learn some techniques regarding good music production. By doing that, you’ll ensure that you can do it all by yourself next time.
Be a kind and genuine person.
The music industry is swamped by cold, pompous producers and artists alike. Many people gain over-inflated egos and lose some essence of personality and basic human courtesy. If you want to get ahead on an independent basis, you need to remain grounded and showcase your gratitude as well as your talent. If a radio station plays your track, for example, then thank them for helping you. It may not seem like that, but you’ll create a good impression simply by showing how much their support means to you.