Thursday, 12 March 2015

How to start in the music industry

Hi, i thought it would be good to share my trade secrets on how to start out in the music industry!

With all kinds of Electronic music the key is social media. Most of the target audience for the genre will not find your music naturally due to the amount of electronic music produced. So to get around this problem (at least at the start) you need to find people who would likely appreciate your music. 

For example; if you search the word 'electronic' or 'electro' on Twitter, you will find all the people who have used the word in any tweets, this is where you can pick and choose accounts to follow with the hope that firstly they follow you back and secondly that they might listen/share your music.
(As a side note; i advise that you make a twitter persona specifically for your music, and never tweet about anything but music and your own musical projects. Hopefully you can get an account with your name that you produce under.)
You need to build a healthy enough twitter account that people will discuss your music on a semi-regular basis.

A similar approach also needs to be taken with any and all other social media outlets; google+, facebook, instagram, tumblr, blogspot, and of course Soundcloud & Bandcamp.

Social media is key to the process just because you need a loose following who are likely to publicize your work which ultimately makes the job of promoting any new songs/EP's?Albums much easier and also gaining more chance of captivating new audiences.

The second biggest part of releasing music is the 'how and when' aspect. Over the last year i have worked out that the best approach to keep your followers interested is to release music regularly, by that i mean an average of 1 track a week. In the case of any album or EP you should never post all the songs on the same day as they will instantly lose the extra exposure which you gain from posting them with at least a day in-between. 
Also the day and time you release music can be key; if your primary audience is in America then you need to release music according to peak times in america, the peak times for most countries is 5pm. So if your primary audience is in the UK then no time-zones have to be taken into account and 5pm would be the best time.
The day which you post a new song/album is also key to if it will be noticed, Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays are regarded as the best days in the UK. 

Of course the actual music that you release also has a huge part to do with the success of your music career, and related to this you need to pick a genre and stick to it. Of course you can mildly blend styles but it is KEY that you keep to a certain style or sound so that you are recognizable and distinguishable from others who produce similar music.

Once you have a good following and a strong catalog of music the next step would be to get your music distributed onto sites such as iTunes/Deezer/Rdio/Amazon/Youtube/Spotify/Beats. There are two ways to get your music distributed to these sites and they are signing to a record label or going it alone and using an aggregate site.
With the record label route, you need to contact the record labels that you like personally, and those attached to similar artists within your genre. This can sometimes take a lot of work and time as most record labels will usually be managing multiple artists. Persistence is key.

The other option (using an aggregate) is the choice that i myself have taken. I use a site called 'Distrokid' who distribute to most of the biggest digital distribution sites, of course there is a fee attached to this option however Distrokid is extremely cheap compared to others such as Tunecore, CDBaby and Reverbnation. These other sites do offer similar deals with a few extra sites added onto the list but Distrokid allows you to upload as many Singles/Albums etc as you like for a whole year whereas the other sites charge you for each EP/Single/Album that you upload. 

The choice for how you want to get distributed onto major digital music sites is of course personal preference. But whenever you publish new music it is vital to use the social media networks that you have established to drive more people towards what you have created.
Also asking your audience for feedback and engaging actively within the music community will be a sure-fire way to also gain the respect of other music producers within the community.

No matter what, make the music that you want to hear yourself! Passion is obvious and if it shows in your music then you're on the right track.

Tom / Occams Laser

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