Our Beginners’ Guide to the Music Industry

We’ve learned from our clients on the inside, here are our top ten tips.

1. Are you truly talented?

You would be amazed by how many people have little idea of their own talent, good or bad. Just one viewing of the X Factor audition stages will confirm that.

Do you do what you do uniquely, memorably and brilliantly? Ask for honest, objective opinions (probably not your mum though – too biased).

Have you got a talent that is different and marketable enough to build a career on or – honestly, now – do you just wish you had?

2. Do you want it enough to make sacrifices?

Making it in the music business takes huge amounts of commitment and effort. If you aren’t willing to invest the time needed, don’t expect to get far.

It is very unlikely to happen by luck. Your hard work makes your luck. Dedicate every moment you can to your music and this will inevitably mean giving up on a social life, maybe even a family life or full time work. Ask yourself for how long you are willing and able to make these important sacrifices.

Decide on a cut-off point. Perhaps you do not have star potential, after all. But you could still make a fulfilling career as a backing singer or session musician. Explore every avenue.

3. Understand how the industry works

You’d be amazed by how many people want to work in this business and to become stars, without an idea of how it works or, even more importantly, how to make it work for them. Study the practices and systems of the music industry; not just the record companies, the managers, producers, promoters, publishers and successful musicians too. How do they all do what they do? How do they interconnect?

Understanding this will help you understand what motivates record companies, publishers, producers and managers. Once you understand that, you can begin to fulfil their expectations.

4. Build your performing presence.

First and foremost, it’s essential to get your act together.

Perform in front of audiences wherever and whenever you can find them. Start at nearby venues. Perform for nothing, if necessary, to prove your worth. Build your visibility locally.

As you begin to attract an audience and a following, take note of who is turning up to see you and how they respond to different elements of your repertoire and performance. Respond to their responses by adjusting your repertoire and performance accordingly.

Hone your stage presence. Check out how the most successful acts in your genre perform on YouTube. How do they command the stage and interact with the audience? Copy what you love about their performance and adapt in response to your own audience.

Consider your image too. Lots of performers underestimate the importance of this.

Today’s music business success is about being able to present a seamless package offering music, image and performance.

How you look should be a seamless part of your act whether you’re more a casual Ed Sheeran or a glossy Beyoncé.

Having the same style as the audience you attract obviously builds a strong sense of empathy and connection. But, dare to be different too – stamp who you are on what you do, with your style, your design and your identity. But always remember, how you present yourself should flow from your character and your music, not the other way round.

Once you are a confident and responsive performer, enter respected competitions such as Open Mic UK Once your performance rocks, connect with and invite local promoters, DJs, venue owners, journos, even people working in local music shops to come and see you perform. Make a genuine personal connection to these people.

Our Beginners’ Guide to the Music Industry

We’ve learned from our clients on the inside, here are our top ten tips.

©2020 Sloane

 

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