The next item on my Life-is-short-so-I-better-make-the-most-of-it list is “Do things with your loved ones. Make memories. Pursue your passions.”
Music is a huge part of my life. I am very lucky to be able to share my love for music with my two sons who are musicians as well. We’ve played and performed together on a few occasions. We recorded my husband’s favorite song and gave it to him as a gift once. Although he doesn’t play an instrument he loves music too. We enjoy watching the kids and their friends jam, perform, write music and pursue their passion. The boys have recorded some of their own pieces and shared them with our family and friends for the fun of it.
One of my son’s friends, is a talented songwriter and keyboard player who is seriously wishing to pursue a career in music. Recently graduated with only a part-time job, his resources are limited to promote himself as a budding new artist. His current vehicle? You guessed it – social media.
Using Social Media to Start a Music Career
Like everything that has changed with the age of computers and technology, so has breaking into the music industry. Artists can no longer rely on old-school methods to promote their music or land a record deal.
According to Claire Field, author, editor and blogger, here’s how social media can be used to try and make that break into the music industry:
Consider which social networking sites to use:
- MySpace used to be the social networking site of choice for aspiring artists. The once popular site has been attributed to launching a number of careers as well as boosting sales of already established artists. However MySpace dropped 10 million unique visitors at the start of 2011, bringing users down to 63 million compared to Facebook’s 500 million users. As an example, Lady Gaga has over 31 million likes on Facebook, yet only 1.5 million “friends” on her MySpace profile. MySpace is clearly no longer the most appropriate tool for aspiring artists trying to break into the music industry but is still an option, and won’t hurt.
- ReverbNation and Bandcamp – Depending on the genre of music, artists might find that using specialist sites like ReverbNation or Bandcamp that fit the image of the band more than a mainstream Facebook or Twitter approach. However, considering it’s a numbers game and the more track listens or video views an artist lands equates to a perceived popularity, they would be silly to ignore Facebook.
- YouTube – is like talking with fans face to face. The immediacy of the YouTube platform is useful to artists because they can get instant feedback on songs or works in progress, as well as its global reach. One of the data tools supplied can even reveal where the artist’s fan base is located around the world.
- Facebook remains the most effective way for an artist to reach audiences and promote their music. “We encourage every artist to have accounts on the likes of Facebook and Twitter,” says Naoise Ryan of Universal Music Group. “It’s really important that they are accessible, plus it allows them to be closer to their fans and interact in ways that can benefit both parties. Nothing positive can come from ignoring fans in today’s music scene.”
Other social media options? How are they used?
There are many other social networking options out there it can get overwhelming. Every platform gives independent musicians a different way to connect with their fans. Twitter can be great for fun, little engaging conversations. Instagram can give fans insight into an artist’s daily life. But with each new platform comes new rules, formats, and strategies. The following is a good reference regarding how to use selected social media entitled fittingly “Everything You Need to be a Social Media Rockstar”
Famous Musicians who Got their Start on Social Media
There are many – and many Canadians at that:
Justin Bieber started posting homemade performance videos at 12 years old,posting videos of himself singing and playing (did you know he plays drums, guitar and piano?). He gained fans view after view and the rest was history. Bieber was also partly responsible for launching the career of Carly Rae Jepsen after she came third in Canadian Idol. He tweeted that Jepsen’s tune “Call Me Maybe” was one of the catchiest tunes he had ever heard – and the rest of that is history too. The Weeknd, Shawn Mendes, Walk Off the Earth plus a slew of others including Justin Timberlake, Tori Kelly, James Bay, Alessia Cara – all have social media, particularly YouTube, to thank for their music careers.
Rooting for Appollo
We are cheering enthusiastically for my son’s friend Apollo (his ‘stage’ name) who has just released his second single of electronic pop from his debut EP “Sin & Serenity”.
(used with permission)
Also find him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram:
We all hope he continues to pursue his dreams. With the reach and scope of social media, and the direct connection it has with music fans worldwide, he will have an excellent head start – something that was not possible for artists in the past.
Have you used social media as a vehicle to pursue your dreams and passions? Or used it to make memories with your loved ones? Please share!
(Photo credits: All images used in this post are from https://creativecommons.org/)