If you want a music career that’s more than just weekend gigs at your local bar, then you gotta do the hustle and really treat this as your life’s calling.
The brilliant rapper Kellee Maize wrote a list of tips on Huffington Post on how she “made it” in music. Here are the most important points from her article that every (EVERY!) musician must read:
1. Don’t Do Free Shows.
Free shows is amazing because it can hone your skills in actually performing in front of an audience and it is simply better to be out there compared to having no shows at all, but you will come to a point in your music career when you know you’re good enough but you’re still not moving forward, you’re still doing free shows all the time.
2. Learn the Business.
There is a ton of great music and lots of talented artists out there, but there seems to be very few talented marketers in the music industry. If you’re not into learning the business side of music, get someone on your team that wants to learn it while you focus on making music. Partner with someone that loves marketing, and it helps if you love and enjoy each other as people and have similar spiritual and creative interests. This is a must if you want to level up in your music career.
3. Let People Use Your Music for FREE!
Of course, don’t just give away your music for free without assigning a Creative Commons (CC BY 3.0) license to your music. Creative Commons is a copyright license you put on your music that allows you to let others download your music for free and use it for whatever they want. They just have to give you credit for it(good way to market your music). But for those who will use your music without giving you credit or for projects with huge profit (product, film, TV, most anything not YouTube), then they must pay you for your music.
4. Let YouTube Content Creators know they can use your music for free.
Search on Youtube how to make loom bands, or how to meditate at home or the top ten bad-ass films of 2014 and you will find out that each of these content have music. In most cases, Youtube will not allow them to use traditionally copyrighted music and these content creators risk getting their video deleted, or even worse, getting their account banned. Music that is licensed by Creative Commons allows these Youtubers to use your music and credit you in the description.
5. Submit Your Music to Jamendo, Frostwire & Free Music Archive.
Assuming that you now have chosen a Creative Commons license, it’s time to submit your music to some of the most awesome Creative Commons sites out there.
6. Only make a music video when you know which songs the fans like.
The song you want to make a video for might not be the song your fans like. Download data on all of the Creative Commons sites above and it will reveal what your fan’s favorite song is, make a music video for it and share it with them!
Do you have more music career tips to add?
James Hill is a veteran of the music industry. He first worked at Warner Reprise Records then later joined Interscope/ Geffen Records where he managed producers and songwriters and got his first platinum record for Keyshia Cole’s The Way It Is. He is now helping indie artists with branding and manufacturing through his company Unified Manufacturing, a CD/DVD/vinyl and merch company in LA.