Here we have some of the best ways to get your tracks heard and stand out from the crowd.
Get your mixtapes and demos out there
You should keep in mind that sending out demos is really not the only way to get discovered. The best way to get anywhere in the music industry is relationships and who you know. You should always remain approachable, sociable and hard working. Playing at plenty of gigs can also get you the attention and exposure you need.
If you do decide to post mixtapes and demos to promoters, DJ’s or journalists make sure you include your contact information too and not just on the CD case, this way someone who is interested in your music can get in touch even if they have lost your disc.
Do not go over the top with your demo package, keep it simple with a note about yourself and maybe any gigs or events you have coming up.
Try to get in touch with record labels and managers that already deal with similar artists to you. Take a look through album sleeves of bands you sound like, this should get you a list of companies that you can contact. If you don’t get the right contact details for the person you want, your perfectly put together package could end up in the hands of that week’s work experience person and not the higher up executive you were aiming for. So it definitely pays off to do your research!
Their are websites like Showcase, The Unsigned Guide or the CMU Directory that can also help you track down that elusive name and address. If after a while you haven’t hear back from anyone, it’s worth following up with a email or call to see if they’ve had a chance to listen and what they thought, but don’t hassle them or appear to be desperate.
Building a fanbase
No matter how great your your mixtape is, you will still need to work hard to create a fanbase. Start locally, as this can really help open doors to wider opportunities. If you’re creating a buzz their will always be someone that will try to find you. The way you do this is entirely up to you but just know if someone has gone out of their way to track you down and ask for your demo, they are far more likely to listen to it than if it just appeared on their desk.
“I think sending demos out, if they get heard, is great. But a lot of the time they don’t, which is why we didn’t. I know it probably seems a bit insane not to send it out because it’s like ‘who’s going to hear us?’ But I love the way we did it. I love the fact that we didn’t pander to companies. We’d done that so much in the past that it was really nice just letting them find out about it, letting them come to us.” – Pete Turner – Bassist, Elbow
It’s now more important than ever to be original and stand out from the crowd in order to get yourself noticed. Pretty much every artist nowadays has a Facebook, Myspace, SoundCloud and Bandcamp page which anyone can create but what makes you stand out from the crowd? You need to do something to get people talking about you. For example the band ‘Pulled Apart By Horses’ made a big buzz around one of their early gigs by only inviting a select few by text to a secret location.
Let fans help maximise exposure
You need to keep your fans interested! Use social media to interact, upload videos to YouTube, do giveaways (gig videos or free songs), write a regular blog or record vlogs.
Passionate fans can really help build excitement and buzz around new acts. Keep in touch with your fans and respond to them as much as possible. Everyone you build a good relationship with is another person who can spread the word about you.
Well, kind of. If you’re not comfortable with the way you look because your’e only wearing it for a a photo shoot or gig it will be apparent to everyone. There should be a happy medium. The way you dress and your style is part of your act whether it’s and Ed Sheeran style hoody or a Lady Gaga meat dress.
How you look can help to develop your brand and identity within a genre or scene. If your style is similar to that of your audience it can really help them buy into you as an artist and gives them a good idea of what you’re about from the start.
Don’t be afraid to stamp your own personality on what you do. From creating your own merchandise to handmade artwork, these are all part of your identity and will get people interested in you as a person. This can also be a way of bringing in a little extra income and maybe reach a whole new audience such as fashion and style writers and blogs.
After all is said and done though no amount of crazy outfits, glitter or makeup will get you very far if your music just isn’t very good. Don’t get too bogged down in what people may expect you to dress like- just do you. The way you dress is an extension of you as a person and your music, not the other way round.