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Understand These 5 Music Industry Myths to Boost Your Career

What sets Chance the Rapper’s success apart from all other artists? Aside from his trailblazing music, he might be the only Grammy winner that is currently not signed to any label and doesn’t sell his music. Instead, he streams it for free.

In an interview with Vanity Fair, Chance revealed, “I never wanted to sell my music, because putting a price on it put a limit on it and inhibited me from making a connection.” To all aspiring musicians out there, this should serve as a lesson that you can make it in the industry even with just your SoundCloud account to help you.

Image credit: Wikipedia

However far the industry has come, there are still some people with preconceived notions on how to break into the music business — and some of therm are pretty outdated.

1. Submitting Demos Will Get You Signed

Image credit: 6AM

To be fair, there have been some artists that got signed this way. However, considering today’s digital age, most of the current big names gained attention by posting their songs and musical performances online, such as Justin Bieber, Panic at the Disco, and even Adele.

Also, submitting demos (especially unsolicited ones) is less likely to help you break into the industry. According to a report from Music Industry How To, record labels are not likely to listen to the no-name demos they receive. They have other more efficient methods of searching for new talent and music.

Besides, record labels are marketing machines. They focus more of their efforts on marketing their talents’ music and image. While they do have a team that scouts for fresh blood, it is highly unlikely that any of them are scouring through demos.

Having said that, you would likely be more successful just putting your music online and trying to gain a following. A great way to get started is to buy SoundCloud Plays, which will attract more attention to your music. This exposes your tunes directly to the people who would want to listen, and that’s what matters.

2. Televised Singing Contests Will Make You Successful

The glitz and glamor is certainly tempting but there are also many drawbacks, and the vast majority of contestants end up disappointed. If you don’t make it past the initial selection, then you start all over again.

And if you think everything works out for the contestants that win, think again.

Javier Colon. Image credit: Fanpop

A perfect example would be Javier Colon, season 1 winner of The Voice. After winning, Colon released the single “Come Through for You” under Universal Republic. Despite winning the highly rated show, Colon’s album only managed to sell 9,974 copies in its first week. Colon eventually left the label, revealing in an interview with BuddyTV that a lack of support was what prompted him to leave.

The truth is that these contestants are also tools to help boost the ratings of the show. While being on a reality singing contest exposes you to a large audience, the sad truth is most of the people watching are more fans of the show rather than high-up record producers scouting for talent.

3. Having Connections in the Business Guarantees Success

Image credit: Pixabay

Without a doubt, there are important people running the music industry. But considering their status, it would not be easy getting close to them (much less getting acquainted). If by some miracle you do get to rub elbows with some of these people, you’ll still need to prove yourself with unique music that’s worthy of their time.

Think of it this way: no matter how big the stage, you still need the talent to fill it up. Besides, the time it takes trying to get close to the right people could have been used for more productive pursuits, like honing your talent or building your fanbase.

Another benefit of not getting in touch with influential music insiders right away is you still retain creative control over your music and your career, something that some older musicians regret not having done.

4. A Large Following on Social Media = Money

Image credit: Interactive Digital Studies

Unfortunately there’s more to it than that. Not to say that this strategy has no chance of success at all, but that depends entirely on how you market your music and image on social media. Even the most successful artists these days still try to establish a strong social media following, and work hard to maintain it.

There are some aspiring musicians today that have put off their followers because of their odd social media habits. Some of the habits that followers find disagreeable include “me marketing,” targeting the wrong people, using the same messaging strategy on every social media account, and forgetting about honing their music.

While social media is important, just make sure it doesn’t take over all of your time. You still need to work on your music in order for your followers (and anyone else) to take you seriously as a musician.

5. Landing a Record Means You’re Done, You’re a Success

Image credit: Pixabay

If you think about it, being a chart-topping successful musician is a full time job. Even if you did sign with a major record label, that just means you have more people helping get your music out. Again, as we’ve mentioned before, you need to constantly work on your music because once you set the expectation of your audience they’ll drop you if you fail to deliver.

Just look at some of today’s pop stars. A lot of the successful artists didn’t take long to release a second album after their first became successful, even while knowing how tough it can be to follow up the success of the first album.

The best artists are constantly evolving. Switching up your music and learning new styles can take a lot of work, but what else would you expect? After all, wouldn’t it be boring if all your albums sounded alike? Keep that up, and it won’t take long for you to blend into the background.

Myths Busted

If there is anything to learn from the digital era, it’s that there are more ways and avenues to break into the musical scene than ever before.

Streaming websites are some of the most useful tools for aspiring musicians. You should definitely have a SoundCloud account to publish your tracks, and a great way to get more attention on the platform is to buy SoundCloud Plays. The more Plays your tracks have, the more attractive they’ll be to users and record execs — and that’s no myth.

Learn the truth about the music industry, and use it to help push your musical career as fast as it can go.

Image credit: John and Jane Doe

Date: October 27, 2017 / Categories: Getting Discovered, / Author: Alex



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