As an independent artist, you need all the resources you can get in order to break through the competition and eventually land a contract with a label.
Independent artists are often the target of small labels or music investors and sometimes not for the right reasons. Growing up independent, I would get multiple contracts demands from people in Nashville every month. However, I would refuse them because their terms were not suitable for me.
I always wrote my own song, or cowrote with people of the industry, then I would get most of the royalties. The way labels work, is they take a cut of your efforts, and depending on the label, they may not be bringing you the most opportunities. Labels can, however, bring you great contacts and push you to live your dreams!
At the level that I was back then, I would rather build my own empire and career while making the most money. I may not have the backing of great labels, but at least I’m not getting cheated out of my hard-earned money.
But, enough about me. Let me share with you the tools and skills I have acquired to push me to my full potential. (P.S. You might want to take notes because these are gems.)
#1 Diversify yourself. There is a major stereotype in the music industry, where musicians and recording artists are supposed to make pennies and live in a studio to make it. But why? (Bare with me!) Why not make it as a recording artist while building a career in the corporate world? Who says we can’t do both?
#2 Market Yourself. Whether you like it or not, you are a product. The sooner you realize it, the better. You have to find your strengths, weaknesses, and work your opportunities. Why would a fan listen to your music rather than another’s music?
#3 Find tools that work for you. Depending on your budget, you may not be able to access Photoshop and Illustrator to make your graphics, but there are plenty of free online tools like Canva.com to make original graphic content for your music releases.
#4 Invest in yourself. Whether that would be paying for a professional photoshoot or investing in a camera and developing your own skills, you need to find affordable ways to put your best image out there (excuse the pun).
#5 Build your network. It’s all about who you know. Trust me. So, attend free networking events, build relationships, co-write with other artists, ask to be on songwriter sessions, and bond over your passions. That is the key to creating a family that you can cherish and can connect you to key people in the industry.