The music industry is one of the toughest, and those who make it big didn’t do so by accident. It takes a good mix of knowledge, hard work, luck, and talent to make it in this business. Some things are expected from recording artists that you may not be aware of. Understanding the business side of music will be important if you want to use the right strategy and not get taken advantage of. Let’s take a look at a few things that you’ll have to do if you want to become successful in music.
1. Be ready to release a lot of music on your own
If you want to be heard by recording companies nowadays, you need to have published work and some sort of following. That is why you may need to release as much work as you can on your own to start building a fanbase and something to show record labels and managers.
A lot of popular recording artists today had tons of material on Soundcloud, Spotify, and Bandcamp before they made it big. Doing so is a great way for people to discover you and start generating a buzz. Music companies will take notice and might give you a chance, and, if you have the talent and some traction, there’s a good chance that someone might sign you.
That is why you’ll need to find a good studio if you want to release quality work. You don’t have to go to New York or LA to find a good studio, however.
Cities like Dallas, for instance, have some of the best studios in the country and they tend to be much more affordable too. If you’re looking for a great Dallas recording studio, you should give PIRATE a try. Their installations are great for budding artists as it gives you a nice tranquil space where you can work. Use their self-serve studios whenever you want and bring your team. It’s the kind of environment that allows you to create work that feels authentic and let your talent shine.
2. An optimistic mindset
If you have talent, know that there’s always a way to make money in the music industry. Even if you don’t make it as a top recording artist, you can always be part of a band, work as a vocalist, or become a writer. Some of the best-paid people in this industry work behind the scenes and you could become one of these people too. You just have to keep working on your craft and you’ll always have a way out.
Having this kind of mindset will also prevent you from being desperate which is a very bad thing to be when you’re in this business. Desperate people often end up making deals with the devil that they end up regretting later on.
You should also know that it’s easier than ever to start a career independently nowadays. Artists are not as dependent on record companies anymore.
They can build their own audience through social media, release their music on Spotify and get paid for it, and book their venues through a booking agent. Even if you won’t move as many units, you’ll keep more of the money for yourself and will have more control over your artistic impression.
So, don’t believe that you have to be signed and focus on creating instead. That’s one way to get on the road to success and make money in music.
3. To be successful: Learn about music contracts
You don’t need to become a music industry lawyer before you start a career in music, but the more you know about how contracts work, the lesser the chance that you end up in a bad deal. You need to understand what is an advance and a 360 deal. You also have to understand things like publishing and master’s ownership.
Record companies will try to extract as much revenue as possible from you and get you to engage for as long as possible too. As an artist, you may feel flattered that a record company wants to give you a seven-record contract, but you may not understand the implications of signing this type of contract yet.
There is no guarantee that your first record will be successful in the first place, which means that you could be stuck with six more records on your contract and no support from the company. Or the label may pressure you to release work even if you don’t feel like it too. This could result in work that doesn’t do well, and the record company not investing as much effort in your career. This is a very tough spot to be in as an artist.
This is why you should at least sit down with a lawyer and learn how music contracts work. You will also need to have any contract that is presented to you reviewed by one or multiple lawyers to make sure that you understand every clause.
4. Be ready for hard work
If you end up getting signed, you should be ready for the work that comes with it. You may have all sorts of obligations, such as attending interviews or performing at certain events.
You’ll be contractually obligated to attend those events too, so forget sick days. You may need to take additional singing or dancing lessons and go on the road more than you’d like to.
So, look into what will be expected of you as an artist and see if you’re cut out for it. Finding out what is involved in being a success in music will help you know what to expect down the road and prepare for it if it’s a good fit.
5. Build a thick skin
You’ll have to deal with a lot of rejection and criticism as a recording artist. You’ll have people you don’t know criticizing the way you perform, your look, or even decisions you make in your personal life. If you’re already the type of person who can let these kinds of things roll off your back, then you should be fine. But, if you’re the sensitive type, know that this business can be very cruel.
You may also have to swallow your pride or do things that you don’t want to do. Few things can be as devastating to an artist as hearing that the record company doesn’t like a project they’ve worked on for months and poured their souls into.
For this reason, you’ll have to examine how strong you really are and if you can deal with the emotional toll the music business can take on a person before you even think of starting a career.
A few last words on becoming successful in music
The points above are all things you’ll need to be ready for before you start a career in the music industry. It’s hard work, but artists are more empowered than ever, so stay positive and keep working on your craft.