So, you wanna make music do you? Well, let me ask you this. Do you just want to "make music" or do you want to become an artist ? See there's a difference. Anybody can make music, but an artist takes their work seriously. So ask yourself are you really serious about becoming an artist? If the answer to your question is yes, then there are most certainly a few key details that you as an aspiring artist need to know. The game has changed. Gone are the days of an aspiring artist praying for a big named record label to take notice of their work, that was the game of talent and luck. Today's game however, with the assistance of the world wide web, creates a much larger playing field, with avenues for aspiring artists across the globe to showcase their music to fans around the world. Today's game is about marketing and monetization, welcome to the age of the independent artist.
I was born and raised on a small island in The Bahamas called New Providence. An island spanning 21 miles long and 7 miles wide and home to some 300,000 plus people, needless to say New Providence is just a small spec on the world stage. Before the game changed, the Bahamian artists goal was to have their music aired on one of the few local radio stations in hopes of gaining enough popularity to be requested by local promoters for paid live performances. I should mention that around this time, Bahamian artists creating music outside of the traditional Rake N' Scrape sounds of The Bahamas were not even considered by the radio stations for airplay. So there was no official outlet for rappers, R&B or reggae artists to have their music featured. I would think that this may have been the case in quite a few caribbean countries before the internet afforded artists other avenues to reach out to fans not only in the country, but across the globe.
As the saying goes, knowledge is power, and in today's music industry its important for the independent artist to pay attention to the music business as much as the music itself. If you're going to become a successfully independent artist, there are a number of details that you MUST familiarize yourself with. I've taken the liberty of compiling a short to-do list, a sort of independent artist crash course, to assist you in the process of properly protecting, marketing and monetizing your music. Follow these steps and you're guaranteed to be one your way to a paycheck as a paid independent artist!
1) COPYRIGHT - As an artist, its important to understand the proper procedure to ensure the protection of your creations, the first in a list of protection is to copyright your work.
2) PERFORMING RIGHTS ORGANIZATIONS (PRO) - Sign up with a PRO to receive royalty payments for radio spins and much more
3) SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS - A key element that assists you in promoting your brand and building your fan base.
4) BUILD YOUR WEBSITE - This is a lot easier to do than you think
5) MONETIZING YOUR WORK - The most important detail, this is THE GOAL. Please note that you cannot fully monetize your work until you have understood and completed the first four steps.
Thats all it takes, just five steps and you're ready to get paid. Each of these topics are discussed in further detail in their own respective blogs, please take the time to read through and familiarize yourself with the process. I promise you that this information will prove very useful to you as you embark upon your new journey.