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Is trying to promote yourself on social media a waste of time?
Old 23rd May 2020
  #61
Quote:
Originally Posted by 12ax7 View Post
Some people are very good at making music, and very bad at promoting themselves.

Some folks aren't all that good at making music, but they're damn good at promoting themselves.

This has always been the case.

It really doesn't matter about the "social media" element here:

The bottom line is that you may be very good at making music, and suck at promotion.

If this is true for you, then get somebody who's good at promotion (and let THEM worry about what kinda media to use).
Not disagreeing here at all. But the subject of "gatekeepers" are often brougt up as what used to be quality control, labels.
Now the gatekeeper seems to be online promotion, at least for pop music. We have "pop icons" that music is just ONE facet of their career and fame, and not even number 1 or 2 on the list. Their career IS fame.
So if you are headed in that direction, no I wouldn't say a one-person organization is going to get there. You need connections and resources- collab with other established producers and people that specialize in other areas. Build relationships with those that are where you want to be. The ideal situation is you have creative control, yet are not doing it all yourself.
The bottom line: commercial success depends on how much money OTHER people can make from you.
Have the talent, be pretty, sure, but I think you got to have that incessant, unquenchable capitalist thirst and hustle. This also includes street hustle. When you get a million views, eventually people will want to dive deeper into your game.
No, online promotion in this case is not a waste of time, it is a prerequisite, the bare minimum.

But not every artist needs to be commercially successful to acheive success. These days, it appears to me that a business minded person could just as well learn to produce music and sell, compared to a typical musician getting into marketing and promotion.
Old 23rd May 2020
  #62
Gear Guru
 
UnderTow's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by rectifryer View Post
Your music is sick AF but its not in style yet.
I don't want to put denstrow down but I would say it isn't in style any more. It sounds pretty old school. Of course there is nothing wrong with that if that is what he likes making but it isn't up to date for the genre. And to be successful with that kind of music, the production needs to be quite a bit tighter IMO.

Alistair
Old 23rd May 2020
  #63
Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderTow View Post
I don't want to put denstrow down but I would say it isn't in style any more. It sounds pretty old school. Of course there is nothing wrong with that if that is what he likes making but it isn't up to date for the genre. And to be successful with that kind of music, the production needs to be quite a bit tighter IMO.

Alistair
No arguments from me here. I am a bit of an old fart (38 y.o.), and not actively following many trends. I find more inspiration in older electronic/dance music for example, because it used to be new, exciting and people would try more different things, as some genres hadn't become formulaic yet (plus nostalgia, obviously). Production may be a lot better nowadays, but musically speaking, that's debatable.

As for production, it's a learning game; I prefer to compare to my older self - I'm better at it than I was some years ago, but like all of us, I keep learning and (hopefully) getting better. I listen to newer stuff to compare, but don't get down just because I might not be up to par. It takes time.

That said, I grew up with a lot of indie, DIY, experimental stuff, and 90s dance music, plus various genres and subgenres, and I've heard -and loved- all sorts of things regardless of production values - and I believe there's plenty of people that think that way. I'd take The Residents (even early stuff) and 80s TV Personalities over pretty much anything, for instance. Musicality for me trumps production, even if (here being Gearslutz, of course) some people might disagree.

Again, it's not fame and glory I'm after, just a small audience, one I can interact with, and to have a few gigs and laughs.
Old 23rd May 2020
  #64
Deleted 5f4684d
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denstrow View Post
No arguments from me here. I am a bit of an old fart (38 y.o.)

Again, it's not fame and glory I'm after, just a small audience, one I can interact with, and to have a few gigs and laughs.
Ah ok then make music for fun and keep your day job then. My cousins in Greece (Crete) are musicians; they play traditional music all night, have fun, drink, get a small paycheque and get to do it again the next day, and that's fine.

I find musical taste isnt that important if you're building a legit career. I used to be in screamo bands, I used to listen to Limp Bizkit so much, Nu Metal, all that stuff. Went to the concerts etc. And I listen to the Nu Metal Generation playlist on Spotify once in a while when I play video games. It's a fun playlist to listen to just to listen to all the pretenciously awful music that I liked, including all the emo music garbage like The Used, Sugarcult, AFI and good old Panic at the disco.

Nostalgia is cool but I know that that time has passed and thankfully will never come back. I had awful taste, hell i was listening to Joy Division the other day, god it's such pretentious garbage but it's good in a bad way, everything is badly mixed, the performance is all over the place haha.

How many people is a small audience for you? Maybe check out "Com Truise see what music he does? I have a feeling that he's in the ballpark of what you want to make.
Old 23rd May 2020
  #65
Gear Head
 

Worse yet, I was going to Emo/Screamo shows while still sporting a Mullet!!! YIKES! hahaha....
Old 23rd May 2020
  #66
Quote:
Originally Posted by hellohead View Post

How many people is a small audience for you? Maybe check out "Com Truise see what music he does? I have a feeling that he's in the ballpark of what you want to make.
I'm aware of Com Truise - for my standards, he's pretty successful. The best I've done in terms of popularity is a Greek GoT theme cover (ca 250.000 views).
That kind of success would be great indeed (even less, tbh).
Old 23rd May 2020
  #67
Deleted 5f4684d
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denstrow View Post
I'm aware of Com Truise - for my standards, he's pretty successful. The best I've done in terms of popularity is a Greek GoT theme cover (ca 250.000 views).
That kind of success would be great indeed (even less, tbh).
So you already have a taste of what could work. If one of your approach worked, maybe replicate that, choose another show and make a Greek theme cover of something else and see if you can get similar numbers. A Tiger King theme cover maybe? Stranger things? I'm just trying to brainstorm a bit. See what's how on Netflix or Disney plus or prime and make a theme cover of that. I'm just trying to help.
Old 23rd May 2020
  #68
Deleted 5f4684d
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Gretscher View Post
Worse yet, I was going to Emo/Screamo shows while still sporting a Mullet!!! YIKES! hahaha....
This is something that you should never be ashamed of haha, you did good by doing that man. Taking back sunday is amazing btw lol.
Old 23rd May 2020
  #69
Gear Head
 

Yup! Being on Long Island we saw tons of those bands. Started taking my daughter @ 13. Saw TBS, Brand New, Bayside, Glassjaw, HeadAutomatica...all of the locals and tons more. We still go to shows....minus the mullet!
Old 23rd May 2020
  #70
Gear Guru
 
UnderTow's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by denstrow View Post
No arguments from me here. I am a bit of an old fart (38 y.o.), and not actively following many trends.
Heh. 38 doesn't make you an old fart!

Quote:
Again, it's not fame and glory I'm after, just a small audience, one I can interact with, and to have a few gigs and laughs.
Obviously at the moment things are not happening but I have a few friends in Greece and there seems to be an active scene there (normally). Have you tried contacting organisers of smaller events to see if you can do a live set? Do you have a demo set you can send to organisers?

Alistair
Old 24th May 2020
  #71
Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderTow View Post

Obviously at the moment things are not happening but I have a few friends in Greece and there seems to be an active scene there (normally). Have you tried contacting organisers of smaller events to see if you can do a live set? Do you have a demo set you can send to organisers?

Alistair
I've contacted pretty much all organisers. They don't seem to be interested as my psytrance is more retro/melodic than current stuff. I was to play in a festival in Chile in December, but with all that's happened, it's highly unlikely I'll have money to go there. There is an agency that contacted me, but it's a small one with virtually unknown artists, although they throw parties, so I'll give it a go.
Old 24th May 2020
  #72
Gear Guru
 
UnderTow's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by denstrow View Post
I've contacted pretty much all organisers. They don't seem to be interested as my psytrance is more retro/melodic than current stuff. I was to play in a festival in Chile in December, but with all that's happened, it's highly unlikely I'll have money to go there. There is an agency that contacted me, but it's a small one with virtually unknown artists, although they throw parties, so I'll give it a go.
Bummer about Chile. Hopefully you can make it there somehow (if things are happening by December). Yeah def contact smaller organisations. They can be a bit more open to local artists.

Alistair
Old 24th May 2020
  #73
Deleted 5f4684d
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denstrow View Post
I've contacted pretty much all organisers. They don't seem to be interested as my psytrance is more retro/melodic than current stuff. I was to play in a festival in Chile in December, but with all that's happened, it's highly unlikely I'll have money to go there. There is an agency that contacted me, but it's a small one with virtually unknown artists, although they throw parties, so I'll give it a go.
Suggestion: You want to play the shows, make music so you can perform live? Make music they're interested in.

I just think you need to come to a compromise type situation. You can't do it your way and then cry when things aren't happening when you do it your way. If you want people to be interested then maybe give them a bit of what they want.

I just feel like there's a lot of whining and not a whole lot of, "ok I will do things differently and see what happens". Since the thread started, I managed to finish 3 songs. What have you done since this thread started? Have you taken any of our advice? I'm basically doing the dad talk right now, I do the same to my kids lol. I tell them, don't whine if you havent tried the alternative that we've suggested.

Correction, the thread is 4 weeks old! Jesus I've worked on about 7 songs this month, and I have 2 kids and a wife mind you, so what's your excuse? I'm starting to get a little pissed off about this thread.

Stop thinking about doing shows, focus on making music that will get some kind of audience. I havent played a show in 2 and a half years btw, and my career has grown during this time, because people keep streaming my songs big time. Focus on your online fanbase and then start thinking shows, no one wants to discover acts live, unless they're fans.

If you cant or dont want to listen to my advice or other people's advice on here, then good luck. I dont feel sorry for whiners who don't change their approach.
Old 24th May 2020
  #74
Lives for snowflakes
 
12ax7's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderTow View Post
Bummer about Chile.
Understatement of the year (so far).
Old 24th May 2020
  #75
Quote:
Originally Posted by hellohead View Post
Suggestion: You want to play the shows, make music so you can perform live? Make music they're interested in.

I just think you need to come to a compromise type situation. You can't do it your way and then cry when things aren't happening when you do it your way. If you want people to be interested then maybe give them a bit of what they want.

I just feel like there's a lot of whining and not a whole lot of, "ok I will do things differently and see what happens". Since the thread started, I managed to finish 3 songs. What have you done since this thread started? Have you taken any of our advice? I'm basically doing the dad talk right now, I do the same to my kids lol. I tell them, don't whine if you havent tried the alternative that we've suggested.

Correction, the thread is 4 weeks old! Jesus I've worked on about 7 songs this month, and I have 2 kids and a wife mind you, so what's your excuse? I'm starting to get a little pissed off about this thread.

Stop thinking about doing shows, focus on making music that will get some kind of audience. I havent played a show in 2 and a half years btw, and my career has grown during this time, because people keep streaming my songs big time. Focus on your online fanbase and then start thinking shows, no one wants to discover acts live, unless they're fans.

If you cant or dont want to listen to my advice or other people's advice on here, then good luck. I dont feel sorry for whiners who don't change their approach.
Relax; there is a reason I posted this in the Moan Zone! You seem to only be able to measure success by commerciality - that's not the case for everybody. Some people are just looking for their niche, and would be happy just being there.

This isn't a pissing contest either. But since you asked, in the past month I've done 4 remixes/mixes in different genres for competitions, a psytrance quarantine live set and a dj set for radio, released an ep of electronic covers, made 4 tracks in a new genre I'm working on (which I think is kind of a new subgenre of Industrial - haven't heard anything like it, really, can't say for sure), I'm working on an album with my brother in a new genre/new territory for me (Greek type of music) and learning about streaming and vlogging as well, all while working 8 hours a day - so I've been busy too.

I've also tried to do a bit more commercial stuff in the past couple of years (a tech house ep which was originally for a ghost-writing gig), remixes of known artists in psytrance style, dabbled a bit with a slightly more commercial psytrance sound etc. It's not like I'm not interested in finding an audience, but I think having a somewhat unique voice is also important - what's the point of sounding just like every other artist out there? That's something that puts me off, personally. Just for the buckazoids? Nah, thanks. There has to be a way to do things without feeling like you're selling out. Get better at it? Absolutely. Comprimise here and there? Sure, that's life, but remember not to lose your individual voice just to be liked. That might work for people who only look at this like a job, but not for others.

Anyway, I started this thread in the Moan Zone just to vent. But since it picked up some traction, I like to listen to what people have to say; it's definitely helpful. And anything that seems like a good idea - and I've heard several - I'll try to see how I can implement. It's not that I don't care what you say, I'm just trying to find what can work for me, based on what *I* would like to achieve, not necessarily someone else's idea of success.
Old 24th May 2020
  #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denstrow View Post
Relax; there is a reason I posted this in the Moan Zone! You seem to only be able to measure success by commerciality - that's not the case for everybody. Some people are just looking for their niche, and would be happy just being there.

This isn't a pissing contest either. But since you asked, in the past month I've done 4 remixes/mixes in different genres for competitions, a psytrance quarantine live set and a dj set for radio, released an ep of electronic covers, made 4 tracks in a new genre I'm working on (which I think is kind of a new subgenre of Industrial - haven't heard anything like it, really, can't say for sure), I'm working on an album with my brother in a new genre/new territory for me (Greek type of music) and learning about streaming and vlogging as well, all while working 8 hours a day - so I've been busy too.

I've also tried to do a bit more commercial stuff in the past couple of years (a tech house ep which was originally for a ghost-writing gig), remixes of known artists in psytrance style, dabbled a bit with a slightly more commercial psytrance sound etc. It's not like I'm not interested in finding an audience, but I think having a somewhat unique voice is also important - what's the point of sounding just like every other artist out there? That's something that puts me off, personally. Just for the buckazoids? Nah, thanks. There has to be a way to do things without feeling like you're selling out. Get better at it? Absolutely. Comprimise here and there? Sure, that's life, but remember not to lose your individual voice just to be liked. That might work for people who only look at this like a job, but not for others.

Anyway, I started this thread in the Moan Zone just to vent. But since it picked up some traction, I like to listen to what people have to say; it's definitely helpful. And anything that seems like a good idea - and I've heard several - I'll try to see how I can implement. It's not that I don't care what you say, I'm just trying to find what can work for me, based on what *I* would like to achieve, not necessarily someone else's idea of success.
What kind of traction have you gotten from your efforts?

When it comes to success etc, the way I see it is, people are either all in or not. From what I've seen with my project in 6 years, you're either riding your project and riding it hard, or you're doing it as a hobby. If you ride it hard you get an audience, if you go at it mildly you dont get an audience, and if you do the bare minimum you get nothing either. You want to get listeners, you're gonna have to give them something to be excited about. I'm not sure there is much of an audience for Psytrance music right now.

Anyway I think there's a ton of useful info in here, good luck with your music.
Old 1st June 2020
  #77
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by denstrow View Post
So, I've pretty much tried everything I can think of in terms of promoting my music.

Posting of forums, social media, groups? Check.
Paying for Facebook ads etc? Check.
Building a website, using other services like Soundcloud Pro etc? Check.

And yet, over several years, pretty much nothing.

Is there any reason to keep wasting my time like this?

Labels - the ones who are able to provide promotion, networking etc - seem to need a solid fan base.

The audience doesn't really care about you, unless you're already (even a relatively small) somebody.

So why bother with all that? I'm not saying stop making music - the need for that is deeper than having an audience, sure, and I've spent more or less 20 years before getting to a point where I feel comfortable to share my music anyway - I'm used to it.

But we are, after all, social beings. It's not about craving attention, but sharing something and *connecting* with others. If you can't, what's the point? Even money isn't much of an issue - I work as a classical musician, so I have at least a small income. I'm giving away my music for free now, and would gladly do some gigs just for the fun of it.

Would I be in any different position if I just put the music out there and close all Facebook, Instagram etc which I hate? I guess that's my question.

Sure, you can say "Go out and socialise, go to gigs, talk to promoters, artists" etc - but the truth is, after 10 years of a financial crisis that decimated my country, and the next one right around the corner, I simply can't afford that, and that's been my reality for some time now.

Anyway, just venting...

/rant
I read lot's of great advice in this thread about how to do this PR stuff and social and spend some money on promotion and stuff, really spot on stuff, but I was wondering as I was reading all this, how many people who replied this thread took the trouble to click on your signature and listen to your music?

So let's talk about your music!

I listened to 4 songs, and here is what I noticed by spending a minimal amount of time listening to your music:

The sound of your music is quite harsh and abrasive. I feel the need to stop the track very quickly.

I listen to a wide range of genre's, and I can appreciate some pretty complex or unusual sounding musical elements; heavy metal, industrial, techno, classical, ambient, hip hop, rock, blues, jazz, elektro, funk, grunge,... (yeah not so much pop) so that is not the problem.

With the abundance of quality music floating around for practically no cost (15 euro a month) we skip the "next" button pretty quickly when something is off in the sound quality department.

That means if your sound or music lacks a certain sonic pleasantness or does not intrigue right away, then it's very quickly the skip button.

Sound quality:

I feel you have an issue with your gear and how you master your songs. Your songs are quite flat and digital sounding, I miss that analogue richness everyone loves.

There is a kind of metallic abrasiveness in all your songs.

Your high-end seems overly loud compared to the rest of the spectrum in all 4 songs.

Your tracks are all very loud and highly compressed, try less compression and mix with more range.

It generally it hurts my ears a little listening to your music and I want to go for the stop button very quickly due to this.

Advice:

I can't tell you what's wrong with your gear, but some of it can be fixed in the mastering.

Try use a more balanced mixing technique, tone down on the high end boosting, maybe find a local audio engineering school and ask one of the students to master one of your songs and see if that makes a big difference compared to how you do it now.

Try to learn from listening to famous songs in your genre and try to 1 on 1 compare your track with theirs. Shoot for a similar overall sound for starters.

Listen to your own tracks with a note-block and write down the flaws you find and try to improve those points in new tracks. If you cannot hear it, then you need someone to help you with this, preferably get a sound engineer to advice you what's wrong with your mixes and also let people in this forum critique your gear/setup/recording technique.

Musical quality:

I realize I am on thin ice here, because it's hard to talk about someone's musical quality. Also I am not famous or a renowned musician. Anyways, I feel personally that your songs are all very loud, similar BPM, and they do sound very busy. There is almost always too much going on at once. There wasn't really a melody or riff that I found very original or pleasant to listen to.

My advice would be to try and tone down on the musical arrangements and amount of instruments playing at once "less is more" keep only the best musical ideas/riffs and park the others.

I would recommend you to ease into the tracks with 1 really awesome sounding thing (can be percussion, or a synth) and then adding some other elements a it more slowly. Of course it needs to have real character, cheap VST instruments and digital synths might not get you there, our ears are spoiled and want that sonic richness!

Have a listen to "da funk" by Daft Punk and meditate on how simple and little instruments they used to create this famous track that almost everyone liked.

Listen to "Alberto Balsalm" by Aphex Twin, and meditate on the combination of simple melody and odd sounding samples that draws the listener into the song very effectively.

Consider switching genre for a few songs. Try deconstruct your favorite song and put something together using the same buildup and arrangement to see if you can learn something from doing that.

Get a mix/sample tool and sample/mix your own songs, parts of melodies, chords, into new songs.

Doing something outside your usual comfort zones might help you see why you are stuck in your musical exploration. Challenge yourself musically by not playing/composing on the instrument you are best at, force yourself to play a new instrument, compose away from the computer. Do a few live gigs without recording anything! Go to a jam session.

Some amazing musicians take 50 years to get to a point where they create something that is culturally relevant and musically pleasing to a large number of people. Some never get there at all. If you are truly in it for the journey and not the destination, then it doesn't matter either way but you will keep trying new things and having fun while making your music!
Old 1st June 2020
  #78
Deleted 5f4684d
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by STATICERROR View Post
I read lot's of great advice in this thread about how to do this PR stuff and social and spend some money on promotion and stuff, really spot on stuff, but I was wondering as I was reading all this, how many people who replied this thread took the trouble to click on your signature and listen to your music?

So let's talk about your music!

I listened to 4 songs, and here is what I noticed by spending a minimal amount of time listening to your music:

The sound of your music is quite harsh and abrasive. I feel the need to stop the track very quickly.

I listen to a wide range of genre's, and I can appreciate some pretty complex or unusual sounding musical elements; heavy metal, industrial, techno, classical, ambient, hip hop, rock, blues, jazz, elektro, funk, grunge,... (yeah not so much pop) so that is not the problem.

With the abundance of quality music floating around for practically no cost (15 euro a month) we skip the "next" button pretty quickly when something is off in the sound quality department.

That means if your sound or music lacks a certain sonic pleasantness or does not intrigue right away, then it's very quickly the skip button.

Sound quality:

I feel you have an issue with your gear and how you master your songs. Your songs are quite flat and digital sounding, I miss that analogue richness everyone loves.

There is a kind of metallic abrasiveness in all your songs.

Your high-end seems overly loud compared to the rest of the spectrum in all 4 songs.

Your tracks are all very loud and highly compressed, try less compression and mix with more range.

It generally it hurts my ears a little listening to your music and I want to go for the stop button very quickly due to this.

Advice:

I can't tell you what's wrong with your gear, but some of it can be fixed in the mastering.

Try use a more balanced mixing technique, tone down on the high end boosting, maybe find a local audio engineering school and ask one of the students to master one of your songs and see if that makes a big difference compared to how you do it now.

Try to learn from listening to famous songs in your genre and try to 1 on 1 compare your track with theirs. Shoot for a similar overall sound for starters.

Listen to your own tracks with a note-block and write down the flaws you find and try to improve those points in new tracks. If you cannot hear it, then you need someone to help you with this, preferably get a sound engineer to advice you what's wrong with your mixes and also let people in this forum critique your gear/setup/recording technique.

Musical quality:

I realize I am on thin ice here, because it's hard to talk about someone's musical quality. Also I am not famous or a renowned musician. Anyways, I feel personally that your songs are all very loud, similar BPM, and they do sound very busy. There is almost always too much going on at once. There wasn't really a melody or riff that I found very original or pleasant to listen to.

My advice would be to try and tone down on the musical arrangements and amount of instruments playing at once "less is more" keep only the best musical ideas/riffs and park the others.

I would recommend you to ease into the tracks with 1 really awesome sounding thing (can be percussion, or a synth) and then adding some other elements a it more slowly. Of course it needs to have real character, cheap VST instruments and digital synths might not get you there, our ears are spoiled and want that sonic richness!

Have a listen to "da funk" by Daft Punk and meditate on how simple and little instruments they used to create this famous track that almost everyone liked.

Listen to "Alberto Balsalm" by Aphex Twin, and meditate on the combination of simple melody and odd sounding samples that draws the listener into the song very effectively.

Consider switching genre for a few songs. Try deconstruct your favorite song and put something together using the same buildup and arrangement to see if you can learn something from doing that.

Get a mix/sample tool and sample/mix your own songs, parts of melodies, chords, into new songs.

Doing something outside your usual comfort zones might help you see why you are stuck in your musical exploration. Challenge yourself musically by not playing/composing on the instrument you are best at, force yourself to play a new instrument, compose away from the computer. Do a few live gigs without recording anything! Go to a jam session.

Some amazing musicians take 50 years to get to a point where they create something that is culturally relevant and musically pleasing to a large number of people. Some never get there at all. If you are truly in it for the journey and not the destination, then it doesn't matter either way but you will keep trying new things and having fun while making your music!
Just be honest, his music sucks, and then he complains about not getting traction when his music sucks. At his age and his level of production, he should just do it for fun.
Old 1st June 2020
  #79
Lives for gear
 
boombapdame's Avatar
 

You @ theblue1 should repost your ramble as I like your insight.
Old 1st June 2020
  #80
Lives for snowflakes
 
12ax7's Avatar
 

It may very well be a complete waste of time to promote yourself on social media.

(I don't really know.)

...But the fact remains that you can certainly make a whole damn lotta money promoting other people on social media!

It is just one more example of the propensity that humans have for the "division of labor" (the basis of almost all modern commerce).

I don't know if that's good or bad or right or wrong.

I just know that's the way it is.
Old 1st June 2020
  #81
Deleted 5f4684d
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by 12ax7 View Post
It may very well be a complete waste of time to promote yourself on social media.

(I don't really know.)

...But the fact remains that you can certainly make a whole damn lotta money promoting other people on social media!

It is just one more example of the propensity that humans have for the "division of labor" (the basis of almost all modern commerce).

I don't know if that's good or bad or right or wrong.

I just know that's the way it is.
I think it's only a waste of time if what you're pushing isn't interesting. I push stuff on social media and get decent traction, but it's because I've built fan loyalty in 6 years, I wish there were more full time artists on the forum to explain this a bit more, because I know that everyone has a different journey, but I believe it comes down to having good ideas and executing them well for the market of today.

Everyone can listen to what's going on now and study it, but few people can emulate the production techniques, vocal singing and lyrics so it sounds legit.
Old 2nd June 2020
  #82
The irony on this thread got real!
When we throw around words like "suck" I just kind of tune that person out. I can't tell you how many times I have had to endure people telling me such-and-such an artist sucks when they just don't have a connection to the music. Who is appointed arbiter of taste?
Music (pop) is a very right now thing. It's like Amazon, wallmart, etc. it's not made to last, it's made to appeal quickly, mash the dopamine button, and is something slick and highly disposable as tastes quickly change. At some point popular music really detached itself from the arts in that regard. I find it difficult to even imagine that a musician could toil in relative obscurity, be discovered fifty years after her death, and then get canonized as one of the masters. You're lucky to get canonized now if you've sold ten million records, otherwise you just suck.
It really got me when we were slagging off Joy Division and Limp Bizkit in the same breath. I'm not into Joy Divison at all, but... really?
Old 2nd June 2020
  #83
Deleted 5f4684d
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeremy.c. View Post
The irony on this thread got real!
When we throw around words like "suck" I just kind of tune that person out. I can't tell you how many times I have had to endure people telling me such-and-such an artist sucks when they just don't have a connection to the music. Who is appointed arbiter of taste?
Music (pop) is a very right now thing. It's like Amazon, wallmart, etc. it's not made to last, it's made to appeal quickly, mash the dopamine button, and is something slick and highly disposable as tastes quickly change. At some point popular music really detached itself from the arts in that regard. I find it difficult to even imagine that a musician could toil in relative obscurity, be discovered fifty years after her death, and then get canonized as one of the masters. You're lucky to get canonized now if you've sold ten million records, otherwise you just suck.
It really got me when we were slagging off Joy Division and Limp Bizkit in the same breath. I'm not into Joy Divison at all, but... really?
I dont mean suck as in, it's bad to listen to. The right word I should have used is "unappealing". It's unappealing because there's a lot of other artists that can do that style of music better, in a more appealing way.

If you bring listeners in and you can't keep them interested, then your music is unappealing to them, there's no word of mouth, no one will share the music online, to their friends.

I hate to say it but that's the truth. Most music being made by indie people isn't good enough. You listen to a guy like Flume, and you can tell that he has a ton of talent, that's why people gravitated to his music early and will keep doing that.

To be appealing, you need to say something pretty strong through the music, and say it consistently. All the big artists that are out there, they all started somewhere, they weren't popular right away, they had a strong message that resonated. You think guys like the Weeknd, Drake, Migos, Ed Sheeran, Eminem, they were talented when they first came on the scene and are still talented now, they're just way more commercialized now, but they all started somewhere.They all have a story behind them and they cling to it strong, they didnt come in and thought, ok, let's make music to make money. **** no!

If you don't break out in your 20s, you better be friggin good at what you do (or have a shtick like Psy), because it gets harder and harder to get recognition as you hit your 30s, 40s etc. And this goes to one hit wonders too. You better follow up with something great, or else you'll spend many years battling depression sometimes (as I've witnessed firsthand).

From what I can see with one hit wonders right now.

Lil Nas X released Panini after his hit song, and I already think he's in a downhill slope and gone.

Lizzo has had another hit, but I think she's riding that first big song she released.

Lewis Capaldi is actually an amazing writer, and I think he'll come out with another song.

Surf Mesa is going Viral, and I dont think he'll have anything else, he's the next Kungs.

Supalonely is another viral song, and I really doubt that the artist will have another hit.

Where is the girl who did all about that bass? What about Tove Lo? They have careers but they're dead in the water to me and to everyone else.

Roddy Ricch has multiple hits, and he'll stay for a while especially if he sticks with Mustard as his producer.

Post Malone will stay for a long while ( and someone will cash in by emulating him, that's my prediction).

Travis Scott is a real artist, he doesnt make traditional hits but they become hits.

Lil Tecca had one of the most streamed songs last year, and I think he's done. It's hard to follow through after your first hit.

Basically, all I do as an artist is to try to predict what's next. I think anti government songs will be coming back strong and Black music will keep dominating because there's a strong guiding voice behind a lot of black artists right now.

So to the OP. You really want to have a career? Start a project, and try to make songs that can go viral. And that goes to every serious artists who are reading this right now. Make something that could go viral, make it quirky, funny, make it culture based etc. If you can make it trend on Tik Tok, you have a career.

Btw, I've disagreed plenty with Bob Lefsetz throughout the years, but if you're young and serious about having a music career, you got to follow his newsletter, he has a ton of knowledge on what it takes to make it.

And to everyone in this thread who are saying, this or that is not true, this is how it's done etc, you better have some kind of success doing what you do, not as an engineer but as a recording artist or an Anr or a label person.

If you dont, you're not spreading any useful knowledge, and if you disagree with this or that, well who cares what you think, are you in the trenches like me and others are? No, so I say stfu, get some humble pie and let credible people spew their knowledge.

Don't spread knowledge or assumptions or advice if you've had no tangible success in the industry, especially as an artist.

I'm telling it like it is, I know very much what's going on out there and I have 6 years under my belt of not just barely making it by as an artist, but carving out a nice music career for myself, striving on the platforms that matter and creating decent wealth out of my talents.

I repeat: Unless you're doing that right now, you have no right to come in this thread and spew misinformation, or giving advice on what you think is the right way when you dont have a striving career as an artist. If you knew what the right way was, you'd have a successful music career too, and then you'd have credibility to give advice to someone who's looking for it. I'm so sick of people giving bad advice to people when they dont know what they're talking about. Disagree with how the music industry is, sure, but that's how it is and if you're so knowledgeable, steer it in a different direction

Last edited by Deleted 5f4684d; 2nd June 2020 at 06:02 AM..
Old 2nd June 2020
  #84
Gear Guru
 
UnderTow's Avatar
You make some good points but you are clearly missing one thing from denstrow's posts:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted 5f4684d View Post
So to the OP. You really want to have a career?
No he doesn't and has stated that very clearly. Your advise pertains to people that indeed want to have commercial success with their music. That isn't what denstrow is looking for according to his own words.

That said, you are right about the music side: It has to be good enough or it won't appeal. It has to be good enough both musically and production/mix wise or it won't take off. This applies both to commercial music and non-commercial music.

I agree with your comments about pop music. It see it like surfing. You have to see the wave coming and be ready to jump on your plank to catch it. (Understanding and feeling the Zeitgeist). You have to be on the crest of the wave. If you are too late, if you are behind the crest, you are out of the race. If you drop of your plank, you are out of the race. Etc.

It is the artists that can catch that crest, either by luck or intent, and remain on that crest, that have long term success.

Quote:
And to everyone in this thread who are saying, this or that is not true, this is how it's done etc, you better have some kind of success doing what you do, not as an engineer but as a recording artist or an Anr or a label person.

If you dont, you're not spreading any useful knowledge, and if you disagree with this or that, well who cares what you think, are you in the trenches like me and others are? No, so I say stfu, get some humble pie and let credible people spew their knowledge.

Don't spread knowledge or assumptions or advice if you've had no tangible success in the industry, especially as an artist.

I'm telling it like it is, I know very much what's going on out there and I have 6 years under my belt of not just barely making it by as an artist, but carving out a nice music career for myself, striving on the platforms that matter and creating decent wealth out of my talents.

I repeat: Unless you're doing that right now, you have no right to come in this thread and spew misinformation, or giving advice on what you think is the right way when you dont have a striving career as an artist. If you knew what the right way was, you'd have a successful music career too, and then you'd have credibility to give advice to someone who's looking for it. I'm so sick of people giving bad advice to people when they dont know what they're talking about. Disagree with how the music industry is, sure, but that's how it is and if you're so knowledgeable, steer it in a different direction
What is your artist name? I'm curious to hear your work.

Thanks,

Alistair
Old 2nd June 2020
  #85
Quote:
Originally Posted by hellohead View Post
I dont mean suck as in, it's bad to listen to. The right word I should have used is "unappealing". It's unappealing because there's a lot of other artists that can do that style of music better, in a more appealing way.

If you bring listeners in and you can't keep them interested, then your music is unappealing to them, there's no word of mouth, no one will share the music online, to their friends.

I hate to say it but that's the truth. Most music being made by indie people isn't good enough. You listen to a guy like Flume, and you can tell that he has a ton of talent, that's why people gravitated to his music early and will keep doing that.
That's quite a good point actually. To attract listeners, you can either be the best/most appealing at a given style (which will probably involve being pretty brutal with your artistic integrity), or go your own way for your own artistic reasons and sink or swim on the results.

Being quite good at a style that others are significantly better at isn't going to attract many people.

(Flume is pretty awesome at what he does too - funnily enough he lives a few streets away when he's in Aus!).


Quote:
Lizzo has had another hit, but I think she's riding that first big song she released.
She's definitely got plenty of time though - very new breakthrough there!

Quote:
Lewis Capaldi is actually an amazing writer, and I think he'll come out with another song.
He's also a very strong album artist - the album is as successful as the singles (and a great poster boy for looks not being everything...!)

Quote:
Where is the girl who did all about that bass? What about Tove Lo? They have careers but they're dead in the water to me and to everyone else.
Hmm, whilst Meghan Trainor might not have been as omnipresent as she was with "All About That Bass" she's had a few biggish follow ups - at least over here. She was on the Trolls soundtrack wasn't she?

Will be interesting to see how Tones and I, and others fair after a mega-smash. Whilst it's obviously amazing to have that level of success, it can be an albatross (I worked a lot with Kaz James, half of Bodyrockers who had a massive smash with "I Like the Way You Move"...he reworked stuff to death trying to make a follow up).
Old 2nd June 2020
  #86
Deleted 5f4684d
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderTow View Post
You make some good points but you are clearly missing one thing from denstrow's posts:



No he doesn't and has stated that very clearly. Your advise pertains to people that indeed want to have commercial success with their music. That isn't what denstrow is looking for according to his own words.

That said, you are right about the music side: It has to be good enough or it won't appeal. It has to be good enough both musically and production/mix wise or it won't take off. This applies both to commercial music and non-commercial music.

I agree with your comments about pop music. It see it like surfing. You have to see the wave coming and be ready to jump on your plank to catch it. (Understanding and feeling the Zeitgeist). You have to be on the crest of the wave. If you are too late, if you are behind the crest, you are out of the race. If you drop of your plank, you are out of the race. Etc.

It is the artists that can catch that crest, either by luck or intent, and remain on that crest, that have long term success.



What is your artist name? I'm curious to hear your work.

Thanks,

Alistair
Having a career in music really is like surfing, you gotta ride that wave when you're hot. I do well but my time for superstardom has passed, I'm 33, been around for 6 years now and I'm already old news (maybe not to my fans, but I'm trying to be realistic). I do think I can be in the forefront in some way because of the skills that I have musically, my knowledge of what's currently going on and my willingness to adapt. I'm heading in a RNB/ Rap direction, I love many styles of music, from Rap to country to classical, and I embrace changes in the music industry.

I think what the OP is looking for can happen, I dont really know how to make that happen for him, as I have a go big or go home mentality when it comes to a music career.

Could he have about 200/300 people following his music journey? Maybe. I just feel that if you can build loyalty with 200 people, these people will talk to others if they enjoy the music, and will recommend to others, then the 200 will become 300, then 400 etc. People love being the first to discover artists, and they like blabbing about it to the people they know.

If you can build a loyal fanbase of 200 people, I believe that your music is worth listening to.

Maybe I'm near sighted, but I can't see him build fan loyalty off of music that sonically and visually is a bit amateurish production wise, photoshop wise.

I dont think people will want to stick around, therefore, a rebranding and a new sonic palette is needed to gain listeners. I gave him the advice to maybe emulate what Com Truise has been doing (music wise, visually etc), I think it's a good direction for the OP.


There's a reason why people (young kids) cling to certain things (cultural aspects). You don't build loyalty by trying to convince 30 or 40 something to listen to your music, these people already have their own music taste, they've lived their 20s, figured out what they liked and stick to that. Psy was big with kids, not people his own age.

Btw I appreciate that we can all be adults about this discussion. I know I can be a bit brash but I'm trying to be realistic, factual, and just talk about what ive experienced in 6 years. I came in and knew nothing, and I was not ready for it at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
That's quite a good point actually. To attract listeners, you can either be the best/most appealing at a given style (which will probably involve being pretty brutal with your artistic integrity), or go your own way for your own artistic reasons and sink or swim on the results.

Being quite good at a style that others are significantly better at isn't going to attract many people.

(Flume is pretty awesome at what he does too - funnily enough he lives a few streets away when he's in Aus!).




She's definitely got plenty of time though - very new breakthrough there!



He's also a very strong album artist - the album is as successful as the singles (and a great poster boy for looks not being everything...!)



Hmm, whilst Meghan Trainor might not have been as omnipresent as she was with "All About That Bass" she's had a few biggish follow ups - at least over here. She was on the Trolls soundtrack wasn't she?

Will be interesting to see how Tones and I, and others fair after a mega-smash. Whilst it's obviously amazing to have that level of success, it can be an albatross (I worked a lot with Kaz James, half of Bodyrockers who had a massive smash with "I Like the Way You Move"...he reworked stuff to death trying to make a follow up).
Yeah man, I'm sure you've seen it firsthand, you gotta be friggin good, and greatness requires a lot of skills, talent, luck, looks etc. If any of you has been around a successful artist or producer, you see them work and they have vision, they have appeal, they go where amateurs reach pitfalls, and they work hard, long hours to get their vision to where they want it. That star power, that appeal, I cant teach that.

It's like watching professional athletes, they make it look so easy, they've spent years failing and failing, having setbacks, injuries etc etc, and they just play the sport 100x better than any amateur, because they put in the time to be good, and even then, people put the time and still arent good, miss their chances, so there's a lot of factors in play.

Most artists make a hit, and they dont really understand what they did well, the timing of it, the appeal, but the fans are aggressively listening and following them (and put pressure on the artist to follow up with something just as good). I think that's when you gotta understand what you're doing right, or surround yourself with other people who are great writers or great producers (usually your publisher or label will set that up).

And even then, you see people try and recreate that spark and it still doesnt work! This is why when you see Ed Sheeran or Post Malone release successful after successful songs, well, they understand what they're doing right, they stick in their pockets, and hit their stride (Nickelback was notorious for copying themselves, but again they knew what the fans wanted).
Old 2nd June 2020
  #87
Deleted 5f4684d
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wild Eye View Post
I haven't read the whole thread or listened to the OP.

The fact of the matter as I see it... you have three broad choices.

(1) Try to make it a career. You want to be exceptionally hard working and lucky, and probably have some talent too. Not relevant for this thread.

(2) Do your thing at home and not give a ****. Not relevant for this thread.

(3) Try to find your "tribe" locally and hope they appreciate what you do and provide you with a bit of an audience. Make it all about community and local events, networking and mutual support. This means tracking down local artists - maybe in a fairly wide variety of styles - messaging them, meeting them, going to gigs and clubs, promoting THEIR stuff as much as you do your own. This takes a lot of time and some money. With no guarantees.

The facts are everything is free on the net... if you're not trying to be a current pop act or compete quality wise with all time greats (this is quite hard, even if you mean all time greats in your genre only!) then there is literally no reason for anyone to listen to you. Unless you are all part of a local scene, a local community and network.

edit - I live in a town of around 70,000 people. Maybe there's 300,000 within 15 miles.

I follow - techno, modular, punk, noise, experimental, noise rock, psych, garage, doom, drone, indie, shoegaze, some hip hop, psyche locally

I ignore - most metal, all blues / classic rock, covers bands, jazz, anything pre-1966, country, blues, pop, r and b, most rap and hip-hop, EDM, DnB, house

It's a real struggle to keep up with the stuff I follow EVEN THOUGH I AM FOLLOWING A TINY GEOGRAPHIC AREA OUTSIDE OF LONDON. There is too much music. I'd argue that you should be forced to DJ 20 times or play live 5 times before your allowed to put a song on the net! That would be a great gatekeeper. Seriously, everyone stop releasing unless people like it. Concentrate on community, gigs and club nights and sets in unusual spaces locally instead. More bang average MP3s makes the world worse - more people getting off their arse putting on events makes the world better.
Thanks for the info, are you a full time artist?
Old 2nd June 2020
  #88
Gear Head
 

HelloHead, Were u signed to a Major at any time? I, and I'm sure many here, would love to hear your music!
Old 2nd June 2020
  #89
Deleted 5f4684d
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Gretscher View Post
HelloHead, Were u signed to a Major at any time? I, and I'm sure many here, would love to hear your music!
Ya I'm signed on a Major right now.
Old 3rd June 2020
  #90
Like I've stated before, I'm only looking for a small niche. I'm definitely not interested in fads du jour - to which hellohead's posts might apply - nor do I dream of majors etc. My music is not suited for this, I'm well aware, neither do I care. I just think there should be a way for artists that dream small to find their way too, outside the mainstream. The frustration with this is what prompted the post in the first place, as is how to better communicate with an audience in order to do that. Constructive critisism is of course welcome.
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