By Kym B.
So I’m scrolling through social media and came across an indie artist’s live video. In the video, the artist discusses how his focus for 2017 would be to learn the “skill of writing a proper press release.”
I immediately liked the status and decided to delve deeper into the Independent Artist movement.
The very state of independence allows an artist, band and even label to be self-governing in its own way. The stratagem for success varies between styles of music, attitudes and management.
The reality is most big labels have all the leverage. An artist needs a platform. And, unfortunately, must rely on the direction that the labels that signed them have decided to go.
Through the excitement of signing, many artists have agreed to contractual terms that are insulting and unashamedly imbalanced. Hence, the beginning of the independent artist as a reactive protest to such unfair arrangements and practices.
The shift came along during the birth of YouTube, where anyone in the world could post a free video of themselves singing on the couch. Then came the internet and music streaming that threatened profits and the mere livelihood of mainstream artists.
This freedom flourished on the web so rapidly that people didn’t give a second thought that they were taking money out of artists’ pockets. The internet also offers the rare opportunity for musicians and songwriters to sidestep “music execs” and directly engage audiences.
Apart from the free opportunity of exposure, social media now offers musicians avenues to protect and copyright their works.
Indie artists have started such a crusade, one would question, is there even a need for mainstream labels?
Brian Christopher, independent R&B artist and entrepreneur states that “In reality, indie artists are just as good – if not better – than the major artists. The problem is with perception.”
Christopher shared a few more points for indie artists:
- What makes you view one artist differently from another is the platform.
- An indie artist needs something larger than their music for their fans to attach to. Social media is attracted to reality; so, be real with your fan base.
- Other than your original songs, do a few impromptu freestyles over music to show your listeners that you have talent and that you keep up with the industry.
- Find something to inspire your listeners; give your career a life outside of your music and find something noteworthy to attach yourself to.
- Getting signed to a major label is not realistic.
- Know your core audience. You must first determine what demographic identifies to you and learn that group. Learn when, where and how they listen to music.
- Perhaps the biggest downfall of the indie artists is not developing a budget. Discover ways to gain sponsorships and eventually find an investor.
- Back to perception: if you start believing in yourself on a totally different level than before, you will notice your fan base will do the same.
- Sometimes you need to dictate to others what they should believe – in you!
Kym B. is an avid world traveler who owns a clothing design boutique with her daughter. Follow her on Twitter@AlwaysRich777