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|Thurs, March 14, 2019 at 1:40 AM|Send Blog · Share on Facebook · Bookmark on Delicious
Hey Producers, This was great article I found on medium.com
I love beats and electronic/sample-based/instrumental music. That's why I started Micro-Chop.
I want to do anything I can to help musicians/producers make a meaningful income from their creativity and hard work. I think many of the producers I know and admire could reach a new plateau of success with just a few tweaks to their current approach. With that in mind, I want to share some of the things I've learned in my writing to help more people find success with digital music platforms.
Before we get started/in the interest of full transparency with my readers: It's hard to find a universal approach that leads to great success for every artist. Having said that, I think following the steps outlined below will at the very least increase your listener base by a significant amount within one year.
I've made the same suggestions that I make below to several artists who have followed them. They have since earned tens/hundreds of thousands of Spotify plays every month and experienced a huge spike in visibility.
I of course would love to hear negative and positive feedback if you try some of these ideas.
Step 1: This is the most important one and I can't stress it enough?-?get your music on every streaming platform. The easiest way is probably using DistroKid. They get your music up on Amazon, Deezer, iHeartRadio, iTunes, Apple Music, Pandora, Google Play, Spotify, Tidal, and over 150 other online services. For $20/year you can upload unlimited songs and albums. Competitors tend to be much more expensive.
Before using DistroKid, do some research. Most producers I know have had good success with them, but one producer had some of his music removed when one of their algorithms discovered uncleared samples in a few of his beats. If you have a beat tape/album with really, really obvious and unaltered samples, you might want to ask around before using them.
Step 2: Spotify has 159 million active users and 71 million premium subscribers. They also have a thriving sponsored playlist culture that can lead to massive spikes in your monthly streams. Other streaming platforms also have a growing audience for playlists. To make it easy easy as possible for their curators to discover your work and add you to a playlist, experiment.
Micro-Chopping STLNDRMS?-?an exclusive, 22-track playlist.
Use DistroKid to release individual songs as singles. These singles will then appear on all of the platforms listed above. Or, release a series of singles at regular intervals and then release all of them together as one album. You can even experiment with putting up singles from your older releases. Every release, both single and full length, acts as a funnel for potential listeners that will drive them to your page and your music.
STLNDRMS is a really good example of an artist who benefits from releasing singles?-?he's always putting up new songs and it has earned him quite a bit of success on streaming. (Editor's note: STLNDRMS explained to me that sometimes Apple Music erroneously lists singles as albums. This seems to be a bug they haven't fixed yet.)
If you've produced an entire album for an MC or vocalist, you should definitely release an instrumental version of that album. The more music you upload, the greater the chance people will discover it. The more people that discover it, the greater the chance it ends up on an official Spotify playlist.
Don't be afraid to reach out to Spotify and other streaming platforms?-?and their respective playlist curators?-?to see if they'll feature one of your songs on a playlist. The worst they can do is say no.
Step 3: Volume matters. Don't sacrifice quality for quantity and don't make yourself miserable, but in the current music market, it's difficult to put out one instrumental album every two years and stay relevant. Try to release with some degree of frequency and consistency, even if you're just dropping singles and EPs. I see many talented producers posting beats on SoundCloud regularly but not uploading them on paid streaming platforms. Upload them on both.
Can you commit to making one new beat every few weeks or every month? If the answer is yes, do it with some kind of consistency and get those songs up on Spotify/other streaming platforms. It will take time, but this will eventually lead to more listeners and listens.
Many producers with one or two projects on Spotify and no singles or other releases to speak of complain that they don't get any traction on the platform. It is highly unlikely that you'll get results with just one or two full length releases and nothing else. If you only have one album, trying posting some of the songs as singles.
Step 4: Utilize SoundCloud. For all of the issues they've had recently, they can still be a huge driving force for traffic and a great way to get your music heard and widely shared. There's still a very dedicated crew of producers who use SoundCloud and repost songs that catch their ear. Plays on SoundCloud can lead to people heading over to your Bandcamp page or listening to you on a paid streaming service.
The Bandcamp version of Oddisee's 'The Beauty In All'.
Step 5: Also utilize Bandcamp. It's a great, artist-friendly service with a very passionate user base. Their compensation model is one of the best around for artists, they have great articles and content, and they bust their ass trying to help musicians.
They also let you sell physical releases rather seamlessly next your digital releases. Vinyl CDs, cassettes, etc continue to do well in 2018. There's no telling how long this resurgence will last, but you certainly don't want to neglect physical releases if they're already a part of your model.
Having sung the praises of Bandcamp, I don't recommend using them exclusively. I often see people on Facebook groups talking about how using Spotify/other streaming platforms will hurt their Bandcamp numbers. I don't think this is the case.
Don't ignore Spotify and expect Bandcamp will magically give you enough listeners to have a sustainable career. Use Bandcamp to build synergy with your streaming presence and vice versa. Oddisee is a great example of how this can work. His song "After Thoughts" has over 13 million plays on Spotify, but it isn't hurting his Bandcamp sales of The Beauty In All or any of his other albums. To the contrary, it seems like it's giving his Bandcamp numbers an incredible boost.
Obviously, given his crazy Spotify spins he is a major outlier. But, your goal should be to build your audience across the internet/multiple platforms, not just one or two places. Through years of consistent, good work and a utilization of all platforms, Oddisee built a crazy following in multiple places. If you stay the course and keep building listeners in multiple places, it seems likely that you will see or continue to see positive results on Bandcamp?-?and elsewhere.
Step 6: Upload official audio of your music on YouTube. (This quick tutorialshows you how.) Sadly, once you get big enough, someone will probably do this with your music anyway?-?with or without your permission. Why not beat them to it and build a following on YouTube that benefits you?
I've written several articles about YouTube's vast audience of listeners and how they've helped somewhat obscure/very obscure rap records from the 90s get over 1 million views. Use them to your advantage.
Official Seneca B audio for her ADMB and Joon Jukx collabo "Ghost".
Producer Seneca B?-?whose song "Angels" recently broke 1 million plays on Spotify?-?is using this tactic. Though her YouTube numbers are still relatively modest, you can see songs like "Ghost" really starting to take off with over 12,000 plays. Again, these aren't crazy numbers right now, but they could be with time. Every little bit helps. A discovery on YouTube can lead to a discovery on a different platform and vice versa.
Step 7: Think big picture, beyond mere sales and streams. The industry has changed a lot, even in the last 3-4 years, and it's important to recognize and try to understand those changes. The value of a vast reach goes beyond sales and streams?-?it also puts your music in front of countless people who might want to use your beats for additional creative opportunities.
Again, going back to Oddisee, his gains across multiple music platforms have led to other lucrative licensing opportunities.
"I just got two messages for two separate licensing opportunities. One from ESPN and one from a premiere league in Ireland," he explained in a 2016 interview with DJBooth. "I'll license a song to them and nobody will ever hear it, but the money I make from that is someone's salary. Everyone thinks I'm underrated, but I just made someone's salary from one song."
The same thing could happen to your music if you get it in front of enough people.
Step 8: Do something novel, unique, and surprising. It's a crowded market out there and sometimes being good isn't good enough. You can stand out from the crow
|Wed, March 6, 2019 at 1:22 AM|Send Blog · Share on Facebook · Bookmark on Delicious
Recently, we was at an networking music event in Charlotte, NC. This event was put together by one of the locals during the CIAA weekend. Chris Gotti co-founder of Murder Inc. and new founder of his latest business ADD Ventures was the guest. Overall, it was a dope event. Now this event featured mostly hip hop-rap artists and the audience were a hip hop crowd. It was a couple of singers that were among the evening performances. After the event we couldn't help but wonder why R&B artists continue to preform in front of a mostly hip hop audience. Now it could be a few reasons. But I can think of one, because there aren't a lot of outlets or platforms that are for R&B singers. Still, I honestly think R&B artists should stay away from hip hop events and their audience. Reason being is, it doesn't benefit the R&B artists. At the event in Charlotte the singers that did sing were pretty good. But nobody was paying attention do them. They didn't really grab the audience attention like the rap artists. They had the right songs, but no one really cared. And this is why R&B singers gets no love at hip hop events. Now we suggested that R&B artists would benefit more if they are featured on a song with a hip hop artist. Hip hop and R&B can merge but it has to be done right. It's the same way if an hip hop artist goes and preform in front of a R&B audience. All I'm saying to the R&B artists is in order to maximize your presents, stay away from these hip hop events and pure hip hop audience. Unless you are featured on a song with a hip hop artist. Trust me, at these hip hop events it's very hard to grab the attention of a hip hop crowd especially when you're not a rapper.
|Wed, February 27, 2019 at 12:34 AM|Send Blog · Share on Facebook · Bookmark on Delicious
Do you know how many hip hop artists I've came across in my short life who don't like beats with samples? Or better yet, the ones who are so afraid of using beats with sample that they think they will get sued by the copyright owner. Okay let's tackle this for a bit. Truth be told, you can't be in love with hip hop and hate samples beats. That hold notion is very lame. Especially if you're a hip hop artist. Many hip hop artists I even know personally they don't like beats with samples. They love the beat but they have a problem with the sample in it. Let me keep it 100, if you're an artist and you are worried about the copyright owner coming after you because you used a some parts of their song, trust me no one is coming after you. If you don't have a big following on social media, you're spotify numbers isn't very high, chances are you will not get a call from Universal Records. Disclaimer, by any way I'm saying don't clear any used samples. You still have to get it cleared sooner or later. With that said, stop trippin. Sampling is the foundation of hip hop music. It's part of the culture. 85% of songs you listen to has a sample in it. Most of hip hop's greatest songs has samples in it. Timbaland, Dr. Dre, Pharrell has used samples in their production. 21 Savage " A Lot" ft. J. Cole....the beat is sampled. All you hip hop artists who either dislike sample beats, are afraid of sample beats, use the beat. Let the music speak for itself. Our favorite songs we admire most likely has a sample in it some where. Don't let fear take over your creative process because the beat has a dope ass Curtis Mayfield guitar riff in it. Beside most of you don't have a big following anyway. Trust me nobody is looking for you real talk. USE THAT DAM BEAT AND STOP PLAYIN!!
|Tue, February 19, 2019 at 9:12 PM|Send Blog · Share on Facebook · Bookmark on Delicious
When I hear a rapper say "I make music for everybody" they are REALLY saying I don't know who I making music for. This is by far the #1 reason why a lot and I do mean A LOT of rappers fail. A lot of rappers don't have a clue who their audience is. First of all, let's break it down a little bit. Most rappers follow the TREND. Right now, a lot of rappers think moving to Atlanta they are going to get ON within 3 months. A BIG NO NO. Yes Atlanta is the main hub for the music industry. And yes the music scene in Atlanta is very strong. With that said, you still have to put in work. A lot of rappers move down here without a clear plan. So this is their first mistake. Second, since Atlanta is home of TRAP MUSIC, a lot of rappers who are not from Atlanta really think they need to do trap music in order to get a buzz or get their music played on a lot of the platforms out here. Another big mistake. And 3rd, crazy as it may sound, rappers get down here or a lot that's already here and from here get lazy. This is a city you can't just come here and get lazy. You'll find yourself pass by or end up moving back to your home city.
On top of everything else they have no clue who their making music for. Let me bust your cherry right now. Your music is not for everybody. Most rappers plans are "throwing wet paper at the wall and see if it sticks". This is the #1 reason why rappers fail. Rappers, you need fans to make it in this industry. Your fans are your customers. These individuals pay your bills and keep you touring. Now I know what you are asking, "Well Ced how do I find my audience and turn them into fans?". First off, if haven't figure out already, figure out what type of music you make. When you do that, figure out what age group you want to connect with through your music. Next, figure out what type of people will relate to your music and your story. Are these people dope boys, working class people, are these people teenagers, are these people mostly women, or mostly men. Are they black, white, Asian, Latino etc. You get the picture I hope. Knowing this is very important information that can make or break your music career. Also you have to know where to find these people. But that's another blog article for a later time. Remember not everybody will like your music. When you make music for everybody, you make music for nobody. STRAIGHT UP!.
|Wed, January 2, 2019 at 6:49 PM|Send Blog · Share on Facebook · Bookmark on Delicious
Check out this dope blog by the lovely T-Quest. It's a good good read. Especially from a woman's point of view being an entertainer herself.
Lights, camera but maybe no action! Being an entertainer, dating an entertainer or attempting to date at all is not what it cracks up to be. Well, at least not for me. I personally feel it's a gift & a curse trying to balance out having a music career while bringing some normalcy to my life.
Shout out to all my independent women! Boss Ladies stand up! As a woman who is a boss, it's rewarding. I call the shots, they report to me, I am the head lady in charge but once clocked out, things change. There is nothing wrong with having your own but some of us desire to share it with someone special.
I've tried to date regular men as well as men who work in the entertainment industry & so far, it has not worked out whatsoever. Let me write a few of the situations I been in to give you a taste of my dating experiences.
Let's talk about going out. Whether it was a regular guy or an entertainer (Music artist, Djs, etc) I ended up having the same problem or issue. As a well known public figure, when I'm out and about people tend to come up to me, say hi, catch up,& possibly want a picture. I'm an entertainer so this shouldn't be shocking. As for the men I was dating, they had a problem with it. Some felt left to the side, some showed insecurities, feeling uncomfortable to the point they started to think the worse. "Who's this person?" "How well do she know him?" I wonder if they ever been intimate or is this really a fan?" Usually people assume only females think like this but I know from personal experience that so do men.
To a certain extent I can understand why regular guys would feel some type of way because they're not use to this lifestyle. At first they may feel they can handle it until they actually have to. As far as entertainers, I was very shocked! You work in the same field as me. I expect you to have a better understanding of how it is. Women come up to you but I don't feel no type of way. Either way, if a person is not secure within themselves, there will always be a problem.
Another big issue is TIME. We're always on the go, appearances, performances, bookings, meetings & more. Not just entertainers neither but in this case, we are the topic. Many understand time is limited but still complain when they don't get enough of the other person's time. I know it can get hard as well as very challenging but as I stated earlier, this comes with the territory. We have to sacrifice and compromise but don't try to make us feel bad because we can't give you all the time you want. That's not fair, especially if you see many of us trying to balance it all out, the best way we know how. This goes back to knowing and understanding your mate or potential mate. It's not for everyone.
Social Media: With this topic alone I can write a book series but I'll keep it short.LOL Social media will have you walking on egg shells if you don't know how to use it properly. From fans, to stalkers being flirtatious to sliding in Dm's, It can get messy if you allow it to. But let's not focus on others, let's focus on the two in the relationship or "talking" to possibly be exclusive. Some will see all your posts, notice what you click LIKE on, pay close attention to what people write on your page , how you respond and if you interact according on their page as well. Guys I may have been interested in, definitely took the fun out of it all! They were too into their feelings not realizing that it's nothing but social media and if they paid more attention to me and not others, they would have noticed that.
How long is your studio sessions?
Who were those people in your Instagram video?
How come you're not home yet?
You have to go out of town again?
How come I can't go?
Do you have something to hide?
Who are you with?
This blog only scratches the surface but I'll end it here for now. Just beware of who you date, trying to date & know what may come with it.
As usual, I only gave a tease on the topic. Why, because I love for you all to chime in with your personal experiences & opinions so you know what to do below.
This is Ms Gotta Love Me herself, it's T-Quest Tuesday & you've just been Questified! Show love by sharing & following me on social media at TQuestGLM
Email me topics to discuss & QUESTions you may have. To learn more about me or to hear about certain topics in dept please download my app "T-Quest" in your google play store & visit my website GottaLoveMeWorld.com