By Vanessa B
A lot of people believe that music hasn’t been good for years. Perhaps even decades. But, those that spend their time searching out new and exciting music know that this is not the case. Rather than listen to what is on the radio, there are golden nuggets hidden all over, from your local pub to platforms like Bandcamp and Amazing Radio.
But how can a new band get out of this small corner and make a splash? We all know that success does not come overnight. For most, it can take years of hard graft; not every one gets big from a demo tape a la Arctic Monkeys, or even two-songs-on-Spotify Wet Leg, who boast millions of streams without anyone knowing all that much about them.
Play, Play, Play
The simplest advice anyone can give you to help you find your big break is to play, play, and then play some more. Practice makes perfect, but you shouldn’t confine yourself to the studio perfecting the chorus or the middle-eight of your soon-to-be smash hit.
You’ve also got to embrace gigs. Playing your music in front of a live audience regardless of the venue will introduce your tunes to more people. As a small band, you’ll need to spend a lot of time driving to and from venues, so knowing how to make your car feel new will make the journey more comfortable, too. This is especially true if you need to spend the night there instead of in a hotel room.
Everyone is on social media, and this is the place for you to get your name out there. Knowing how to promote your music on Instagram will help you reach a wider audience, while small snippets of some of your tunes could lead to results similar to what you saw PinkPatheress achieve on TikTok.
Considering the short attention spans of most people, they won’t want to sit around and listen to a three-minute tune. But, 30-second snapshots of your best riffs could perk their ears up. If they want to find out more, they can follow links to your artist page and find out more.
The Traditional Way
Radio isn’t dead, at least not entirely. Mainstream radio in particular will always have a place, whether it’s filling the silence on a lazy Sunday afternoon or keeping you company on a long drive across the country.
It makes sense to get involved with these platforms, and things like BBC Introducing is perfect for up-and-coming bands who want to get their name out there. You’ll have plenty of competition, but the backing of one of the biggest champions of new music in the country can only lead to good things and could get you on a festival bill somewhere.
Everyone loves merch, and for many, the more obscure, the better. In a world where everyone spends Christmas and birthday money at Primark or on ASOS, offering unique merchandise can help spread the word about your band, even if people aren’t entirely sure what your merch means.
You can work with a merchandising company, but as a small band, you may not have the funds. Instead, make and sell band merch yourself so you can enjoy 100% of the profits that you can put back into the band. This will allow you to spend a little more on marketing, upgrade your instruments, or maybe treat yourself so you can achieve the rockstar look, especially if you’re happy to fake it till you make it.
A Little Luck
Of course, you could try all of these and still find that you’ve not hit the big time just yet. Besides these approaches, you also need a little luck. Don’t wait around for this luck, though. Instead, find ways to make your own luck.
Keep your finger on the pulse of current trends both online and in the music industry. If you hear about a potential gig opportunity, make sure you are the first one there. If there are mini-festivals that pay in actual money as well as exposure, apply to get your band on a stage. There are enough options out there. You just need to know where to find them.
Getting Your Name Out There
For some, being a famous musician is the only thing that matters, whereas others just want to make music and enjoy making music, no matter where it gets them or how much money they make. If you want to make an impact and hear your tunes in every shop you go into while doing your weekly shop, these tips can help you get to where you want to be.