on media, technology & digital culture
Somebody, I guess it could have been anyone, said that the Internet couldn’t survive on its own. It needs the real world to sustain it, because without it, there would simply be no content. The Internet and everything that happens „on it“ is a natural continuation of real life events. News portals obviously cover events that happened in real life, music portals review and cover musicians, etc. Whatever it is, it has to happen somewhere else before it reaches the digital world.
Myspace was a good idea but it was poorly executed. Still, it gave us the Arctic Monkeys, Lilly Allen and Soulja Boy. I guess we can be thankful for that. But for every Lilly, there are a million untalented John Does, who keep uploading their stuff on Myspace even though they don’t get any plays, don’t play any venues and are just sort of hoping to be discovered. It’s OK to make music for yourself but, honestly, if you want to get discovered – you have better chances waiting tables at a Karaoke bar.
YouTube gave us Justin Bieber and a bunch of other teenage stars that I won’t mention here because they didn’t egg anyone’s house or got thrown in jail recently. Now, Biebs is a talented guy, there is no doubt about it. But his story is very misleading. Today, you have a million kids and their parents uploading videos, hoping they’ll be the next JB. But that’s not going to happen. The chances of that happening are one in a million. Plus, most new coming teenage artists dive into obscurity a year after their first single. Even if your kid is one talented juvenile, nothing will happen unless, by some odd stroke of luck, Usher’s talent scout spots him in a myriad of other videos, like he did Bieber. It’s like playing the lottery; only you also have to be talented to win it.
Soundcloud is probably the most promising sound management service out there. It has a simple interface, with a somewhat obscure and annoying comment section. Regardless of its minor flaws, Soundcloud is a step in the right direction because it focuses on music and nothing else. The negative aspect of Soundcloud is the fact that you can buy plays, downloads and votes. This is something a lot of untalented musicians have started doing because they aren’t getting any plays, hold zero gigs and just aren’t very talented to begin with. That’s why most of David Guetta’s, Skrilex’s and Deadmau5’s fans are from Mexico City. Meanwhile, artists like Swayzak are doubtful of continuing their music careers.
Facebook was thought to be Prince Charming, the savior of all bedroom producers who have trouble reaching their audience. However, FB ads cost money. The more fans you have, the more money you have to spend on advertising to reach them. It’s a simple scheme, designed to benefit Facebook, not your average bedroom artist. Keep in mind that 10% of Facebook users are not even human. In addition to that, a fair amount of people will like your page for the wrong reason (they liked the picture, confused your name or cover art with something else, liked it because their friend like it, etc.). Everyone who likes your Facebook page is not a fan, he’s just curious.
So, what should an artist do? Should he give up altogether? Should he abandon all hope that he or she will ever be heard? Not really. An artist needs to stay persistent and educated throughout his career. Being an artist is not a get-rich-quick scheme. People have to understand that a lot of artists gained recognition only after they died. You have to take that risk if you want to keep doing what you’re doing. On a more practical note, here are 11 tips to get your stuff heard:
Is there anything else you would like to add to the list? Some tips from your own experience? Something that helped you along the way?