Chris Knab is one of the founders of 415 Records and has a wealth of experience behind him in promoting everything related to music.
Chris has been named one of the most influential people in the music field.
Today he teaches courses in music promotion and marketing in this segment of the art market, and Chris is still directly involved in the promotion of musicians.
Therefore, everyone who wants to become a famous musician should definitely heed his advice.
How to Achieve Popularity as a Musician
Christopher gives some great timeless tips to remember and apply to get the desired result:
1. Stop sending your demos to record labels
Stop sending your demos to record label, it’s a waste of time. Instead, focus on building your own musical name and reputation by forging lasting relationships with a growing fan base. They are your ticket to success.
2. Take time to study what music professionals do to make a living.
What is their professional title called, to whom do they report, and what do they do when they go to work?
The contacts you make in the music industry can both help you and destroy your career, since your success directly depends on the success of your fellow musicians, producers, and so on.
The music business is built on a “friendly scheme”. Everyone is somehow connected to each other in this industry.
Therefore, first of all, establish the RIGHT contacts.
3. Prepare a Question
Before contacting any professional in the music business, prepare one question that you will ask him.
This question shouldn’t make you look ignorant, so don’t ask about how to become a star or how to make contact. No one has time to answer such stupid and naive questions.
4. Develop a Contact List
Create two contact lists, one for professionals with whom you already have a working relationship, and one for fans. Update both lists and contact them if you have anything to ask or share.
5. Prepare a short 30 second description of your music
Memorize it well and use it every time you are asked the question “What kind of music do you make?”. You do not need to paint your music in detail, your description should briefly and clearly explain the genre or style of music so that the interlocutor understands you, becomes interested in your work and becomes a potentially valuable contact ready to support you.
6. Learn about the Word Originality
If you have problems describing your musical style, try this exercise: give yourself an explanation of the word “originality” and notice that inside this word there is the word “origin” – source, origin, source (you know what I mean I’m leading). Perhaps this will help you focus on what makes your music unique. Never say your music is unique, describe WHY it is unique.
7. Be careful
Always remember this: people in the music industry looking for and supporting new talent never know what they are looking for … BUT they always get it right from the start.
8. Find your image and follow it
This is important because the first impression of someone unfamiliar with your music is often a VISUAL experience. This could be your logo, your album title, your website design, and so on. All of these are critically important if you want to gain attention and fans. Image is everything for show business. Research your favorite artists and study their image.
9. People love the kind of music they can relate to
What about your music has inspired your existing fans and will attract more and more fans and people willing to help? Think well about it. This is the key to any possible success. Music contains emotions, so what emotions do your songs carry?
10. Does your music sound too similar to other artists?
This is the most common complaint one hears from music professionals – too many performers today sound like established artists. And your fans feel it too. Too much homogeneous music.
11. Always Reflect Image Created in the Song
When you perform live, do you reflect the image you created in your song? Did you prepare, rehearse well, and did your songs in your live performance create a smooth flow, exciting and balanced flowing from one to the other?
12. Repeating this rule will never be enough
Great music is a basic requirement, but the chores, daily boring jobs like updating your blog and website, social media pages, and keeping in touch are both necessary and hard work. Only you can do this work and perform other tasks: apply for shows, update information about yourself, look for new projects. All this requires your efforts and you should carry this work on yourself without any complaints. Remember that only YOU care about your success the most, it is YOUR music, YOUR career.
13. There is no such thing as “night sensation”
Behind the success of each performer are long hours of hard work and dedication, which have led this artist to have the advantage. Remember that you should not only be looking for deals related to the recording or production of your music. Look for any opportunity to use your music: online, in movies, shows, advertisements, and so on. But you have to work hard and constantly to make these opportunities available to you.
14. Practice Home Recording
Home recording has become as everyday as cooking today, but you don’t need to trap yourself into a habit of constantly working at home on your computer or in your home studio. Go out regularly and visit clubs and other venues where performances take place. The old saying goes, “They only come out at night.” And it’s perfect for the music business. So get out and chat LIVE with fans and pros.
15. Grow with your fan base
As your fan base grows, create more and more products to sell online and at your shows. Make sure you have your logo on every product you sell.
16. Put your heart and soul into your work
This is one of the most important success factors. Be responsible and fair to yourself. Stand out from the crowd. Be a pro in everything you do.
17. Perform live often and don’t worry (at first) about paying.
You can always tell the difference between a musician who works for money from a musician who really lives by music. A dedicated musician cannot NOT play / sing at any opportune moment.
So if you really want to make a living from music, get ready for three or four years of your career to be full of setbacks and disappointments.
Almost every talented and legendary musician has been that same failure musician, but they didn’t give up! Therefore, perform wherever you can, offer your services for free, for charity purposes, look for opportunities to “jam” or have your own jam session.
Remember: play live, then play live again. This is what musicians are required to do.
18. Know your instrument inside and out
This also applies to vocalists, since the voice is also an instrument. Know every aspect of the sound of your instrument, try to bring your skill to perfection (well, there is no limit to perfection). Be a pro, not an amateur. Try to create your own sound, believe me, studios love everything innovative and new.
19. Protect your intellectual property
Register your music and never spare any money for it. The guys constantly come to the studios and complain that their “non-name” songs were used for commercial purposes, but they didn’t get a dime for it.
If you are truly confident in the quality and exclusivity of your music, protect it.
20. Always Confirm Advice From Colleagues
Don’t follow people’s advice until you are sure the person knows what they are talking about. Everyone has their own “do” and “don’t do”, but not everyone understands what he is talking about.