With few exceptions, there’s no such thing as an overnight success. The producer you found on SoundCloud yesterday has been working tirelessly behind the scenes to find a way to get you to hear those songs. The rapper whose Twitter you just found dropped out of school to focus on music. They’ve spent years working on improving their social media presence. They invest many, many hours a day into their craft and wouldn’t have it any other way.
But even if no monetary obstacles exist, there’s another price—your time.
Bedroom artists are easy to romanticize—and for good reason—but it isn’t always what it seems. First and foremost, if you’re looking to break into the music industry, odds are that you’re first going to have to spend a small fortune. Even disregarding the obvious price of fully stocking a proper recording studio, you’ll find fees related to obtaining artwork and massive email lists full of bloggers who may or may not ever open anything you send them.
There are, of course, ways to circumvent some of the costs I’ve mentioned. Maybe you’ve got a friend that will let you use their studio for free. You might be able to make your own covers with a little bit of luck. But even if no monetary obstacles exist, there’s another price—your time.
When everyone is out to prove themselves, you’ve got to raise the bar even higher.
People tend not to be inherently great at making music. Which should only remind you not to be discouraged if you can’t get it all together the way you’d like it when you first start out. If you aren’t willing to invest the time necessary to improve your music, then you aren’t willing to be a musician.
But even then, music likely isn’t the only thing you should find yourself releasing. The prominence of the internet has made it easier to share music, but every coin has two sides. Arguably, the sheer number of artists online has made it that much harder to stand out.
Simply put, you’ve got to give people something that they can’t get anywhere else. How you go about this is up to you—there’s no right way to be unique. Some will dedicate time to putting out distinctive music videos, while some will focus more on social media or the music itself. Others might give their listeners something totally unexpected. When everyone is out to prove themselves, you’ve got to raise the bar even higher. Whatever you do, if you’re releasing content that people can’t find elsewhere, you’re doing things right.