I have previously done some unpaid work as a music journalist for a small-time magazine, covering gigs, new releases and upcoming bands. Situated in an office Leeds, I was creating semi-weekly issues and writing an online blog.
Before I start, I should mention that Leeds is a superb place in which to work and I thoroughly enjoyed all of my time working there as a music journalist; however it can be very expensive to live in Leeds city centre, as rents are increasing and there is a lack of supply for young professionals.
These are my five top factors to ensure success within the music industry, no matter the age of the band, current popularity in the scene or history of gigs.
5. Sign up to a plethora of online blogs and magazines Even though NME and Kerrang are industry leaders in terms of music magazine publishers, there are a number of alternative magazines with unique stories with which you can retrieve reliable news and information from. Independently-written online blogs also tend to provide current and immediate news before any other magazines; you should however check that the writer of the blog is using reliable sources. This can help to increase publicity of the band and experience success.
4. Make use of Last.fm to get your music out there and promote your band: Much more than just a website that details what you are listening to, Last.fm is a powerful tool as it gives you the opportunity to build a band page, upload any songs that you have recorded and stream them, as well as linking to music stores, netting you a small profit. Whilst other social-networking sites allow you to create band pages, Last.fm is definitely the easiest and most generally recognised way to get your band out there.
3. Post blogs about it: Whilst it might seem counter-intuitive to display writing skills online instead of music, it is a fast and effective way to improve SEO rankings and fully publicise your band. An important determining factor of band popularity is Google and an effective SEO strategy can be very beneficial - however, try and write your blogs on music news or activity, as opposed to a personal account, as this will be more engaging for the reader.
2. Sign up to as many newsletters/small bands and attend festivals: Even though they do not hold the same power as larger bands, small groups are a fantastic way of improving your chance of success by latching onto their potential popularity. The partnership can also make agreeing a support act much easier. It is vital to build a fanbase in your own region to begin with. My experience working an office in Leeds has given me a lot of access to regional bands and into the future of music.
1. Network in the industry: Much like working in a small business, a great deal of success is defined by who you know and your relationships. It is a good idea to attend networking events for the music industry and speak to music experts. Even an e-mail address or telephone number can be your ticket to breaking into the music industry.
Whilst a great deal of success will depend on the quality of your music and the originality you have (unless you are spotted by a talent scout), these tips can significantly improve your band's potential.
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Leeds is possibly one of the best places that I have ever worked and I found all my time working there very enjoyable; however Leeds is a markedly expensive place to live, as rents are increasing and there is a lack of supply for young professionals. My experience in an office in Leeds has shown me a lot of local bands that made it big.
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