Becoming a famous singer or musician is not an easy task, but it certainly can be done! It takes talent, perseverance, positivity, and sometimes, a whole lot of luck. The key to making it big is being heard by the right people at the right time, because those people, such as record label executives, can help get your songs out there, but the trick is getting them to hear you first. There are tons of aspiring artists and musicians out there, and while not everyone will make it big, it is possible to get yourself noticed.
Practice and train.
To get noticed and make it big as a singer, you must practice as much as possible, the same way that professional athletes train all the time, and the same way that musicians practice their instruments constantly. After all, when you’re a singer, your voice is your instrument, and you need to be proficient with it!
Even if you’re already an excellent singer, take vocal lessons. A singing instructor can teach you how to project and protect your voice, to practice properly, and to expand your vocal range, as well as show you new techniques.
Develop a distinctive sound.
Getting noticed in the music industry isn’t easy, but it will help if you have a different sound—something that hasn’t already been done by a hundred other singers—to catch people’s attention.
You can develop a distinctive sound by having a unique voice, playing with an exotic accompanying instrument, using different vocal or production effects, or doing something else to set your sound apart.
Instead of trying to sound like your influences, add your own personal style to your voice and your music. Don’t be afraid to express yourself.
Create an image for yourself.
Singers are artists and performers, and one component of that performance should be a unique look and style that helps define you and make you memorable. This style should complement your distinctive sound, but the important thing is feeling comfortable with yourself.
For instance, if you aren’t comfortable wearing a full spandex suit in neon green, don’t do it just to gain attention. Your performance will be affected if you aren’t comfortable with the way you look and feel.
Kiss is a great example of a band that made a very unique look for themselves to help promote their music. In fact, the style they created was so successful that even people who have never heard their music can identify the band by their costumes and makeup.
Have the right attitude.
The road to success in the music industry is a long and hard one, and it takes positivity, persistence, and determination to make it. You must believe in yourself and have confidence in your own talent, otherwise you’ll never find the courage to get on stage, contact an agent, or send out your demo.
Being able to ignore detractors can be just as important as having a positive attitude. Especially in today’s connected world of social media, comment sections, and Internet trolls, there will always be people who have negative things to say, and you will have to learn to ignore them.
Play local gigs.
Playing gigs or shows will get your music heard, help you create a local fan base, and help you create a name for yourself. Gigs come in all shapes and sizes, and when you’re first starting out, any bit of exposure you get is a bonus. You can play at gigs and events such as:
Local sports games
Bars, clubs, lounges, and coffee shops
Weddings and parties
Concerts, exhibitions, and battle of the bands nights
Make a record.
One of the first major milestones of all bands or singers is the recording of their first demo song or album. A demo is something that you can distribute far and wide, sell at gigs, and use to promote yourself and your music.
There are thousands of independent and local recording studios out there you can use to record a single or a few tracks, and you might be surprised to find that there’s even one in your town. A quick Internet search should give you an idea of where to go to record some music.
Find your niche audience.
In order to do this, you need an idea of what genre of music you play. think about what musicians inspired you, what other musicians you sound similar to, and what kind of people your music might appeal to.
Knowing your sound is important because it can help you direct your music at your target audience. For instance, if you’re a rapper, you might want to consider booking yourself a gig at a local poetry slam rather than at a country bar.
Understanding your audience can also help you when you want to stand out in a crowd. For example, if you know your music appeals to cat lovers for some reason, you could book yourself a show at a local animal shelter fundraiser.
Get your music online.
This is an absolute must in the modern world of new music. More and more often, it’s YouTube, Facebook, and other social media and networking sites that are responsible for musical fame, rather than the traditional record label. If you want to reach more people, use the Internet to distribute your own music.
For starters, you should have accounts with all the popular social media sites for your music. This includes Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Myspace, Bandcamp, Buzznet, and more.
Take videos and recordings of all your performances, and share them on your social media pages. Be sure to include links where people can also purchase the demos and tracks you’ve recorded professionally.
Have friends and fans share your music.
Stay in touch with friends and fans via social media, and encourage them to share your recordings and performances with their friends. You can even offer special perks and offers to friends who share the most or get you the most followers or likes.
Send out your demo.
Traditionally, one of the best ways to get discovered in the music industry was to send your demo to as many people as possible. While this may no longer be the ultimate way to get recognized as a singer, it is still an important step. If you’re sending out physical copies, be sure to write your contact info directly on each CD. Send your demo to:
Blogs and music reviewers
Record producers and executives
Band managers who work with acts similar to yours
Get an agent.
Agents are great resources because of the connections they have, their ability to negotiate, and their experience in the music industry. It’s not essential to have an agent, but having one can afford you a certain level of protection, takes some pressure off you (because they can take care of bookings on your behalf), and gives you a certain level of professionalism.
Get airplay for your music.
this includes sending your music to local radio stations, college and university radio stations, and web radio stations.
When you send your music, be sure to address specific DJs, presenters, and show producers.
Try to target specialty shows and stations that might be more open to independent acts.
Collaborate with other artists.
Working on projects with other artists is a great way to open yourself up to a new audience and get yourself heard by new groups of people. Work with artists who also have established fan bases, and that way you’ll get your name out there faster.
Don’t just focus on musical artists when you’re considering a collaboration. Artistic crossover can happen with dancers, visual artists, poets, and filmmakers, and this can give you an even larger audience.