In a world where everyone is fighting for attention, artists are more and more aware of how they will have to market a track, and often will explore how to write and compose in order to increase the chance of it going viral on social platforms. This happens at the expense of originality and authenticity and increases pressure on the artist to perform in a certain way or to meet certain expectations.
This system comes with its own set of challenges: how can you get yourself noticed if you are just following along the beaten path?
Of course, there is a certain level of success one can achieve by emulating a style or sound. For instance, by releasing material listeners are familiar with, artists can get into mainstream playlists and achieve solid streaming figures. In other words, playing along can be rewarding. Ultimately though, even a good Spotify profile won’t be enough to build a motivated fanbase (the kind of fanbase that buys tickets and merchandise).
Authenticity will always be at the forefront of music creation. Don’t be afraid to pour your identity into your music: there is value in being peculiar. If you have a story to tell, or a genuinely fresh sound to propose, people will listen to it. Don’t just make music to grow your online presence, or because you are creating a business around it.
Make music because you have something to say, make it because it’s part of your identity.
It could be beneficial to stop worrying about the industry around you. Is my stuff good enough for my fanbase? Will the blogs be receptive? Will my local radio host like the track? Focus on translating your artistic identity into your sound. No matter how weird, or how vintage, someone somewhere will listen. And when finally, after sleepless nights transcending your artistic persona, you finally reach the result you were looking for… you’ll be glad.
Find your listeners. They are out there, but quite possibly not where you think they are.