Updated: Oct 2, 2018
While connections and knowing people in the music industry is very important and usually leads to people breaking through, there are many things you can be doing to give yourself the best shot. First of all I want to let my audience know as I'm writing this blog post, I am referring to musicians, producers, rappers, & singers.
To get things started, the obvious one, master your skills. I spent countless hours and long nights when I was learning how to make beats and I'd say it probably took a good 5 years or so before I really started to feel comfortable with what I was doing. You will sacrifice going out with your friends and doing fun stuff if you want to get their the quickest. Its very similar to running your own business. Sure some people will get there quicker than others based off natural talent, but for the most part be ready to put in some long hours. Second once you feel you are to the point where you want to show case your material, you should get a logo made for your brand and get comfortable with social media. Being all over and posting CONSISTENTLY is very important. You should setup a writer account with BMI or ASCAP for potential royalties if the opportunity presents itself. You should also setup your own publishing company as well (you will have two separate logins, one for writer and one for publisher). To setup a publishing account you have to pay a one time fee. Set your account up where you think your genre would fit best, compare your music to big musicians and see what company they use. If you get to the point of recording, pay for a good mix and master (if applicable) or you can learn to do it yourself depending on how willing you are to learn.
Something very important is to go out to gigs and shows and network with people. Get on the scene enough where people know your name and associate you as a musician, singer, or producer. Do not be afraid to collaborate with people and go outside of your comfort zone. My sister Genevieve Heyward does folk and blues music but has sang on some of my hip-hop beats. It's very important to be versatile and open to all genres. I find when two opposite genres come together and collaborate, usually something memorable will come out of it. I also think being fashionable and original with how you present yourself is important, after all it is a business of entertaining so don't be afraid to look different than the crowd; just be yourself! Make sure you have business cards and setup a website so people can find you. If you are looking for gigs or people to work with don't be afraid to reach out as the music business can be small, be respectable and don't think you know everything. Record some demos, record an album, submit your tracks to music libraries (Music Bed) and try to get placements for films, tv commercials, trailers, etc...You can never have too many streams of income with music, the more the merrier and it will begin to add up. In the beginning it will be hard work, keep a part time job so you have something to fall back on and just keep plugging away. Don't let anyone ever tell you that you can't do it because you can. You can do whatever you want if you take the necessary steps, stay focused, and consistent. I hope you all enjoyed, check out my beat catalog below ⬇🎤⬇🎤⬇