Getting Noticed in the Music Industry: 17 Essential Tips on How to Get Recognised as a Singer or Artist
With the popularity of working in the music industry rising, getting noticed seems to be becoming harder and harder. After the rise of the internet, though, it’s becoming easier and easier to connect with the right people and market your music to them effectively.
Knowing how to get your music noticed by the right people is essential if you want to know how to have a successful career in the music industry. We have the 17 best ways that will help you learn how to get your music noticed.
Understanding how the music industry works is vital for your success as an artist, and if you don’t know how to work inside it, you’re going to struggle to have a good long-term career. Below are 17 easy ways that you can get noticed in the music industry.
How to get noticed as a singer or artist
How to get noticed in the music industry: It isn’t the easiest thing to get noticed in the music industry, but there are simple tricks to making it a little easier.
Following these tips will assist you in getting your music noticed:
- Be an amazing singer or instrumentalist
- Put yourself out there
- Create a press pack (EPK)
- Play anywhere
- Convey maturity
- Practice well
- Get yourself motivated
- Use Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter
- Promote yourself in the local area
- Get featured on blogs
- Grow a dedicated fan base
- Have a unique visual representation
- Synchronise your social media
- Meet A&R people
- Get on streaming platforms
- Keep working on your craft
- Get a marketing team
How do I get my music noticed?
#1 Be an amazing singer or instrumentalist
Having talent is the first step towards getting noticed in the music industry. Being able to sing or play your instrument well is one of the main parts of making it as an artist in the industry. Know that there’s always room for improvement though.
Even world-famous musicians will still practice multiple times a week, so make sure to put the hours in to make yourself sound amazing.
There are millions of great musicians out there, but it’s your job to take it one step further and be amazing.
#2 Put yourself out there
Being in the right place at the right time has been the reason why a lot of people will get noticed in the music industry.
The more you put yourself out there in the world (both digitally and physically) the more likely it is that you’ll be noticed by someone who likes you and wants to help you take your music to the next level.
#3 Create a press pack (EPK)
Of course, the reason that you want to get noticed is that you want to be successful and have record labels sign you, but like a person applying for a job, you need to have a CV. As an artist, your press pack is your CV. This is the portfolio that contains everything about you as an act.
A press pack will include things such as your demo CD, a background to the act, styles and influences, a typical set list and a high–quality photo. You’ll be giving this to record labels with your demo CD so it must be worked thoroughly on.
How do you get recognised as a singer?
#4 Play anywhere
Firstly, you can’t be too picky about where you want to play your music when you start out and want to get noticed. If someone is willing to give time to perform, take it. Any experience is good, so try to get a regular spot at a venue as it will help increase your visibility locally.
Playing at a variety of different places also helps you to realise the type of crowd you attract to a venue and can help you alter your performance accordingly.
If you’re starting off, try and find some smaller gigs such as Open Mic nights before embarking on bigger shows.
Meeting new people and networking
Gigging allows you to meet new people as well. Building relationships with people can sometimes lead to them putting in a good word about you so someone in an influential position in the industry can help you get noticed by the right people.
#5 Convey maturity
As well as sounding good when you perform it’s so important to be professional as a person especially when you’re at music events.
When you’re looking to build relationships with people and get noticed in the music industry always come across as professional
Turn up on time to events, be respectful and be well-rehearsed if it’s a gig. Shake someone’s hand – it’ll convey that you’re confident and well-mannered. Being rude to people to convey ‘coolness’ rarely ever makes people respond well to you.
#6 Practice well
When it comes to practice, you definitely need to put the hours in if you want to get noticed – even the best singers, for example, do warm-ups regularly to help with breath control and pitching.
Don’t just think about how much you practice, but also how you practice. Always make sure you’re focused and productive during your practice sessions. If you’re a singer do vocal exercises regularly, if you’re an instrumentalist keep practising those scales!
Getting a qualified teacher who is proficient in the instrument will also help you in the process of developing an amazing technique, helping you really stand out.
How do I break into the music industry?
#7 Get yourself motivated
You aren’t going to get very far in the music industry if you don’t have any real ambition. Never expect that someone else is going to get you noticed for you.
There are hundreds of people who might want to give you opportunities. Start off small by promoting your music online and then start thinking about taking it to the next level to get noticed.
It’s easy to get de-motivated, especially when you’re trying to break into the music industry, but always try to have a positive mental outlook – it’s just as important as having a good physical output.
#8 Use Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter
When you’re trying to break out and get noticed as an artist in the music industry, you need to promote your music in every possible way. Social media is one of the best ways to help you convey your message
If you don’t have any money, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are great contenders for artists to promote their music online because it’s free! You can also promote your content to a targeted audience.
How many posts should I put up per week?
Posting too little can result in people forgetting about you.
If you have loads of content, consider spreading it out over all of your platforms – it’ll give people a reason to like and follow you everywhere so that people see you more frequently.
How to get songs noticed
#9 Promote yourself in the local area
When looking to get noticed in the music industry, you’ll need to work on promoting yourself offline as well as promoting yourself online.
Get local radio play
If you have a song that’s good quality, there will be plenty of local community radio stations that would love to feature your music. Google your city’s name followed by ‘radio stations’ to find the right radio shows to email – if the presenters like the song you send them, they can help you get your music noticed by playing your song on their show
As an artist starting out though, one of the best platforms for showcasing upcoming artists is definitely BBC Introducing.
Everywhere in the UK has a local BBC Introducing that you can upload your best tracks to online.
The hosts, themselves, are often respected people in the industry – if they enjoy your song they, not only have the power to play your song to a wide audience, but they can also push your music to the bigger stations if they really like your song and you as an artist. You can get noticed by a lot of influential people this way.
Get featured in local magazines
Smaller community magazines are often the best to send your music to when you’re starting out and want to get noticed in the local scene.
These local community magazines love to feature upcoming music that’s surrounded by a little bit of hype and local support. Some of these ‘smaller’ publications can actually have some significant reach and you never know who might be reading.
A magazine specifically dedicated to music is often the best though for musicians. The people who read these types of publications are often more likely to be music fans, so they would potentially be much more inclined to check out your musical project.
#10 Get featured on blogs
Even in 2019, blogs are a great way to spread awareness of your music online, helping it get noticed by the right people.
Many online blogs are run by individuals who would love to review your single if it’s good a good story or campaign behind it.
If you’re an artist you could also ask these bloggers to feature your live show on their blogs. It really builds up your ‘social proof,’ which means proving that you are a legitimate musician to your audience.
Proving to your audience that your music is worth talking about will give them faith that you’re a dedicated artist that has some support behind you.
How to get a record label to listen to your music?
#11 Grow a dedicated fan base
Record labels get swamped by thousands of emails to their front desks every single day. The chances of you getting a record label to listen to your music this way are very slim.
If you really want to get noticed by a record label, you need to have a dedicated fan base online and in real life.
Don’t make people like you, make them love you
It’s now so important to really show that you can bring value to your audience as an artist. People who love music want to invest in, not only your music but also you as a person.
On top of this, work hard to form personal relationships with your fans – talk to them at shows, respond to them on social media – people like to be treated as people, not just a number.
People who work at record labels will certainly notice when an artist starts building hype around them. It gives them faith that your music is good and they’ll be more likely to want to sign you.
#12 Have a unique visual representation
Having your own unique ‘image’ is often overlooked by many smaller artists in the industry. It might not be something you want to focus on when you’re starting out, but it’s something record labels will notice if they’re thinking about signing you as an artist.
As an artist you need to have the “whole package”, right down to your style choices and social media artwork, it needs to be uniform and consistent.
Find your identity
Your image should complement your music and make you stand out in a positive way too.
Try to develop something unique that stands out about yourself and your style – market it to the right audience (people who will relate best to you).
Even singers and artists that don’t appear to have an ‘image’ in the traditional sense still have an identity, so try to find something special about you that people can appreciate but can also relate to.
#13 Synchronise your social media
Use the same display pictures, backgrounds, and names. Using the same imagery across all your social media sites strengthens your brand as an artist.
It looks more professional and official. People won’t wonder if they are on the correct page if everything matches as opposed to having different themes and pictures on each account.
Try and use the same URL address for each social media site. This increases your searchability as an artist and makes you easier to find. You will need to customise your Facebook URL as you are given a random series of characters to start off with, which doesn’t appear on search engines.
How do songs get heard by record labels?
#14 Get on streaming platforms
Nowadays, if you’re an artist you need to have your music on Spotify in some form.
Not only will it help you grow your fan base (by allowing your listeners to listen to your music for free) it’ll help you get noticed in the music industry through being on playlists.
If you’re an independent artist the best sites that you can use to upload your tracks are distributors like CD Baby or DistroKid.
These services require a small payment to upload music to Spotify, but it’s definitely worth it.
How to get noticed using Spotify playlists
Firstly, it’s important to realise that there are three types of playlist:
These are the best types of playlists to be on. They’re created by people who work at Spotify. They usually have a huge amount of followers because a lot of time is put into finding the right music for the playlist.
Significant industry people will definitely be paying attention to what gets on these playlists.
An example of an editorial playlist “Today’s Top Hits” can be found here.
These are generated automatically by Spotify, so they aren’t created by a human.
The tracklist can be often based on an individual user’s music taste, allowing them to listen to tracks they love whilst also discovering new music. This is a great way to get your music noticed by new people.
An example of an algorithmic playlist is “Release Radar.” It can be found here.
These are often the easiest to get on because you can find the curator and get in contact with them directly.
These types of playlists won’t say “Created by Spotify” at the top, they’ll say the name of the curator. If they don’t have a submissions email in the description, your best bet is to Google the playlist curator and get in contact with them via Facebook, Instagram or their website.
Some of these playlists have good followings, increasing the chances of your song getting noticed.
An example of an independently curated playlist can be found here. Notice the curator is “Playlist Pop” and they allow you to submit your music.
How to get noticed by A&R
#15 Meet A&R People
A&R stands for ‘Artist and Repertoire’. These are the people who you really want your music to be noticed by.
These guys work for record labels and it’s their job to find talent to sign to their record label. Having these guys love you is your best bet if you want your songs to be heard by record labels themselves.
A&R love to see an artist with potential – you don’t have to already have millions of streams on your Soundcloud or huge swathes of fans, having these helps, but what really matters is for them to see the potential in you. They need to feel like you have something to offer the label as well as the other way around.
These guys often hang out at gigs as well as online. Spread yourself everywhere and get the word out about your musical project. Keep working on your craft too – you’ll hopefully be spotted by someone who can offer you something big.
The easiest way to get signed to a record label
#16 Keep working on your craft
There is no ‘easy’ way to get signed instantly to a record label. If you really want to get your music noticed you’ll need to put the hours in.
If you put in hours every day on your social media, network, image, professionalism and Spotify playlist portfolio you’ll be much more likely to get noticed in the music industry than someone who expects all the work to be done for them!
How to get music noticed by a producer
Good producers will want to work with hard working artists. They’ll want to work with someone who has ideas, not someone who’s looking for a producer to do all the technical stuff for them.
Study music production yourself and then prove to a producer that you’re a competent person to work with so they can take your music to the next level.
Always remember, getting noticed by the right people takes time.
How do I market myself as a singer?
#17 Get a marketing team
Building up a team of people who are willing to help you succeed is a useful tool to have. Sort of like a marketing team, this group can help you use social media effectively as an act and encourage the right kind of visibility.
Another thing to focus on is a promotion strategy, there are clever ways to market yourself to your fans and potential fans, developing a strategy with your team will help focus your efforts.
Bonus section! How did these pop stars get noticed?
#1 Ariana Grande
Ariana is said to have been very determined to make progress on her musical career from age 13, aspiring to create an R&B album at only age 14.
However, Ariana only really got noticed after she was cast as ‘Cat Valentine’ in the hit Nickelodeon television show ‘Victorious’.
#2 Justin Bieber – How to get noticed as a singer on YouTube!
At age 12, Justin was posting homemade videos of himself on YouTube and industry insiders starting taking notice.
Usher had “Star Search” to launch his career at age 13.
There was a bidding war on working with Justin, but Usher won out and had him signed to Island Def Jam Recordings.
#3 Shawn Mendes
Shawn Mendes started attracting viewers after he posted a cover from Justin Bieber’s “As Long As You Love Me” on the social video app Vine in 2013.
He got 10,000 likes and as many followers the next day!
The artist manager Andrew Gertler discovered Shawn online in November 2013, bringing him to Island Records in January 2014.
#4 Ed Sheeran
Ed Sheeran began recording music in 2004, and independently released his first collection of work, Spinning Man.
He became friends with the singer, Passenger, when he was only 15, with the two playing on the same gig in Cambridge.
Ed moved to London in 2008, and began playing in small venues – after hard graft and lots of dedication, he eventually got signed.
#5 Selena Gomez
Similar to Ariane Grande, Selena Gomez got noticed through her roles in TV shows.
Her first big role was on ‘Barney and Friends’ where she played Gianna. Selena was discovered by Disney in a nation-wide talent search when she was only 10 years old, eventually moving her focus to sing further down the line.
Try to consider unconventional avenues like these to get noticed, as well as the traditional ways!
We hope you’ve found these tips helpful and let us know if you’ve got any additional ways to get noticed in the music industry in the comments below!