How to Choose a Stage Name You Won’t Regret
From Bono to Björk, and from Pink to Prince, some of the music industry’s most notable music artists chose stage names which were very distinctive. Depending on your music genre, your chosen stage name may be a critical part of your personal brand, as it directly impacts how you are perceived in the eyes of your supporters. Below we cover 8 key points you should consider as a singer when choosing a stage name:
Do all singers need a to choose a stage name?
While it is popular for artists/singers to use a stage name or artist name, many musicians choose to use their given name and/or surname and if you have something distinctive, it might be worth sticking with it.
These are our top tips on how to choose a stage name you won’t regret:
#1 Create a persona and choose a name to match
As well as creating something distinctive, using a stage name as a singer can help you to adopt a persona when performing. Immersing yourself in an alternative identity can be liberating and allow you to create an even more engaging stage presence.
For some singers, it can make all the difference; reportedly, David Jones was incredibly shy, but you would never know it watching him perform as David Bowie.
So, pick a stage name that brings out the performer in you and amplifies your new persona.
#2 Keep your stage name on brand
Creating your own unique brand is a key part of establishing your music. Your chosen stage name, real or adopted, will be front and centre, so give a lot of thought to what it might say about you and your music.
As music writer Ben Wardle explains, a good band name, just like a movie or book title, should tell you about an artist/band’s style and character.
Knowing your audience is key: research successful artists in and around your genre to get a feel for what will best suit your brand.
#3 Choose a stage name that is marketable
Imagine a music promoter designing a flyer for a gig. Will they feel comfortable or even excited to put your name in big letters at the top of the billing? Your stage name should make an impact — and in a positive way.
There are plenty of bands who have achieved fame with an offensive stage name, but they are definitely the exception and not the rule. Being distinctive doesn’t mean being crude. You might be tempted choose something incredibly obscure but meaningless in order to try and draw attention but this can be hit and miss, especially if it doesn’t suit your genre.
Caution: Shameless plug ahead! Continue reading below.
#4 Choose a stage name that is memorable
Mononym stage names are all the rage (Lorde, Rihanna, Adele) but this can be tough if you don’t have the massive marketing budget or a major record label behind you to make you stand out.
Finding a single word that creates an impact in your circle might feel easy; but finding a mononym stage name for singers that is isn’t used by someone else on the planet is a much tougher challenge. It’s doable but don’t be tempted to make rash decisions.
#5 Be unique, but don’t push it
“Atlas” might seem a great stage name for singers — until you take into account that there are at least 50 artists by that name already registered on BandCamp. And keep in mind that it’s not just other artists that you’re competing with; it’s pretty much the entire world.
If a new fan types your name into a search engine, they should find you, not a shoe company in Australia. At the same time, if you choose a stage name with a really weird spelling or use non-standard characters, your fans are going to have a hard time tracking you down.
#6 Brainstorm your ideas
This is a decision you don’t want to rush, therefore, spending some time scribbling down your ideas is definitely worthwhile.
Even if all of the names seem terrible, getting the bad options out of the way can be part of the process of choosing a good stage name.
#7 Get some feedback
Once you think you’ve come to a decision, start testing the stage name you have picked with your friends and fans. And while you might be confident that you’ve found the right stage name, if those people are all telling you that it’s no good, maybe you need to come up with more ideas. If you look for feedback, be prepared to consider it!
#8 Consistency is key
One of the advantages of choosing a unique stage name is that you can use it across all of your internet platforms, from YouTube to SoundCloud to Instagram and beyond.
When setting up a website, you’ll want to grab the .com if it’s available. Checking all of this can be exhausting but, fortunately, there are some useful tools online that can help with the process.
And remember: once you’ve made your decision, stick with it! Changing your name part way through could be a very expensive decision.
…Take your time when choosing a stage name!
Your stage name can make a real difference, so don’t rush the decision and be sure to put the work in. You need to find something that reflects you, your music and your brand.
The stage name you choose should make you stand out, and must be something that can be sold to an audience of potential fans, as well as helping your existing fans track you down.
Use artist name/stage name generators to help you choose a stage name
Stage name generators or artist name generators can help to get you started with a stage name for singers and once you’ve found something you like, audience-test it to see how it resonates with people who already love your music. You may want to try this useful stage name generating tool: Name Generator
Do you use a stage name/artist name? How did you choose your stage name? Let us know in the comments.