Many up and coming hip hop artists always tell me that they’ve been pushing their music for some time now, but still think they’re getting little to no results in terms of furthering their music career.
They often ask me what’s the formula to becoming a successful rapper? How do you get into the music industry?
Last week I wrote an article on this site called How To Jump Start Your Music Career and it got a good reception from you guys. This article is sort of a short sequel to that article. Getting into the music industry is going to take a lot of work. Most people watch TV and see their favorite rapper with ice on and flashing thousands of dollars, and think that type of success comes over night or within one to two years. If you think that then I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but making it in the music industry is going to take a LOT of work!
A lot of leg work with building your brand, making a lot of quality music, and also learning how to market your music in the most effective way that will get you maximum exposure. The first thing I think you should have covered is your style and music. Knowing what type of category of hip hop you fall under and who your fan base is can really put you ahead of the game.
Many up and coming hip hop artist say that they’re a mixture of east coast hip hop, dirty south hip hop and can even do pop rock. I think it’s cool that you can be diverse with your sound, but the truth is you can’t be every thing to everyone! As an up and coming artist it’s hard to satisfy every one’s needs, you can’t become successful with such a broad style, you need to start small with one type of style so you can sell your music to a basic niche, and as your fan base grows then and only then can you expand your sound. You’re making it extremely hard on yourself trying market your music to everyone.
As an up and coming artist you have to start small, build a small niche of fans around one style. It’s easier to market your music like that because saying you have many different styles means you have to market to more people, and marketing to more people cost more money. Spending a lot of money may not be convenient for you right now as an up and coming artist.
The next thing that will help you make it in the music industry is having a plan. It’s very surprising to see how so many up and coming music artist don’t have a plan. It just blows my mind! How can you make it anywhere in life without a plan? A short term plan is a layout of how you will get from where you are right now to where you want to be 3-5 years.
It also lays out your budget and what types of contacts and resources you need to obtain in order to accomplish your goals. Not having a plan won’t get you far because a plan is the main foundation you have to lay down in order to build a successful career.
Your plan should include budgeting, branding, advertising, proper PR methods, advertising, marketing, and methods on how to build a contact list. You don’t necessarily have to be a master in all of these categories but it’s good to know little about each one of them. Which brings me to my next point which is studying the music business.
One extremely important factor in making it into the music industry is studying the industry and the business side of it. I know most of you artist just want to make music and not worry about the business side of music, or the marketing side, but the majority of successful artist I know are the ones that go to music seminars and buy books on music branding marketing and advertising.
The fact is that you’re going to be limited by the things you do not know, and many of you do not have music mentors around to teach you about the music industry so you will try to do things on your own, and most likely will not get far.
You need to get your hands on some books that teach you about the music industry or start associating yourself with someone in the industry that can teach you about it. You don’t necessarily have to buy books, when I was ready to get into music I got all of my music marketing and branding books from my local library!
I haven’t visit one library in America that has never had these books, and I have done tours all over America and been to a lot of libraries these music books are there it’s just up to you to go borrow them! A little knowledge on the music industry and business aspects of it can give you insight on how to make the right moves to get you where you need to be, and that’s becoming a successful rapper distributing your music to millions of people all around the world.
So how can you make it in the music industry? Make quality music, have a short term plan, study the music industry and business side of it, have music mentors, and make the right contacts. With these basics you can jump start your music career, and with some effort and persistence you’re bound to make it into the music industry. It will take some time but keep with it and you will see results!