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5 ways to break into the music industry without a record label


Trying to break into the music industry or make a living as a musician requires 3 major keys: hard work, dedication, patience and not a little bit of luck. There are certain industries that are a lot harder and to get int0 than others. The music industry is definitely one of those. The good news is that it’s possible and it doesn’t matter how old you are, or where you live. The bad news (depending on how you look at it) is that you will probably have to work for little to no money for a while. But, if you determined to live out a successful music career – and yes, give up the day job – here are 5 ways to do it.

1. Perfect your craft

It all starts with you. No one wakes up and can sing and perform like Beyonce, not even Beyonce. Start with the basics. Go for singing lessons. Learn to play an instrument. Do as much as you can to broaden your musical horizons.

You need to discover who you are as a musician before trying to break into the industry. Start out by experimenting with singing different genres of music. This will help you figure out what kind of singing style comes naturally to you.

Study those who are successful in music and what they have done. Listen to everything, even if it’s not the genre you choose to succeed in. You may find yourself changing your path completely through this.

The foundation you lay now with your acceptance and understanding of these basic essentials will define who you will be in your own music career.

2. Social media is your friend

We are living in a time where you can build almost any career from social media. This includes a music career. Think about current musicians who have had applications like YouTube, Vine and even Instagram to thank for launching their successful careers. So follow suit and do the same.

Having a YouTube channel is a great platform to have to post covers, original content as well as any live performances. But as you know YouTube is flooded with budding artists so you can’t stop there. You need to be on all social media sites to fully promote your craft. Promoting yourself on all social networks may seem daunting but it instantly broadens your audience base. A widespread fan base that is connected to you on multiple social sites can boost your credibility and popularity as a performer. By establishing a wide, loyal following early on, the big shots will eventually seek you out and will hopefully want to work with you.

Consider creating these social media accounts to spread your talents: Twitter, Facebook, Soundcloud and Instagram.

3. Network, network, and network some more.


The age-old saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s  who you know” perfectly describes the importance of networking in the music industry. When it comes to job openings, the music industry is especially sparse and extremely competitive.

Again, use social media to meet up with fellow musicians in your area. Try getting involved in local gigs or just attend musical events to make friends with other singers and musicians near you. The key is to surround yourself with like-minded people who can support your musical efforts. You can also learn about new possible places to perform, and gain some insight and advice from fellow performers. Don’t be stubborn and see them as your competition because you are all striving for the same goal.

The more you surround yourself with people with similar interests, the more exposure and opportunities you’ll find to show off your talent and get recognized.

And lastly, never forget, once you’ve established a relationship with someone, it is important to  maintain it. In other words, it’s good to touch base with people in your broader social network every few months — you never know who is going to give you your next big opportunity.

4. Collaborate

Although not all of us can make it to Number 1 with a collaboration, you should still realise the potential that collaboration opportunities hold for you.

Collaborating with a fellow musician, successful or not, can end in some creative results. At the very least, working with someone new can take you out of your comfort zone, introduce you to new songwriting practices, and force you to up your game.

For unsigned and independent musicians, there’s another major advantage to collaborating with another artist: it can be an awesome boost of exposure. Strength is in numbers, and bringing someone new into your creative circle is a great way to expand your fan base and contacts and get your name out there.

5. Never give up


Aiming for a making a living in music is not like playing music for a hobby. Namely, it is a job like any other, and when you don’t treat it like one, you’ll lose it.

A lot takes time in the industry and sometimes it can take months or even years before you actually start getting somewhere. There is no cookie cutter formula to be successful in the industry because there is no right way. So, never forget to put all of your effort into your music. To sum it up here are 4 golden rules:

Never stop learning, hard work, persistence and take chances.

Good luck!

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