I have previously worked as a music journalist for a music magazine, reviewing local gigs, as well as new releases and upcoming talent. For this job, I was based in a small cramped office in Leeds producing a semi-weekly magazine and maintaining an online blog.
Firstly, I should say that Leeds is an absolutely amazing place to work and I found all my time working there very enjoyable; however Leeds is a markedly expensive place to live, as rents are increasing and there is a lack of supply for young professionals.
Listed below are my top tips for breaking into the music industry and becoming successful, without worrying about the age of the band, current popularity in the scene or history of gigs.
5. Sign up to a plethora of online blogs and magazines NME and Kerrang are generally thought of as the best magazines to keep up-to-date with music news; however there are a number of alternative magazines with unique stories in which you can retrieve news and get a lot of information from. Online blogs written and published independently can also provide up-to-date information before any magazine can publish; you should however check that the writer of the blog is using reliable sources. Using this information, you can help to improve your band and increase publicity.
4. Make use of Last.fm to get your music out there and promote your band: Last.fm can become a very powerful tool in band promotion as you can build a band page for free, upload any personally recorded demos and stream them for free, as well as linking to music stores, netting you a small profit. Whilst other social-networking sites allow you to create band pages, using Last.fm is the most generally recognised way to get your band out there.
3. Blog about it: You might think that displaying writing prowess is a waste of time, however it is a highly effective way to boost SEO ratings and publicise your band name. An important determining factor of band popularity is Google and an intelligent SEO strategy can be highly effective – however you should try to write blogs on music news or industry activity instead of personal information, as this will engage the reader more.
2. Pay attention to newsletters, small bands and attend a number of festivals: Whilst not attracting as much popularity as others, small bands are the perfect way of latching onto the potential popularity of the other band and improving yours through osmosis. Support acts will also become easier to obtain within this partnership. It is very helpful to build a localised fanbase in your own region before breaking out. My time in an office in Leeds has given me a lot of access to regional bands and into the future of music.
1. Make friends in the industry Akin to working in a young, small company, a great deal of your prosperity will depend on business relationship and contacts. It can be highly beneficial to attend music industry networking events and speak to professionals within the industry. Even an e-mail address or telephone number can be a highly effective way to breaking through.