There is no better time in human history to be a musician than today. Aspiring musicians have done away with the convoluted productions of big recording studios, and have replaced them with a more DIY approach. Unlike the rise of the garage bands of the ’90s, musicians nowadays have turned to their bedrooms as their chosen maker’s space. With a laptop and a decent internet connection, anyone has a shot of making it.
No one is a bigger testament to this than 20-year-old singer, songwriter, and producer Claire Cottrill, who goes by Clairo.
Clairo launched her career back in 2017 with her DIY pop phenomenon Pretty Girl, and in the short time since then, she has signed with Fader, gone on a North American Tour, and performed at Lollapalooza.
But success does not come overnight, and despite the luxury of modern technology and connectivity, there are still many challenges budding musical artists will need to take on. Read on for some tips on starting your very own music career.
Get the Right Gear
While you don’t have to go overboard with your gear as most things can be done with a computer, playing live is a whole different story. For one thing, you’ll need to have good in-ear monitors. A report by Billboard outlines several in-ear monitor-related mishaps, and we know for a fact that you’d hate to be another addition to this list (although being on a list with Adele, John Mayer, and Bruno Mars might be a little interesting).
Meanwhile, guitarists should also look to invest in reliable gear to achieve the sound they want. This will differ from artist to artist, as everyone is different when it comes to their own unique sound. That’s why it would be best to start with core pedals and work your way up. In this regard, reverb pedals are some of the most basic items you can invest in. Tonebox’s feature on the best new reverb pedals of 2019 notes that they can help you add echoes or even layer subtle delays and patterns into your riffs. Whatever gear you choose, it’s best to do your research and look to see what other musicians and experts have to say about them. This way, you can ensure that you’ll have the right gear for your intended sound.
Make Music You Would Listen To
One album that changed the entire musical landscape came in the form of the Velvet Underground’s The Velvet Underground & Nico back in 1967. The album was a commercial flop, selling only 30,000 copies in the 5 years following its release. Despite this, musical virtuoso Brian Eno famously claimed that “everyone who bought one of those 30,000 copies started a band”.
While this is obviously an exaggeration, no one can take away from the influence that the Velvet Underground had, as the influence of their unique sound can still be heard — and felt — to this day. The reason for this is simple: They stuck to their guns and made music that they believed in. So while success may be one of your goals, make sure that you don’t get lost in the process.
Put Yourself Out There
We live in the age of connectivity. Use this to your advantage and put yourself out there. You may have the talent, but talent will get you nowhere if you are unable to reach your audience. Utilize social media as a platform — whether you’d like to start with Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook. Social media amplifies your hard work and helps you reach millions of potential listeners worldwide.
In addition to this, you’ll also be able to find like-minded individuals to work with. Pop singer LAAHLO managed to collaborate with Lil’ Eddie on his song Lightning simply by leaving a comment on one of the singer’s Instagram posts. The internet is connecting the world, giving you unprecedented access to a global audience and collaborators from anywhere around the globe — so do not miss all the potential opportunities this presents.
Music Tips written by Aria Hobbes for teeco71.com