HOW IMPORTANT IS SOCIAL MEDIA TO UP AND COMING ARTISTS?
Social media has become a very important promotion tool, for companies, organisations, and people looking to get their work seen. It has been incredibly helpful to artists who are already established and already have a large fan base. For example, DJ Khaled has managed to be really successful with his use of Snapchat, but social media may not always work the same way for newer artists who are up and coming in the industry.
Young rapper, Avi Thakur believes that it is difficult to stand out on social media. “Everyone has the same opportunities available to promote music for free so the competition is far greater than it was in the past before social media sites”. A popular social network site for promotion just audio is Soundcloud. According to USA Today, there are over 40 million registered users on Soundcloud, so it’s no wonder why artists find it difficult making a name for themselves online.
Despite this, artist Dede Kevzz believes it’s actually easier now to promote your music, and have it actually heard. “You don’t have to go through someone to get your music heard, if your content is good, nothing can stop it from generating success.” Having an online presence is important as it allows an artist to represent themselves over different online platforms, and thus create a portfolio of their work for people to access, share, and be active with. This can give you the chance to be unique online, but Dede Kevzz belives trying too hard to be unique, could pose as a risk to your professional development as an artist. “There’s nothing wrong with being unique, but it’s better to be yourself than force something your not”.
YouTube is a site, which offers artists the chance to upload videos, and link their different social networking pages. One of the biggest talking points in the industry for up and coming artists are whether videos make a difference in terms of increasing your popularity as an artist. Dede Kevzz, insists that you can be successful promoting yourself without video. “It can be a way to promote your song further is success has already arrived, but a video isn’t that important to be honest”.
For young artists, going into the industry, which they are not used to, could be quite an overwhelming experience, and it can be difficult to develop an online portfolio without knowing the necessary steps to take. This is a problem that faces artist Avi Thakur. “I’m delving into a form of marketing which I’m am unfamiliar with and it is currently just trial and error.” Avi went on to explain one of the methods he uses to try and promote their music. “I find the most recent grime related posts and share my music in their comments as I know these are going to be the most actively seen posts at the time as they’ll be at the top of people’s timelines”
Social media offers a great opportunity for artists to promote themselves, and building a recognised portfolio that is something that can be very effective, but artists should be prepared to try and use different methods to help them promote their work.