With songs like Migos’ “Bad and Boujee,” 21 Savage’s “X,” and The Weeknd’s “The Hills” gathering millions of streams and views across the online musical spectrum, the question eventually arises: “When did dark-sounding music become so popular?” Sure, sad songs have always been on repeat on the radio stations, especially for country music, but one genre in particular has been capitalizing on minor key music, hip-hop. And it’s not just about sounding sad, rather, dark. Hip-hop producer Metro Boomin is the biggest hit songwriter of 2017 so far according to Music Business Worldwide, but the majority of his beats feature ominous, eerie melodies, with lush minor chords that feel both sad and menacing. Isn’t popular music supposed to be, like, happy and fun? Well, happy and fun have found a place in dark music. For example, Drake’s song, “Energy,” is built around a dark, minimal piano line — but when he performs live, the crowd isn’t sitting there sulking; they’re jumping up and down and screaming the lyrics jubilantly. So, we wanted to dissect what makes this new wave of dark music so popular from a producer’s point of view.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret. I’m going to tell you about a tool that is incredibly powerful in connecting with your audience, and yet completely underutilized particularly in the world of musicians. It has the power to bring forth laughter, tears, reflection, happiness, and most of all, it evokes a sense of connection from the reader to the writer.
I’m talking about blogging.
The power of words is not to be underestimated—beyond their daily use in our lives, we use them all the time in our careers. Every time we craft an email, post to our social media, or send out our newsletter, we’re harnessing the power of words to connect with our audience.
And yet for some reason musicians overlook blogging as one of the most powerful ways to connect with their audience.
As an indie artist, most of the time you end up doing everything yourself from recording your album to taking your own band photos to promoting your new release. One of those do-it-yourself items is creating your album artwork. You may be thinking “but I’m not a designer” or “I don’t know how to use Photoshop.” An alternative route would be to pay a graphic designer to put something together for you. But what if that’s not in your budget?
In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to create your album artwork for free using a website called Canva. With Canva, you don’t have to know how to use Photoshop or pay a graphic designer. It’s very user-friendly and they even have templates you can use for social posts, album artwork, gig posters, and lots more.
If you’ve heard it once you’ve heard it a million times—there’s nothing quite like the power of community to take your career to the next level. Calling on your network in times of need is one thing, but the real power of a strong community is that they call on you before you’ve even had a chance to ask for help. They’re the ones that connect you with an opportunity before you even knew it existed.
But one thing that doesn’t get talked about a lot is the power of local community, and how musicians can leverage what’s right in front of them to give real boost to their career. Whether you live in a small town or a big city, these tips are for you.
Online advertising is a great way to get more exposure and build your brand as an artist. At ReverbNation, we have a tool for that called Promote It. For as little as just a few dollars per day, you can promote a song, an album, a video, a show, or a website on Facebook or on popular music sites, for example, Amazon, Billboard, Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, MTV, and many more. It’s also quick and easy to put your ad together.
Promote It is one of our most popular tools and has been around for awhile, but we recently just rolled out a brand new user experience along with some new features. Let me take you through it:
Songs have told stories from the beginning of time; whole cultures passed down their traditions via melodies taught to generation after generation. But, sometimes, it pays to be a bit more straightforward when you’re a modern-day songwriter and trying to help people understand who you are and where you come from.
Keep writing those introspective songs, but also try incorporating these six ways of using storytelling outside of your lyrics to dig a little deeper.