New York, Los Angeles, Chicago. The music scenes in these cities typically garner a huge amount of attention from bands and fans alike for good reason. If you’re a young, ambitious band, successfully growing a fanbase and becoming well known in any one of these cities could connect you to a world of possibilities within the music industry. But while building your presence in a large scene comes with its massive potential payoffs, playing shows in bigger cities comes attached to massive challenges, stiff competition, and some big missed opportunities you can only find in smaller scenes.
Guest post by Tunedly, a ReverbNation Marketplace partner and company catering to a community of music creators.
My years of wearing the hat of a songwriter and working with others in the game, taught me that it isn’t the most glamorous job. And when one considers that only a small fraction of the songwriting population actually make it big in the business, it would seem you’d have to be short of a few screws to decide that writing songs is what you want to do for the rest of your life.
Many songwriters started out doing it as a hobby, a way to soothe the turmoil in their minds, and then learned about the possible financial gains afterwards. With that said, every songwriter, who gets serious about making it a career, faces their own set of struggles along the way. But many of these struggles are not unique to one; if you speak with other songwriters, you will quickly find out that they pretty much endure some of the same problems you’re faced with on a daily basis. We’ll delve deeper with a few examples throughout this post, so you might want to stick around.
With her epic, cinematic, soulful vibes, Nuela Charles sounds like something straight out of a James Bond film. Hailing from Edmonton, this Canadian singer/songwriter describes herself as “Alternative-Soul.”
Nuela Charles submitted her song to one of our opportunities where she was picked from thousands of artists to be signed to Killing Moon. We spoke to her about how she got started, the submission process, and what’s next for Nuela Charles.
There’s something about making music that has the ability to bring out hard-line attitudes within a person. Maybe it’s because the process of writing music is often jarringly intimate and revealing for some of us, like an urgent accounting of how we truly perceive the world as human beings. Or perhaps the competitive you vs. the world mindset born out of an industry fueled by an obsession with clicks, plays, and views is somewhat to blame. No matter where it comes from and for better or worse, we often associate music-making with potent and extreme emotion, but approaching your craft with such a high-stakes attitude towards things could be detrimental.
Hell hath no fury like a band scorned, right? Spending time and energy over emails settling on a date and promoting a show only to have a booking agent or promoter back out at the last second has got to be one of the most frustrating situations for a band to experience. And if you’re a small fish in a big pond, it can seem like you have little to no recourse when it comes to getting the shaft from a big club in your scene, but there are a few things you can do when you get burned by a venue or promoter.
The idea of a remix has been around since electronic music started becoming prominent decades ago. Because so many producers work with samples of pre-existing music, it only makes sense that they would be adept at taking a popular song — with permission from the artist — and remix it into their own creation. Just as many rising artists become famous or recognized by covering other music, whether on YouTube or SoundCloud, producers are getting their foot in the door by remixing. A popular song is released, then a budding producer gives it a new and exciting reinvention. Because the song is already popular, the remix gets a lot of attention, especially if it’s good. But since the art of remixing has become so prominent, it’s hard to stand out. And for those producers who are new to remixing, it’s difficult to know where to start. So, whether you’re a seasoned remixer or you just got your first batch of stems, we’ve outlined five smart ways to approach a remix for you to stand out.
Even if you’re not new to performing, navigating the payment situation after a show can be awkward, especially if the turnout was bad. I’ll never forget my experience after a show in Dallas a few years ago. After a nice write-up in the Dallas Morning News and coverage from a local blog, my band hoped some locals would come out, but the 200-person capacity Deep Ellum venue was empty save for a lone bartender who was on his phone during our whole set. Knowing full well we weren’t getting paid, I asked him if there were any drink specials for bands after the show. “Only bands who bring people get drinks,” he answered without looking up from his phone.
Whether you’re aware or not, there’s a few unwritten rules of how band’s conduct themselves within their local scenes. Break them, and you could face repercussions ranging from lost show opportunities to being the subject of ridicule by your peers. We’ve assembled five rules for you to follow if your band is interested in staying out of trouble and maintaining a good reputation. None of these rules have anything to do with the music your band makes, but they’re important because conducting yourself in a disrespectful or aloof way has the potential to keep you from reaching your goals.