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How to Earn a Living Doing What you Love: Singing & Music

How to Earn a Living Doing What you Love: Singing & MusicEarning a living from music is a singer’s dream, but only becomes reality for a select few. Increase your chances -says Candy Rose.

What’s the key to transforming your talent into profit? I can’t claim to have ‘made it big’ or be a superstar, but my work has been featured on compilations, played on radio in the UK, U.S., and mainland Europe, and generated a significant fan base.

This has given me some insight into what it takes to monetize my voice.

Throughout this article, I’m going to share some of my tips for success. I would like to stress that I wouldn’t encourage anyone to immediately give up their day job in order to pursue music; it’s just good to chase dreams, but not at the expense of your other options.


Tip 1: Know Your Audience

Nowadays, there are so many different media that can help an artist to get heard that it’s difficult to know which one to choose. The key to picking the option that will generate the most new listeners is to know your audience. Fans of different genres like to be reached in different ways, and there is even variation within the fan bases of each genre and sub-genre. Do your research, and do it thoroughly. Find out all about your fans, and attempt to gauge how they like to be reached.


Tip 2: Getting Featured On Compilations

Appearing on a compilation can be a good way of helping to popularize your music, and can also gain you royalties. The staff at online music hosting platforms frequently recommend songs by users to A&Rs, who put them forward for compilations. A&Rs also routinely scour platforms like SoundCloud and ReverbNation for potential compilation inclusions. This means that if your song stands out from the crowd, it’s likely to get picked up. The popularity of the track and number of times it’s played and downloaded is also likely to have an influence. When I’ve had music included on compilations in the past, there wasn’t any magic formula; I just ensured that my songs were spread far and wide, and that they were suitably unique and differentiated from the other artists out there.


Tip 3: Leverage Digital Platforms

The Internet is your friend, and the more sites and online music stores you can get your songs included in, the higher the chance of influential people hearing them. Obviously, there are too many options for you to use them all though, so apply the same methodology described in Tip 1: find out about your audience, and learn which digital platforms they use. R&B singer Kehlani managed to leverage the strong urban music following on SoundCloud to gain viral success, whereas emo bands like the Arctic Monkeys and Test Icicles gained recognition on MySpace back in the days when it was every emo kid’s favorite hangout. It’s just a matter of using the platform that your genre and individual sound are best suited to.


Tip 4: Don’t Wait For A Label To Sign You

Its 2016 – artists no longer need to rely on getting signed to make their mark on the world! We’re fortunate to live in an era where technology has opened doors we couldn’t even envision ever existing 10 years ago. Sure, being signed definitely won’t hurt your progress so long as you’re careful with any contracts that need signing and always read the small print. But they aren’t essential, and it is possible to make it as an independent artist without their help.


Tip 5: Don’t Limit Your Fan Base To A Specific Location

Some singers are tempted to focus solely upon hometown fame, which is very restrictive. Why think local when there’s a whole world out there, many of whom are looking for fresh new talent to listen to? Create fan bases in as many different places as possible. You never know, you might end up being unknown at home, but a huge sensation in Cameroon or Kazakhstan. British artist Sami Yusuf was failing to gain significant recognition in the UK, so he targeted himself towards the Arabic world, and is now one of the biggest names there. Similarly, fellow Brit Charlie Winston failed to wow British audiences with his style of singing, so aimed at the French market instead. He ended up having a top-10 album.


Tip 6: Work At Your Relationship With Your Fans

Having a fan base is a bit like being in a romantic relationship: you need to expend time and effort in order to help things to progress. Show your fans love and cater to their needs, and in return, they will help to spread the word about your music. This should hopefully eventually translate into sales. I liaise with my fans on Twitter and Facebook, answering questions and providing information about new releases. This ensures that they feel valued, and secures their loyalty.


Tip 7: Connect With Your Fans In Person

The Internet isn’t the only place you can expand your fan base; get self out there and participate in as many events as possible. A gig is a more memorable experience than listening to a song at home, and provides fans with an intimate connection to an artist. Always be sure to let the audience know what your latest release is, where they can get it, and how to follow your progress online so that you can convert them from one-time listeners to long-term fans.

Candy Rose

Find out more about Candy Rose by visiting her Website. She has been heralded as the next big thing in British popular music, and received critical acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic. NME described her as ‘fizzling eclectic girly pop’ and BBC reporter Kate Russell has complimented her on being a ‘very talented singer’. She also has a forthcoming gig on August 18th at O2 Islington in London. Follow her on Twitter @icandyrose or connect with her on Facebook.