022. Do your research.
The first thing that you will learn from the music marketers is to define your genre, your niche where does your music fit on the music map? What does your music sound like? what other artists are you like? From there you can springboard into finding the people who might be likely to have an affinity for your music. There are a few ways of doing this; If you are a Spotify user, you can create a radio from your soundalike artists and an algorithm will compile a playlist of similar music or for a cool visual map of every genre you could think of check out Every noise at once.
For me, it was an eye-opening experience. I never cared that much about genres or being pigeonholed into being this way or that, I wanted to be unique, free of the confines of style. This, of course, was more ego massage, as I am prone to doing. Of course, I sound like people! and that's a good thing I want to sound like people it helps me to make the music I would like to hear myself. So I went to research land to try and define what my music was like.
At first, this was not a job that sounds like fun but as with any task that has resistance it has big rewards. The more soundalike artists I found, the more familiar patterns were in the orbit around them. A band could lead to a movie I hadn’t seen, or a book I hadn’t read, or a comedian I hadn’t heard before. Researching these artists was in a way like researching myself and it really couldn’t have been any other way, could it? It was like taking a tour of all the things that I was interested in; Like the way Netflix will recommend something as a 97% match.
An amazing thing I have found is that there are so many people out there with the exact same interests and tastes. For everything, I found there were hundreds of comment threads, likes and shares for the same things. There was a heartbeat to it, a community, a tribe.
And so for the last paragraph, I am going to go a bit meta. What have I learned? For all the anonymity and seaming vastness of the online world, it appears that we are still trying to break out into small little Islands to find our communities and our tribes. Not only this but the advancement of machine learning and algorithms means that the digital landscape is sending these like minds to similar places. I am not naive enough to think that this is not a frightening prospect but nor am I cynical enough to feel that this is the doomsday machine. I believe, for the optimistic among us, that this means a way to connect, a bridge for ideas, advancement and creativity.
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