Destinations for upcoming music artists to promote their music

So you are an aspiring rock star, and a few words to describe your struggling life are: Great talent [atleast you think so!], No money [quite obvious] and Zero audience…

So you are an aspiring rock star, and a few words to describe your struggling life are:
Great talent [atleast you think so!], No money [quite obvious] and Zero audience [no comments please!].

Aerosmith-ically speaking, you are doing F.I.N.E [F**ked up, Insecured, Neurotic and Emotional!!] and there is no way you can make it big.

If you have faced the beat and are in ‘Dire Straits’, here are a few venues worth banging upon:

But before we hit the venues, let’s lay down some ground rules.

An upcoming musician is primarily interested in the following: [for fun sake, I have tried to identify some music with these interests]

  • Discoverability, [‘I still haven’t found what I am looking for’ -U2]
  • Breaking the barriers of big music companies [‘Break on thru’ -Doors]
  • Reach out to wider audience, but ain’t got any money! Want access to “bulldogs who can take you there!” [‘Money’-Pink Floyd],
  • Find band partners [‘Brothers in arms’-Dire Straits]
  • Expert help [‘Help’ -Beatles]
  • Make some more money..and lotsa fame and I’ll be all right [‘PainKiller’-Judas Priest]

And a listener [like me] is interested in:

  • Great music/Serendipity: Surprise me with something really really amazing!
  • Free music – Free, as in free. If possible, a Merc too!
  • Influence the music of these bands, Interact directly with these guys, Participate in the making of next Pink Floyd!
  • A kinda player [of new and unheard bands] yeah! I prefer a downloadable version..with some tagging too!
  • Download and burn music across diff. artists/bands/genres etc [i.e. create a CD out of diff. artist music etc, which basically means ‘Cart’ like feature/Bulk buying etc]
  • Track bands – and that should unconsciously lead to networking with individuals who love the similar band/kinda musicI know this isn’t the complete list and I have missed out on a couple of important points. Please add to these [leave them in comments section].

And now, hit the venue? Shall we?

I have always believed that a social network has to have an underlying theme + a strong value proposition to sustain it’s user base. And Kompoz gets this right.
Kompoz is an online workspace for musicians, which can be harnessed to compose new music with other artists around the world.

How does it work?
Record a track. Upload it. Then invite others to add drums, bass, vocals or anything else. So in short, you work as a virtual band with artists spread across the globe.All these collaborations are filed under Creative Commons licensing models, so in short you may not end up with a mn$ cheque, but yeah – you may end up with right partners and band members!
My major concern with Kompoz is the sustainability of these virtual bands. How easy/difficult is it? Any testimonials? I would love to know that.

A personal favorite, AmieStreet has all the right reasons for serious bands to participate! Apart from reasons mentioned above, the most significant part is that you can make real money out of your music!

How does it work?
All songs start free and, as they are bought [for as low as 50 cents], the prices keep increasing. So in short, the more popular your music is, the more money you make [you get 70% of the sales].
Amie Street also holds tours/events and can be a boon for music groups to market their music.

iJigg is the musical version of Digg. Artists can post their music and listeners can ‘Jigg’ [i.e. vote] the music. One of my major concerns with iJigg is that there needs to be more than Digg’ like feature. Looks like iJigg is still in the initial phase, so keeping them in this list for future tracking.

These guys will sell your band, only if you know how to sell your music. The underlying theme of SellaBand is very simple. Everybody wants to make money – musical bands as well as the audience!

How does this work?
The musical band needs to garner atleast 5000 fans [and each fan has to shell off $10, which means $50,000]. Now that your fans really believe in you, they will also promote your music in community sites like MySpace etc, and thus starts a viral marketing campaign.
Once you have $50K, SellaBand will open doors to dedicated experts [in recording as well as production], and you will also have access to fine studios. And all these will be paid out of your 50K earning.At the very face of it, this whole approach looks too capitalistic [VC kind], but honestly, if your music doesn’t have 5,000 believers/fans worldwide, you are probably not worth serious investment! Period.
This seems a practical approach to filter out the non-serious groups from the serious ones.

RadioVeRVe is an internet radio station which focuses on promoting Indian Independent/Indie music. Though it isn’t structured and doesn’t have the same scale as the ones mentioned above, the only reason why it gets a mention here is because of the market it addresses, i.e. the Indian rock music market – a neglected yet very talented market which is in a desperate need for a service like this.

To summarize, if you are a college rock band and still looking for partners, Kompoz works best for you. But for a serious player, hop on to AmieStreet and SellaBand.

Wondering whether such initiatives can ever produce another Pink Floyds? Hmm..the lunatic is in my head!

Also see: Destinations for Independendent Indian musicians/artists.

tags: kompoz, amiestreet, ijigg, sellaband

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