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5 tips on how to kickstart your music career

A number of people – especially the youth of today see themselves as successful musicians and producers, but they either do not know where to start or they are not on the right path. There is a difference between making music as a hobby and actually wanting a career out of it. Making music as a career requires a lot of hard work, a formidable team and consistency, whereas making music as a hobby doesn’t require much work and consistency. You need to establish whether music is a viable career option for you or just something you enjoy doing on your free time.


Image: Music equipment

Build a network of contacts

Believe it or not, you need contacts in the music industry, whether by you or your management. It is always important to have a few contacts that will support your idea, who will vouch for you whenever needed. A network of contacts in the industry can also be beneficial in terms of guidance. They know the do’s and don’ts of the music industry. Without any contact in the music industry, you will be required to work 10 times harder than someone who has contacts in the music industry. 

Choose a team/management that will represent you well

Choosing the right people to work with is very crucial in all kinds of working fields. It takes a lot of work and determination as an independent artist. A formidable team, that has your best interests at heart is what you need. It doesn’t help recruiting people who don’t share the same vision as you, with the goal of building your career. Artist management duties range from negotiating contracts, marketing you as a musician/brand, organizing gigs, budgeting, to multimedia.  

Stay true to yourself

As a musician, who’s new to the industry, it is easy to deviate from your original sound because of the desire to please everyone. One thing you need to understand is – not everyone is going to love your music. Authenticity is always key. Do not hop from one genre to another, people who listen to your music should be able to identify your songs or your sound. You can start exploring other genres as you climb up the ladder in the music industry. 

Making money-wise decisions

Being a musician not only needs the talent and hard work, it also needs money. Management, recording equipment and positioning yourself as a brand takes a lot of money. Invest your money in things that will be beneficial in the future. Not choosing the right management may cost you money, and you may not reap anything from it, hence making money-wise decisions is very important.

Sometimes, volunteering is not a bad idea. Makhadzi once did it for the 2020 DSTV Mzansi’s Viewers’ Choice Awards. She asked DSTV to perform at the awards, without payment, to showcase her talent. Performing at gigs, without payment is not a bad idea, especially in the beginning of your music career. As your career reaches its peak, you will have the opportunity to be open to negotiating pays.  

Use social media to your advantage

Use your social media platforms to continuously promote your music, specially if you have a large following and good engagement on your social media platforms. If you cannot afford a management team, then try by all means to do some things yourself, especially if you can. Promote your music and prompt those around you to reshare your music as much as they can, for better reach. 

Image: Social media

Music is not only about talent, its being able to position yourself as unique in what you do, and having the ability to make others believe in your dream, as much as you believe in it.

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