Business News Education & Events Pathways Into Music Update

Industry experts inform the Pathways Into Music artist circle at The Great Escape: Part Three

By | Published on Thursday 19 May 2022

Pathways Into Music - Artist Circle

CMU’s Pathways Into Music Foundation last week used the MUSIC + EDUCATION sessions at The Great Escape to present more of its research work which aims to provide music educators and talent development organisations with resources that they can use to give DIY phase artists the knowledge and information they need to pursue a career around their music-making.

At TGE, Foundation director Phil Nelson presented the artist circle, a way of understanding the process artists go through when growing an audience and business around their music.

That begins with creative activities, and then moves onto fanbase building, which is in turn amplified through the promotion of releases and shows, and finally artists look for ways to raise funds and generate income around their music. So there are four quarters to the artist circle: creative, fanbase, promotion and finance.

With the artist circle introduced, music industry experts were then invited on stage at TGE to together compile the ten key pieces of knowledge and information that educators and talent development teams should be looking to communicate to DIY phases artists for each quarter of the circle.

Providing the tips for the promotion quarter – focused on releasing music, and the marketing and live activity around those releases – were Henriette Heimdal from Family In Music, Natasha Gregory from Mother Artists, and Shikayla Nadine from SNM Management.

Here are the ten tips they compiled…

1. Work out a year-long release plan – so you have a basic idea of what music you are going to release when, allowing you to both plan your social media and gigging activity accordingly, and to get your tracks and accompanying assets sorted nice and early. Although at the same time, be prepared to change those plans quickly if circumstances demand!

2. Pick the right DIY distributor to get your music streaming. Many of the streaming platforms have public lists of their preferred distribution partners – make sure you consult them when picking a distributor. And talk to other music-makers you know about what distributors they use and what their experiences have been like.

3. Don’t be afraid to think outside of your local market. In the digital domain you might find an audience in other countries before your own. So make sure you are distributing your music as widely and globally as possible.

4. Once you are regularly releasing music, be clear on timelines and deadlines for each release – including the deadlines of the companies you are working with.

5. It’s always worth pitching your releases to relevant media and industry contacts. Work out who the right contacts are – eg are they championing new artists and do they focus on the right genre – and send them personalised emails.

6. To help with that process, learn how to write great press releases and artist biographies.

7. Networking is key – when you are releasing music and starting to play live, try to connect with people in the industry and media. Maybe start with a polite personalised email. Maybe ask for advice and feedback first time. And make sure you properly target any messages.

8. As things progress you will start to build a team, working with more people and companies in the music industry. But be realistic. Just because you get a team on board, doesn’t suddenly mean everything will step up a level. Each opportunity leads to the next opportunity.

9. When you are collaborating with other people and working with other people, do encourage and listen to feedback. Constructive criticism is great. That said, at the same time make sure you are true to yourself. Consistency is key.

10. Once you are regularly releasing music and playing shows it can become overwhelming – there never seem to be enough hours in the day to get everything done. But take your time, have fun, live every day and enjoy the small moments.

We are publishing the ten tips for each of the quarters of the artist circle each day here on the CMU website. Or you can get them all in one place by downloading the latest Pathways Into Music Research Summary here.