UK DJ and Producer Jeremy Sylvester is now sharing music business and marketing tips for up and coming artists. He has a freely available guide to music pr which is kind of a like an ebook in website form. Though a lot of it is about marketing issues they are part of what I think is actually a guide to going pro in disguise. I take it as a solid intro to all the pieces that go together when you're making the transition from just making music to going pro.
Written by Jeremy Sylvester of Urban Dubz, the guide gets into a lot of topics we've covered at Hypebot but one that I haven't discussed very much if at all, "How to decide on an image/style for your band or as an artist."
The Beginner's Guide To Building A Brand In Music
I think for all performers there comes a point when they realize they have an image and people expect them to maintain it. For musicians I think that's truest of all because most other performers are playing a role and wearing a costume.
It's tempting to say just be yourself but self-branding requires more thought and attention than simply showing up at a gig with whatever you were wearing that afternoon.
That said, these days it seems you can be a bit more real than in the early days of the music industry. As Sylvester points out:
"These days, the public tends to favour a more organic and authentic approach to branding, as opposed to a commercially churned out product that has nothing about them apart from the instructions that they received from their record label. The public aren’t stupid, and treating them like they are by creating a faux image that isn’t based on any of your credentials can be insulting."
Sylvester makes an interesting point stating that:
"A tried and tested method is to be the best version of yourself, as creating a persona that is not what you are a really like is a very hard thing to keep up without the mask slipping. If you stick to being a heightened version of what you really are, you don’t run the risk of moving away from your brand."
What if instead of creating an image and dressing it up the way a major label might do, you focused on an image that really is the "best version of yourself"?
Perhaps this process that sounds incredibly artificial can become a way of not only realizing your artistic and financial dreams but your dreams of personal development as well.
And if you're really being true to yourself, that might include finding ways to come to terms with your darker elements and to make them a part of your art and your brand to create a truly "heightened version of what you really are."
If you or a friend is still trying to sort out what all this music biz talk is about, check out the guide.