danielzapatav

Starting tips for new recording artists

So let’s sat you’re a new artists and you really made the decision to start recording and you want to get your foot into the music industry. Where to start? If you look at the world today, the competition in the field of music is so large that just by going on YouTube and seeing the millions and millions of singers, musicians, bands and artists that are out there, each one trying to stand out is a very overwhelming realty. There are many artists that may never stand out from the crowd so to really consider the path of being a recording artist I always recommend and tell new acts that their drive should always be more focused on the love they have for music and the passion towards creativity, love towards creating and sharing their talent with the world because if the focus is fame and fortune there might be a disappointment I’m not saying it will not happen, you can record a great song, capture the right people’s attention and it may bring you to stardom, fame and fortune that’s always a possibility, but it’s not the rule, there are many more artists out there that are not known and that want to be known, then the ones that actually break into a market so that the main drive to the decision to record and to be an artist for it in my humble opinion should always be something much more then the goal, the fame and the fortune, focus on the reward of the path because it it’s not an easy one although it will always be extremely rewarding in many levels not necessarily tangible.

Once an artist says “hey I have a voice I want to sing” where does the process start? a great producer and mentor named Rudy Perez once told me that the best artist with the best voice with a “regular” song will hardly ever reach anywhere but a great song can make 10 great singers famous because what happens is that people focus on recording the songs that their friends may like or something that’s just good enough for it to be in the studio, we spend a lot of time and money into some things that never go anywhere because we didn’t actually put in the time and effort to write the song as best as we can possibly can, finding that song which will actually take us to a better level. In my experience I used to record songs that were good and that I found exciting and so did my friends but I’ve come to a point in my life where I am much more selective in the songs that I record and I actually try to sculpt through the song just like a sculpture or like a painter would with a painting, a song can be worked on and can be moved around until you have the sensation that you actually have a HIT song in your hands. A real hit song will play for several people and everybody will have the “wow what an a great song “ My mentor Rudy would always say “hey Daniel you know a song has to be so good that if you have money for coffee and you hear the song you prefer to buy the song on iTunes than to buy your coffee” that’s how good a song has to be that you just want to have it. So if you’re a new Artist and you really make the decision that you want to be in the music industry my first recommendation would be to look for a great songwriter or sit down with songwriters that have experience in the genre of music that you are looking to get into and to find a series of songs that really resonate with you and with the public that you’re looking to reach because a great song can go a long way where a normal song may “break” -you never know- but one thing that Jeff Young a very important music executive told me is “you will never know what a hit song is because songs can come out and break and it’ll be fantastic but you will know when it’s not a hit song” so keep that in mind step number one, find a great song to record where your voice really stands out, where you feel you are bringing your potential to a higher level than whatever you think it is because it’s always higher and that the song resonates with the music that you are looking to make. I would say it’s the most important of all steps, once you make the decision to go down the music path as a recording artist.

The second step I would say – and it sometimes comes first- but in most cases it appears after you have your great song that you can play with just one instrument, piano or guitar, you will need financial support, this is something people overlook but music recording is an extremely expensive passion, recording with a great producer can cost thousands of dollars and if you’re living paycheck to paycheck on your day job or maybe you’re in high school and about to go to college, to find financial back up would be one of the most important steps to launch your career because it cost a lot of money to record, to hire musicians, studio time, to pay for producers all that is something that when we don’t have financial back up it will take time to put together on your own, so it’s a very important part of the musical process to have means whether it’s with family, with friends who believe in you whether it’s companies that are willing to support you or anyway that you can to at least get your foot in the door because without any financial support even if it’s with your own job, it’s important for that moment that where you can sit down with the right people and you can afford their services, producers in many cases charge large amounts of money unless it’s some friend who’s exploring the production world that’s willing to record for a fair price who really believes in you that is another or you already have a label or people interested, that’s different but in most cases the initial recordings will have to come from your pocket.

How many songs should I record? Nowadays to think of a full album is something a little bit out of context for the times were in, you can get people interested in your project with two or three songs A medium beat a High beat and a lower beat song would be sufficient to get people understanding the type of artist that you’re projecting and if you’re going to shop your music three songs can be enough to present and give a good idea of who you are as an artist. Going back to the first point what I do make a lot of emphasis is those three songs have to be HIT songs not just any songs that you set down, they have to be songs that you were absolutely convinced and the people around you when they listen to it that are so phenomenal that you are sure that you’re going to put your money into the right place.

Why is all this so important? Even if you record three excellent HIT, beautiful, awesome songs the only access you have as an independent artist is to go to YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Vine and promote your song through all those social media networks and you can get you far but it will never replace what radio and mass media can accomplish and that’s where record labels come in, executives and people who have access to the mass media, companies that have the funds to help you move forward with your career where financial back up is crucial. and in most cases the people who have the money to invest in Artists are record labels, so to get a label interested nowadays so you can continue the recording process you really have to stand out and you really have to make things well done because labels nowadays like to see artist that are already “made” they are not taking risks like in the past due to music pirating and many other shifts in the industry, to put a lot of money into something new when they don’t know if it’s going to actually be a success with the crowds, so you really want to have great songs out there and you really want those three’s initial songs to be hits because one the most expensive part of a musical process is promotion, videos, getting on the radio and unless you have a really big back up behind you to get a label interested to do this you’re going to have to really standout, how does that happen? first with a great song second with a great production and third: I was once with the record label executive having recorded a great song with great video but the executive told me “look when you have these four things come to us” he said “you need millions of views on YouTube you need thousands of followers on Twitter and Instagram you need to be on the radio and you need to be selling out live shows whenever that’s happening you can come to us” so to get that moving it’s an expensive process trust me

But don’t get scared it’s not impossible, specially if there’s something that we love, the love for your craft will open doors, I know because I never imagined I would ever record with some of the best producers in the world and after a long process I’ve been able to be in studios with incredible mentors, incredible talents that I would have only dreamed of recording with, so everything is possible with perseverance but to save you time and money if I could go back and start my career over again I would be much more selective with the songs that I would record because that would’ve saved me a lot of time and a lot of money, so pick your songs really well number one, number two (after you have the budget) find a great producer, the best you can, great producers who have hit songs have an ear for hits, they have a knack to know when songs are great because they have produced products for the public for many years so the better the producer the more chances you have of getting the right people’s attention.

Many people say nowadays that labels aren’t needed because you can do everything on your own and that may be true to a certain level but if you really want to make it big it’s not going to be enough to be on your own you’re going to have to eventually find a team because doing things on your own can only take you so far, teamwork is one of the greatest and most powerful things that any artist can find and that’s only available when the right people are behind you or the right label who believes in you is willing to put people to manage things that are good at their areas of music development and marketing, so you, the Artist, can focus on the craft which is making music and performing

To summarize the first thing when you decide, as a new artist, t to come into this business is to find your hit songs with great songwriters second find financial backing with those songs of people who believe in you or save a big chunk of money so that you can begin a good recording process with the right people. Third: open your great songs look for a great producer that can make that song sound the best possible and that can bring out all your potential. Fourth get all your promotion items in place a good website good artist page on Facebook Instagram Twitter Snapchat Pinterest, Vine all the social media, everything that gives you social presence take good pictures make a good video of your songs, they do not have to be expensive videos just videos they actually show who you who you are as an artist and always, always, save budget for promotion even if it’s just Internet promotion I made a big mistake of spending a lot of money in music production, in videos and when the time came to promote I had run out of budget so always save money for promotion even if it’s for viral campaigns or ads on Facebook, Google save money for promotion. Fifth once you have everything in place put together a small concert where you make sure you have flyers for your songs, business cards where you make sure you have a good band backing you so you can place those two or three songs and try to get the right people to listen from the media if you can make it this far I would say you have made a great first step into beginning your career as an Artist.

I wish you always all the best !

Please don’t hesitate to leave your comments I would love to know more of what you think on my article and I hope to see you soon in the next blog post

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