Born in the city of Durban, South Africa Robin Thirdfloor fuses mellow alternative beats with his jovial energetic flows which include the uses of both English and his native tongue isiZulu. He recently released a music video from the single “Confessions” taken from his “Sounds Empty Pockets Make” EP, you can watch it here.
If you can’t handle hearing “no” from time to time, you’re probably not going to get very far in the music business.
Any independent artist with any talent is going to be passionate about their music, and that’s a good thing. But rejection is part of the game, and you’ll run into people who don’t appreciate, or simply don’t like, your music.
Getting past this is one of the most important elements of succeeding in the music business.
Don’t Let Rejections Bring You Down!
1 – Remember, there’s a very big ocean out there.
There are more music publishers, and more outlets for promoting your music, than ever before. It used to be that if you got rejected by all the Big Name labels, your career was probably finished. But not anymore!
If you find the mainstream labels are rejecting you, look for niche labels who already publish music closer to your existing style.
2 – Take criticisms as a learning opportunity.
All the great musicians spent decades honing their craft, at least aside from those who drank or drugged themselves into an early grave. (A.K.A.: how NOT to handle rejection.) No matter how great you might be now, honestly, you’ll be even better in another few years.
When someone says “I can’t publish/promote you for reasons X, Y, and Z,” take a serious look at their explanation. There’s probably good advice in there, especially if it’s coming from someone who’s been in the music business longer than you.
3 – Do more fan outreach.
If you’ve got the fans, but can’t get a publisher to pay attention, encourage the fans to do more. (And, in turn, do more yourself to reward the fans.) Sometimes sheer numbers can make an argument in your favor, if you can show, for example, steadily increasing iTunes sales or T-shirt profits.
Plus, regional fame is another good route to getting noticed by larger publishers and promoters.
So, how do YOU handle rejections?
If you want to get anywhere in music today, fan interaction is a major part of it. There are so many options in music, and so many ways to obtain it (legally or not) that fans are only going to be loyal to musicians who truly give something back.
This is a problem that we see more indie artists facing: Their music is out there, on streaming services and online stores, but that’s not turning into tickets and T-shirt sales. In other words, they have listeners, but not fans.
What’s the difference between gaining actual fans and languishing in obscurity? Fan interaction, mostly.
Fan Interaction Turns Your Music Into Something More
1 – Start Blogging and Tweeting
Any indie musician working today needs to be savvy about social media and online outreach. A popular blog, Twitter feed or Facebook page will go a long way toward building fans. Since these outlets all encourage visitors to share and retweet, interesting posts or cool photos will get your message out via interested fans.
2 – Give Out Occasional Freebies
Some of you may balk at working for free, but it’s a valuable option when looking to build your fan base. A “B-side” track, unreleased demo or exclusive music video will all do plenty to spread the word.
Some artists have even given out entire albums for free. Often these are limited-time offers, or sometimes just a way of distributing an experimental album that might not be commercially viable. Lecrae did this with his “Church Clothes” mixtape project.
3 – Do More Onstage Interacting
A live music performance should be an experience for the audience, not just a note-by-note recreation of your latest album. Anything you can do to involve your audience during a show will generally garner better reviews and more word-of-mouth among people who see you.
Intricate dance numbers or complex light shows are fun, but in what I have seen, the artists who actually can initiate fan interaction in the show directly are the ones who build a dedicated fan base.
So, have you seen any good examples of fan-building lately?
The BET 2014 Hip Hop Awards took place on Tuesday night, there were a lot of festivities, starting from T.I’s performance to Drake being the biggest winner of the night, and of course the most anticipated cyphers from various rappers and battle rappers such as, Wiz Khalifa with his Taylor Gang, Smack with his URL battle rappers, David Banner and crew, Dee-1, Lil Mama, and many more… You can watch the cypher videos below…