Where to go from here? Getting music outside the studio

My name is April and I’m from Mona Haze. We are an alternative/Indie Rock duo based in Ireland. We write and produce our own music which we would love to get out to be heard. We’ve made a start of things, utilizing forums like this, Distrokid, Reverbnation, Soundcloud, etc.
We would love any other suggestions on what the best places are to get it out there and perhaps even what companies might be worth looking into promotional- wise. Seems a lot are bots and or more self-influencer types. Finding it very difficult to weed through it all.
Here’s a link to one of our new tracks to give you an idea of what we do, if you have time to have a listen. Thanks,
Wake Up- Mona Haze

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You have asked the million dollar question! There are lots of folks on here that can give you ideas who work really hard at it, but from my perspective you need to think of promoting your music as a full time job apart from writing, recording and performing for it to have impact.
Distrokid is what I’ve used to distribute my stuff since it was simple and inexpensive, but you still have to figure out how to build a following to get enough listens to matter to Spotify, SoundCloud, etc.
I hope you get a lot more responses to your question with more concrete suggestions to try, but for now, welcome to the forum and best of luck.

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Welcome to IRD, April! Cool music you have out - Do I detect a little Fleetwood Mac influence?

It definitely is the Wild West out there for truly independent, self-recording/producing artists. It seems the only way to get anywhere is to promote yourself non-stop. If you’re not inclined that way, it’s an uphill battle.

I’ve put out 2 full-length albums under my artist name “FytaKyte” since 2019. I used CD Baby as an aggregator - they manage to get things to go pretty much everywhere, streaming-wise.

However, there is so much music being uploaded, it’s almost impossible to get it heard unless you just promote it non-stop. Even then, people in general seem very reluctant to listen to anything new unless someone influential suggests they do.

The only method that I’ve had a very very tiny amount of success with is making my music available for others to re-mix via both my Bandcamp site and Mike Senior’s Cambridge Music Technology Multi-Track Download Library. This is really the only way more people have been exposed to my music.

After doing this since 2019, I’m only now starting to see a very meagre trickle of money come in each month. I see it as “hobby money”. Definitely not an income.

I would suggest trying to think of a novel way to get your music to more people that isn’t the traditional route.

Plugin companies sometimes need songs to show off what their products can do. For example Acustica, NoiseAsh and Mastering.com have all used my music for their product demonstration / tutorial videos. (Just make sure you absolutely insist on people who use your music giving you credit, to ensure the YT algorithm finds your music and sends the royalties to you).

… I hope that helps… and all the best with your musical endeavours!

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Hi MonaHaze!
Welcome to IRD. This has been the hangout bar we all needed over the years.
There are some great suggestions here already by Andrew and Bob.

The social scene has changed quite a bit. It can be quite overwhelming. Youtube is pretty much dead for indie musicians. Spotify is somewhat effective if you can make it to some playlists. But other socials like Discord/Reddit have sprung up that are yielding okish results, but you have to find the niches and join select closed groups which can be frustrating as they are guarded by bouncers the size of Texas.

As for me, It took me a decade to actually get somewhere in the Music Industry where it is now a full time job. But I had to get creative. Really creative and crafty and carve a niche of my own. You have to identify what you are creating and who your target audience truly is. Simply floating your music out there without added groundwork is simply a drop in the bucket. But it is a start for sure.

Your music is well written and thought provoking. From a production standpoint, you can get a lot of help today that didnt exist before. Lot of help out there if you want to mix your own music (which is what most of us do here).

live performances will help build a following. It is how most of us here started. Find local and online gigs. Though you have to be ready with near studio quality albums for when the time is right and people actually want your songs in their playlists.

Join songwriting/producing/mixing contests anywhere you can. There are some that are quite well known and the entry fee for a few bucks is worth it for the popular ones (like John Lennon contest, or International Songwriting contest) You just never know who you can come across.

All in all, enjoy the journey :slight_smile:

congrats on breaking critical mass :slight_smile:
hope it grows and grows and adds up enough.

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Hey Andrew, Thanks so much for the detailed feedback and information. I will definitely check into all of those things. Distrokid has been really good for getting our music sent off to lots of different platforms, but as you say, there is so much out there that it seems to take a lot more effort to actually get it listened to. We are registered with IMRO, our music rights organization and songs are registered with Distrokid etc., so not too concerned about the royalties aspect at the moment anyway. I more so just want to get them out there and establish somewhat of a following, so people might be intrigued to have a listen.
Fleetwood Mac- I love me some of that! So yes I’d say so!
Listening to your tunes now. Great sound! And lovin’ the real topic of “Progress” and “Disconnected”
Very cool tunes!

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Hey, thanks for the reply. Im really getting that point of needing to constantly stay on top of it. Ill keep on truckin’, thanks again and best of luck to you as well!

Hey there, thanks for the reply and kind words about our music. Hahaha, “Bouncers the size of Texas”
I have come across the International Songwriting Contest, but not the Lennon one. Ill check it out. Reverbnation is another platform we use and features a lot of opportunities you can submit for. I do have to read through them, as they don’t all necessarily fit our music genre etc., but it is another fork I use.
Thanks again so much for your reply, and wishing you the very best!

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Reverbnation is pretty much a swindle for the paid ones, investigate some of these clubs and opportunities outside of the site and see if they really look legit. Many of the ones on there don’t. Thread with caution.

Hi April, welcome to IRD. I think we will see in the future a evaluation process that you plug your song into and out comes the AI feedback for exactly how it will do on the market place. Years ago Reverbernation had a new feature that you could pay $10 and it would “evaluate” your songs playability on the radio. I think it was bogus and I bet every single person who used that got a 4.5 star rating. It was a great way for them to get money and I was one of the suckers who put money on there like a kid addicted to a video game.

I think my prospective on this as a artist who makes physical products/things to sell for a living, I apply the same thought to music. If I want to sell a lot of my products, I have to make them and present them in a way to sell. If I just make products and sell them without any thought to what people want, then to the degree that the public likes them i will sell that many. I think with music we have to ask ourselves on the onset do we want to just make the songs we want exactly the way we want and live with however many people love them? I believe that songs that people love will take off with not a whole lot of promotion and pushing, just look at Gangnam style. There is a degree that things need to be pushed to get people to know but there are some songs that no matter how much pushing, they just are not going to get a huge following. I gave up years ago making music and putting it online because i realized that my music was not for anyone really. I think there needs to be a way to quantify a song and songs based on some metric that somehow knows all genres and knows what will take off and what won’t. So I believe that success in music is a mixture of both great music and good promotion. Great promotion can only get songs so far, it is people’s acceptance that gets to a larger volume.

I think that the more a band or musician is flexible and willing to adapt and expand, the greater the changes of getting a big following. I think of David Gray and his first 3 albums vs his fourth album. Here is what wikipedia has to say about it.

While his first three albums featured acoustic folk songs and guitar-based alternative rock, White Ladder introduced his now-trademark folktronic sound. The album included his best-known songs: “This Year’s Love”, “Babylon”, “Please Forgive Me” and “Sail Away”. After its re-release, combined with the release and success of single “Babylon”, it sold 100,000 copies in Ireland alone, making it number one for six weeks.

David Gray would of never made it as a musician I believe had he kept to his original sound. To this day I still hear is songs on the radio in stores as I shop, they still are played and have appeal. He changed up his sound from folk to folktronic and off he went. So I think that we have to ask what is our goal? Is it just to make the songs we love and just get as many people to like them as a possible? if so then we just create and promote and hope that we get a lot of followers. But as a business person I would consider for myself that maybe I make a few songs that are still me, but are geared towards a feel that is happier or sadder or something that people are into now to get people interested. Then once I have followers I can make those songs that are more or less not caring and see what the reaction is. For those who say this is selling out I would say I dont think David Gray decided to sell out. I think he felt he wanted to add more sounds to his existing sound, probably based on his influence from his new producer. He seems happy there after making the songs he makes long after that big album. I think if David Gray make heavy metal or a copy of the Beatles to sell, he would probably be selling out. I think what he did was just add new life to what he was already doing and it exploded for him.