Why won’t people listen to my music?Reading Time: 5 minutes
Last Updated 5 April 2019
Most creators across the creative fields have a problem with getting their art consumed. Some of your works have had 11 plays since 2016, 10 of them are your own plays, others have a bit more luck and have more plays. Our friends don’t seem to be interested in our work, no matter how many times we annoyingly tag them in Facebook posts. It takes 2 weeks and great effort to get 100 – 150 plays on Soundcloud or YouTube. Listeners seldom return to give your music more than the one play and they seldom share your work with their friends.
This state of affairs has driven many creatives to desk jobs that they hate. Worse, it leads some to the devil that is drug abuse. This piece is informed by the music that I have received and artists I have interacted with over the years through the EDM Kenya Website and Sound Safari Records.
To get paid you need to be heard. In this inexhaustive article, I list some of the reasons why your music might not be reaching your potential fans and supporters.
Your music is of trash quality
Imagine buying tissue paper only to find it’s 1-ply after you’re done with the business? You are not likely to use it again, because it is a shit brand. You deserve better and there is no shortage of alternatives. That 1-ply tissue paper represents trashy low-quality music, which is nothing but unpleasant to the listeners. Your music is the way it is because either you lack talent, skill, or practice. The music lacks either one or more of the basic qualities of great music – good composition, arrangement, mixing and mastering.
You should consider outsourcing some of these services from skilled professionals if you haven’t mastered the skills yet.
Often, the music that I come across, especially from upcoming artists, has both good composition and arrangement but it lacks when it comes down to the mix and mastering. This makes the music lack warmth and depth thus making it bland and intolerable. This is usually because the artist does by themselves, despite lacking relevant skills. a good beat maker does not necessarily equal a good sound engineer and so forth. You should consider outsourcing some of these services from skilled professionals if you haven’t mastered the skills yet. There is no shame in that. After all, you want to give people the best quality of your music do you not?
Your Image Representations are of low quality
Man is a visual animal and what we see will determine if we want to view something or not. For most music listeners, the first interaction with your music will be through the album artwork. Be it online or offline. Incompetent and carelessly done image representations will repel rather than attract. In the music listeners mind, your music is just as poor as your artwork.
Despite being warned against judging a book by its cover, most of us still do it.
While at images, it is essential to have good quality promo pics. The selfie that was taken from your low-quality phone camera just doesn’t cut it. It is unprofessional, unattractive and makes you look ordinary. One of your objectives is to be noticed and by being ordinary go unnoticed in the sea of music. Publishers will rarely if ever, write about you if you do not have decent photographs to accompany your music
Despite being warned against judging a book by its cover, most of us still do it and artists are not exempt from this universal premature judgement. Thus, it is important to consider setting some funds aside for a professional graphic designer and photographer to get you attractive high quality images.
You are a bad communicator. You send a music submission to publishers with no email subject nor body. Only a Soundcloud link or attachment. We go to to your Soundcloud or Facebook page and there is the lonely vague word, “trippy”. If someone wants to write about you, how will they go about it if they have no reference material? Unless you are already extra popular and there are articles about you online, a description of you and your work will go a long way.
A story gives a good introduction of who you are and what to expect from your music. A good story will compel more people to pay attention. Let people know whether you are from the Umoja or the moon. Whether you are male, female or non-binary. Whether you are 17 or age ain’t nothing but a number.
You are Cheap
You are not not spending money on your craft. To advance your craft, Goods and Services need to be bought. Picture a restaurant that hopes to return a gain from its activities but doesn’t invest in necessary tools such as kitchen knives or sufurias. That will not be a productive environment.
A musician needs to acquire tools that will help him/her progress in their career. For example, a songwriter needs to invest in lots of pens and notebooks, a decent microphone to practice on and record demos. A mixing engineer will need to purchase a mixer that can process sound – whether physical or virtual. This investment in yourself ought to motivate you. While pirated software is attractive for beginners, it has it’s limitations.
Money begets money. If you don’t have that, you wait around to be hired at the mercy of others. If you have that money in your hand, you desperately try to make the best use of it and move ahead. And that’s generating income for yourself.
[Read: Why you don’t need a record deal]
Break the bank
You need to take action. Action takes time and money (but time is money). I doubt the artists you look up to are stingy when it comes to spending money to improve the quality of their music.
Infuse your life with action. Don’t wait for it to happen. Make it happen. Make your own future. Make your own hope. Make your own love. And whatever your beliefs, honor your creator, not by passively waiting for grace to come down from upon high, but by doing what you can to make grace happen… yourself, right now, right down here on Earth.
If you see your music as a business then you will have to invest in yourself. Nobody is coming to invest in you if you have not done it yourself. Incorporate more service providers in your music creation process to enable you to produce higher quality content that people are inclined to listen to and also share with their friends. This will not happen with out you having to break the bank.