7

I'm 14 turning 15 in a few weeks and I've been singing my whole life. I just started vocal training about a year ago and my voice has improved significantly. Here's a little info about meso far (you can skip past this if you want):

I've been in the church youth choir since I was just 4 years old, had my first piano lesson at 3 years old (still playing), and have been playing the drums for as long as I can remember. I've also recently picked up the guitar a few months ago. I am also a "natural" dancer and have been in many musicals(in which I sang and danced) since elementary school. My favorite genre of music is probably RnB/Contemporary RnB, but I do love pop, country, rock, rap, jazz and basically any genre of music. I would also like to learn how to rap, but that's a completely different question in itself. I sing mainly tenor and alto and can get up to soprano if needed (head and pretty weak mixed voice) Vocal range: Eb3-C5-E6(F6, exclamations).

Now that my autobiography is over let's get to the point: I've always dreamed of being a famous performer- singing in front of huge sold out crowds with complicated choreography and step (percussive dance made popular by black fraternities and sororities) routines. But, I haven't applied to a record label or even have an agent yet. I just want to know, how do I get into the music industry to become a famous performer?

  • 5
    Welcome to MPT! This isn't the answer you're looking for but HAVE A BACKUP PLAN! You can not enter the music industry to become famous, you might be able to make a living, but while you're having a go at that, learn a trade. – AJFaraday Oct 17 '18 at 9:14
  • All you really need these days are a decent video camera setup, internet connection,, and a youtube account – Neil Meyer Oct 17 '18 at 12:11
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    @NeilMeyer - talent is also a prerequisite, judging by the lack of it shown by some who have all on your list... – Tim Oct 17 '18 at 14:50
  • I regret to say that the phrase 'music industry' doesn't mean a lot these days. We're pretty much on our own as artists unless we have many thousands of Twitter followers and can get into product placement and sponsorship. But every now again someone breaks the mould so you never know. . . – PeterJ Oct 19 '18 at 15:59
10

What has been told to me by PR people at record companies is this: gig, and get a following. The best thing you can do is start where you are, do your best, and keep plugging away. There is no guarantee that this will get you famous, but it is unlikely to happen any other way. At the very least, you will continue to hone your skills and get better as a musician. You will also develop your style and (hopefully) gain that following. Record companies and the like are looking to make money and they want to invest their money in someone who they know can sell records.

Getting famous is a very broad goal, and I would suggest that you make your goal more specific. Is getting signed by a big company and playing to sold out crowds in stadiums the only satisfactory way to be a musician? If so, I dare say you are likely to be disappointed. However, if performing your own music and having an audience who appreciates your work, no matter the size, will bring you joy, you are more likely to be satisfied. That satisfaction may be the thing that keeps you going until you "make it big." If the small potatoes of playing in the local clubs is lousy grunt work to you, you will burn out before you can make it big. Your audience needs to feel valued, too, and they will know it if they are not.

6

Unfortunately there is no correct answer to this. Every possible route may work, or may not. Many gig for years and never get a bigger audience than 20 in a bar. Others are spotted and make it big instantly. The first of those two options is by far the most likely.

The problem with programmes like the "...has got talent" ones is that they have set false expectations that you can be instantly famous.

Try just gigging. Audition for shows. Get a band. Things may happen, but no guarantees. Ever. But you are young enough that there is plenty of time. I didn't get on TV or playing festivals with my band until I was in my 30's, and even now in my late 40's I'm looking forward to our next touring season and next album but still can't give up the day job.

5

You've already started the journey down the road. Being involved in many different performance situations. It's a sort of advertising. People are out there looking for talent, so the more exposure you get the better the chance of being taken on.

Hone your musicianship. Know what you're talking about. Be able to say which key you prefer to sing a particular song in. Be able to explain musically to other musos in their language. Be available for gigs. Also work on your personality, and ability to work a crowd. That's an important one, as we all like to be properly entertained. I'd rather see an entertaining vocalist than a brilliant one who simply sung song after song, with no audience interaction.

On gigs, be part of bands, ensembles, choirs and the myriad of other musical acts that are gigging. Dare I say it, even karaoke... That way, there's more exposure, and more opportunities will be available.

Own your own p.a., so you can be more readily useful at certain gigs. Compile a portfolio of all your songs - with charts and dots for others to play. Be able to get to places independently. Be reliable and on time. Be available for rehearsals, and be the one who knows what rehearsals are really for (they're not, as so many consider, a change from the pub to be with your mates!).

Visit recording studios, offer to be a backing singer, drummer, whatever.

None of this guarantees you'll make it big, but it all stacks up in your favour, opening up opportunities - which need to be taken at your stage - even if you feel they may lead to a dead end.

4

Start a YouTube channel.

This has several advantages:

  • You'll get hard feedback in the number of views. There is a big difference between local gigs where all your friends and family show up and strangers on the internet liking your music. You will see what works and what doesn't and you can try to iterate on that.

  • You can put a lot of work into making your music videos better. This may sound like a negative, but it is good to have this additional angle of improvement.

  • Odds are that you'll never perform in front of thousands of people. Too many talented youngsters dream that dream. But it is very possible to create music videos that rack up a lot of views. If being appreciated, being heard and seen is this important to you, YouTube is a way to scratch that itch even if you don't achieve superstardom.

  • Creating a following on YouTube will help you achieve your dream in real life. Being able to present your videos will help you land gigs and being able to point to some big number of views will eventually be a great argument to get a record label interested.

  • 1
    valentina Lsitsa is a youtube artist who did break into the mainstream on the back of her youtube success – Neil Meyer Oct 17 '18 at 13:48
3

Read a bunch of biographies/interviews/Wikipedia pages etc. of people who you want to be like. That will start to give you a feel of the kind of things people actually did to get to where they are. Of course you won't find exactly the same path trodden by any two people but it should provide some inspiration. Pay more attention to people who got their break recently - some routes that were open in the past may no longer be so easy.

Be honest about what you're good at, and what you enjoy. If you can find a skill you enjoy and that really gets a good reaction from a lot of people, that could be an area to work on.

Ultimately, the question is - what can I do that someone else would pay money to see? It takes a lot to get people to part with their money, but it can be done...

0

Start at the beginning. Seek out others that want the same things as you and work together to accomplish those goals. Don't take on more than you can handle, but also don't be bashful about those pursuits. Develop your talents continuously, and when you've got an act or show ready to present to the public, then it's time to promote your show. Sell yourself to the public in any way that you can. It's a continuous process and hopefully you'll gain experience and wisdom which may allow you to move forward in your pursuits. Somewhere along the way, you'll probably connect with managers and agents. I recommend that artists know exactly what managers and agents contribute to the equation before becoming associated with them. There are good managers and agents and there are some losers, beware of the losers. Try to enjoy the adventure.

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