How to get noticed: 5 tips from SoundCloud’s Global Head of Music, Lisa Ellis
We’re committed to being the platform where you can break through and build your career, and we have a multitude of opportunities for your hustle to get the boost it deserves. We’ve gotten a lot of questions on how you can be considered for our playlists, marketing opps or festival showcases – and today, we’re giving you some answers, straight from the source.
We sat down with Lisa Ellis, the Global Head of Music, Artist Relations, and Label Services at SoundCloud to answer this pressing question: How does an artist get noticed on SoundCloud? With a legendary eye for talent, she knows a thing or two…or five, about what it takes to stand out. Here are her tips:
1. Make great music
Seems obvious, but nothing demands attention like something we haven’t heard before. So, the best first step is to study your craft inside and out. If you rap then write often. If you sing then push your voice to its limits. If you’re a producer then strive to constantly improve your musical, technical and creative processes.
Hone your sound until it’s completely fresh and uniquely you. For artists who consistently release quality beats, just follow 2-5 and you’ll be on your way to our radars. Need proof? Lil Tecca is a prime example of how putting the music first can help turn heads.
2. Be a trendsetter
When you’re the one setting the trends, people can’t help but notice. Baby Rose’s unique voice, style and sound captivated us from the moment we first heard her music. Her individuality has been converting listeners to fans ever since. If you’re trying to replicate her success, then you need to focus on creating your own lane. Take artistic risks, be yourself, and step up by standing out.
3. Take initiative
Before you look for outside opportunities, make the most with what you already have. Joining SoundCloud Premier, distributing your music and using Promote on SoundCloud are easy ways to build your audience without even leaving your house. Keep your profile engaging and learn to use new tools as they come out. Not only will we take note, you’ll be helping yourself get ahead on your own terms.
4. Be engaged
If there’s one thing every featured artist has in common, it’s that they’re all heavily engaged in the SoundCloud community. Prior to being a Grammy-nominated hitmaker, Goldlink was an enthusiastic rapper on SoundCloud who began reaching out to producers like Ta-Ku, Kaytranada and Lakim before releasing his first track. These connections helped him net his first shows and were crucial in making him the artist he is today.
So, don’t just upload your songs and hope for the best. Stay engaged by leaving comments, seeking out potential collaborators and reposting other artists’ work. Because these real interactions are what lead to long-term success.
5. Make waves everywhere
There are plenty of steps you can take elsewhere to boost your success. First off, make sure your social media accounts are updated and linked to your SoundCloud account so new fans have a direct line to your music. From there, you can play shows in at your local coffee shops or venues, turn online connections into real friendships, and let your life experiences shape your approach to creativity. Any waves you make offline will be amplified by your efforts on SoundCloud. Don’t just take our word for it, look to Na-Kel Smith, a rapper and skateboarder who has his feet firmly planted in both realms.
So to summarize Lisa’s wise words: If you make quality music that’s uniquely yours, you use SoundCloud’s tools to promote yourself, and you’re working tirelessly to find your fans and build your brand – it’s just a matter of time before you’re getting noticed.
Want more tips on standing out on SoundCloud and beyond? Stay tuned for content from last week’s SoundCloud Creator Forum at Art Basel that was all about “Building Your Brand.”