5 ways to break out as a DIY artist

5 ways to break out as a DIY artist

Full panel video on “The DIY Artist” can be viewed above and on our YouTube page now.  

For some artists the “do it yourself” attitude is a lifestyle, for others it’s just a pitstop on the way to a more traditional path. Whatever your case may be, taking your music career into your own hands can seem daunting at first.

To explore this topic (and many more) we brought the SoundCloud Creator Forum over to the Netherlands for ADE. There, we held a panel with three trailblazing  DJ/producers: Machine Woman, Elena Colombi and Violet to break down what it takes to be a successful “DIY Artist” in 2020.  Need a quick “tl:dr”? No worries, we’ve summarized a few of their best tips below:

  1. Be yourself: This may seem obvious, but there’s no better way to stand out from the pack than to double-down on what makes you uniquely you. Whether you’re spinning, recording, or picking your album art – make sure you’re staying true to yourself.
  2. Learn by doing: There’s no better way to learn than to do. To get better at any task you’ll need hands-on experience, so get up and put yourself out there. You may make mistakes at first, but in time your efforts will pay off.
  3. Build your business before your team:  As a DIY artist you’ll often have a lot on your plate. It makes sense to want help, but don’t get too ahead of yourself.  Until you have enough business to justify having a manger, or shows to warrant a booking agent, try your best to stay solo. It will give you extra time to vet any additions to your team, and will better help you learn the industry. 
  4. Read, review and negotiate your contracts:  Be diligent when signing any contracts and even more careful when agreeing to work without one. Treating these situations with care will protect you and your ownership over your music.
  5. Be engaged: Be an active member in your artistic community. Whether you’re leaving comments to potential collaborators on SoundCloud, making a point to attend other artists’ shows, or holding down a residency at a small local club, many of your best opportunities can come from just being present and known in your scene. 

We’re filming all of the panels, Q&A’s, and live content from our SoundCloud Creator Forum live events and will be rolling out the content on a weekly basis. You can check back here for recaps, subscribe to our YouTube channel to be the first to know when a new video drops, and visit our creator guide to get access to everything you need to know to grow your career on SoundCloud.