Social media has made it easier for musicians to share their music without the help of a major label. However, there are still very few avenues to do so that are geared solely toward up-and-coming artists.
Apps such as Soundcloud have allowed independent artists the ability to promote themselves and their music on their own terms. While Soundcloud offers a multitude of features to help up-and-coming artists grow their following, the app is still lacking areas that make a huge difference in the way artists promote themselves.
Noah Young, senior criminal justice major and singer-songwriter, has been writing songs since the age of 15, in addition to recording music out of his home. Young uses Soundcloud, iTunes and Spotify to share his music with the world.
Young said he believes Soundcloud artists could benefit from playlists made by the app itself.
“The one thing I would change is a bigger emphasis on playlists. Spotify does it really well. If Soundcloud features unknown artists more that way, it’d be easier to find different artists that are out there,” Young said.
Landing a song on a widely shared playlist, such as the ones on Spotify to which Young referred, brings much more exposure to an artist’s work than solely relying on likes and shares.
“In a perfect world, I would love to just build a fan base. Chance (the Rapper) did it so well, you know, gain exposure that way,” Young said.
Young also added that adding a personal element to Soundcloud could benefit a multitude of artists.
“I do wish that it was a little bit more personal. I wish there was more of a way for us to reach the people that listen to us by making it easier to get a profile on there or just having a way to just reach back out to fans,” Young said.
Jon Pate, senior music major, said he believes the best way to share music is not through an app, but through personal connections.
“Take every gig possible. You’re creating a connection and then eventually you can get your stuff out. Make a connection first with people and then you can grow,” Pate said.
Diversifying social media platforms also makes an impact on the type of following an artist can create.
“I would recommend to any artist (to start) looking into every social platform,” Young said.