Releasing music independently today has been made a fairly easy process. With the advancement of technology, you can record, mix and distribute music to the world from the comfort of your home. Many artists have been crafting global hits from bedrooms and home studios, which reassures you, "the aspiring artist", that you could do it too. Before releasing your song(s) to the public, you should take proper protocol to make sure you're showcasing your best work. Doing this will put you on the same playing field as the artists that you hear in rotation on major radio stations daily.
Here are 8 things that you must do when planning to release your music independently to the world.
#1 - Record It Well
Record your song(s) well! This is one of the most important tips and the first step to releasing a hit record. This lays down the foundation for every other rule that follows. Make sure when recording your audio, the signal is clean and not clipping (not too loud). In addition, make sure there is no background noise or feedback being picked up by the microphone. If possible, try to record in a room that has little to no reflection of sound off the walls. Ideally, a room treated with acoustic panelling is best, but there are many ways you can stop reflection with out panels. If you are releasing music independently, you could place the microphone in a closet and hang blankets up, order an isolation booth or you could get a microphone isolation device like a Kaotica Eyeball or a similar product.
#2 - Obtain Rights Before Releasing Your Music Independently
To eliminate any conflict in obtaining rights and ownership down the line, get a split agreement signed with producer(s) & songwriter(s). Make sure that everyone is on the same page, then have all parties sign the "split sheet".
"I try to deliver because I don't believe that people are delivering the same quality of albums." – Kanye West
#3 - Copyright & Register
Copyright your music. This will protect your intellectual property from being stolen by biters and thieves. This can be done digitally on the U.S. Copyright Office website. You can copyright an entire album for the same price as a single song. Next, register your music using performance rights organizations (PROs) such as BMI, ASCAP & SESAC. These companies will get you paid when your song is played on the radio, performed at venues & more.
#4 - Mix & Master
Get your music mixed & mastered. You want this done professionally. Doing this will have your song(s) sonically matching up to what is heard everyday on mainstream radio, TV and more. Most listeners wont be able to tell if your song is mixed & mastered but they WILL know that something is "off" if it is not done. This is why I recommend making sure that whoever you decide to get to mix & master your music, knows what they are doing.
#5 - Visuals
Get professional high quality artwork, images & videos. Your image is everything. Find and build relationships with photographers, graphic designers, videographers, etc., who can execute the look you are wanting for yourself.
#6 - Distribute Your Music Globally
Get distribution and release your music on all major platforms. This will put your music in all digital stores around the globe such as Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal, Pandora, TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube & more. BORN GENIUS offers unlimited distribution for one low price. Check it out here.
#7 - Marketing & Promotions
You must put your music in front of new and old listeners/fans. Marketing is using tools to find out who your core audience is and where they are. Promotions is putting your product in front of that audience. Though that seems simple enough, this takes trial and error and could be a bit costly, especially if you're not a pro at doing this.
#8 - Network
You must network and make yourself known. Make connections and get your brand out there. This will help tremendously with spreading your brand through word of mouth. People talk about people who are seen or heard. Rub elbows, collaborate and grow. "Your network is your net worth!"
Bonus Tip - Join BORN GENIUS
BORN GENIUS is a one stop shop. We are here to help artists like you release your art to the world properly by offering guidance, mentorship and services. Everything mentioned above is offered here. Book studio time, get your song mixed & mastered, get distribution and more. Click To Learn More
What are some things you know you should do when releasing your music to the world? Leave comments below.