I don’t know about you, but I know a lot of talented people online. I’m still waiting for their creative awesomeness to rub off on me, but it’s yet to happen. While I wait for that, I thought I’d share some ways I think we can all help those indie musicians around us while also helping ourselves. Hopefully this mostly helps others, because giving is better than receiving—unless it’s a headache. Whoever is giving me those, please stop.
Most of the indie musicians I know go through a similar process. It goes something like this:
- Create an awesome piece of music
- Record the awesomeness using digital mastery and wizardry—it’s a bit like Internet magics
- Upload the creation to various streaming and/or download platforms—perhaps using a service or perhaps manually, one platform at a time
- Market the new release to their friends, family and followers—is there an existing acronym for this group already that I’m not using? … FFF
- Sit back and wait for the royalties to roll in.
I hear a fair bit from my indie friends that these royalties are often as high as several cents! All that work has finally paid off.
Of course, I jest. Those rewards don’t match the efforts. Now, I know for a lot of folks, it’s not all about getting famous or having grand illusions of being the next big musical thing. But surely it also can’t hurt for people to get a little more gratitude be that financially or otherwise. And this would be where my thinking kicks in.
How to potentially help your indie musician friends
Create public playlists of your favourite indie musicians and promote them to your FFF—see above for the description of this awesome new acronym. If you like these musicians, why wouldn’t your friends? If they don’t like them as well, should they really be your friends? Just something to think about.
Have your phone or similar digital device play your indie playlist while you sleep. Chances are you have a good WiFi plan and streaming isn’t costing you anything additional. The additional playtime helps your indie musicians financially I assume. If you really do like these musicians, then your digital streaming provider most likely can provide you with similar recommendations over time too. Everybody wins!
Play your playlists in the background while you’re entertaining. Hear me out on this one. I do not mean to cause offence here—I am not suggesting indie musicians are only good for background music.
Playing the playlist while you’re entertaining has the same potential financial benefits that nighttime playing has. It also has the added benefit of being a conversation starter. I’ve been told before that the average conversation has an awkward silence every eleven minutes. I’m not sure if it’s true, but I have experienced awkward silences. Thinking about that, if you’ve made it this far into my writing, you’re probably due for one.
Well that was awkward. Imagine if there was music playing during that pause! That’s right. Opportunity.
With background music that isn’t from the trending top 40 of worldwide popularity, then chances are that you will occasionally get asked “Who is this that we are listening to?” or “Why have I not heard this before and how to become as cool as you?”
That’s when you extend the reach of your favourite indie musician/s with a handy little push in the general direction of their social media promotional channel of choice. Obviously, you also get the cred that comes with having introduced someone to an awesome musician … that you knew first!
There you have it. Some handy tips to help the people that I consider to be more talented than me and therefore more deserving than me. This is my way of trying to give back to the people who gave me music. I’ll always be appreciative of that. Because I love to receive music and they love to give—once again showing why they’re so deserving of greatness.
- Create public playlists of your favourite indie musicians and share them on social media.
- Play your playlist/s while you sleep.
- Play your playlist/s while entertaining friends.
Edit: I had a link to a Google Play Music playlist that I had created as part of this article, but … that streaming service no longer exists. The concept remains the same. Go make a playlist in your own favourite streaming service.
Enjoy music. Support your favourite artists.