When I ask most artists who their music is for the inevitable answer I get regardless of genre or style is “Everyone”. I want everyone to hear my music they’ll tell me and to be fair that is completely understandable. You do want everyone to hear your music. If only they could hear my music, you think to yourself, they would love it. The problem is that no one has ever achieved that. Do you know there are people in the world who don’t like or have never heard The Beatles or Michael Jackson or Britney Spears, Dua Lipa or any number of hugely successful artists? Not everyone is going to like or hear your music so I believe it’s best to figure out who your music is for. What do I mean by that you might be asking yourself. I’m glad you asked.
If you really want your music to get heard, it’s probably best to get it heard by the people most likely to identify with and love it. If you’re a heavy rock act, you probably won’t get too many soccer moms listening on a regular basis. If you’re a neo jazz group, don’t expect metal heads to be checking you out. You need to identify your demographic (a fancy word which here means target audience) and make everything from social media to the way you dress and the music you write directed at gaining those people as fans.
The best way to do this is to develop a niche (another fancy word which here means denoting or relating to products, services, or interests that appeal to a small, specialized section of the population market by getting as specific as possible). In other words be as specific and narrow as you can when identifying potential fans. Ask questions like where do people who would listen to my music work, shop, eat and hang out? What do they do for fun? What are their interests or hobbies? What are their world views? Even basic questions like age, sex, location and income can have a huge impact on what the best way to market to them will be. The more specific you can be when figuring out your niche the better you will be able to market to and gain those new fans.
This is definitionally a small group of people and believe it or not, the smaller the group the better off you will be. It will make marketing and branding very easy because instead of trying to be everything to everyone you can focus on being the best most authentic “you” you can be. Believe me once you’ve won over this small niche they will go out and spread the gospel of YOU to all of their friends (who presumably share similar tastes in music) and bring you new fans. Put simply, you develop the niche and the niche will grow your fanbase.
Cary Crichlow, Senior Producer and Engineer