The UK music industry is filled with potential. From the talent to the iconic venues, much of what there is to love about UK music is found in London.
It was revealed that the UK music industry was worth an estimated £5.2 billion to the UK economy before the pandemic. London is likely a big contributor to that figure.
As a musician, it’s best to base yourself in places where the music is loudest, and the crowds are plentiful. Therefore, the capital is a strong candidate for being your base of operations.
Still, it’s not enough to just show up. It would help if you built a profile for yourself as a London https://docs.google.com/document/d/14M6oe2uTA6jDOnKV2o7NwZuDFr3ZCyMc/editmusician too. Below you will find some tips to make that process easier.
Partake in Frequent Busking
It’s a simple point, but indifferent artists rarely get anywhere. You will find many of the best musicians in London, and to compete with them, you must be 100% committed. Part of that involves ‘getting down in the trenches’ and doing a bit of busking.
Audiences have long missed being able to experience the thrills of a live musician. Still, one busker had the best session they have ever had in London, even after the pandemic had begun. It may not be a glamorous lifestyle, but many successful musicians started by playing their music on the streets. Some of them even continue to do so for the joy it provides.
As a musician yourself, you will also be able to gauge live feedback from your crowd, big or small. What songs resonate best? Which could perhaps be left off an EP release? Put simply, busking is a great way to test your material and then better define your artistry. Busking can also highlight your versatility as a musician and that you don’t need a cosy venue to perform.
You should also be aware that busking audiences can sense your energy. Try to be chatty between songs, and relay interesting or humorous anecdotes to be more personable. London audiences, and most others, adore authenticity. Lean into that and allow your crowd to feel a natural affinity with you. Try to turn passersby into an invested crowd with talent and charm.
Build an Online Presence
Once your act enamours London crowds, the first thing they’re likely to do afterwards is Google you. They may be desperate to see and hear more of your stuff, and you should do your best to meet that demand.
Create a website that highlights all your tracks, performance schedules, and the rates of any bookings. Create SEO optimised blogs that use keywords and topics that are popular in London. Moreover, you should also feature links to your social media pages.
Try to keep your social media pages ‘clean’. High profile artists may share much about their personal lives online, but even they aren’t immune to bizarre circumstances and potential missteps. As an up-and-coming musician, you should try to keep your content focused on both London and the music. Remember, some measure of ambiguity can be a powerful marketing tool in and of itself.
Make London part of your marketing. The capital is full of character and class, and if you can inject some of that into your promotional materials, it may help you stand out as a more credible artist. Being perceived as London-based online may also give any potential producers a final push to work with you. It does remove a lot of obstacles!
Sell an EP at Your Shows
Of course, there are many jobbing musicians in London. Still, having a physical product to sell alongside performances may make you more memorable.
The first thing you officially release must be a compact EP. There are a few reasons for doing this. They are:
- Being cost-effective – As a jobbing musician in London, you need to spend time, money, and resources in a way that’s befitting your humble status in the industry. Life in London is also expensive, and you cannot afford to be wasteful.
- Building a better public image – Releasing an album without any backing or profile may be misconstrued as desperation. An EP can show that you appreciate your artform first and that an album release will be something you build to and earn.
- Experimenting with your sound – EPs aren’t a themed project in the way that albums can be. Each song can stand out from the next and explore different concepts and sounds, enabling you to develop your skills and interests as an artist.
- Creating a shorter body of work – If you want to express your musical side quickly, an EP is a great way to go. EPs may also be more warmly received by crowds after a show, especially if they’re priced affordably too.
If you want to know how to make an EP in more detail, check out this piece entitled ‘How to Structure an EP Release Schedule’ from Pirate. Their online resources can guide you on structuring the release, such as releasing early singles or providing unique offerings to ardent fans. They also have their own studio spaces in London that are wholly accessible, so you can create your music with them as well.
Collaborate with Other London-Based Musicians
London is home to some truly spectacular musical talent. You must take advantage of that fact.
As your profile begins to build, your professional network should also. London has a vibrant musical community, so you’ll likely come into contact with other musicians. When you do, you should try to identify artists that you could collaborate with effectively.
The best ways for London musicians to collaborate are:
- Sharing gigs – If you can feature one another in your performances, you may split costs and significantly increase your levels of exposure.
- Feature each other on online videos – Being together in London will make much of the production logistics easier.
- Encouraging one another – London can be an intimidating place to adventure alone in. Having someone else to work with may be a vital asset in your overall confidence.
Remember that many types of auditions may take place in London too. Attend them, even if you don’t want to win the places they are promoting. It’s a great way to network and kickstart the collaboration process.