Even if Wales is known the world over for its great choirs and is commonly referred to as the “Land of Song”, trying to make it as a Welsh musical artist comes with challenges. All these challenges can be surmounted, however. It all starts with having a good marketing strategy and building a strong brand. From then on, you’ll need to take the steps most successful artists coming from smaller markets had to take to make it to where they are today. Let’s look at a few tips for Welsh artists who want to get discovered.
Work on Your Product
The first thing you have to do is make sure that your product is up to par before you even attempt to get signed by a record company. Your music should be professionally recorded, and you should have at least a few songs that have gotten positive reactions either on Bandcamp, Soundcloud, or your YouTube channel. If you don’t have any of those, you need to sign up for an account right away and release a few songs as it’s almost a prerequisite for labels to even start looking at you.
If all you’ve done so far has fallen flat, then you may have to consider doing something else. If you’ve received some criticism but people like some of your songs, then it means that you should continue doing what you’re doing right and try to find ways to improve.
If you’re a self-taught musician or singer, get some lessons. You could find a specialist tutor if you’ve learned the guitar or piano on your own, for instance. They’ll help you tighten up on your technique and integrate new tricks into your repertoire.
If you’ve never gotten singing lessons, you should, even if you’ve been told that you’re a great singer or you’re in a genre where having singing talent is not that important. A singing teacher will be able to teach you things like how to project your voice better, how to increase your range, and breath control techniques, among others.
Another thing we would suggest is that you learn about music production. Some artists get discovered because of how good their production is and it’s a great tool to get the attention of someone who doesn’t know you as an artist.
Look for Local Resources
You should also use all the resources that are available to aspiring artists in the area. One of these is the Arts Council of Wales’s Forte Project, which was launched in 2015 to support new Welsh artists. The project offers bespoke industry masterclasses, career development advice, a mentoring scheme, and creative exploration classes in production, and song writing. It also offers 1-2-1 coaching, marketing support, and mental health support, among other things. If you want to know more about the Forte Project, you can visit their website at forteproject.co.uk.
Go Where the Labels Are
Most record companies have their headquarters in London and most music agents, scouts, and managers live there, so it makes sense that you at least have some exposure to the scene there. Having a second apartment in London would be a good idea if you have the means for it and you don’t feel like leaving home permanently.
Another benefit of being in London is the wealth of facilities for recording and rehearsing there. PIRATE operates multiple London rehearsal rooms and they’re recognised as some of the best in the country. They’re also very affordable when considering the level of quality that you’ll be getting. Their rooms come fully stocked with state-of-the-art equipment and you can go there to rehearse, work on new compositions, or jam with your bandmates if you feel like it.
Work on Your Social Media Strategy
You need to have some sort of social media presence these days if you want to be discovered as an artist. So, if you’ve been neglecting that part, you will need to monitor your accounts and come up with a strategy. The first thing you should do is check what kind of content your audience resonates with the most. Some people may prefer videos, while others will prefer photos. You also need to know which of your accounts are getting the most engagement and focus on them.
Some artists will have much more success on YouTube making vlog style videos, while others will be more successful with Instagram stories and pictures, for instance. It all depends on who you are as an artist, your genre, demographic, and personality. Try different approaches and make sure that you monitor results so you can replicate what works.
Most social media platforms will have analytics tools, but we recommend you look at tools like Sprout Social and Hootsuite, which will allow you to go much more in-depth and analyse all of your accounts from one interface. From then on, all you have to do is stay consistent and stick to a strict content release schedule.
We know that going viral is not easy, or something everyone can do, but it remains a great way to get discovered. One of the best ways to go viral as a musician is to give live street performances and have someone record them. You should also know, however, that going viral is very much a game of numbers, and you could literally release hundreds of videos before one goes viral.
If you release a couple of videos and they’re getting some reactions and you have a positive like to dislike ratio, continue releasing videos of the same genre and there’s a good chance that one of them will blow up. It also helps if you’re around well-known landmarks and keep heartwarming moments in your videos, as this is often what will serve as a hook for your audience.
If you’re a Welsh musical artist and you have what it takes, it’s only a matter of time before someone recognises your talent. You have to be ready to do the footwork necessary, however, and hear a lot of “no’s” before you get that one “yes”.