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Getting Started
Songwriting & Music Business Basics

How can my music get noticed?

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Swizz Beatz, Artist / Songwriter / Producer

Get HONEST feedback from people that you respect in music prior to approaching professionals in the business. SESAC is an invaluable resource for providing real and useful information to its affiliates on this level.  Your first impression may be your last, so you want to be sure to put your best foot forward making sure that your music is as professional as possible.  If you are a performing artist or band, get out and play! Play to as many audiences as you can to polish your songs and your show.  “Building a buzz” is extremely important and will attract industry insiders to find out who you are.  If you live outside of a major music market, work on building your fan base and getting press out on your shows.  You want to show that you are a viable band or artist and if you’ve developed a large following, chances are you can build on that.  Internet presence is vital and is how industry experts find you easily, hear your music, and learn more about you.  MySpace.com is being utilized more often in the industry than individual websites because it’s so easy and quick to use. Purevolume.com, Haystack.com, Sonicbids.com, and Facebook.com are other online communities that you could join.

How do I learn more about the business?
SESAC is a great place to start because we pride ourselves on helping our writers to understand this very important aspect of their career. 

SESAC created a music education section on its website, www.sesac.com, designed to assist web users to learn more about the music industry. “Inside the Biz” features video clips from such notable industry heavyweights as songwriter/producer/artist Swizz Beatz, Danny Lux, a TV composer for Boston Legal and Grey’s Anatomy,  and Big John Platt, chief of EMI Music Publishing’s urban division, as well as other industry experts. These experts answer questions across the spectrum, from “How does a work get copyrighted”? to “What is the job of a songwriter/composer”?

But you can also start by paying attention to other artists who have “made it” and study their careers, especially those who inspire you.  Find out whom they are associated with (record label, publisher, manager, booking agent, and even their fan base) as an exercise in learning who the players are, particularly in the genre of music you are pursuing.  Read local music magazines and industry trade papers to keep up with what’s going on in the industry, both locally and nationally.

And network!  Get out and meet people in the business, either by attending local music events, or traveling to an event that interests you.  Join an industry organization that has opportunities to meet professionals in our business. And of course, there are a lot of music business books on the market.  Be sure to get the most up-to-date version of the book since the music industry changes so frequently.

Broadening your overall knowledge of the music business will greatly increase your chances of success.