In the world of independent hip-hop, there’s a tendency to believe that independence is literal. Everyone who works within the industry should fully understand and appreciate that you don’t need to do everything yourself.
While you can benefit from not being trapped into any kind of record deals or contracts, you can hire other people to help you handle the issues that you struggle most with.
In a bid to help you make the right call, here are the key people in creating a long-term career as an independent musician. Each one will play a critical role in your growth as a hip-hop artist. So, who requires recruitment?
While most independent artists do not consider a manager to be important, it’s a vital part of your development. An effective manager essentially allows you to concentrate on creating quality music while they deal with the rest of the process.
If you are serious about making a long-term career for yourself, then a sound management structure is absolutely essential to your long-term growth and care.
They should also be able to help you manage the business side of things. From setting up PR campaigns to getting you spotted by media platforms, they are supposed to be the one who helps you find work and get you strategizing for a brighter future.
If you are serious about long-term growth, having a manager can be essential to ensuring that growth is possible. Basically, a manager is the difference between being able to build up a lasting presence or finding yourself falling behind the competition out there.
You should therefore take the time to look into management teams you can work with. Make sure they know the local scene and ‘get’ hip-hop beforehand, though: some managers will take on anyone, regardless if they can help or not!
Another useful person to have on-board who fits in with the management side of things is a booking agency. An agency can be one of the most useful people to work with if you are looking for someone to help you get more gigs and manage the order, dates and times. They are probably as important to your development and growth as a musician as a legal mind.
Speaking of legal mind, you need to get a lawyer. You can read more about why going legal matters so much here. Either way, a booking agent can get your name out there, improve your general interest to the music industry and make sure that you have the means and opportunity to keep growing.
Without a booking agent and a legal representative, you are both easier to target and harder to be seen. As such, you should spend all the time that you can looking at investing in both. Unlike a manager, which is an optional but very useful ally, a booking agent and a legal representative matters a great deal for your overall credibility.
Promotion & Marketing
From someone to run and manage your social media accounts to a website designer and marketer, you need to take this very seriously. Many artists disregard the importance of both forms of marketing, but you would be foolish to ignore the unique power and opportunity that comes with getting marketing assistance.
Social media needs someone savvy on the keyboard and who can sound in-character. They are offering marketing for an independent hip-hop artist, not a supermarket, so make sure that they can produce the kind of content and social media postings that fits with the general personality you want to portray.
This can help you to boost your online presence. If someone finds you on social media, they’ll look for your materials on things like Spotify, Soundcloud, Tidal and other key music platforms. This makes it easy for you to use that social media presence and the general growth of your own profile to help vastly improve on where you are at this present moment in time.
If you would like to learn a bit more about how you can use the internet to the benefit for your own career, this might just be the perfect way to do that.
Distribution & Editing
The actual music has to be worked on, too. Hiring someone who is an expert in music recording, mastering and editing is very important. They can take the amateur edition of your tune and professionalize it to make it much more appealing to everyone from music bloggers to radio stations looking for new content.
You can use an editor to help make sure that your music is represented as best as it possibly can. If you want to give people a better chance to both hear and enjoy your music, then you need to do it in the right way. Distribution means working with someone who cares about your music, who has good connections in hip hop circles and knows how to make your music appealing to the right audience.
They need to be able to distribute it on platforms such as Spotify and iTunes at least to make sure there is ample opportunity for you to start getting more hits, more listeners and more promotional opportunities.
There are companies and freelancers who specialize in both practices, so be sure to consider hiring someone who can deal with both distribution and editing in the right manner.
With all of this in mind, we hope that you can find it a bit easier to understand why your music career needs a little help. While you could do everything yourself, the run the risk of sounding and looking needlessly amateur.
It’s likely that you will need at least help with management and legality. You should never feel bad about having to introduce a new member to your team, though. The more people you can have on-board making your music sound exciting, the more likely it is that you have the time to work on improving your music and becoming a better artist.
Get caught up doing all the ‘other’ jobs, though, and that can soon change – and not for the better.