The BEATDISPENSARY -
And The Beat Goes On
Pianos, poetry, and pandemics. Making your musical mark during these trying times just takes some guts, a fair amount of hustle, and a lot of savvy, but it gets easier once you’ve found your groove.
It’s been eighteen months since humanity was asked to curb its enthusiasm for socialising, and keep all physical contact to a bare minimum.
No DJ’s ripping up our decks, no bands gracing our stages. No bodies writhing in unison on the dance floors, and no more shielding of eyes from the glare of daybreak as the club closes its doors for the night.
But music still prevails, keeping hope alive. And the digital possibilities are endless – think ‘The Kiffness’ and cats to give you an idea.
So, how does one master the online sphere of musicology, whether ripping riffs or turning tables? Good things come in threes, and Skyf.Co has identified the following three C’s of having a prominent online presence in real time:
What are you bringing to the party, dear muso? Creating your own rhythms is always preferred over recycling samples already recorded by someone else, that is what will set you apart from the get-go. Finding balance between having a unique sound, and also appealing to a broad fanbase, is a defining factor too. Most importantly, however, is how fresh is it? With all the technology at your disposal today, dropping your beats in real-time simply takes a tap or two on a smart device.
Thanks to the number of apps and tools currently available, not a single artist has an excuse not to engage with their respective audiences. Having a killer track is great and all, but creating the necessary visual appeal to go along with it, will take your music to the stars and beyond. Using staple social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter is a must, but do yourself and your fans a favour and create accounts with new podia like TikTok and Soundtrap. Tagging other people and pages (like radio stations, for example) is vital to increase your online presence, so go ahead and #hashtag the hell out of it.
Icon Collective, an online initiative of the Los Angeles School of Music, offers the following advice:
“Visual content tends to generate more engagement than plain text posts. Sharing photos and videos is a great way to tell stories quick and easy. They also capture people’s attention much faster than text.”
Below are ideas on generating visual appeal:
- Photos of your music gear, home studio, DJ equipment, fans, etc.
- A photograph announcing upcoming tour dates, a new single or album, etc.
- Photos or video of shows you played at or attended.
- Photos or video of you making music in unique places.
- A short video explaining the meaning behind a song.
- Live stream yourself at an event, working in the studio, replying to comments, offering tips, hosting a Q&A, and anything else fitting.
- Photos or video of favorite moments from your personal life.
- Photos of inspirational quotes.
- Animated GIF images and memes.
- Music videos and interviews.
Social media trends dictate that pages that are constantly updated create the most traffic. Stay ‘top-of-mind’ by posting regularly, paying close attention to when most of your audience is online. Once you’ve established the right times to interact, you’ll be able to schedule your posts ahead of time, which increases efficiency and reach. Being consistent means your audience knows what to expect from you, and loyal fans will know when to look on your page for any new material you’ve composed.
And so it is, time and time again just like centuries before; music that allows us to still have meaningful connections with others, even if only from a distance. Add the interdewebs to the fray, and the world becomes a tuneful oyster to music makers and lovers alike.
Yes, these may be daunting times, perhaps. But it’s not the first time in human history that we’ve needed to show a united front as citizens of a civilised society. And the time has come again for the pianists, the poets, and the painters to brave every new frontier, and claim their places in digital history as the artists who saved the sanity of an entire generation.