How To Become a Singer or Rapper
The Ultimate Guide
So you want to know how to become a singer or rapper and make it big? When you’re just starting out in the music business it’s hard to know what you need to do to “make it.”
A lot of the time people just wait around writing songs and shooting YouTube videos hoping they’ll be discovered by Usher and made a famous rockstar. They rarely try to get better through singing training or investing money in their music.
Let’s be real – that shit is less likely than you winning the lottery. So go pick up a power-ball ticket while you wait.
But if you’re smart, you’ll take your music career into your own hands, building your own fan base and music catalog. How do you do that? Basically you need to be grindin as if this was your only hustle. Treat it like a job.. better yet, a business.
Here’s what you need to be on top of as an independent rapper or singer:
- Songwriting + Singing/Rapping
- Getting Instrumentals/Music Production
- Recording Your Songs
- Mixing and Mastering Your Songs
- Shooting + Editing Music Videos
- Promoting Your Music Online, to Radio, to Press/Media, to DJs
- Hitting up TV/Film/Ad Agencies for Music Licensing Opportunities
- Music Merchandise (MP3s, CDs, T-Shirts, Posters, etc.)
- Touring and Playing Live
That’s a lot of shit to take care of. That’s why all the big artists have a team behind them, handling all these different aspects. Don’t worry, you can get to that stage too.
But right now, forget the team because you can handle all this by yourself. And you should. No one is going to hustle harder for your music than you.
And don’t worry, handling all that stuff above isn’t as hard as it seems. With the internet and a few resources you can basically run your own independent record label, with you as the main artist.
How To Handle Your Business
Everything we listed above can be taken care of by you. Don’t believe us? Let’s break it down.
Songwriting + Singing/Rapping
More likely than not, with you as the singer or rapper, you’re probably writing your own lyrics. If you’re not (or feel like you can’t) then you can always team up with a local songwriter or learn to write songs with the dozens of books and websites about the subject.
Check out this review of superior songwriting to learn more about writing songs.
We’ll keep sharing good resources we come across for singers, rappers and songwriters on our blog so keep an eye out. It’s always a good idea to take singing lessons like this one to improve your voice.
Getting Instrumentals/Music Production
There are TONS (I mean it..) of music producers out there. And there are tons of ways to learn how to make your own beats. You can either team up with some of the online producers out there (there are free beats, $20 beats and $500+ beats for you to choose from), or find a local producer in your hometown.
Whether you want to work with a producer and purchase instrumentals or learn how to make beats, we’ve got you covered at DeviantNoise.com. Check out the beats for sale on our homepage or learn more about how to make beats.
Recording Your Songs
Music recording equipment is super cheap nowadays. You can pick up a really good microphone and a pro sound card for your laptop/computer for a couple of hundred dollars. And there’s a great piece of software out there called Reaper that will let you record your vocals on top of a beat for free.
You can literally record your own music in your bedroom. (Yea, there’s more to it than that, and we’ll cover all the basics on this site in future articles).
Mixing and Mastering Your Songs
A lot of beginners don’t know what mixing and mastering music is. But it’s one of the most important parts of making professional music as a singer or rapper.
Have you ever noticed that when you record your voice on a beat it doesn’t sound like anything you hear on the radio?
That’s because you haven’t mixed and mastered your music.
Yea, you can learn to do it yourself, but it takes a LOT of study and practice. It’s easier to pay your producer to do it for you. A lot of times, they’ll include mixing and mastering in the price of a beat you buy.
Shooting and Editing Music Videos
This can throw some people off, but high quality cameras are super cheap now. And there are probably a ton of amateur video producers in your city you can team up with to make your music videos.
Trust us, it’s not as hard as it may seem at first
Music videos are a must now – it’s the age of YouTube, and if you’re not visual, you’re not being heard either.
Promoting and Selling Your Music
This is a HUGE part of the music business. You can make all the music you want, but if no one knows about it, no one hears it. And we’ll be totally real with you – there’s a lot of competition (read: noise) out there, especially on the internet. That’s why making your songs and blasting them out on Twitter and Facebook isn’t enough.
You have to work the media and other outlets. Hit up bloggers and radio stations. There’s a TON to music marketing, but you can do it all yourself and really get your music heard.
And don’t think you’re gonna get rich selling albums or MP3s, that’s not where the money is…
Touring and Music Licensing
Playing live shows and getting your music into movies, television shows and commercials is really where all the money is at in today’s music business. And you can do it all on your own – no major label needed.
You can book your own shows, set up small (or big) tours and even get placements for your music. There are a ton of resources online that help you with all this stuff.
Get it straight – there’s no better time to want to become a rapper or singer. Everything is available to you and at your fingertips. You just have to be willing to grind.
Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That (It’s a LOT of Stuff)
Yea, you do have to handle a lot of stuff when you’re an independent music artist. It’s like a full time job. And you won’t make a lot of money, at least for a bit while you’re building things up.
So it’s gonna be a grind. You’re gonna have to put in the 8 hours and work, and another 6 at home on your music. But put in the work now, and it’ll be worth it.
If you’re happy with just making music for your friends to hear, that’s cool. But that’s not what we’re about here at DeviantNoise.com.
We want to help you make great music for the world to hear, love and appreciate.
We’ll have more guides on each of the areas of the music business coming in the future so stay tuned.
How To Become a Singer or Rapper: The Ultimate Starter’s Guide
We couldn’t go too deep into each area above in this post, but we go MUCH MORE in depth (with resources that will help you do everything listed above) in an eBook.
Best part is you can download it for absolutely free if you end up buying a singing lesson through our links. It’s 60+ pages of realness – the info you need to start your career as a music artist.