Electronic dance music is a popular and accessible genre that attracts aspiring producers who want to express their talents and achieve “fame” in the industry. However, with the high competition and saturation of the market, many producers fail to stand out and reach their potential. In this article, we will discuss five common pitfalls that new producers should avoid and how to overcome them.
1. Lack of a unique style.
One of the most important aspects of producing electronic music is to develop the signature sound that distinguishes you from other artists. Many producers tend to imitate the style of already established artists, which I suppose is a good place to start, but results in mostly generic and boring music that does not capture the listener’s attention. To create a unique style, producers need to experiment with different sounds, genres, techniques and influences and find their voice and expression. You need to create music that challenges the expectations and conventions of the genre and offers something new and fresh. To make you more memorable and recognizable to the audience.
2. Lack of social media.
Social media is a powerful tool for promoting and marketing your music to a large and diverse audience. Many producers neglect/underestimate the importance of having a strong online presence and engaging with their listeners and potential fans. Social media allows you to showcase your music, personality, brand and vision to the world and create a loyal fan base and community. You don’t need to use all possible platforms, websites such as Facebook, Twitter, SoundCloud, Instagram, Tik Tok etc. and post regularly and consistently. You also need to interact with your followers, respond to their comments and feedback, share your insights and stories, collaborate with other artists and influencers and create a buzz around your music.
3. Charging people for your music. Many new producers make the mistake of putting a price tag on their music as soon as they have the option to do so. I did it around 2005, selling my music on platforms such as Beatport, and iTunes, thinking I’ll make more money and gain more credibility. However, this can backfire and limit your exposure and reach. Most people are reluctant to pay for music from artists they’re not familiar with or invested in. The main goal of a new producer should be to get as many people as possible to listen to their music and become fans. One train of thought is that the best way to do this is to offer your music for free or for a voluntary donation on platforms such as Bandcamp, YouTube, SoundCloud, etc. This will help increase your downloads, streams, shares and word-of-mouth. The money will hopefully come later from shows and record deals once you have established yourself in the industry.
4. No local support.
Another mistake new producers make is to focus only on their online presence and neglect their local scene. It is vital to connect with your local venues and begin playing live shows as soon as possible. Playing live shows will help you improve your performance skills, test your music on a real audience, network with other producers and industry professionals, gain exposure and recognition in your area and build a solid fan base and reputation. Look for opportunities to play at local clubs, bars, festivals, parties, etc. and contact the promoters and organizers directly. Also support other local artists by attending their shows, collaborating with them, giving feedback and sharing their music.
5. No drive.
Last but not least, the major pitfall that new producers face is the lack of drive and motivation to pursue their goals. Producing electronic music is not easy and requires consistent pressure, hard work, dedication, patience and perseverance. Many producers give up or lose interest after facing some challenges or failures or not seeing immediate results or rewards. To succeed in this industry, your mindset needs to be strong, passion for music isn’t always enough, a clear vision of what you want to achieve and a roadmap to light the way. You need to work on some aspects of your music daily, improve your skills, learn new things, seek feedback, overcome obstacles and keep pushing yourself forward. You need to share and talk about your music with everyone you can, network with as many people as possible, and post your music on forums, EDM blogs and any website possible. You need to have the hunger and desire to make it in this industry more than anything else.