How to make it in the music biz

(Photo by Keagan Henman)

(Photo by Keagan Henman)

“Studying music was honestly pretty cool for the first little bit,” says Trang Hoang, a former music student at the University of Toronto. “I was excited because it was something I put hours into crafting, so I thought studying it would be just as fun, just as rewarding.” But unfortunately, studying music in university had the complete opposite effect for Hoang. The program didn’t really understand her musical needs and in the end, she decided to leave it altogether.

At ALTo, we get just how hard it is for aspiring musicians to realize their dreams. It takes a lot of dedication and unfortunately there aren’t any sure methods for finding success that works for everyone. When you’re starting to learn how to get into the music biz, things can get very overwhelming. However, we’ve learned a thing or two from those who have been successful with their musical ambitions.

Here are the top tips from those who have made it big in the music industry. 

Get inspired

Inspiration can virtually come from anywhere. That’s why it’s important to go to places and events that will start giving you ideas and advice. Conferences are great as well as music festivals and concerts like the Women in Canada Conference and Music Festival in Toronto. Events like these can help expose you to what other female musicians are doing to get into the music industry. Keep a lookout for what inspires you. Just ask Tasha Angela, a soul and R&B singer/songwriter who got her start after watching the musical, Wicked. “Ever since I saw that, I told myself I wanted to do music,” says Angela. 

Create meaning

Now it’s time for a little fun. Once you’ve gotten the roadmap to your musical journey, it’s about shaping your music into something authentic. That means working hard to create a sound that is both genuine and, most importantly, ts you. This is where you take all those awesome inspirations you’ve noted down and put them to good use. Many artists get inspiration to create music by things that are happening to them. It can be anything from emotional conflicts to revelations about life. The possibilities are endless. Learn to understand what kind of music best appeals to you and your sound. 

Accept help

Getting inspired is the easy part. But things can’t always come to you easily and that’s why it’s important to learn from those who know best. However, it can be very overwhelming to know where exactly to start. Music workshops are a great way to get hands-on experience and learn in-depth about music. Honey Jams Canada is a non-pro t music organization for women all over Canada. It offers workshops with a specifically designed program for women who are interested in becoming professional musicians. It has helped numerous aspiring females, including Angela, who joined in July 2017. “Honey Jams was when I started to take my music seriously,” she says. It helped her understand what she needed to improve on to move forward with her musical ambitions.

Work, work, work

Now it’s time to put that inspiration into perspiration. This means doing everything you can do to learn how to start creating a song, a melody or even writing some lyrics down. You need to know what equipment you need, how to use it, and how you can create your sound. It’s also about improving on your vocals and/or learning to play an instrument. Look for places that o er classes. Having a professional teach you will also keep you working hard towards improving your vocal skills or learning to play an instrument.

Faith-Dinah Gumahad has been taking private lessons for four years and has learned how to breathe properly, read music, and even how to interpret a song in an opera. The lessons have helped her develop her vocals and technique.

“I started o going to a community centre near my house. For younger people, that’s always a good idea. You can also check out different theatres, like the Four Seasons Centre on Queen and University avenue,” suggests Gumahad. Theatres are a great place to nd posters of private music teachers and mentors who can help you learn on your vocal and instrumental skills.

Go ahead and talk

Lastly, being a social butterfly is crucial. “You have to expand your social networking,” says Gumahad. She has been curating a list of contacts ever since she started. It’s very important to make connections because it will help further your career in music. “I’ve always been writing, I’ve always been singing, I just hadn’t been networking,” admits Angela. Getting to know people in the business can help your musical ambitions come alive. Try joining music clubs, or bands that enjoy creating music together. Get your sound out there for people to hear it. Who knows, you may learn a thing or two from those already doing it in the real world.

When you’re trying to get anywhere, it’s important to learn as much as you can about how to get there. But keep in mind that getting there will take time, hard work, and determination. This also applies to getting into the music biz. You, as an aspiring musician need to remain aware about how the music business works to one day be a part of it.

MoreFatima Texiwalahow to, music