How To Conquer Your Local Music Scene

When getting started in music, most artists have a great desire to rise up the ranks of their local music scene. They want to be like the local acts who get top billing at all the clubs, who get the fancy write-ups in the local papers and maybe even some radio play. How do you become one of those acts? The short answer is hard work, but if you’ve got some time, I’ve laid out 4 steps you can take that will help you become a hometown hero.

  1. Build Your Audience – There are many relationships you will make in pursuit of success in music. None are more important than your relationship with your fans. A strong fan base is the key that will unlock any door in this industry. Focus on fans first, and they will reward you.

2. Be Active – You can’t be known in your town if you aren’t present. The local scene won’t support you if you don’t support it. Go out to the local venues. Check out open mics, mixers and showcases. Introduce yourself, and become an active participant in the local community. The relationships you build will be crucial in helping you get to the next level.

3. Always Be Networking – as you become more active in the local scene, you’ll become familiar with the gatekeepers and power players of the area. Writers, Club Promoters, Radio DJs, and other, more established artists. Network with them. Not in a self-serving way, but in a way that brings value to all parties involved. If you need help learning how to network, check out this video.  

4. Be Humble – Understand that no one in your local scene owes you ANYTHING. As Grant Cardone says, “Success is your duty, obligation, and responsibility.” Each person in the scene has a different job to do, and the more you speak to people on the scene, the more you’ll understand that. Radio DJs have to play music to appease advertisers. Club Promoters need to get people into their venues. Writers need to tackle subjects that are interesting to the magazine’s readers. If supporting your music doesn’t help them accomplish those objectives, it’s likely they won’t be able to help you.

Becoming the Hometown Hero can be a daunting process, but the results are worth it.  Just don’t expect anyone else to put in the work for you. The worst thing you can do is to not take responsibility for yourself, and badmouth others on the scene. You will burn bridges and make it even harder to gain traction for yourself. Approach everyone you meet with respect. Thank them for their support. As the saying goes, people may not remember what you say or do for them, but they will always remember how you made them feel. Good luck!