The rise of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis.
The internet has introduced a new way of promoting and that is social networking sites.
One of the best examples of self-promotion in the past few years definitely has to be Macklemore, he managed to gain worldwide attention through the internet. Even without being signed to a label, which is extremely difficult to do. His album ‘The Heist’ with Ryan Lewis reached number two in the US charts and the singles ‘Thrift Shop’ and “Can’t Hold Us’ reached number 1 in the US charts and number one and number two respectively in the UK charts. They also won four Grammy’s at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards. In my opinion, they have become the most successful independent artists in the last few years. They believe that they are better off unsigned, not just because they know how to make good music but because they know how to brand themselves and they know their target audience. Which a lot of labels don’t know.
How do musicians use social media?
Sites like YouTube, really have opened up so many doors to struggling and aspiring musicians. Before social media, if you weren’t signed then you weren’t heard. You just had to be signed. But it’s not just indie musicians who use social media, mainstream musicians are also using them to connect with their fans on a whole new level, by showing them how they live on Instagram, Twitter, etc. Also, they can generate more anticipation to the release of their singles, albums and concerts.
There’s not really a way of knowing if you’ll be successful in your promotion, as there is no real recipe for success. Musicians can do all the promoting in the world and fail but they can also do nothing and become have an extremely successful album release.
Is the album dead?
We are in a new era of music. We are in a stage, where the single is far more dominating over the album, due to iTunes establishing digital music as a legitimate section of the music industry. Whilst the single thrives, album sales have been declining and this has led to many people questioning the need for albums.
But one artist seems to have turned that theory completely upside down and that artist is Beyoncé. Her fifth album, Beyoncé, actually did break the internet. With absolutely no promotion the album allegedly crashed iTunes, it sold 80,000 copies in just three hours, which is some feet for not having a single ounce of promotion. No singles, no nothing. But then again she is Beyoncé. This obviously wouldn’t work for someone who isn’t at the top like she is. But she completely defied how the music industry is run today. So, maybe there is still hope for albums.
“It matters that we have YouTube and that has been our greatest resource in terms of connecting, having our identity, creating a brand, showing the world who we are via YouTube. That has been our label.”