After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music. - Aldous Huxley -
In the previous blog in this series I mentioned that vocalists should not only look at one income stream in the use of their talent. Vocalists are exposed to a variety of opportunities. This bodes well because in today’s economy having more than one stream of income provides a person more security, more exposure to opportunities and of course more money. Let’s look at a few of these opportunities.
Exploring newer avenues.
8. Film/Television Industry – It is an asset for vocalists to know people in the film/television industries. Knowing the Music Director (or more importantly having the Music Director know you) gives you an advantage but does not guarantee you the job. Network, network, network!! Have not just a demo but have a GREAT demo. Remember you do not want to compete with everybody jostling for the job. You want to DOMINATE the market. You want to be considered first.
Singers are usually hired on contract and are paid per project. Remember to have legal representation before signing ANY contract and negotiate to make sure you receive your residual cheques. For example, if the film or television show goes to pay per view, DVD/Blu-Ray formats or television syndication you must be receiving additional income from these sales.
- Gaming Industries – The principles are basically the same as a vocalist breaking into the film/television industries and I’m going to repeat this again ….. make sure you have proper representation before you sign anything. Music composers for video games usually use vocalists in their compositions. Depending on the theme of the game a vocalist can add a sense of excitement, tension or any other emotion required to enhance the user end experience. This is also an avenue for bands to get into as well as the gaming industry is a way to expose previously untapped (and niche) audiences to their music. The game music genre is also popular enough to promote even touring possibilities for vocalists as this link shows.
- Advertising Industries – There are a myriad of ways to enter into this industry and it can be a source of constant employment for the successful. A hit commercial can launch or greatly enhance the careers of an artist and it is not only regulated to radio commercials and television. Today’s advertising campaigns must have a video and online component and this is especially true with the advent of Youtube where over 1 billion unique visitors visit the site each month. Vocalists in a commercial will have the potential to reach a massive amount of people through unique/new visitors, repeat plays, video sharing and embedding of the video into other social media sites. Examples of the more well known commercials throughout the years that have found life on Youtube can be found here.
Advertising agencies are always looking for new talent – but it has to be unique. How does your singing style, tone or vocal range separate you from the rest? Most people submit demos, even GREAT demos …… and then sit and wait for the people to call. I have learnt that is the wrong approach. You have to be tenacious and very determined to be seen AND heard. Call the advertising agencies, get to know the people there and get to know the studios they send work to. Be stubborn in your will to be taken seriously. The reality is that if you sit and wait you will NEVER be taken. You are not the only person sending demos to studios and/or advertising agencies. People remember who they see and forget who they don’t see. Call, meet, follow-up, repeat. Call, meet, follow-up, repeat. Treat your time like money …. don’t waste it!!
- Education Industries – You have to have a passion for assisting people (not teaching). A teacher with no passion for people will be a bad teacher, a detriment for the student and will reduce the teacher’s earning potential. A person who wants to enter this field may find that having enough notable experience and qualifications as an asset and a good selling point to gain (and keep) students. Knowledge of playing a musical instrument (usually the piano) is also essential as it can be used as an aid to show the student the correct key placement.
I admit that while I am biased to the vocal coaching method of face-to-face teaching as the most effective way to train singing students (where the teacher can easily detect and correct student’s mistakes) there is a growing number of vocal coaches plying their skills online where short video lessons are shown and people are encouraged to buy the remaining lessons and other additional material via their website. There is a great blog I have found for people who want to become singing teachers here.
Remember if you are seriously intent on becoming a vocalist in whatever area you choose you must treat this as a profession NOT a hobby. For example here is a site that gives proposed rates for new vocalists. Finally, as a conclusion to this particular series, here is a site containing job listings within the music industry. Some are based in the USA or UK but many are also international. The link is here.
Now that you have read the series (Part 1, Part 2 and this blog) tell me what you think. What other aspects of the music industry do you want me to write about? Leave a comment below and sign up for my updates. For music solutions for your film, gaming, website and mobile applications kindly see our services.
Looking forward to hearing from you.