Making music and making it happen

So, you know you want to make music, but how do you take that next step and turn what you’re creating into a job you love?

BBC Bitesize asked some music professionals attending BBC Music Introducing Live 2019 for their top tips on how to make music and make it happen.

Passion and love for music is everything. – Yizzy

Seven top tips on making a career out of making music:

1. Believe in yourself

Rapper Showdo says: “Work out what your major strengths are, what your weaknesses are. Put the things you think, feel, see, experience, out there through music and get people to feel it.” Musician, artist, producer and co–founder of WITCiH, Bishi Bhattacharya, agrees: “Trust those ideas, trust the things that you hear in your head and that you feel within yourself.”

2. Have a USP – a ‘unique selling point’

Angelle Joseph is a presenter at BBC Introducing, BBC Radio Suffolk: “I did a hip hop show, I was local and I was at gigs every single weekend – that was my USP. Whatever yours is, really focus on that and use it to your advantage.” Grime artist Yizzy says: “You are you, and you have a story that’s unique.”

If you’re just yourself, unapologetically, then you’re giving them automatically a USP. – Novelist, Musician

3. Get some technical skills

Knowing how to use audio editing software can be really helpful. Pianist, composer and producer Neil Cowley says: “Some of the most interesting voices are coming from people who understand the technology and use it to its ‘nth’ degree.” When it comes to using technology, artist Bishi agrees: “Practise, practise, practise!”

4. Make sure you finish your work

Songwriter Rachel Furner says: “I wish someone had told me earlier to finish a song. I think when you’re starting to write you have lots of bits and pieces of songs. So try and finish it and then put it to the side.” Musician Novelist says: “Before wanting to be accepted by anyone, you’ve got to accept your own music. You’ve got to know that what you’re making is the best thing that ever hit this planet!”

5. Grab every opportunity

Singer and songwriter Emily Burns says: “I had been working with a team at Abbey Road Studios and a job came up on the front desk. I just jumped at the opportunity. Having people around me everyday in my workplace that love music and know what they’re talking about was really important for me.”

6. Use social media

Radio presenter Angelle advises: “Social media is always good. I got my foot in the door by sending out a tweet to my local radio and I came in for a visit.” You can also use BBC Introducing’s Uploader to send in your own tracks. Artist Bishi says: “What I’ve realised is that through the power of technology and social media, you can make really amazing things happen.”

7. Put in the hard graft

The Amazons say: “For us it was a long process of a lot of shows, at a lot of terrible venues, practising a lot, writing a lot of music.” Lucy Wood is a talent buyer for Latitude Festival. She says: “Try and put on your own gigs, promote your own shows. It’s a really good way of getting your name out there among the industry, and making contacts with different bands and labels.”

Nicola: Strategist
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Jack: digital marketing assistant
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Tom: DJ
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