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How to Kick Start your Music Career at Uni

Always loved music or singing as a hobby but want to take your talent to the next level? Well, being at university, where you’re constantly meeting new people, having new life experiences and growing as a person, makes it the ideal time to think about kick starting your career in the music industry. If you’re feeling stuck with where to even begin, then follow just a few of the suggestions below to help get you started…

Open mic nights

Whatever city you are studying in, big or small, it’s more than likely that there are lots of open mic nights available out there. While it might be a little daunting to start off with, especially if the only people you have ever performed in front of are your family and close friends, it is a great way to build your performance confidence and is also a great way to get to know other musicians of your age.

open-mic-nights

“… build your performance confidence …”

Even if the city that you are studying in doesn’t seem to have many open mic nights, why not make the effort to approach a few local pubs with the idea of launching a weekly or monthly open mic night.

The university radio station

Most universities have their own radio station - so at the beginning of the academic year, join the radio society. Not only is it great fun, (and looks good on your CV) but is also a great way to get your music out there. Being involved with the radio means you can recreate your own radio live lounge, where students can play their music for their fellow students to hear.

university-radio

“... join the radio society.”

BBC Introducing

BBC Introducing brings together all of the BBC’s supporters of undiscovered and unsigned music. So why not upload your music with a chance to get it played on BBC radio shows, and you could even get yourself a slot on the BBC Introducing festival stages or on one of their introducing sessions.

bbc-introducing

“BBC Introducing ….”

If you want your music to be as professional as can be before you send your music in to BBC Introducing, consider getting it professionally recorded beforehand. While this may sound a little pricey and out of your student budget there are some affordable recording studios out there. One example is Fluke Productions, a recording studio in London, where recording rates with the producer are £30 per hour and an 8 hour booking is £200. Although even this may still seem too expensive, if you’re a band and the cost is split between you, it won’t work out to be so pricey and will be a worthwhile investment in the long term.

 


 

Local radio

Don’t just target the big radio stations to get your music heard. Find out ways to get in contact with your local radio station and ask whether there are any opportunities for you to either play your music live on the radio station or send in a demo of your music for them to play. It’s worth a shot, and the worst they can do is say no! Remember if you are involved with the university radio station or extracurricular activities around music, it will demonstrate to the radio stations that you are passionate and really dedicated to moving your music forward.

Busking

Busking is not only a great way for you to practise in front of an audience and improve your performance skills, but it is also a great way to get spotted by someone important in the music industry. Choose busy areas and different times of the day so that as many people as possible can witness your music. It’s also a good way to earn a bit of extra cash (which you could always put towards a recording studio session) and you’ll also be surprised at how generous people can be with their money when they like your music. However, before you choose your perfect busking destination, be aware that you may need a busking licence. Click here to find out more.

busking-with-drums

“… a good way to earn a bit of extra cash ...”

YouTube

Putting your music on YouTube is a fantastic way to get your music discovered. Take Justin Bieber for example, Scooter Braun discovered his videos back in 2007 and he was signed to RBMG records.  While you may feel a little awkward to begin with, filming yourself performing, it doesn’t have to be a spectacular music video – it can be really authentic with just you in the frame showing everyone what you do best. After all you never know, you might become a YouTube sensation.

justin-bieber

“… you might become a YouTube sensation.”

Social Media

Use your social media channels to your advantage by advertising your music to all of your family/friends/followers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. So once you’ve posted a video on YouTube or you’ve been accepted on a radio channel, let everyone in your social networking accounts be the first to know. The power of social media is astonishing, you never know what might catch on…someone may absolutely love your music and share it with their social network and therefore your music will continually be exposed to new people, which may include that one person that you need to help you get your music career going. So stop hiding away in your room to play your music, get out there, get discovered and really make your music into something more than just a hobby!

This article was written by Laura Harrison. Laura is a recent graduate from The University of Manchester and enjoys offering current students advice.