🟪⬛ 08: Build your digital scene in 30 minutes

Getting yourself connected through practical steps

In the first week we constructed the story of you. This week, we move on to more pragmatic steps. We will use your story to get yourself connected to other artists and new fans.

Today: Build your digital scene in 30 minutes

  1. Comment on five artists’ posts operating in the same space as you

  2. Send three artists you like a DM.

Before I say anything else: GIVE MORE THAN YOU TAKE. If you want a scene to exist for your music, you have got to support it. You have got to celebrate the deeds of your peers. You have to talk to each other as if you are all working towards a converging vision. It’s impossible to make it in music on your own. So you’re going to start building a scene, which may be local or distributed around the globe — it’s something people can feel a part of.

You will see stories of larger than life artists, positioned like superheroes, but that’s all it is: a story. These people were given gigs as support acts, they were featured on tracks of people who were a step ahead but never made it as far, they were played by established radio DJs when nobody knew them, and over time they’ve built teams of managers, marketing people, A&Rs, and visual artists around themselves.

Think about artists that you enjoy and the ones who would appreciate support the most. Go find a post of 5 different artists that you like and comment on them. Posts can mean tracks on SoundCloud or YouTube, content on Instagram, Facebook or TikTok, tweets, etc. Comment to support them; not to promote yourself.

Next, consider 3 more artists (it’s ok if it overlaps with the first group) and send them a DM. Be supportive. Tell them what you like. If your DM stands out, they’ll hop over to your profile and check your stuff out. The goal is to build a scene, not to get +1 listens on your track. The one extra listen will not matter in the long run - the connections you build are.

  • Make it specific: instead of saying “great track”, comment on specific lines of lyrics, melodies, build-ups, etc. Don’t be generic: make them feel like you actually care.

  • If DMing is outside of your comfort zone, think about it as if you’re sending them a comment, rather than putting it on one of their tracks or posts. You can count replies to Instagram Stories.

  • Don’t self-promote: you’re commenting to catch the attention of the person you’re supporting. Don’t try to hijack their fans’ attention. Support is the fuel of the industry. Support, support, support.

  • Make this a regular practice: you won’t build a digital scene in 30 minutes, but if you spend that time on this weekly, you’ll start seeing results soon. As a bedroom DJ in the late-2000s, I managed to get to a quarter million plays on SoundCloud like this (article), without playing any gigs in real life.

  • A scene is not a fanbase. It is not YOUR scene. It is a scene you are part of. It belongs to everyone who’s a part of it.

  • Make sure to jump into the Discord community. If you indicate what genres you make music in in the #self-roles channel, you will automatically get added to special genre-channels. Talk with your fellow challenge-takers in your genre: maybe you can even build a scene together.

🟪 Need help? Join us on Discord and get help from the Artist Lockdown Challenge community.

⬛️ Task done? We’re happy to share the results: tag @artistlockdownchallenge on Instagram and we’ll repost.

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