For would be music stars, getting discovered and landing a record label is often a lengthy, if not impossible, process. However, if your dream is to make a living singing, you likely won’t give up despite the odds. The good news is that now, in the age of the Internet, becoming a singer is easier (though still not easy!) to do.
Unconventional Paths to a Singing Career
There are several unconventional paths to a music career. Thousands every year try out for shows like American Idol and The Voice. You may not end up a contestant, but that doesn’t mean you won’t get some paid gigs for your appearance. Look at William Hung who famously sang “She Bang” for his try out. That one clip on national television brought him more than his 15 minutes of fame (though that probably isn’t the fame you are looking for).
Another option is a music distributor like TuneCore.com. You pay up to $9.99 for your song or $49.99 for your album, but then you get to keep all rights and royalties. Considering how many established singers end up in fights with their record labels over the length of their contracts and accounting practices, going it on your own isn’t a bad idea. Of course, you will need to have a good marketing plan to stand out from the crowd and see some sales.
One more unconventional option is to submit your song to WeeklyIndie.com. They pick the 10 best songs of the week and distribute them to their paid subscribers. Several thousand singers a week compete, so this is very competitive, but if you are chosen, you could gain momentum in launching a bigger singing career.
Conventional Paths to Singing Careers
The oldest way to launch a singing career is to move to the city that is the hub of your industry. If you want to be a country singer, move to Nashville. If you want to be a rock singer, move to Los Angeles or New York. Be prepared to hustle and to work a lot of side jobs that you may not like or enjoy. Sure, it can be a grind, but many singers have launched their careers this way.
If you can’t make a move to the big city, you can always make a decent living as an events singer. Yes, these professions tend to be the butt of jokes (think the movie The Wedding Singer), but you can make a decent living doing these jobs.
Another option would be to create a local rock band. You may still have to work another job to support yourself or take out a loan to promote your band, but if your love is singing, it might be worth it until you “make it.”
If you love to sing and have a great voice, pursuing a career as a singer is worthwhile. However, be ready for a long journey, no matter which option you choose. The good news is that thanks to the Internet, you have even more options for jump starting your music career.