“It's so easy to get caught up in the numbers game and to feel like you're not good enough or that your music isn't worth sharing.”

A quiet void…

As a new composer, writing and producing your own music can be an exciting and rewarding experience. However, it can also be incredibly disheartening to upload your fresh new track on Spotify, Bandcamp and the like, only to receive no plays, no shares, and no feedback. It’s frustrating to see other artists with large followings and thousands of streams, receiving countless comments of affirmation, while you struggle just to get someone to listen.

One of the main challenges facing new composers is the oversaturation of the music industry. With so much music being produced and released every day, it’s very difficult to stand out and get noticed. I find this is especially true for instrumental music (aside from dance/electronic), which tends to be less popular than vocal music. Many people gravitate towards instrumental music that is already familiar to them; like video game soundtracks or popular classical music.

“"I must really suck, I told myself", but it wasn't true. I had simple done a terrible job of marketting it.”
It’s so easy to get caught up in the numbers game and to feel like you’re not good enough or that your music isn’t worth sharing. It’s important to remember however that followers and plays don’t necessarily equate to success or quality.

I’ve been composing music for over 20 years, and have recently turned to producing and releasing my own tracks. Yet, I struggle massively to gain traction and engagement for my music. I have 500 followers on Twitter, but zero purchases on Bandcamp and around 4 monthly listeners on Spotify. It’s so easy to feel defeated, but it’s crucial to keep your focus on your purpose and your “why.”

Knowing your “why” can help you double down on your efforts and stay motivated. For me, composing music is a form of self-expression and a way to connect with others. My goal eventually is to be able to help others with their compositions. I want to help other people achieve their musical dreams.

Knowing enough about marketing and social media is also essential. I recently released all my tracks for free on bandcamp for 24 hours. I got zero sales. To begin with, I blamed my music. “I must really suck, I told myself”, but it wasn’t true. I had simple done a terrible job of marketting it.

It’s important to remember that low engagement doesn’t mean you’re not talented or that your music isn’t good enough. Many people have told me that I’m a talented composer and deserve more attention, and the same is likely true for you.

“For me, composing music is a form of self-expression...My goal eventually is to be able to help others with their compositions.”
Finding your purpose as a composer can help you stay focused on your goals and not get discouraged by the lack of engagement. I know that my music may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I also know that there are people out there who do appreciate and connect with my work.

Collaboration is something that really helps me stay motivated and engaged. Working with other artists in one way or another is a really nice way to share an interest in something. My track, The Fall of Weyn, became more than just my track when Joshua added his guitar solo.

I have a few good musical friends who I regularly share WIP tracks with. I know these people will give me honest opinions, and though their opinions don’t always agree with each other, I trust their responses and value them highly.

Photo by Scott Rodgerson on Unsplash