What up Smart Rappers!
Today we’re talking about releases. Should you release an album or a single? And what works best for up and coming rappers?
We all see big artists and their release schedules through their labels or independent distribution.
It’s a big deal – they tease the single, drop a lyric video, then do a bunch of press before dropping the music video. This cycle repeats before the album finally drops.
Then there’s touring and interviews, contests or challenges to help the songs move on social media (for example, the “In My Feelings” challenge), the artists go on talk shows, play festivals, release merch or do merch-ticket deals to sell copies, and all sorts of stuff to get the music heard on a large scale.
These releases cost millions of dollars and have team members working around the world to pull them off.
Usually, we hold those up as the standard to compare ourselves to – which is a terrible idea. Here’s why!
These are artists with the backing of major labels or major investors. They are also already known. That means they are marketing based on an existing pool of fans and building out from there.
They have huge budgets and far reaching connections to use in order to launch their new music. They have contacts with radio stations, major magazines and newspapers, TV news, and online blogs.
Sound a little unlike what you have to work with?
Yep. It’s a totally different game for independent or self-made artists.
There are also courses on the Smart Rapper Community like the Secrets To Get Your Music Posted By Music Blogs Bundle and Over 100 Genius Marketing Ideas To Gain New Fans. Definitely check those out if you’re planning a release anytime soon.
But we still get questions from rappers like you about what they should drop, release-wise, when, and how – and that’s ok.
The most important thing is to be realistic about what you can do and your expectations for the release.
First of all, spending time or money teasing a single when you’re still building a fan base isn’t a good idea. Save those funds and time for pushing it once it’s out.
Same thing goes for releasing a full album. Now, this can be tricky, but stick with it.
If you have an album’s worth of music that you want to release, go for it.
However, you shouldn’t feel pressure to create an album length just because you think that’s what you’re supposed to do.
Sometimes it’s more economical to release singles or E.P.’s (short albums with 1-5 songs), especially when it comes to your time.
As an unknown artist, you’re not benefiting AT ALL from holding onto your songs.
If you wait until you have 10 songs or more to release them, you could end up waiting years!
The longer your music is out (the sooner you release it) the more fans you will gain.
You’ll gain zero fans with unreleased music – guaranteed.
The most important thing as an unknown artist is to get music out, then find creative ways to get it to people’s ears.
So, to review – should you release an album or a single? Honestly, it doesn’t matter too much – it just matters that you release SOMETHING.
Stop stalling and release your music, no matter what it is.
Check out the courses on the Smart Rapper Community to learn how to get your music heard as an independent artist!