Your Guide to Making It as a Musician in the Caribbean30 November, 2021
One of the main challenges of being a musician is having a stable source of income from a sustainable music career. It can be quite overwhelming to come up with ways to make it in the music industry. Fortunately, with the right strategies, patience, and consistency, you can make it as a musician.
The Caribbean is full of creative talent and brims with cultural significance. Besides using digital platforms and selling merch, musicians in this region can do live performances to generate revenue and earn a viable living. This article will discuss ways to become a successful musician in the Caribbean.
Your music needs to be known and available to the public. You can open an account on SoundCloud, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and Spotify where you share your music. A little sneak peeks at your talent will surely win many hearts. You can have an audience base who will be willing to pay to watch your live performances and enjoy your music skills.
You should go for every opportunity to make money. People can also discover your music through streaming apps. Moreover, the fans will be willing to support your career as a musician. Fractions of pennies per stream are paid by the apps. It’s not much, but cumulatively or when added up, the amount can be quite significant over time.
It is wise to learn how to produce your own music. Musicians who produce their own music have more opportunities to become successful. It helps you to make your music more authentic, crisp, and well-versed.
Producing your music can take some time and investment but is surely effective and will help you in the long run. Fortunately, the necessary gear like high-quality headphones, mic, etc. are easily accessible, and you can set up a small shop in your home. Moreover, big recording studios are not very reliable, and you have full control when producing your music.
When you are writing, making, and recording your own music, it is imperative to understand what Performing Rights Societies are and how they generate money for you. You should also sign up with a digital distributor to get paid when your music is being used on various media platforms.
You can either register in BMI or ASCAP to generate revenue in the US. You should register in SoundExchange as it will help you earn money from different regions all over the world. Since you are based in the Caribbean, it is wise to also get registered in AMRA, COTT, and CD Baby as well.
AMRA is a global digital music collection society developed to maximize value and provide the highest level of transparency for songwriters and publishers. These establishments monitor the performances of your music, such as when your song is being played in a YouTube video or on the radio.
Then they pay you by your involvement in the music. You will be paid all the royalties if you are the composer and publisher of your music. However, it should be noted that only SoundExchange does not collect any publishing royalties.
They mainly collect performance royalties that are based solely on the master recording. They also pay royalties to the session players, labels, and artists. You will receive the entire share of the writer’s revenue if you are the sole writer of your music. If you are publishing your original works yourself, then you are also entitled to receive the entire share of the publishing revenue stream. Hence, it is recommended to register as both a publisher and a writer.
Granted this will take some digging, research, and investigation, this is still essential as it will help you earn well-deserved money even when you are sleeping. Hence, it is best to look up and register in SoundExchange, BMI, ASCAP, COTT, CD Baby, and AMRA.
Copyrighting is a process used to prevent the theft of your work. Getting your music licensed is also a great way to receive credit and earn revenue as well. Productions of commercials, films, and TV shows need to pay two licensing fees for using a song.
One is for the use of the recording, referred to as the “Master Use” licensing fee. The other is for the publisher and songwriter, referred to as “Synchronization” or “Sync” licensing fee. These payments can greatly vary. It mainly depends on how much they want to use your music and the budget for the project. Licensing songs you have already recorded can be a substantial source of revenue for musicians.
When your music is used in video content on social media platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook, you are entitled to get paid for your music being used. The fees vary based on the platform. To start earning that revenue, it is best to ensure that you have included social video monetization with your digital distributor.
YouTube pays part of the ad money to the rights holder of the music if it is used in a YouTube ad. This includes videos using your music outside your channel as well as the same music used in your own YouTube channel. Again, digital distributors can collect the payment from YouTube for you.
You can create a wider audience and fan base by doing live performances. Everyone will have a great time, and you get to earn as well. The fees for performing in live settings such as concerts, in clubs, parties, etc are a great source of revenue. You also get live feedback and can understand how much effect it has on the listeners.
You can hone your skills and teach music at the same time. Teaching music is a reliable way of earning a sustainable living. You can also teach online and sell educational subscriptions such as your online courses, sheet music, video tutorials, and many more.
It can be quite tricky to make it in the music industry, but it is possible and can be done efficiently with the right initiatives. You need to be patient and consistent. Avoid being under the radar and establish an online presence. Sign up with digital distributors and earn well-deserved payments.
Establish your musical presence and do live performances. You can also earn while refining your skills when you are teaching music. Last but not least, don’t lose hope.
Follow Sounds and Colours: Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Mixcloud / Soundcloud / Bandcamp
Subscribe to the Sounds and Colours Newsletter for regular updates, news and competitions bringing the best of Latin American culture direct to your Inbox.