Written by: Angelea Hengle
Looking to get into the music industry, but unsure where you may fit in? Other disciplines can help you enter the music industry and connect with artists of all levels. As someone who has always been interested in music but was never musically inclined, I looked toward other disciplines like writing, to make connections in Richmond, VA and nationwide. Singers and musicians aren’t just needed, but writers, photographers, graphic designers (check out “5 Steps to Collaborate with Graphic Designers" by Qing Richy on the HearRVA page), dancers, videographers, and all content creators.
The first key to connecting with artists is joining forums/online groups. Girls Behind the Rock Show, GTBRS, is a group dedicated to helping women and non-binary folk get their start in the industry. This group allows both artists and content creators to connect. This group also includes industry professionals who post job and volunteer opportunities for all creatives. If you are a photographer or videographer, I highly recommend checking this group out! There are also other GBTRS FaceBook groups that you can access if you’re in cities (GBTRS Chicago, etc.).
If you are a photographer or videographer, FaceBook groups such as Richmond Live Events and Richmond VA Area Events for Music Lovers are also great sources for keeping up with upcoming shows in the Richmond area.
Note: Girls Behind the Rock Show is a 501c()3 non-profit, their FaceBook group is invitation only. Additional opportunities can be found at girlsbtrs.com.
The second key to connecting with artists is using social media and being unafraid to reach out! Social media is a great tool for networking and becoming inspired by others’ artwork. Whether you are promoting your work or posting ads on Instagram and Twitter, or more formal social media websites like LinkedIn, you can broaden your network and connect to a multitude of artists of all disciplines.
TikTok is another important platform for artists of all disciplines. As a regular TikTok user, I see how one 30-second clip can get small-town artists a record deal, and how one song can help artists achieve over 1 million streams on Spotify (ie. Kilby Girl by The Backseat Lovers). This platform is for artists and creatives alike, as TikTok is an easy way to reach thousands of people through the FYP and how easily content is consumed through the app. This feature sets TikTok apart from Instagram and Twitter, as users normally use their FYP that caters to their interests, rather than strictly watching who they follow.
Lastly, using freelance websites is important for all artists to promote their work and connect with anyone, anywhere. Upwork and Fiverr are great options for creatives seeking freelance work and vice versa. One thing that sets Upwork aside is it can teach you how to hire and the website is separated by categories, making it easier for artists to search from a wide range of talent. Fiverr also has a wide range of categories to choose work from and is community-oriented, encouraging its users to connect and work from home at the touch of a button.
Being a creative entering the music industry can be overwhelming, as there are many different avenues you can go down. Understanding where your strengths lie can help you navigate and connect in the industry. If you’re an artist looking for a photographer or a writer looking to cover a band, reach out to the online community as well as your in-person community, as you never know what other opportunities may come with it.
Blog Author - Angelea Hengle: Hey y'all! I'm Angelea and am super excited to be a part of this great team! I'm a recent graduate from DePaul University in Chicago, IL, and am so happy to call Richmond home again. I received my Bachelor of Science in General Management with also a double minor in Psychology and Music Business. In college, I was President of DePaul Dance Company and Co-Event Coordinator for DePaul Music Business Organization. Creativity and artistry have always been a part of who I am and I am so grateful to be in this amazing community.