How to make electronic music for a living

Growing from dance club origins to worldwide embrace, electronic music has reached the apex of the music industry. With some artists reaching over one billion streams of their music, the genre’s popularity has never been greater. In fact, EDM has been leading a music revolution over the past 15 years.

The rest of the industry has taken notice. Hip hop has taken full advantage of the electronic tools of the trade, and pop music is embracing it as its own. Ariana Grande, Pharrell, Katy Perry, and John Legend have all found success by collaborating with electronic music artists. Even country music is beginning to weave the dance club sounds into its twang.

Anyone Can Make Their Music

DJ equipment at nightclub | Recording ConnectionPart of the appeal of electronic music is its easy access. You don’t need a bunch of instruments, a home studio, or even a basement full of vinyl for sampling. The ethereal, frantic, pounding beats of electronic music can all be created with a computer, the appropriate software, and a set of headphones.

This gives anybody the opportunity to make their own music. Some of it good, some of it bad, but all of it coming from a love of music. However, to turn electronic music from something you do for fun in your free time to something you use to pay the mortgage, it’ll take some time, some work, and a lot of patience.

Sure, there are geniuses who load up Ableton Live or Logic Pro on a Chromebook and next week they’re appearing on the Spotify charts. And that’s awesome! But the rest of us need a little guidance, a little luck, and lots of perseverance.

Elevate Your Game

Let’s say you’ve mastered the basics, maybe even upgraded your gear (slightly), and are putting together some decent tracks. But after months of blood, sweat, and tears, you’ve hit a wall. Going online for guidance has helped a little, and you’ve been listening to a lot of other artists for inspiration. But something is missing to get you over the top.

This is when you need to save that session, close down that DAW, and reach out to those who have already made the journey. Recording Connection does just that, pairing externs with industry professionals. Recording Connection for Ableton Electronic Music Production Program will get you in a real-world studio for hands-on education that’s anything but ordinary.

This program is designed specifically for those who want to make a career with electronic music. In addition to learning the software and hardware from our mentors, students can get access to opportunities that are otherwise available. This could be a world-renowned artist coming into the studio while on tour, a famous band recording their latest album, or even a corporation looking for help with music for a commercial.

And, really, to make it into the music business – whatever musical genre it might be – you’ll need something more than talent. If you don’t have an uncle that works at a major music label, networking and making as many connections as possible is a crucial component to getting working and making music for a living.

Once those connections are made, be consistent. Producing one song ever six months isn’t going to cut it. Be relentless. Keep going and going and going. In the advertising world, this is called TOMA: Top Of Mind Awareness. Always be in front of your audience or you’ll lose them.

But what if you don’t have an audience to begin with?

Finesse a Following

Here are two ways of doing this: 1) Sending mass emails to blogs, labels, YouTubers, and others or 2) Leveraging the friendships you already have. Which do you think will have the most impact? Instead of ending up in a spam folder, put your music in front of the people that already know you.

Send a post of your latest, polished EDM track to your network of friends and associates. They could share it with their friends who get a taste and love it, so they pass it on. Remember those connections you made in the studio? If you’ve friended them on Facebook and Instagram they might just decide to share your track with their followers. Capture their interest and keep them interested by wowing them with great content and a tone that says you’re in it because you love it.

However, just a single post on social media won’t get it done. Produce a visual to be released with your music. Give your followers a small taste of additional songs to get them interested. Craft promotions carefully and leverage social media ad space. In short: be a professional. And then do it all again next month.

Yes. It takes time and effort. But if you’re going to make a career out of producing electronic music, you’ll have to put in the work. Produce a solid plan and stick to it, both in making the music and then promoting it and your image. You’ll find some processes work great while others that don’t. But keep moving forward. If you’re good at what you do, you’ll will get noticed…

In time. And when you do make it to Spotify, and your fans are clamoring for more, give it to them. Now is not the time to take a break – unless your goal is to be a one-hit wonder. You’ve worked hard to get to this point – now is the time to double your efforts. Improve your gear, play more shows, think about hiring someone to help with promotion.

And keep moving forward!


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