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  • MariNation

5 Skills To Make You A Successful Artist In The 21st Century

The world is constantly changing with how we do pretty much anything. Being able to not only adapt to these changes, but to use them to your advantage will prove valuable to your music career. The music industry is shifting into a new age of life and culture. The areas of the industry are still the same more or less, but there are completely different ways of doing things that are in your best interest.

Whether you are signed to a record label or not, you have more power than ever before when it comes to choosing your path. The skills listed below are consistent throughout and it will benefit you to have at least an understanding of them.

Here is a list of five skills you need to possess to become a successful artist in the 21st century.


Tv commercials, newspaper ads, and direct mail are things of the past. People see commercials all the time and it increases brand awareness but how often does someone jump up and go to the store that second? You want conversion. Social media and your smart devices are replacing television at a rapid rate. You want to target social media accounts that your direct fan base follows. This can be any of the major ones your fans use. An understanding about who your fans are, where they congregate, and how you can reach them in an efficient way will give you great results.

Be Unique

There is no human being that has ever existed that is the same as you. Your style is what makes you different. It can be scary to be yourself and show the world what is true to you with having people not like it, but this is the only way to succeed. You have to focus on your niche and individuality. Be specific on that genre and style that you know you are great at. An example of this is that you are an artist of 90s contemporary R&B with a low tempo hip-hop influence. Specificity and your uniqueness will lead to great things for your music.

“When you speak to everyone, you speak to no one.” – Meredith Hill


Contracts, royalties, sponsorships, etc. An understanding about your business is necessary. You don't have to go get a law degree to negotiate deals, but you absolutely should know the underlying terms of the contracts you are signing and people you are doing business with. It is great to have people you trust to handle this aspect of your career, but you should always know what is going on when it comes to the business side of things.

Check out the music industry bible to learn more about the business side so you can make solid decisions.


Your network of people will determine the direction you go in your career. Go to places, forums, accounts, Linkedin, etc. The environments where you could meet more people who are knowledgeable about the industry will expand your network. A relationship that will last is about giving. Bring value for the other person with a genuine care and you will have a list of amazing people in your network soon enough.


In order to be a successful artist you must provide value to your fans. Value can be in many forms. With music I'm sure you've seen the occasional artist who's music is not very good but still has a massive following. That person gives value in the form of persona/entertainment or whatever else to their following. What type of value can you bring? Is your music awesome? Do you have an interesting personality? Why should other people follow you and listen to your music? These questions will help you narrow in on what you are the best at and deliver your value to the world!


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