There’s no real recipe for success in any field other than being consistent, good at your job, and having a decent amount of luck too. It’s impossible to plan out your path towards success, especially in the music business, due to how often trends, moods, and styles change.
That said, there are things you can do to give yourself the best shot at fame. First, you have to become an actual singer by doing more than just singing along your favorite tunes, and then you’ll have to learn to navigate various aspects of the music industry.
Table of Contents
- Learn to Sing Properly
- Constantly Try to Improve
- Find Something to Say
- Do Covers of Famous Songs
- Join a Band
- Take Criticism Like a Champ
- Start Interacting With Fans Early on
- Embrace Your Quirky Ideas
- Establish Contacts in the Music Industry
- Do a Talent Show
- Don’t Take Anything for Granted
Learn to Sing Properly
It’s important to understand that you don’t have to be a great singer to become successful and famous. But you do have to be good. That’s something you can’t do unless you train your voice. Even if you were born with a God-given talent and a beautiful voice, you would need some training to understand how to sing in specific keys, how to mesh your voice with the instrumental arrangement, and so on.
Taking a few singing courses isn’t something that will set you back thousands of dollars. Besides, these days there are plenty of cheap online classes and free tutorials you can follow. What’s important is that you put in the time.
Believe it or not, anyone can learn how to sing. Not enough people try because of the misconception that all great singers are just born great. Again, you don’t have to be great or the best in your genre, you have to be good.
Constantly Try to Improve
Even after you feel like you’ve gotten some exposure, consistent gigs, and some recognition, it doesn’t mean that you’re necessarily famous or on your path to fame.
It’s important to understand that no matter how good you are, fame comes differently to different people. It might take a while for you to get the right people’s attention.
To make sure that you’re doing your best to succeed, never stop improving your voice. Whether you want to stick to a single genre or experiment, take your time and practice consistently. That way, you’ll have the confidence and skill to perform on the spot.
Find Something to Say
Not everyone has the luxury of teams of writers that come up with catchy lyrics or fantastic compositions. Once you become famous, it’s much easier to maintain your status because you’ll come in contact with so many people in the industry.
With that in mind, you may want to think about writing your lyrics. Study your favorite artists and learn about their thought processes. There are plenty of famous singers that do write their words.
Find subjects that inspire you, or sadden you, or make you happy. You can sing about anything. But, if you do want to try a shortcut to success, you should probably always be up to date on what’s popular.
Look at the top 10 most popular songs on various streaming platforms and check out the lyrics. See what’s driving people mad over those songs. It might be the lyrics for all you know. If you don’t mind replicating, then, by all means, try to stay within the same topics as other chart-topping singers.
That will help audiences relate to your music much faster. Is this the best way to do it? For some people, it is. Not everyone has a strong message to send. Some singers enjoy performing, and the stories behind the lyrics aren’t the driving force for them.
Do Covers of Famous Songs
There are plenty of rags to riches stories out there, and these days many of them come straight out of YouTube and other social media platforms. Once you’re confident you can sing, it’s time to show the world what you’ve got to offer.
If you don’t have original songs, the next best thing is to do a cover of a popular song. Artists don’t mind this as much as you think, especially if you can do an excellent rendition. Alicia Keys didn’t sue Billie Eilish for her “Fallin” cover.
Even Metallica members said on numerous occasions that they enjoy seeing tribute bands and fans cover their songs and that they don’t expect royalties from that.
When doing a cover, you should keep in mind that there are two ways to go about it. You can do a tribute cover, which uses the same melody, same tempo, same approach, but in your voice. And, you can also rearrange a song and cover it in your unique way, for example turning a gospel song into a rock ballad.
Uploading your covers on the right platforms will get you exposure. If you’re good at what you do, you might find yourself becoming famous before you’re even a professional singer. It happened to many, and it can happen to you too.
It may surprise you to know how many people search for covers of popular songs. Just like record producers and music labels, everyday people are always on the lookout for fresh talent, and they know that searching for covers is one of the easiest ways to find the next big thing.
How to Pick a Song to Cover
You can’t always rely solely on your favorite songs. If you do decide to cover someone, either to get that artist’s particular attention or to get people to follow you, you have to make it something that works with your voice.
Some voices just belong to particular genres. Going outside the genre won’t always work. You can see this happen all the time on talent TV shows.
If you want to get the attention of as many people as you can, very quickly, always go for the most popular songs. Start looking at various charts and study the most popular and listened to songs.
That will help you get exposure fast when you post your cover because people are searching for those titles en masse.
Join a Band
You’re not a singer if you don’t write your songs, sing in a band, or play professionally somewhere, even if it’s in a cover band. If you want to become a singer and you can’t seem to catch a break on your own, then consider auditioning for some groups.
Browse ads for bands holding auditions. Even if the music is a bit outside your comfort zone, being in a band will help you get more live performances under your belt. That will get you experience, plenty of practice, and the opportunity to meet people that might help you get famous.
Not all lead singers want to be a one-person show. In fact, in some genres, having a proper band is essential for success, as opposed to hiring whatever local or available talent there is before a tour.
Take Criticism Like a Champ
Even the most popular singers have their people who don’t like them. For some, it’s the vocal timbre, for others the lyrics, while some might dislike the song arrangement or even the genre. You probably have a few singers on your hated list too.
You need to understand that it will apply to you too. As many fans as you have at some point, you’re just as likely to have an equal number of detractors.
If you want to become a better singer and reach a certain level of fame, you have to learn to take criticism. Not all criticism is good, obviously, and not all of it will be particularly helpful. But it’s better to learn how to navigate the things people say about you than to completely ignore everything that doesn’t paint you in a good picture.
Sometimes people might hear something in your voice or demeanor that you can’t notice. Or, perhaps, things that your camp won’t tell you because it might discourage you.
Start Interacting With Fans Early on
Having 1,000 followers or dedicated fans doesn’t make you famous, unless perhaps by local neighborhood standards. That said, it’s vital to show appreciation early on to all the people that like your music.
Becoming famous has a lot to do with exposure, but also word of mouth. If you have an outgoing personality and people like you, you’ll get better exposure.
Embrace Your Quirky Ideas
These days pretty much anything goes if you’re famous enough. You can wear outrageous clothes, stage weird performances, and make music videos that no one understands but that everyone labels as art.
Remember how I said you don’t always have to be a great singer to become famous? A lot of being a renowned singer has to do with performance and image. Do something different enough but with some meaning behind it.
It’s ok to shock with your image, but only if you can back it up. These days no one’s talking about Lady Gaga’s outfits. Even though, in the early days, her actual performance was just as scrutinized as her image. She proved time and time again that she’s a pro and that her singing is on another level.
Now, everything eccentric that she does is just second nature. But, one has to admit that being that far out there with her videos and live shows helped her become more famous.
Establish Contacts in the Music Industry
Say you’re a professional singer now. You’ve played with a couple of bands, maybe even released a few singles on various streaming platforms, but people still don’t know your name.
You’re a singer, but you’re not a famous one. It’s probably time that you ask for some professional help. Hiring a PR manager or an agent may seem like a cliché piece of advice, but in some cases, it will be necessary.
If you’re not interested in doing that, then at least try to reach out to people more famous than you. If you associated yourself with established, famous artists, then they could potentially offer you the platform you need to reach stardom.
Start chatting up your fellow professional singers and bands as a fan. Don’t be aggressive since it’s not their job to help you succeed. Hint a few times that you’re doing your own thing and that you’re a singer too and that you would appreciate some help.
Ask for advice on how to write lyrics, how to reach some particular notes, how to approach specific passages, and so on. Maybe ask someone to listen to one of your songs. Just make sure that you have one recorded in decent to high-quality audio before this.
If you can befriend the right people, then your music will reach the right ears eventually.
Do a Talent Show
It seems like these days everyone is watching shows like Idol and The Voice. Once you know how to sing and you have the confidence that you can make it and you only lack a platform, then sign up for a talent show.
If you’re good enough, you’ll make the televised auditions cut, and the millions of people watching around the world will be able to hear you and learn your name. If you nail that audition, you’re instantly famous.
Make it far enough into the competition, and your chances of success are almost guaranteed. Keep in mind that some people have won and were never heard of again, except in tiny circles.
Getting famous is the easier part if you’re doing a televised talent show. Maintaining that level of fame is going to be much harder. Once you become popular enough, people will have high expectations of you.
So, you’ll have to deliver hit songs, plenty of live shows, interviews, and that sort of thing. If you think you can handle that, then the odds of you staying famous for a long time will be in your favor.
Don’t Take Anything for Granted
Never forget that just like many models and actors, many famous singers got their breaks by accident and pure chance. Whether they were at the right place at the right time or the right people were there to hear them perform, sometimes becoming famous is pure chance.
However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t many that have worked all their lives to get to where they are. Also, there’s no reason you can’t be one of those people too. Using the tips in this article, you can increase your chances to succeed and finally get that shot at stardom.