How is technology making music easier to produce and is this a good thing or bad?
How does Dubfire use social media? We have a look at his social accounts and see what he does well and what could be improved
Joris Voorn has over 300,000 followers on Facebook but which posts tend to receive the most attention and help grow his online fanbase? How do his tracks on SoundCloud affect his other social media channels?
Deadline: Thursday 29th May
Authenticity is the key when writing a social media biography. Attract attention and get them to click the follow button
How does Dusky use social media? What posts work, what don’t and what should they do more of to gain more followers?
Dusky comprises London-born Alfie Granger-Howell and Nick Harriman and in addition to DJing and being played by the biggest names in dance including Pete Tong, Vincenzo, Zane Lowe, MJ Cole, Dubfire and Sasha, they’re also producers.
According to online music magazine Resident Advisor, Dusky ‘quickly became the toast of the UK underground in 2012’ and their social media certainly keeps their huge fan base engaged.
One of the problems with buzzed-about acts finding success in a short period of time is the fickleness of the fans they can attract. Within a year, the fanbase can dwindle and the people who once waxed lyrical about said artist have moved on to the next new thing.
What does this mean for artists such as Dusky when it comes to social media? Without the right guidance, any decline in interest can be difficult to spot through social media and hyped acts can fall flat on their face.
For one thing, people will not necessarily un-follow an artist the moment they realise they are no longer interested in them; they might never bother un-following them at all.
Dusky does not appear to be a victim of the hype machine and the duo’s social media channels reflect that its fans are less swayed by the usual posts you expect to find on artists’ social feeds – funny pictures, witty quotes – compared to posts containing their music. To be glib, they seem to be the type of fans most “serious” musicians want as fans.
The difference between the number of followers on SoundCloud and the amount of followers on Facebook illustrates this. Whereas Avicii has roughly 14 times the amount of Facebook fans as he does SoundCloud followers, Dusky has a similar amount of followers on each site. At time of writing, Dusky has almost 110,000 fans on SoundCloud and just over 125,000 followers on Facebook.
JustGo data shows the Facebook post that received the most engagement between April 12th 2014 and May 12th 2014 was a screenshot of upcoming music on Logic Pro. This makes a change from artists who receive the most engagement when they post a picture of a grumpy-looking cat over anything vaguely music-related. The post received almost 1700 likes within several days.
Whilst most of the house duo’s posts get between 100 – 1000 likes, the post that attracted a significantly large amount of likes simply read “Rewind one year back…” and featured a link to a Dusky EP on SoundCloud. The post received over 2000 likes within a month and reflects how Dusky fans seem to respond more to the duo’s music than anything else.
Data from JustGo suggests that whilst Dusky’s rate of gaining new Facebook followers is on the up, there appears to be little correlation between the days Dusky receives most engagement with fans on Facebook and the days that Dusky gains the most new followers. Whatever is driving people to become new followers of Dusky on Facebook, it does not seem to be the artist’s Facebook itself.
A lowpoint for Facebook engagement around May 5th and May 6th proved to coincide with the dates Dusky attracted the largest number of new followers.
Dusky tweets on a very regular basis, more so than on their Facebook, and they are refreshingly outspoken. Content posted on Twitter differs from what is posted on Facebook and tends to be a little less safe; in a sea of media-coached artists not wanting to put a toe out of line, the likes of Dusky and Azaelia Banks are welcome. See the tweets below that read “Coldplay & Avicii lolz” and “Logic 9 on Mavericks is a complete joke”.
Coldplay & Avicii lolz
— Dusky (@Duskymusic) May 2, 2014
Logic 9 on Mavericks is a complete joke
— Dusky (@Duskymusic) April 17, 2014
The duo has over 45,000 followers on Twitter and the rate at which they gain new followers on the site was relatively steady between April 12th 2014 and May 12th 2014, according to data from JustGo.
The dip around May 4th coincides with the short period no tweets were made by the duo. However, the highpoint on the chart that you can see below does not support the theory that the more tweets made, the more new followers gained as Dusky did not tweet between April 19th and April 25th.
While developing a sound all your own is no small challenge, if handled correctly it could be the catalyst for an outstanding career. How should you go about creating your own genre or sub-genre and once you’ve got it, how do you get fans and the industry on board?
Being in a creative slump sucks, pure and simple. What sucks more about being in a slump is remembering exactly what it’s like to be in the zone; where every melody sounds harmonious and every lyric expresses your deepest inner truths in the most potent way imaginable.
So, you’ve spent years mastering your craft and finally feel that you’re ready to show the world what you’ve accomplished with your time and devotion. Perhaps you’ve already shared your music with your friends and family and have received enough encouraging comments that you feel confident enough to set up a Soundcloud or YouTube profile.
You spend hours ironing out the nuances of your band description and play with the formatting until it looks just perfect. Finally, it’s time to share your heart and soul with the world as you select the first MP3 to go on your profile.
You watch the status bar of the upload incrementally creeping towards 100 per cent as you imagine the abundance of validation that will soon be heading your way. This is the moment you’ve been waiting for; recognition, admiration, superstardom! With a majestic glow, you triumphantly hit the “Upload” button.
And then the negative comments start coming in.
Just as Frodo Baggins left the sanctity of the Shire to discover a world full of dark and ghoulish creatures who wished to inflict harm upon him, the aspiring musician may find his or herself in a similar predicament when venturing into Internetland.
Unfortunately, the internet is full of trolls who thrive on belittling the achievements of others.
While many people will find you compelling because of your uniqueness, the more ways in which you differ from the status quo, the more people will start to perceive you as “the generalised other”. This is not to say that uniqueness is the only reason that someone would hate on you; haters can be drawn to you for any number of rational or irrational reasons.
The Anatomy Of A Hater
To quote Urban Dictionary’s definition of a hater:
“One who either verbally and/or physically inhibits another individual’s game or mode of operation primarily due to jealousy, envy, animosity, bitterness, resentment, and contempt. A hater will exhibit either one or all of the aforementioned traits.”
Of course, online haters have absolutely no impact in the physical world because they hide behind anonymous usernames to avoid repercussions, but every other facet of this definition rings true. In other words, a hater is someone who dwells in a predominantly negative headspace and can’t wait to share his or her inner discontent with the world.
By posting disparaging comments on an artist’s Soundcloud account or YouTube channel, these individuals are infesting a wider audience with their own negativity, but are also enhancing their sense of self by condemning something that they do not identify with. Outwardly rejecting that which we are not is a common way for people to try and establish a sense of personal identity when we are growing up – maybe this accounts for why many online haters are of a younger age (both physically, and emotionally).
This is not to say that everyone who dislikes your music or who criticises you is a hater. However, when it comes to posting your music on artist forums and internet communities, a positive, emotionally centred person who doesn’t like your music will either not respond or give you some constructive feedback, highlighting the good points as well as the bad ones that can be improved upon. Someone with high self esteem that leads a fulfilling life is unlikely to leave you with a comment box full of vitriolic obscenities.
The Stages To Recovering From Hater Induced Psychosis
Stage 1: Demonic possession
Your dream of reaching out and connecting to people via the medium of music has turned into a nightmare. The faceless messageboard demons have managed to drag you to a hellish realm of self doubt and keyboard mashing flame wars.
Perhaps you’ve resorted to insulting the inadequate spelling and grammar usage of your online detractors or have even considered tracking them down and kicking their ass like Jay and Silent Bob. It’s natural to want to fight back, you’ve laid your soul bare only to have it trampled by someone you don’t even know. However, you can also use the negative energy directed towards you to your advantage.
Stage 2: Fuel for the fire
“My haters are my motivators”
– Nicki Minaj
From the dorky, late-blooming highschool girl who sets out to make a career as a model, to the determined athlete that was told he wasn’t talented enough to go professional, the desire to prove people wrong is undeniably one of the biggest motivating forces we have as human beings. We are a perverse species, artists in particular. When someone tells us we can’t do something it makes us want to do it even more. A great deal of momentum can be generated by visualising the day when we are finally able to tell our detractors to “I told you so!”
I’m not suggesting that you should use all negative feedback to generate a raging inferno. Taking heed of constructive criticism is essential if you want to reach your potential as an artist. However, it’s a good idea to take the time to develop the acuity to discern between valuable feedback and irrational cynicism disguised as such. Always judge a tree by its fruit. You’d want to take financial advice from someone who is rich and successful and fitness advice from someone who eats healthily and exercises regularly; the same applies for music.
Stage 3: It is what it is
“When negativity comes your way, let it go”
– KRS One
While taking a strong adversarial standpoint against your doubters can kickstart the journey towards achieving your goals, in the end it comes down to what you want, not other people. If you’re in this for the long haul, drawing power from negativity can only get you so far before corruption ensues.
What you focus on expands; your love for the music and desire to be successful has to be a stronger motivator than your contempt for the naysayers when planning for long term fulfilment.
To summarise, I will leave you with a quote from Theodore Roosevelt’s inspirational speech, colloquially known as “The Man in the Arena.”
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
Fire image credit: Ben W @ Flickr
Ever wondered about the difference between bedroom/club and bar/bedroom/wedding/radio DJs? Before you settle on which category you fall under, you may want to read up a bit more about what each means