It can be hard for aspiring musicians to get their ‘big break’ but with the rise of social media many artists have posted their way to stardom.
Within the past few years, there’s a trend of artists becoming famous through the Internet. The most famous person who did this was Justin Bieber back in 2008. With the help of his mother, Bieber would post videos on YouTube for people to enjoy. Then, one day Scooter Braun — Bieber’s manager — happened to discover his videos. Now look at where Bieber is today. As of August 2015, Bieber sold 44.7 million records (including singles and albums) in the United States.
It’s not just amateurs who see the value in social media. Canadian icon Bryan Adams rose to fame the old fashioned way by putting in time and hard work but sees the advantage of social media for aspiring artists.
“I think it’s fine that people are being discovered on social media. It’s hard to get a break, so why not?” Adams said in an Instagram message.
The “Summer of 69” singer also said creating a good team — that he still works with — has also had an impact on how he got to where he is today.
Another famous artist who got his ‘big break’ on the Internet is Shawn Mendes. The 17-year-old musician would post six second videos of him singing and playing his acoustic guitar on the app Vine in 2013. Being a talented musician, it wasn’t long before he got noticed and received a record deal. Within a year he has become one of the world’s most popular Canadian artists. Mendes’ record ‘Life of the Party’ earned him the title of the youngest person to debut in the top 25 on the Billboard Hot 100, at just a month shy of being 16 years old. He recently just finished touring with Taylor Swift.
Matthew Waltho, 19, bassist of local Mississauga band SmallRooms believes social media has pros and cons.
“Social media can be a great tool for musicians because it helps them market themselves. However, that being said it can also work against us,” said Waltho.
He elaborated, saying that bigger outlets such as radio stations tend to favour more popular artists instead of local musicians or independent artists.
“I mean that since the industry is heavily pirated, musicians with more power and a lot more money get played more,” Waltho said.
Being a member of a local band, Waltho finds it harder to attract fans, as people are more interested in what’s popular in music online. He says people would rather listen to their favourite or a more popular artist online instead of going out to see what local bands have to offer.
He agreed that social media is a good way to stay connected with other musicians as networking and marketing is an important part of the industry.
A few other popular artists who became famous through social media are: 5 Seconds of Summer, The Weeknd, Halsey, Cody Simpson, and Austin Mahone.