What goes into branding or defining yourself as an artist? Here is an excerpt from "Singing In The Studio", copied from the ebook of that multimedia course:
• Uniqueness.Branding your voice draws your ideal audience ... who would LOVE what you do ... to you. If you want to be a music artist, take your time and get this right. My suggestion is try not to put on the internet anything that does not fit your artistic definition. If you have anything online that your vocal branding has outgrown, take it down so you don't confuse the audience or the industry.
How do you become unique? By becoming in touch with, and being able to express, your authenticity. You are the only one who has your physical instrument (larynx, resonation surfaces, physical stamina, etc.) AND who has your life history and emotional experiences. And here's what I believe: There is no competition with uniqueness. Talent shows won't tell you the truth—they can't. Imagine a competition show for an orange, an orangutan and a bedpost. Each has its place, its audience and its detractors. How do you judge such a contest?
Your sound has to do with things like choices of instrumentation, microphone, studios and mixes, your vocal technique habits and quirky embellishments. You can change your sound, and that change should have to do with things like accessing your full resonance, making sure vocal licks are appropriate and choosing a sound that communicates your message most authentically.
What have you got to say to the world? How do you give your original slant to those thoughts? What do you want the overall take away to be from your audience about your show?
Your style has to do with your sound, message, way of articulating AND
your phrasing. It generally dictates the genre of music the industry puts you in, though the lines are more blurred now than ever. Your style also would include your 'look', the type of stage clothes you wear, and other
identifying factors (think Bono's sunglasses, Tim McGraw’s signature black hat, and Lady Gaga's costumes).
A real world example: The branding of my new band 6Play includes the following...
- Uniqueness: Original songs, most of which I have written or co-written.
- Sound: Our unique sound will come from truly gifted musicians and singers, all pro veterans of studio and stage, and will sometimes include two keyboards, organ, flute as well as guitars, drums and bass. I am lead singer, two background voices sing with me for a full vocal group sound. We also have a male solo vocalist for some songs.
- Message: Our songs will come from veteran soul's wisdom, stories and situations. We will especially market to mid and older demographic which remembers bands like Doobie Brothers and Carol King/James Taylor from the past and appreciates bands like U-2 and artists like Adele today.
- Style: We will be a band of energy, ability, intellegence and friendship. We will be extraordinarily connected to our audiences, encouraging the power of community. As lead singer, I have developed a particular vocal style from decades of singing and songwriting. With songs spanning r&b, pop rock, ballad and country, we believe we best fit within the vast Americana genre. We will be getting press photos soon and will need to consider all these points of our branding as we prepare for those photos.
For more on how to develop your artistic definition, as well as a ton of other unique, insider information vital to recording artists, do your career a favor and get 'Singing In The Studio' multimedia guide.