This past weekend marked the return of the annual A3C Festival in Atlanta, where music, tech, film, and culture come together for a two-day event that offers career advice, networking opportunities, and fun. We hung out with SoundCloud and A3C over the weekend popping in for their ‘SoundCloud Next Wav’ Experiential Event Series & Artist Showcase, which is a new series with workshops, artist-focused activities, and creative exhibitions by day, and an all-Atlanta live music showcase by night.
A Look At The SoundCloud A3C Experience and Tips For Artists
We gathered some tips for artists and had a great time in the process
Now I’m no musician or creative by any means, and I walked away from the events with enough knowledge to start a music career of my own (seriously), so I can only imagine what the benefits were for actual artists. A career in the music industry is the same as any—you have to understand the business in order to have the best shot at succeeding.
Yes, the talent/ability to make great music is a very important component, but if you don’t understand the fundamentals of branding yourself, marketing, social media, and making connections, then the process of achieving success becomes ten times more difficult.
The ‘Soundcloud Next Wav’ programming featured a keynote with Industry Execs Troy Carter, Lauren Wirtzer-Seawood Chief Content and Marketing Office at SoundCloud, Eliah Seton, and Platinum Selling Rapper/Producer Russ, and we took a bunch of notes that we hope will be helpful regardless of career level.
Tips From SoundCloud and A3C
- Relationships matter! It may sound like an obvious statement, but the music industry is all about networking and who you know. You have to put yourself out there, form relationships, and make connections that you can pop in with. Taking an interest in people, staying in touch, keeping in mind birthdays, holidays, etc., can go a long way.
- Fans can make or break you. This is straight from the mouth of Russ himself, who has experienced a tremendous amount of success in recent years. You can’t be standoffish with fans and never interact with them. They are the ones who are going to be buying/streaming your music and other releases. There has to be some relationship with them established. Leading to the next point.
- It’s a lot easier for artists to make connections with fans nowadays due to social media and the internet. Before the advancements of social media, artists were pretty much only able to interact with fans in person. Now you can respond to DMs, get on Instagram Live, engage with comments, etc.
- One more point on fan interaction—you personally may not remember when you met a certain fan, but they will always remember when they met you. Again, straight from the words of Russ.
- SoundCloud President Eliah Seton believes that NFTs are the most progressive invention in the music industry since music videos because of the unique way that you can profit and get eyes on your work. So many artists have already created NFT collections, so it would be wise to invest some time and energy into learning them.
- Take control of your narrative. Lauren Wirtzer-Seawood, Chief Content and Marketing Officer of SoundCloud, used to be the head of Beyoncé’s company Parkwood Entertainment, and emphasized that Beyoncé was not concerned about what anyone thought of her, or the way she approaches her career. She does things her way on her own terms. Newer artists may not have as much freedom as Beyoncé, but you still have control over your image.
- Make sure you stay up to date with the analytical side of your career. You need to be aware of who is streaming you the most, your super fans, where they are located, the other artists your steamers are listening to, and once again maintain those relationships. You need to know how to reach them to sell them t-shirts, tickets, and send them messages for exclusive content. Eliah Seton believes this is the future of the music industry.
We can go on and on for days as there were literally dozens of tips offered through the day and the remaining A3C panels. You can check out the official audio from the panels here, but now let's get into some of the other events offered. Artists were also able to get snaps from famed photographer Cam Kirk, and were able to showcase their freestyle skills in a custom built studio, which were mixed onsite by DJ and mixing engineer Dos Dias.
Guests were also to walk-through an immersive exhibition centered on SoundCloud’s game-changing, fan-powered royalties model, which included an illustrative comic strip created by FRKO detailing the real-world power of the artist to fan relationship.
Day Two of A3C featured plenty of other interesting panels including: Reshaping and Rebuilding Communities With Diversity and Technology, Understanding Social Audio, and NFT’s and The Future of Creating.
Learning about your craft is pertinent, and as you can see SoundCloud and A3C once again brought out all of the stops. If you are an aspiring artist, it is definitely worth the experience.