One of the most important things an artist can do is to choose the right artist name. Your artist name is the starting point for branding who you are as a musician. So, whether you’re a new artist, or an established musician who’s rebranding, it’s important you take time to choose something you can stick with and build a brand around.
Here are some best tips on how to choose your artist name.
Know your brand
Before you decide on a name, you have to think about how it expresses and fits in with your brand. Changing your name down the road can be really hard, especially if you’ve put out music and gained a following. Plus, your name can help tell your story and give fans insight into who you are as an artist. It should make sense with your music, look, and the overall image you’re trying to present.
Fit Your Genre
Pick a name that works well within your music genre. Listeners should be able to get a vibe about what kind of music you make from your name, or at least not be totally thrown off by it. Nobody would expect relaxing jazz coming from a band titled “Mosh Pit Maniacs.” Remember, your name is an important piece of a puzzle that has to still fit in with your overall brand.
Originality and Uniqueness
Nobody wants to be mistaken for another artist, so choosing a unique and original name will help differentiate you from the rest. Choosing a common name might cause big problems, such as your music being confused with another artist or your music even being placed in the wrong artist’s catalog in music stores and on streaming platforms. Be sure to Google your name before you commit to it to make sure someone isn’t already using it (or may even have it trademarked!). Otherwise, you may never be at the top of the search results.
Using Your Real Name
If you use your own real name, switch it up if it’s something pretty common like “Mike” or “Eve.” Use your last name with it or make up a catchy one.
Don’t Be Generic
Avoid using names that are generic so people can more easily find you. If your name includes something generic, you’ll get lots of unrelated - and unwanted - results when people are searching for you. Your release may even get delayed or rejected by stores during music distribution
if the names are too generic.
Be careful with spellings
Spell your name the way it sounds! While weird and wild spellings might make you think you’re standing out from the crowd, this can actually make it harder for potential fans and listeners to find your music. If they don’t know how to spell or pronounce your name, it’ll be hard to track you down.
Also, it’s probably a good idea if you avoid symbols in your name. For obvious reasons, this may make it harder for people to find you in search results, and some stores may not even accept names with symbols when you go to release music. I mean, have you tried saying Elon Musk’s son’s name “X Æ A-12” - or even tried typing into the search results? Forget about it!
Don’t Rush It!
You can’t market yourself until you have your name nailed down, but don’t rush this part of the process. It says a lot about you and is the most important element of your “brand.” Take your time and find the perfect one.
Take time to choose the perfect artist name to set the tone for your brand as an artist. Avoid confusion, make it easy for fans to find you, and stay true to what you do. Whatever name you choose, make sure to pick something you’re happy with.
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