Log in to VIP Studio Sessions and you’ll see that we’ve published new video resources in the platform’s Release and Promote section. They feature Aly Gillani, the UK/EU label rep for Bandcamp and A&R/Founder of First Word Records, who we were lucky enough to speak to this autumn.

Bandcamp has existed since 2007, but has grown dramatically in recent years. For many, it’s the platform of choice for artists and labels to share and earn money from their music thanks to its revenue sharing model, and for fans to discover and enjoy it too.

Throughout the video series, VIP’s Max Wheeler and Aly explore a range of topics, while  offering hints and tips to young musicians.

Making connections

What’s the best way of reaching new audiences and connecting with others? Firstly, and most obviously perhaps, it’s through your music. As Aly advises, it’s important not to get too swept up with being ‘perfect’. In fact, striving for a model online presence can often make you ‘lose the fun’ in what you are doing.

Aly instead recommends focusing on the things that you can control as an artist – how your music sounds and what your artwork looks like – rather than being solely focused on being on the top playlists. Using platforms like Bandcamp, where the returns are a lot higher even if your audience is small initially (your mum and gran!), is where many people start out.

When at that stage, call in favours with friends; ask a budding writer to write you a press release or a photography student to take your pictures. This is the perfect time to work with your peers for mutual benefit. Help them to build their portfolio or offer to make music for some of their projects in return for their skills.

Key advice:

  • Enjoy it
  • Lower your expectations
  • Aim for something achievable
  • Build a community
  • Share skills

What’s next?

Coming up next in the series, we look at starting a record label. In the new year, VIP students will also be invited to create their own Bandcamp profiles as part of an exclusive Bandcamp competition.

To watch the full interview and to trial VIP free for 30 days, start a no obligation trial here.