Young M.A represents a new wave of rappers who are seeing success without the backing of a major record label. M.A signed a publishing deal with Reservoir in late 2019 to solidify her journey as an independent artist that is here to stay.
“As an independent artist it’s important for me to continue adding the right partners to my team. I’m excited about being in business with Reservoir and joining forces with such a reputable company….ready to make BIG moves!”
— Young M.A
Young M.A has essentially made the Summer time her season. New York City is known for their hot summers and the Brooklyn rapper never seems to fail when it comes to creating a vibe that has defined her brand. Delivering consistency, with a sound that screams “Pool Parties & Outside”.
The rapper has built a faithful fan base that feeds off of her energy. Benefiting from the same psychological roots that made Will Smith’s ‘DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince — Summertime” a hit, has effectively helped M.A rise to the top of hip hop’s hierarchy.
When an artist can effectively operate in seasons, this allows for better planning and execution. If you can build a fan base that relates your content to a set of memories or vibes, in this case the summer time. You can keep them coming back for more and in heavy rotation every year.
In 2018, she came with the viral hit “PettyWap” check out the visual below,
As artists, you have to find ways to increase your odds at being successful and building a fan base. This can be social dynamics, embracing your geography or psychographics. All of these terms are rooted in marketing & advertising. For Young M.A, she has seen a lot of success with content marketing and social engineering.
No matter where you are in your journey, it’s important to focus on how you’re going to get your music in front of the right the people. Some artists achieve this through their social media followings and others have capitalized off of great advertising. For content creators, you will always have different functions that go into your success as an artist. After you’ve focused on your core product as an artist, it’s time to reprogram yourself into a marketer. Think about how fans will receive your content, ask questions such as,
“What kind of experience am I providing for my fan base?”
More and more, artists are benefiting from running their own marketing and advertising campaigns to build fan bases. This doesn’t mean “Do it all by yourself”, it means putting the necessary people in place to help you achieve your goals. You can ask for help or you can hire someone for their services, depending on the scale of the operation. Ultimately, it’s up to you as an artist. There is a number of different strategies to deploy when it comes to building a fan base. If you’re just starting out. Focus on your core product and then get your music in front of the right people.
It’s important to reprogram yourself for success and how you think about marketing as an artist. Paid advertising is a great way to get your music in front of as many “targeted” people as possible. So they can make a decision on whether to listen to your music or not. This can be achieved through content marketing — paid advertising — or a combination of both. Once you know your audience, you can put yourself in position to grow. Young M.A achieved this locally and then continued to grow her brand on a larger level. All while, maintaining independence and growing her team.
“No features, no label, independent, signed to myself. That’s what we do. Success! Let’s get it. Go get that EP.”
— Young M.A
Now lets deep dive into ‘3 Keys To Growing A Fan Base Like Young M.A’.
1. Find A Place For Your Music To Live
Young M.A does a great job of focusing on visuals. Her rise to fame is still deeply rooted in her YouTube channel and being able to create value around her videos. Bolstering almost 3 million subscribers, the rapper dropped around 30 videos before reaching mainstream success with ‘OOOUUU’. The dynamic that YouTube possesses is that there isn’t a lot of competition when it comes to other video-sharing platforms and YouTube is also owned by Google.
This partnership speaks to the accessibility that the platform provides, as well being a key asset in search marketing. For artists, it’s about making your content as accessible as possible and search is a key asset in that function. The value created by Young M.A’s videos allows her to diversify her content across multiple platforms including live performances, SoundCloud, Tidal, Spotify and Apple Music.
2. Give Your Music Life (Use Social Media)
Young M.A is known for creating conversations. Everything from modeling for her new Men’s Fashion Nova line, to doing interviews and her social media bravado. The Brooklyn rapper does a great job of giving life to her music. For artists, the heart being organic lies in being trendy as well. While following the wave of ‘TikTok’ and it’s ability to make videos go viral. Young M.A taps into her Instagram following of 6 million to promote her new song “Savage Mode”.
The Instagram video is reminiscent of something you would see on TikTok, it’s important to engage your fan base where they consume content. There is a difference though, creating ‘organic’ content lies in engaging your followers with ‘behind the scenes footage’ or just your ‘day-to-day’ as an artist. Paid advertising can help to promote your Facebook page, a project or a piece of content (music video or song). I always advise artists to start local and build your brand from the inside out.
This means focus on building a local fan base, see what works and then branch out to different markets. Your odds of retaining fans increase through trial and error. This also allows for a geographical dynamic of travel and making concerts a special occasion. That’s why most artists will start or end a tour in their region. Social media allows you to take your followers on a journey and when you’re in their city, hopefully they can come see you perform live.
3. Focus On Your Core Product
For Young M.A, “Focusing On Your Core Product” lies in her videos. Her video content is the marketing & advertising leg of her operation. This is what you would call content marketing and she has seen success with this strategy through her viral videos. This is a tried and true method for artists who have already built a fan base. If you’re interested in learning more about content marketing and building a brand, check out the article below,
3 Social Media & Branding Secrets Every Artist And Music Professional Should Know
Why Should You Use Social Media As An Artist Or Music Professional?
For those artists just starting out, paid advertising can be beneficial marketing strategy when it comes to building a following and getting your content in front of the right people. This allows potential fans to make a decision on whether or not they want to engage with your content. Every artists goes through this phase of building a fan base and people ultimately have to make decisions about becoming a fan or watching from a far. This is what you call Brand Familiarity. At worst, if they’re a fan of hip hop they will check you out. At best, they will join your fan base and listen to your music.
It’s like when you think Toronto, you think Drake or Tory Lanez. That’s why I say, start local. Even though I’m based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. If you seen me, you can tell I’m from Atlanta; Home Of The Brave. Building a fan base requires a broad method of trial and error to find out what works. This includes gathering data from streaming, social media, search and blog placements. Everyone’s situation is different, so it’s up to you and your team to figure out what methods best suit what you’re trying to accomplish. If all methods work, good, but it’s important to find the right one for the distribution of your content.
As an artist, never limit your odds if your main goal is to build a fan base. Try to expose your music or content in every way possible. It’s important to use all the methods at your disposal. It’s like a fishing expedition, you keep fishing until you find a repeatable method that works. Fan bases and brands are built through consistency. Whether you’re taking the organic route or the paid route, you want to bring light to your content so that you can put people in a place to choose. A good way to think about organic traffic versus paid advertising comes down to human nature.
You can execute a brand awareness campaigns to raise the amount of people who know about you as an “artist”, potential fans will still have to make “the choice” to engage or join your fan base AND you still have to present them with the engaging content. A big part of paid advertising is about awareness and if your content is monetized there are ways for artists to break even or create more value. That is why I say always focus on your core product. Paid advertising is great way to find your fans where they consume content, i.e Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, SoundCloud or YouTube.
It truly depends on how you want to finesse it, the #1 rule though is ‘Don’t spend money and not get results.” If you want everyone in your town or city to know your name or that you do music, go for it. Just make sure it’s backed by strategy and a sound core product. Everytime you see a commercial, ask yourself “What’s the reasoning behind this commercial?’ It’s most likely because you can go and buy whatever product that is being advertised. Think about your music the same way. Put people in a position to listen, watch your video and join you on your journey.
Check out Young M.A’s visual for “2020 Vision”,
Before you go, be sure to checkout Young M.A’s new EP “Red Flu”, my favorite track off the project is ‘2020 Vision’. Comment below and let know your favorite song(s).