Some of these will be a very huge WTF moment for you but some you might find yourself saying: “Oh snap! I didn’t think of that!” And that’s because the ones on top very rarely stop, look back, and school the next generation. Usually, it goes more like this: they work hard, they make it, they keep milking their knowledge and connections to keep the momentum going, then they fade along with their industry knowledge. Looking and studying successes vs failures takes time, effort, and a keen analytical spirit. Something we at BRE love doing. So here are 7 critical mistakes we’ve noticed new artists make in their visuals.
7. Dressing In A Way That Has Nothing To Do With Who You Are As An Artist
Whether we’re talking about a music video or photo shoot, many new, gullible artists dress in cool looking clothes only for the sake of it. There’s no intention behind the message their attire transmits, no thought put into the longterm impression their image will leave on fans and press. We’re not saying don’t dress artsy. What we are saying is don’t employ a clothing style that has nothing to do with your personality or even worse, that goes against your genre. If you sing punk rock but you dress like a rapper, you will have an incredibly difficult time being taken seriously and you’ll lose mindblowing amounts of dollars into promoting your brand when you could have just saved the costs in half by simply dressing in sync with your music.
6. Highlighting The Body Instead Of Focusing On The Face
We get it. You’ve hit the gym more than you’ve hit your mom up to check on her and now you got abs and are super proud of yourself. Awesome, but… Your abs don’t sing and your muscles don’t sign autographs. It is your FACE that is your brand. Don’t believe us? Ask the myriad of actors who don’t even bother training anymore but just have their faces “pasted” in post production to the bodies of the stunts. A body is buyable, replaceable, maleable, buildable, workable, changeable. Your face is not. As a music artist who wants to make a living, for your and your family’s financial security, focus on showcasing your facial features more than anything else especially in the beginning of your career. People need to memorize it along with your name.
5. Overusing Filters, Alterations, And Visual Effects
We’ve seen so many music videos and photos that we got a crystal clear idea on who got the proper concept of the business and who just keeps throwing pasta at the wall. If your visual necessitates the use of 3 different filters, 4 layers of light leaks, color alteration AND a bunch of film effects and grain, you’re doing it wrong. We get it if it’s a melancholic song and you do ONE exception where all of the visual is moody. But if it’s the norm, you won’t get anywhere. Playing too much with your raw footage will of course alter the quality but the most serious thing is that the overuse of effects and enhancements actually takes away from that natural connection with the audience that is created when first meeting you. Subconsciously it shelters you away from being genuine and sincere in the eyes of the people. Let’s put it this way: the more visual effects stand between you and your public, the more time and money it will take you to convince them you’re worthy of investing in.
4. Never Displaying A Microphone Anywhere In Sight
Why is that essential when being independent? Because you don’t have the resources that a major label does to push your overly creative concepts to the masses. You have to maximize everything you do thus you MUST enforce the association of your face-name-job, your job being a performer. How will we remember your job title IF you never show yourself working? If you make music but don’t have a single photo of yourself with a microphone, you’re losing fans by the minute. Pay a studio just for that mic shot if you have to. Or go on a rooftop and improvise a solo concert but show clearly what your job is when building your brand from the ground.
3. Using Major Props Or Backgrounds That Don’t Fit The Narrative
If the title was too complicated, it will soon all be more than clear. I want you to imagine that you’re watching on mute a music video where it shows the female singer dressed in Goth attire and dancing in dark caves. Now when you turn on the volume, she’s singing how much she likes driving and going to school. First you’ll think WTF. Then you’ll forget both about her song and herself as what she showed you wasn’t an extension of her lyrics but two completely different universes with no intersection in between. When you’re a new artist using imposing props, such as a Lamborghini but you talk about your mom and family, please stop and throw the car out of the picture or write a song about a Lambo. Your visuals have to be an extension of your words. You fail to achieve that, and you’re losing yet again, huge portions of money and attention and most devastatingly of all, fan conversions.
2. Promoting Brands That Are Not Officially Sponsoring You
Oh Lord… The times we’ve seen this happen would make you cringe for several lifetimes. This is a big sore thumb in the eyes of a professional as one knows right away that at your beginner level, you don’t yet have sponsorships by Henny or Champion. You’re just a customer now looking like the ultimate fan by flexing products you’ll obviously have nothing to gain from. The sad part is that you could have easily set up your own website and store, customized your own apparel, and showed off your own product. When a potential investor or label rep sees your business comprehension skills by you investing in your own brand and name, they will be much more likely to jump behind you and support you. Look, unless Gucci is paying you, stop showing their damn logo and free promote their brand. You’re seriously adding to their power on the market FOR FREE.
1. Showing The Back Of Their Head
This one drives us up the wall. Who taught you that that’s cool? Who taught you that’s even acceptable??? Did you ever memorize the face of your favorite rapper because they showed you the back of their heads over and over again? Do you know who Drake is because he had photos of himself from behind? This is so cringey and ridiculous that we didn’t want to talk about it but of course, Facebook popped up on our newsfeed back-of-the-head shots from artists WE LIKE!!! We wanted to cry. Stop showing the back of your head to your fans and followers when they don’t even know your face that well. Point. Blank. Period.
Please support the independent artists we’ve discovered across the world by streaming the playlist below. A little of your time is one step closer for at least 20 artists in the direction of their dreams.