6 out-of-the-box gigs for singers to consider

6 out-of-the-box gigs for singers to consider

Donna Maurer

Singers are having a difficult time right now, especially ones who are used to singing at large events to make ends meet. Gigs are essential to your well-being and it can be hard to navigate how to continue to perform. However, there may be some things that you as a singer are not considering, or maybe you just haven’t thought of them yet. There are multiple ways that you can utilize the digital online world to work in your favor as a singer.

The most important thing to remember is being active on all social media platforms - it is super important right now to have an online presence so that people can see and respond to you. It’s also the easiest, fastest and a free way to advertise for any gigs!

Host an online “live” virtual concert

Gather up some of your musician friends and create an online concert. You can get creative with this by pre-recording your vocals with backing tracks or having other musicians play certain parts to put the songs together. Do it solo or collaborate with other musicians that may also be looking for gigs, so that you can have a broader outreach.

Make it a real concert by selling “tickets” ahead of time, and create a livestream to host it, so you can host live, but play your pre-recorded videos of your songs. This way, you know the audio has been mixed well, since it is hard to livestream a concert with good audio quality. There are ways to do it live, too if you want to give that experience, but it may take some money upfront. There are numerous ways and programs to create pre-recorded tracks and videos to share. You can create your own Zoom Room for the live portion, do on a Facebook Live, or use another similar conferencing site. Only those that have the tickets will get the actual link.

Create a video channel to perform on

You can perform for audiences of many by creating virtual videos of yourself performing original songs, and maybe even some covers (where you might not need to pay any royalties!) - YouTube is a very popular way of still performing gigs.

If you already have social media channels, then you already have a following - make a big deal out of moving songs to your video channel so that they come to check you out there, something like a “Launch Day” so that they are sure to watch your first video debut.

Sing for a music licensing agency

While you’re performing and recording at home, you can upload original songs that you’d be willing to let someone else pay to license and use, or even work on brand new songs for advertisements with help from a music licensing agency. For example, Marmoset is an agency that hires singers specifically for their custom music production services. These types of companies can also guide you in finding the right style and genre that fits you as a singer.

You can create your own custom brand of songs by contributing to a music licensing library and really promote yourself as an artist. You never know which brand or what filmmaker might pick up the rights to use your song - you could be opening doors for yourself just by utilizing this resource. If a singer can get “in” with a music licensing agency as one of their artists, they can get paid to provide vocals for brand new tracks that companies will use in their ads. How cool is that?!

Sell some “gig swag” for a livestream event

Any of the virtual concerts or events that you host can be an opportunity to sell some “swag” - offer it to your VIP guests, and maybe even a Q&A session so that they can purchase a more expensive ticket. If you don’t already have it, make sure you market your brand by creating a logo - you can use Canva to create one for free - and you can put it on mugs, t-shirts, etc.

You can even make it more special by creating the merchandise especially for your debut show or launch of a new song or album. This way, you can pre-sell the merch before the actual gig happens, and it creates more hype around the event.

Consider other gigs that you haven’t done before

What are other singers doing currently? This is a question that you should be asking of your fellow musicians, and finding out how they are still able to solidify gigs right now. Maybe you only performed at the local bar - is there some other gig opportunities out there that you can take advantage of?

Virtual performing is a great way to continue your craft but also to keep singing as if you would in a gig situation, you can hire yourself out that way as well to be virtually at someone’s birthday party, or some sort of event where you might possibly be hired. People still want entertainment, so be the one that provides it for them in any way that you can. Maybe someone is hosting a wedding during this pandemic, and they want some live music at the reception that can only be their family out in the backyard - this is a great gig opportunity for you as a singer.

Contact a local venue and create a gig experience

Venues are having a difficult time right now as well, so the last idea that you can turn to would be to reach out to the people that run them. If you’ve done numerous gigs with a particular local venue in the area that you know is having a tough time, or even just needs a new idea to continue to stay in business, contact and collaborate with them to find a way to deliver some sort of package to the community. One idea to consider is maybe the venue, bar, or restaurant can create takeout meals, and you can play some live stream entertainment - so while they blast the music in the parking lot, people can pick up their meals and enjoy your concert in the car for a “Social Distancing Night Out.”

Don’t let this pandemic keep you from continuing to find ways to gig in your community and online. There are people who will still want to hear your voice, and it’s your job to do your best to find a way to give it to them.

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