How to make 2021 a great year for your music career

It seems like only yesterday we were raising our glasses to a brand new decade – where’s the year gone?! It’s sure been a tough one, even more so for artists and creatives.


But it’s also invited artists to think of new ways to create and perform, from livestream gigs to online collaborations. We’ve seen some incredible releases and music made in response to the trials and tribulations of 2020 (just have a listen to our Spinnup Presents Playlist and read our blog to see), proving that nothing can get in the way of our music-making. And not to mention our exciting Creators United Initiative and Spinnup Community on Facebook which has unified Spinnup artists from all over the world.


Still, it’s normal to feel disheartened and un-inspired, especially now. But with the new year on the horizon, we want to make sure you feel pumped for what’s to come. Remember – after the storm, comes the rainbow. We’ve put together some tips on how you can make 2021 a great year for your music career – live gigs or no live gigs (but we’re definitely hoping it will be the former.)


Let’s dive in.


Firstly, take some time to reflect.


We recently shared a brilliant post from where thy.self’s Chloe Pierre talks about re-defining your 2020, reflecting on your achievements and visualising your future. Although it’s from earlier this year, her video is a great watch, which you can use to help you to visualise a better 2021 for yourself.


Chloe talks about being in control of your own future by visualising, changing your mindset to a more positive one and encourages us to think about questions such as: what unexpected things did you get to do in 2020? What have your learnt that will benefit the future you imagine?


So, take some time to reflect on the past year. Think about what you’ve achieved and what you’ve learnt that you can take with you into 2021 and what you can leave behind.


Let go of expectations.


We can all agree that 2020 didn’t quite go the way we expected it to. Plans have been cancelled, we’ve felt let down and frustrated. When we set expectations and things don’t go the way we wanted them to (like that cancelled festival slot or that postponed jam session), that’s when disappointment can strike.


In the wise words of writer Deepak Chopra: The universe has no restrictions. You place restrictions on the universe with your expectations.Essentially, expectations can be limiting, so learn to let go of your expectations, including those expectations you may have of yourself and be open to whatever may come your way.


Have a fresh mindset.


Everything feels better when you change your mindset. You can’t change the things that happen but you can control how you respond to them. View setbacks as positive. Every hurdle got you to where you are right now. Focus on the things you’ve achieved and are currently achieving rather than the things you haven’t accomplished yet – you’ll feel a lot more positive.


Control the things you can.


This year, things have felt pretty unstable and uncertain at the best of times. We have no control over the current situation, and however crap and frustrating that might be, we shouldn’t worry about the things we can’t change. Make it your intention for 2021 to focus on the aspects of your life and music career that you can control, such as improving your craft, coming up with a sick release plan or having a rebrand. It’s unlikely that a virus is going to change your release date and, it certainly won’t stop us from getting it out!


Set goals.


Goal setting will always help keep you focused. You may have some big goals that have been harder to reach this year. Of course, keep these goals in mind, but also set yourself some smaller, more achievable goals. As we mentioned in our post about staying creative in lockdown, aim to keep them more flexible and less pressured. Just use these goals to help guide your music-making and creativity. And celebrate your wins, however small.


Be prepared for live shows.


As we’ve often said, preparation is key. As anything can change at any time, it’s important to be prepared. Have those festival applications at the ready and make sure you’re keeping in contact with promoters and venues. You can keep checking the gigmit website for all the latest gig and festival opportunities, including online gigs. If you’re thinking of applying to festivals, have a read over our festival applications guide from the beginning of the year.


Learn more.


One thing you can plan to do more of next year, regardless of what’s going on in the world, is to improve your skills. Learn. Get educated. Become an expert in your craft. Thanks to the wonderful Internet, there are a whole load of online courses and videos on sites such as Skillshare, LinkedIn Learning and Youtube.


Keep connected.


As we’ve gone into various lockdowns this year throughout the world it can be easy to isolate yourself from everyone, but connecting with others is so important in a music career and also for your mental health. So keep on engaging with your fans over socials, meet other Spinnup artists through our Facebook group, keep in contact with fellow creatives and bandmates and continue rehearsing and collaborating by whatever means you can. Also, as we’ve said earlier in this post, make sure you keep in contact with various venues and promoters ready to get those live bookings in.


If you need some tips on how to keep your release moving from a distance if you rely on others, then read here.


Make use of other income streams.


Not only is performing live one of the most exciting things about being an artist, but it also plays a big part in your income. Fingers and toes crossed, it won’t be too long before we’re back on the stage again performing to fans in a sweaty venue or field somewhere. But until then, it’s important to have other ways to support yourself as an independent artist, from merch to online gigs. If you want to know more about getting support outside of live gigs, check out our blog post on getting support and earning cash outside of gigs


Be kind to yourself.


We’ve saved the most important point ‘til last. Your is more important than anything. Don’t beat yourself up if you find yourself struggling next year. Don’t put loads of pressure on yourself. Take a deep breath. Take a break. And most of all, have fun. If you keep your mental health in check, everything else will follow.


We’re here for you and we can’t wait to see what you’ll do in 2021.


Team Spinnup.