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4 Basic steps for releasing a successful mixtape

If  you‘re an artist/producer who is looking to start a career in the music industry and you are starting up independently than here is a few tips you may find helpful. This is mainly for people who make Hip-Hop, Trap music and R’N’B, but the same principles can be applied to all genres.

Here are 5 steps for releasing a successful mix tape. Check them out, and leave a comment below to let me know what you think.

1. Define Your Brand

”Before you begin the process of building you need to plan. Decide what your brand stands for. How will others will perceive you”? Always have a concept in mind in which you want to use  throughout your whole project.

2. Quality

Loud distorted basses, Inaccurate vocal mixing and bad ad-libs is what makes a mix tape sound wack. When considering making a mix tape always try and get the right balance when mixing your tracks, make sure the vocals and the beat blends in and that they are both clear. This is very important because of the old saying, ‘quality over quantity’.  Labels and Management companies like to see artist who have more or less a finish product and show potential. Give people a reason to click the download button or the share link by releasing two good quality tracks from your mix tape and share them to blogs, website, you tube, social media networks and more.  Finally, remember people are always looking for something new.

Better Drums In 7 Minutes, Guaranteed. 

3. Artwork

Try and stand out with your artwork, you can use the same concept as others but with a twist (no swagger jacking). Being creative with your artwork is always good because you will always get a thumbs up at least for the creative side and that can attract more people to download your mix tape. Simplicity with a bit of mystery is always good, don’t give away too much in your artwork. Try and be subliminal to create suspense rather than just throwing everything in at once. Now…. I know mix tape covers can be quite expensive but there is an alternative, which is getting your hands on Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator and there are tons more. practising using these software’s will enable you to pick up a new skill that will save you money, plus you can even charge other artists for there mix tape covers for a reasonable price.

A few examples:

Nique — Framed And Unfocused

Young Jeezy & CTE – Its Tha World (EP) (Artwork)

Young Jeezy and CTE released their new 6-track EP titled ‘Its Tha World‘. Simple and to the point.

Kent M$NEY — Eyes Wide Shut (Mixtape)

Rapper Kent Money dropped his latest project title ‘Eyes Wide Shut‘ with one of the sickest mixtape cover out this year. Shout out to FlyWidit Customs for designing and illustrating this dope-ass cover.

King Lil G— Lost In Smoke (Mixtape Cover)

Here’s the cover artwork to LA rapper King Lil G‘s long awaited mixtape, Lost In Smoke. Download the Lost In Smoke here. Artwork by Mikel Saint.

Omarion — Care Package

Here the latest mixtape from Omarion ‘Care Package

Ro Ransom — Ransomnia

We rarely see a mixtape cover created with a simple use of a photo like Ro Ransom‘s Ransomnia. I’m sure some post editing were done on the photo but nothing overly done or exaggerate like many mixtape covers.

Ar-Ab — Who Harder Than Me 2

New mixtape from Ar-AbWho Harder Than Me 2, hosted by DJ Damage and DJ Alamo. Artwork by Kyle Wit Da Camera.

August Alsina — The Product

Here we have the mixtape of August Alsina called The Product. The mixtape cover features the great illustration of Mr. Soul.

4. Advertising

Target places and websites you go to regularly. Don’t be afraid to ask people how they got the mix tape out there. To get the  maximum result you may want to put money aside to invest in getting premium accounts and a website/blog to promote yourself if you don’t have one.  Mixtapetorrent, Datpiff, Hiphopsite, Bandcamp, Soundcloud, kevinnottingham, Facebook pages, Twitter,  are a few websites you can submit your mix tapes to and there are tons more.

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