Every musician wants to see their name in lights, but few understand how important the actual name is. Some artist use their real name, which worked for Taylor Swift, Justin Beiber, and the like. However, their last names are very unique, and they’ve been able to brand them well.
For artists with more common names, standing out will differentiate you from the competition. Here are four step to make choosing your stage name simple.
1. Develop your onstage persona.
The name is the brand, and the music is the product. Performing tends to bring out a different side of people. It would be wise to have a name to match that personality.
Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson doesn’t become Katy Perry until she puts on sky-high heels and a colorful wig. Remember, this will be the name in lights. This name will represent your brand, so choose something that represents you.
2. Be mysterious.
Think The Weeknd, Panic! At the Disco and PARTYNEXTDOOR. These names seem random, but when people first hear them they’re curious. Is it a woman? A man? A group?
A mysterious name will attract attention and increase online searches for the artist. Everyone wants to solve a mystery, and this will give more reason to listen to the music since it will help figure it out.
3. Be consistent.
When an artist is searched online, all of his or her social media should pop up. The stage name should be on every account so supporters have no problems locating new music and updates.
These searches will eventually lead to more subscribers and likes. People have to be able to find the accounts and know it’s the same person they searched for and loved a few weeks ago.
4. Don’t be afraid to reinvent yourself.
If the name doesn’t represent who or what it’s supposed to, let it go. Rapper 2 Chainz spent ten years on the underground scene because of his vulgar stage name. Within two years of switching to 2 Chainz, he was touring the country performing his number one album.
Growth is great for everyone, especially artists! If the sound of the music is changing, there is nothing wrong with adopting a new identity to fit.
In 2004 Jennifer Lopez released her first all-Spanish album and debuted her new moniker. She was no longer JLO or “Jenny from the Block”. The new sound and rising acting career allowed her to reinvent herself, and it was highly favored among audiences.
If a name doesn’t seem important now, think about how it would feel to have 10,000 fans chanting something you deplore. When people think of your favorite artists, their names brings up memories, good and bad. A name will set the tone for the reputation, and a good reputation will get your far in the music business. So, create something unforgettable.
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Jaymee Rayford has a Bachelor of Arts degree in public relations. She has an eclectic music taste that ranges from 90’s rap to EDM, even some classical gregorian chant. She’s currently focused on pop culture journalism and breaking into the entertainment industry.