• Written by Shimmer Johnson

The music industry is one of the hardest industries to get your music - voice heard and noticed.  First thing you need is music thats amazing; that makes you stand out. Without good sounding unique  music its hard to get people to notice you exist. Canadian artists trying to break into the US market can  be very hard. Most Canadian artists will try to get noticed in Canada and overseas in Europe when they  are first advertising and putting their music out there into the world.

In Canada we have an amazing  system in place. We call it FACTOR. Factor allows us to apply for grants to record music, tour our  music and even make music videos for our music. Lots of factors go into getting a factor grant and your not always guaranteed any money to help you along your path. So most of us do our best by pushing  our own music on social media via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and more. Live shows on instagram  and TikTok work great for gaining new fans and building a decent following. This can all get very  overwhelming and time consuming. Its hard to balance a real job while marketing your music. Its  always good to form a real team that can help you. 

If you want to be able to break into the US Market you need good numbers on your social media.  Major labels in the US market tend to not look at artists that have low numbers no matter how good  your music is. So make sure you form a team that works for your music. 
Hiring a good PR after you have a good product is key to your success. PR's already have all the  connections you don't have. They help get your music to the people that matter. PR's make your life  way easier when trying to get noticed in the music industry. If your trying to get into the US market  hire a PR that is in the United States. Thats the key. 

Networking is key as well. Attending workshops in real life or via streaming. The best networking  thing I ever did was when I went to Los Angeles and met my first big songwriter Michael Jay at a  networking show I was attending and he was speaking at. Michael is famous for “Toy Soldiers”  performed by Martika in 1988. He's had so many other hits to. None the less he has introduced me to  some amazing people in the industry. Its seriously changed the way I do things. So talking with people  is one of the biggest things you have to get used to. I used to be pretty shy and it held me back for a  very long time. I've learned if you want it then just do it. 

Hiring a radio promoter that knows the industry and can get your music on US college radio stations  (AAA) Stations. College stations are the biggest way to gain new fans and get bigger numbers on your  social media. Radio is still required to get your music out there. You want to be on all those big charts.  You can also hire different types of radio promoters that reach out to the Media Base and Neilson  Sound-scan monitored stations. These stations are the stations that pay for the music that gets played on them. So its key to hire someone that is able to get your music to the music programmers. 

Make sure you have a good website that tells the world all about you as an artist. A bad website means  less people listening to your music. You need to make a good impression at all angles. Good  impression is key to breaking into the US Market. Keep your website up to date with any live shows  you are doing or new music you have released. This makes fans want to keep coming back to your  website for more. Keep them wanting “More You” 

So the real question is how hard is it for Canadian artists to break into the US Market? The real answer  its hard no matter where you live in the world. You need to show the world you have the whole  package. Don't be scared of your talent. Show yourself to the world. Make sure you have your team backing you through it all and keep pushing your music. A good song is a good song. So write that hit  and push it in everyones face for as long as it takes to get it noticed. Your amazing and your music is  amazing. 


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