How to Promote Your Music as an Independent Artist in 2023

As an independent musician, or any sort of artist, promoting your art is crucial in building your fan base and growing your career.

Here are ways you can effectively market your music:

Define your brand: Your brand is what sets you apart from other musicians. Define your unique sound, style, and message that you want to convey through your music. This will help you create a cohesive image that will attract fans. Consistency is key.

Build a strong online presence: In today’s digital age, having a strong online presence is essential. Create a website and social media accounts that showcase your art. Use these platforms to share your music, engage with fans, and promote upcoming shows and releases.

Collaborate with other artists and influencers: Collaborating with other musicians or influencers can help you reach new audiences. Consider partnering with other musicians for a song or a show, or working with influencers to promote your music to their followers. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your fellow artists. They’re just like you and me.

Play live shows: Playing live shows is a great way to connect with fans and build your audience. Reach out to local venues and book shows in your area. Consider performing at festivals and other events that attract your target audience. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box here. In the early days, Dave Chappell would post up in a park, unannounced, and preform for whoever was there. Word would spread, and before long, a large crowd would amass.

Utilize music streaming platforms: Platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, Bandcamp, and Soundcloud can help you reach a wider audience. Make sure to optimize your profiles on these platforms and promote your music through playlists, collaborations, and social media.

Offer merchandise: Offering merchandise such as t-shirts, stickers, or even physical copies of your music can help you earn additional income and promote your brand.

Create deep music: The foundation of any successful music career is having quality music that stems from a deep place (the heart). Focus on creating the most beautiful thing you’re capable of conjuring up. Honestly, damn everything else. The studio is where one masters their art and stumbles upon transcendental beauty.

Utilize social media: Social media can be a powerful tool for promoting and marketing your music. Post your music, share updates on your progress, and engage with your fans on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok. Utilize relevant hashtags and collaborate with other musicians and influencers in your genre. Push the boundaries, and don’t be scared to take a risk. What’d you have to lose?

Submit your music to blogs, playlists, and forum boards: Reach out to music blogs and playlist curators that are relevant to your genre and submit your music for review. Getting featured on a popular blog or playlist can help increase your exposure and drive new listeners to your music. Forum boards like Reddit are also great places to drop your music. Just be sure to not spam these boards or else you’ll be banned.

Create engaging visual content [YouTube]: It’s important to create engaging visual content to complement your music. This can include music videos, lyric videos, behind-the-scenes footage, and live performances. Visual content can help your music stand out and attract new fans. YouTube is the place to do this. Make it your second home. A place for people to discover your sorcery, and then follow you into the darkness.


There is no guaranteed formula to succeed as an artist, but by focusing on creating quality art, playing live shows, engaging with your fans, and utilizing various online strategies, you will reach a wider audience and grow as an artist.

Promoting and marketing your art is an ongoing process that requires consistent effort and experimentation. Keep trying new strategies and adapting to the evolving technological landscape in order to maximize your chance at success. And remember, it’s only those who give up, who fail to succeed. So in a way, if you never quit, well then you’ve already made it. It’s just a matter of time.

The Art of Creativity: 10 Ways to Foster Creativity

Creativity is a complex trait that can be influenced by many factors, such as one’s knowledge, experiences, and environment.

Some ways to foster creativity include taking time to relax and let your mind wander, seeking out new experiences and ideas, and practicing creative activities such as drawing, writing, or making music.

Experimentation, the will to practice, and the ability to receive criticism are also imperative in the creative process.

It can also be helpful to surround yourself with other creative people and to let go of the fear of failure, which can stifle creativity.

There are many ways to stimulate creative energy, but today, we’ll share with you ten ways to foster creativity.

  1. Take time to relax and let your mind wander. This can help to quiet the constant stream of thoughts and allow your mind to make connections that it might not have made otherwise.
  2. Seek out new experiences and ideas. Exposure to new things can help to stimulate your mind and spark new thoughts and ideas.
  3. Practice creative activities such as drawing, writing, or making music. These activities can help to develop your creative skills and make it easier to come up with new ideas.
  4. Surround yourself with other creative people. Being around others who are creative can help to stimulate your own creativity and provide a source of inspiration.
    Let go of the fear of failure.
  5. Creativity often involves taking risks and trying new things, which can be difficult if you are afraid of failing. Letting go of this fear can help to free up your mind and allow you to think more creatively.
  6. Practice regularly. The more you practice, the better you will become at your chosen art form. Set aside time each day to work on your art, and try to improve with each piece you create.
  7. Experiment with different materials and techniques. Trying out new things can help to spark your creativity and take your art in new directions.
  8. Study the work of other artists. Look at the art of other artists, both contemporary and historical, to get ideas and inspiration for your own work.
  9. Take art classes or workshops. Taking classes or workshops can help you learn new skills and techniques, and provide a supportive environment for you to grow as an artist.
  10. Be open to feedback and criticism. Receiving feedback on your work can be challenging, but it can also be incredibly valuable in helping you improve and grow as an artist. Try to take criticism constructively and use it to make your art better.

4 Places For Independent Artists To Send Their Music in the Digital Age

Music Blogs

Music blogs are a great place to start submitting your music. Don’t forget to peruse the site and make sure their taste somewhat aligns with your own flavor of art before you start bombarding them with links to new project. Remember to personalize your message and keep it concise and to the point. One working link is usually all most blogs really desire.

Remember that it is about the music. It should always be about the music. You can find a list of music blogs we really like, here.

YouTube Channels

YouTube playlists, podcasts, and other online personalities are superb avenues to send your music. Just be sure to be respectful of the creator’s time, and be sure they even accept song submissions before you attempt to contact them. Time is our most critical commodity of all. Remember this always.

Radio Stations

Radio stations are still a thing. Yes, even in the digital age, AM/FM radio stations are still a great place to proliferate your music. Public radio stations, and university stations are the two who play the most indie music.

Think outside of the box and see if you really can’t get played on the airwaves. You might just be surprised.


SubmitHub is a music submission platform that will guarantee a listen plus some honest feedback for a nominal fee. This service is the only paid option on this list but is also the sole avenue who assures that your track is indeed getting a fair listen and honest critique.

You will have the option to send your music to playlist curators (YouTube, Spotify, Soundcloud), music bloggers and even labels. Choose wisely.

Final Thoughts On Mindset

Despite the pandemic, social unrest, and absurdity of the media (including social media) we have without a doubt entered into a new age of accelerated information. A saga that is bursting at the seams with an unprecedented amount of quality music, art, inventions, and ideas. Technology is the main driving force behind this movement and we are the ones who are fueling this technological machine.

Although a digital renaissance is a much welcomed phase at this moment in space and time, the typical independent artist oftentimes feels as though they’re releasing their music into a vast ocean of creative expression. And yes, it’s true. In many instances superb music is lost and under-appreciated due to an overabundance of experimental art being released around the globe at the moment.

Just remember to have patience. And always focus on the art. Not the promotion. Not on the marketing. And not upon the expansion of your fanbase. The cultivation of your art and skill is what truly matters most. Everything else will eventually follow if your creative production is authentic and prolific – but most of all glowing with the beauty of the natural world.

Once a week, Santa Rosa Records delivers a handpicked mix of the most tantalizing new indie music on the web, curated by our team. Subscribe below. 

Wu Wei and the Art of Flow State

“The Tao that can be told, is not the eternal Tao” ― Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

Wu Wei, a paradoxical concept that stems from the teachings of Confucius and Lao Tzu, is a key paradigm within Taoism.

Wu Wei is more or less what we refer to as “flow state” ― or better known in the athletic community as the zone, or catching fire. 

Wu Wei in a way means to not do anything, or more accurately defined ― effortless motion. However, Wu Wei should not be confused with idleness. 

Think of Wu Wei as a wave upon the ocean, or perhaps, the wind. 

“The master lets things come and go… The master acts without doing anything… The master does nothing, yet leaves nothing undone….” ― Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

Wu Wei is non-purposeful participation, it is void of agenda, and enables one to take a natural course through his or her life. Wu Wei does not force anything and flows with the rhythm of nature.

Wild animals are in a constant state of flow. They live in the present moment. They follow their innate instincts. And they are a part of the greater harmonious whole.

The wild animal does not wallow in the past, nor does it fear the coming future. The wild animal lives in a perpetual state of acute awareness. 

Wu Wei is to act in accordance, or align, with the cyclical pattern of the natural world.

“Seeing into darkness is clarity. Use your own light, and return to the source of light.” Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

“Don’t Try” is the proverbial adage engraved upon the gravestone of the late German-American author, Charles Bukowski. What Bukowski meant was not “don’t try at life” ― but instead ― don’t try to be something you’re not.

Don’t try to force a square peg into a round hole. Don’t get in your own way ― for you are your own worst enemy if you’re not mindful of the ebb and flow of the current of life. 

The art of flow or Wu Wei essentially means getting out of our own way ― and tuning into the rhythmic flow of nature. 

Life is a series of spontaneous mutations. This is the reality of evolution ― Darwinism at its conceptual core. So don’t resist this immutable natural law. But instead, let reality reveal its vivid colors. And let life flow naturally.

“I let go. Lost in oblivion. Dark and silent and complete. I found freedom. Losing all hope was freedom… Only after disaster can we be resurrected. It’s only after you’ve lost everything that you’re free to do anything. Nothing is static, everything is evolving, everything is falling apart.” ― Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

We too should be like the sapling that cowers from the face of a mighty headwind. We must flow with the current ― not swim against it. And let go. We must let go. 

Wu Wei is to go with the flow of life ― to flow with the rhythm of the universe. 

Wu Wei is a leaf floating down a stream of water. The leaf does nothing yet could travel all the way to the sea if the current is right. 

Wu Wei is the downhill skier who forgets his own existence and becomes the mountain.

Wu Wei is the archer who becomes the arrow, and feels that it is impossible to not hit his target. 

We know not where the flow of life will take us, but we can, at the least, try and enjoy the ride. For beauty abounds, and surrounds us all. All we must do is merely perceive it. “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” ― Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere’s Fan

Be like water. For water has no agenda. Water moves through low, and to lower places. Water nourishes everything it saturates, without trying. Water is soft and gentle, yet will snuff the life out of those who are not mindful of its properties. Water flows with the rhythm of nature and effortlessly travels ever lower, all the way to the sea.

As an artist, I have experienced flow state firsthand. And can only illustrate it as a blissful oneness with the cosmos. Pain, anxiety, and fear seem to melt away, and all that is left is harmonic bliss and fulfillment. It’s almost like floating on a cloud. But at the same time, is like being possessed by an all-consuming entity of maternal darkness ― making creative work seem effortless ― while time seems to become a relative concept.

Flow is chaos in all its harmonic order. And from this dark abyss flows the nectar of creativity.

A quote often attributed to Lao Tzu, who may or may not have even been a real (single) individual, (so maybe nothing attributed to him is really even a Lao Tzu quote). Goes something like this: “If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.” While Confucius reminds us that “The noble-minded are calm and steady. Little people are forever fussing and fretting.” 

“When the wind blows, the grass bends”. Said, Confucius. So bend like the grass. And be like water my friend. Do not force anything. And everything will turn out in the end. 

Those who try to control their environment will be struck down by nature and relegated to a life of remorse and anxiety. They will be like the farmer who beats a dead mule. 

Practice not-doing and everything will fall into place…When there is no desire, all things are at peace.” ― Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

If the higher human aligns with nature, he or she is capable of living a virtuous life beyond good and evil ― and in accordance with his or her own personal values.

“When you are not afraid of dying, there is nothing you are not able to achieve.” ― Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

The Cyclical Nature of Reality

“Folks, it’s time to evolve. That’s why we’re troubled. You know why our institutions are failing us, the church, the state, everything’s failing? It’s because, um – they’re no longer relevant. We’re supposed to keep evolving. Evolution did not end with us growing opposable thumbs.” ― Bill Hicks

A long time ago, I dreamed I was drifting through the celestial oceans of the cosmos. Floating along and simply gazing upon the magnificent hues of the deep cosmic waters of purple and red. I was in a complete state of bliss — weightless and free from all worry and angst. A mere orb of energy wading through the magnificent waters of the cosmos.

“Do you hear that?” I murmured as I opened my eyes. “That’s the sound of a solemn land being woken from its nocturnal slumber by its master, its giver of life, its God of light.”

The desert is a place the apeman shouldn’t inhabit, but by downright grit and ingenuity, he has conquered this godforsaken land and has somehow found a way to coexist with the very same flora and fauna that wanted him dead not so long ago.

One wrong move and a Spanish Dagger might just lodge one of its razor-sharp spines into your liver and bleed you out before high noon. Mother Nature can be a cruel mistress — lying in wait for the opportune moment to reunite your corpse with the dust of the earth.

Life seems to occur in waves. Round and round we go, spinning through space at an ungodly speed, hoping we survive through the night. 

Seasons come and go, and just as the oceans rise and fall, nations are built and destroyed. Nature is cyclical my friend.

In a world ruled by a thirst for power, we must innovate and connect with our creativity if we are to survive the imminent wave of the technological revolution. For we are like rats to the machine and if things go horribly wrong, we may very well resort to fighting and killing over crumbs that fall from its table.

The majority of us are living in a perpetual state of stagnant stimulation. No longer do we read, write, or philosophize. Instead, we’ve become obsessed with our own personal brand and project only the attractive facets of our being while burying our true identity beneath the conforming pressure of society.

We are right where they want us to be, fat and lazy, completely oblivious to what’s going on. Just busy little bees buzzing from one mindless task to the next.

The status quo does not want rapid evolution of culture, for this would upheave the order of the system, and shift power back towards the collective hive.

I myself was almost convinced my ambition to create was merely a foolish dream. But at the very last moment, I took the plunge into the deep dark waters of the unknown. And here I still sit, watching as the hairs slowly fall from my head.

Creativity is our most beautiful gift from the cosmos, yet few of us retain it. Nonetheless, it’s never too late to reconnect with this boundless force of creative energy.

From the toppling of ideological dogmas to the loss of western morality — we presently have little choice but to evolve and move forward, or shrivel up and die by the wayside.

Everyone is vying for our time, time is money, time is life, and time is all we have before we cross the great divide and make the leap.

Time is very valuable, so at the very least take back your single most precious asset, and derail the momentum of your life by taking a step back and at the very least, assessing your current situation. One can only begin to build himself up after he has torn down the structures of his egotistical psyche. And if one is to survive, it’s critical to be selfish at pivotal moments.

We’re born into this world naked and alone, and we will die naked and alone. You’re the only person who you’ll have to answer to in your dying hour. So dance with this beautiful experience (we call life) until you uncover your source of fulfillment, and then feed that fire until there’s nothing left but a heap of smoldering ashes.

Life is very short my friend, so do not waste it.

When you die, you will not be able to take anything with you. Everything you own will eventually rot and decay into a state of dust while the rest of the world moves on until it too is eventually consumed by the sun.

It’s the circle of life, my friend. The highway of death. The paradoxical illusion. Now embrace the grind and carry on.

“Nature loves courage. You make the commitment and nature will respond to that commitment by removing impossible obstacles. Dream the impossible dream and the world will not grind you under, it will lift you up. This is the trick. This is what all these teachers and philosophers who really counted, who really touched the alchemical gold, this is what they understood. This is the shamanic dance in the waterfall. This is how magic is done. By hurling yourself into the abyss and discovering it’s a feather bed.” ― Terence McKenna