How to Build a Career as an Unsigned Artist in London



Unsigned artists have dominated the last ten years in the industry in the London music scene who, despite having no record label, continue to capture global attention. Stormzy, JME, Skepta, and more have changed the game.


Before finding fame, these artists were grinding to make a living. This article helps you discover how you can make a career as an unsigned artist in London. We consider how you can use music collaborations, gigs, music promotion, and recording studios like ours for your career development.


Collaborating with Unsigned Artists


Making great music is the first step to being a successful unsigned artist, but you need to find people to listen to it. Working with other unsigned artists you love can help you merge fanbases, attracting new fans to the unique sound you are building together.


Often, you can work with another artist by just reaching out on Instagram. However, you might need to attract their attention if they are bigger than you by covering or remixing one of their tracks. 


Having attracted the attention of another artist, you can talk to them about making a track together. Your collaborations will be most successful if you come with an open mind. Bring ideas to the table, but don’t be precious about them. Always be ready to abandon or develop ideas if they aren’t working. 


Breaking into the Gig Circuit


The reason you spend hours building the perfect track is to perform it. But gigs aren’t just a way for you to showcase your talent. They are also an opportunity to get paid.


London venues have hundreds of artists to choose from, and more than good music is needed to stand out. You must create strong promotional materials, including 2-3 of your best tracks, a clear paragraph defining your work, and links to social media.


You also need to make sure you are approaching the right venue. Pick small venues designed for up-and-coming artists like The Shacklewell Arms, The Windmill, or The Moth Club.


Remember that your first gig at a venue is your one chance to impress them; performing well can generate more leads. Make sure to hone your live sound in rehearsals first.


Promoting your Music on Social Media


When Stormzy dropped his “Shut Up” music video, he showed us the power of going viral on social media. “Shut Up” changed his career and now has over 120 million views on YouTube.


But social media has much more opportunities than just trying to go viral. Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat live broadcasts are great ways to engage with people and build a loyal fan base who will keep listening and talking about your work. Meanwhile, Instagram Stories are a great way to invite fans into your world and create a personal brand or lifestyle.


Get Studio Time


Whatever combination of strategies you choose to use, they all have one thing in common. You need to have high-quality music recorded to get started. 


Getting time in the studio is something that all independent artists struggle to afford. All Nighter Studios makes your creativity affordable by offering self-service studio spaces 24 hours a day. You can use our industry-standard equipment and soundproof rooms to create professional standard tracks. 


If you have an idea for a track or want to practice before your first live gig, book studio space with us today to kickstart your career as an unsigned artist in London.