Accepting the necessity to identify your niche

Coloured liquid in bottles

To make music that matters, you must understand who it will matter to.

By its very nature, art is divisive. No artwork is universally loved nor hated. This is true of music and it will be true of your music. By simply making and releasing music, you will divide people. And that’s ok. You can’t make music for everybody. Nor should you. Your music can only be loved by a subset of the population.

The leap of faith is in realising that you can choose which subset of the population will love your music. You can choose your niche. You can choose your tribe.

This is powerful. By deliberately creating music for a niche, you can create music that a smaller number of people will love, rather than music that a larger number of people will merely like. If you understand this, your goal should not be to spread your music as widely as possible (as many emerging artists mistakenly attempt). Instead, your goal should be to make people care as much as possible. Make music for a niche, a minority, a sub-culture, a tribe. The more focussed you are, the more you will make music that deeply moves your listeners.

Go for the emotions, not the numbers.

While most of your audience will be in your tribe, there will be a few outsiders who also enjoy it. They are accidental fans. You didn’t specifically try to reach them, but they found out about you and liked your music anyway. While this is flattering, you should avoid being distracted by these fans. Because they’re outside your niche, they will naturally be more difficult to reach. They will also resonate with the music differently to your core audience. Including them will undermine your efforts to refine and develop music that your core audience will love.