Keep your eyes peeled

Cat eyes

Pay attention to your audience. Watch them. Stay on top of trends. Keep your ear to the ground. This is your job. How are you going to make music that resonates deeply and emotionally if you don’t know what your audience are thinking and feeling?

More specifically, there are two areas in which you need to pay special attention – live music performances (yours and others’) and online.

Watch the crowd at your gig. Which songs cause certain reactions? Which songs do they stop talking for? Which songs do they start dancing to? Which songs do they sing along to? What performance techniques inspire the best responses? Observe the same things online. Which songs get the most listens? Which songs get the most likes, comments and shares?

Try not to jump to conclusions about why you’re seeing certain reactions. People’s reactions to music are complex and subtle. Very often listeners don’t really understand why they respond in certain ways. To start to understand the why, you’ll need to synthesise your observations with the conversations you have with your audience and the results of your own experiments.