Welcome to the first of many Industry Insights, a series dedicated to helping emerging musicians transform their passion into a full-time career. Today I’m chatting with renowned indie artist Shanice to explore the education and business aspects of the music industry. Learn from her experiences in marketing, collaboration, and navigating the transition from independent to label, as well as learn the strategies she uses for networking, leveraging digital platforms, and staying dedicated to her musical vision.

Your song “I Got You” has gained significant attention and success, congratulations!! Could you share some insights into the marketing and promotional strategies that were employed to help elevate the song’s popularity and reach a wider audience?

Thank you! There is a lot that we are still doing marketing and promotional-wise for the song. It is so amazing because these days we have so many ways to share what we want to share. Social media is a big part of it. It is the easiest way to connect with your audience… so there’s definitely a lot of posting going on to let people know what I’m up to and what’s next. Another super exciting thing we will do is a “target tour”. We will go to every target in the Valley and perform my song. It will be me and two dancers from my video and we will be live on social media while we do it. There are really so many things you can do with a new song release, so it’s very exciting. 

Working with a renowned producer like Mark J. Feist and being signed by Hitmakers Entertainment are remarkable achievements. What advice can you offer to emerging artists seeking similar collaborations and opportunities within the industry?

The most important and probably the most straightforward advice I can give is; work hard and don’t lose motivation. I know that that is hard sometimes, but it will always pay off! Hard work really is the most important thing. Talent is great, but it is common, so it will only get you so far. Hard work is what makes the biggest difference, in my opinion. So don’t lose motivation! We can do this!

Your music resonates with a diverse audience, drawing from a mix of genres and influences, which is not always easy to do. How do you balance maintaining your artistic integrity while also catering to a wide range of listeners?

To be honest, it’s not really something I think about a lot. It happens automatically. I draw inspiration from everything I hear. If you are open and curious about everything musically, I think you will always attract a wider audience range, because it will most likely show in your music. Also, it is just something I love doing!

Most artists dream of signing to a label, and you’ve experienced both the independent music scene and the support of a major label. What are some key differences you’ve noticed in terms of resources, promotion, and creative freedom, and how can independent artists leverage their unique strengths to achieve success on their own terms?

I think the most important thing with that, is to know what exactly it is that you want. There is definitely a big difference with being an independent artist and being signed to a label, from what I know so far. It really depends on who you are and what your goal is. Some artists might prefer to stay independent, there are a lot of great aspects in that. With a major label, the great thing is that you have support from a team and you have the chance to work closely with people who have a lot of experience in so many different fields. That is a very inspiring thing to me. Obviously, having a team who specializes in certain areas of music, especially the business side of things, is great because there are certain things that you only learn with experience and time and there’s certain things I don’t know yet and I know I need the support and the guidance. I think that really is the biggest difference for me so far. 

Your education at Hurtwood House and Leeds Conservatoire undoubtedly made an impact on you and helped shape your music and brand. How important do you believe formal music education is for aspiring musicians, and how can they make the most of their educational experiences (both in and outside of music majors) to thrive in the industry?

Education can have a huge influence on you musically and also emotionally. It really depends where you get your education and what kind of a person you are. People learn very differently and have different goals… I was lucky and the boarding school I went to took that into consideration and focused on students individually, but not all schools are like that. That can be very discouraging and difficult. Either way, I think you learn a lot in both scenarios. I had a bunch of bad experiences with education too, but it taught me to be more independent and rely on myself. So, there is always something to learn from any situation. 

Collaborating with artists, producers, and industry professionals is a critical aspect of a successful music career. Could you share some strategies for networking and building meaningful relationships within the music industry that aspiring artists can learn from?

Networking is such an important thing! The advice I can give in the position I am currently in is to always be open to all opportunities. Some things might not look beneficial, but they might lead to more opportunities in the future. If you’re open to collaborations and respect that there are people who do things differently and you are also okay to learn from that, I think you can work with pretty much anyone. Also, as artists, I think it’s good to help each other out. 

The music industry is rapidly evolving, with digital platforms and social media playing a pivotal roles in an artist’s journey. From your perspective, what are some best ways indie artists can harness these tools to increase their visibility, engage their fan base, and ultimately build a sustainable fan-driven career?

Social media is a very big thing nowadays. I definitely understand the difficult aspects of it. It is difficult sometimes for me as well… but it is part of our society and how we connect on a day to day basis, so as musicians I think we have to adjust to that. It really is a great tool, because we have so much exposure to things and we can connect so easily. It is good to take advantage of it. A little routine can help, Making a plan for yourself, so there is consistency in what you are posting and people can understand your brand better. That’s what helped me. 

Aspiring artists often dream of achieving the kind of success you have. Can you share some insights into the challenges you’ve encountered while working toward this goal and how you’ve managed to stay dedicated to your vision?

The biggest challenge is always not to lose hope. Things will not always be easy. Things will be hard most of the time, but if we want to achieve our goals we have to keep pushing through. Setting yourself daily goals and reminding yourself what you’re working for can help a lot. It definitely helps me. 

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Always stay positive! 

Connect with Shanice

Instagram / TikTok / YouTube / Spotify