We are already a week into December, and turning up the volume on holiday music to celebrate the end of the year. There’s a lot to look forward to:
- Great food
- An overall sense of relaxation and unwinding
- Iconic songs that we’ve been singing since our childhood.
If you’re a musician, this is the best time of year to share your art with the world. Whether you’re writing original holiday music, or creating your cover of an existing song, here are some useful tips:
1 – Do your homework
From a legal standpoint, each song comes with different copyright regulations. If you are creating a cover of a public domain song (like Jingle Bells), the rules differ. If you’re putting your own spin on an existing holiday song whose composer owns the rights to the song, the rules are different. And if you are making original music, you own all rights to the song, and have to follow a different set of laws.
2 – Make it yours
Are you a multi-instrumentalist? You can add multiple layers to your song. Are you a Western vocalist? You can put a mellow, acoustic spin on Santa Claus is Coming to Town. Covering a song gives you an opportunity to be as creative as you’d like, and put in your personality into your art.
3 – Create a holiday story around your music
Remember, there are hundreds of thousands of artists making and sharing holiday music. You can make your work stand out by keeping your audience hooked by making fun holiday artwork, posting behind-the-scenes photos and videos of yourself putting the song together, and sharing teasers (on social media, or as emailers and direct messages). If you are making a music video, use social media to take your listeners through the journey of recording, shooting, and editing with your team.
4 – Release your song on all platforms
Use a distribution service like CDBaby, TuneCore, or Wiseband to put your music on streaming platforms. Additionally, you can submit your music to popular holiday playlists on platforms like Spotify; if the editors select your music, it is a one-way ticket to popularity! You can drive more people to your music by sharing links on your social media platforms. It is also a good idea to conduct live online sessions to connect with your audience.
This is a great time of year for feel-good music. Whether you’re recreating an existing holiday favourite that makes your listeners nostalgic, or trying your hand at making new and exciting art to close out the year, December is a really special time to get started.
By SaPa Co-Founders Bindu & Ambi Subramaniam. Check out holiday music by SaPa students.