Finding Your Artist Identity

With so many ways to release your music, and so many different genres of music being popular, it’s hard to decide what genre you want to go into, or what sub-genre you’d like to focus on, what genre you truly love singing. When you say you’re going to do one thing, someone always brings up the question “What audience does that have?”. They’re trying to help, but hearing that question just adds to the already mounting frustration you have been experiencing while trying to pin point exactly what it is you like to sing. When, in actuality, you knew what you’ve wanted to sing all along.

YouTube is a great place to not only find videos now, but music as well. With YouTube, came cover artists, who sing anything from pop songs, to remixing movie soundtracks, to singing new arrangements of music from video games. YouTube is a great resource to us artists, but if you don’t know expressly what you want to sing, it can sort of be hard sifting through things. Your brain instantly goes to “Oh, I see this person has this many views, I’ll cover this stuff!” your brain never wonders how long they have had their channels up, and what makes them stand out as opposed to other artists. Is it the songs their singing? Their upload schedule? Their video quality? All of the above?

I’ve been struggling with my artist identity for a while. Originally, I just wanted to sing video game songs, then moved to singing those, songs from movies, and songs from TV. Then, I circled back to just wanting to sing video game songs, and Celtic-style songs that I like to sing. Classical, soprano songs, that sort of thing. Just anything I can put a Celtic spin on, along with my original works and fan arrangements, and covers of video game songs. And honestly? This is what I wanted to do from the beginning, and just thought no one would want to listen. But I’m happiest when doing this – like, who cares if I don’t get the most YouTube views right now? I’m singing songs I love, and working on arranging both original and fan works that I also hold dear to my heart. Views will come, and when they do they will be people who genuinely like to listen to my music, and who will hopefully stay fans. I realized this when just searching through YouTube for different video game music artists, and seeing them sticking to their genres (piano, Celtic, folk etc etc) and still performing and working with music they love. I was like “Awesome! So it is doable” and never looked back. Sometimes, wanting to post different things on my YouTube channel crosses my mind, since I do sing other things in other genres but…I shall simply do those for fun and post them elsewhere. They are great songs to sing, don’t get me wrong, but they just aren’t part of the type of professional artist I’d like to be.

So yeah: I think, for the most part, I have found my artist identity. I gotta say I’m very happy with it! I haven’t been this happy with my music in a long time: I’ve always gotten frustrated with trying to please the masses in a way, but now that I’ve committed to this path I notice I still have people listening to my music, it hasn’t alienated them at all from listening! What a relief! I guess I was worried about nothing, right? Now to keep on keeping on!


Author: Crystal

A California based musician who is as passionate about music as she is video games,, Crystal (or ValkyrieCeles around the interwebs) loves to gush about her various nerdtastic loves, rant about anything currently catching her fancy, and generally just express herself in any creative outlet she can get her hands on. An avid reader, writer, and dreamer, Crystal has been leaving pieces of herself around the internet since 2006.

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