The Impact of Social Media on Up-and-Coming Artists
“I’m a bedroom producer from Toronto who posted videos of myself improvising over beats I made on Instagram. That eventually caught traction and resulted in my music career taking off, landing me getting flown out to Baja with my best friend to headline a festival called Valle En Blanco, selling out shows in Toronto, and getting over 2,500 monthly listeners in my first month uploading my new music.” – Jake Beck
Twenty four year old Toronto artist and bedroom producer, Jake Beck, combines live instruments, modern beats, and live looping into his music and posts them on Instagram. He uses all kinds of instruments to create sound; including the unusual wine bottles, bubble wraps, or a simple action of drumming on tables.
Jake’s Instagram success started with one of his videos collecting over 18,000 views and receiving over 100 comments. In that video, the talented Jake Beck was seen improvising on a large keyboard to play over the top a beat that he whipped together in a short time. People responded to the nonchalance that would later become his unique brand of music creation – making it look easy. Now, Jake has over 20,000 passionate followers on Instagram.
The beautiful thing about making it in the world of social media is that artists can see the path to success and take proactive measures toward reaching that goal. Gone are the days of playing many shows and hoping an agent strolls through the venue hungry for talent. Social media has been changing the world for artists. We saw this kind of social media success with Post Malone’s “White Iverson”, which was posted on Soundcloud and within one month he landed a deal with Republic Records.
A report by Wintel showed that streaming revenues from the independent sector increased by over 46% in 2017. That is a beneficial shift for independent artists. Beyond that, online playlists now account for 31% of listening in America, according to a study by LOOP. Jake is now playing sold out shows in his home city of Toronto and spends most of his time in his studio working on radio-quality tracks. He recently began uploading his tracks to Spotify and within his first month has attained over 2,600 monthly listeners.
Jake can credit a lot of his success to social media and 10,000 hours of practice. In summer 2019, Jake Beck was approached to headline a festival in Baja and was flown down with his best friend. Jake is not just a musician who can sing, write, and play over 5 instruments, but is also a brilliant producer. He’s definitely a talent on the rise — an up and coming powerhouse to look out for.
What’s the biggest problem you’ve had to overcome so far?
The biggest hurdle I’ve had to overcome was dropping out of university to pursue music full time. What i always say is “If you’re putting 20% into your plan B, you can’t put 100% into your plan A.. and others will ya little fucker”. Succeeding in music takes talent, hard work, but also a great familial environment to foster said talent and I have been lucky enough to have had a family who have supported me and believed in me since day 1. I would always say “I feel like I can be the greatest producer of all time if Ii just put down the instruments and pick up the computer”, to which my brother would always respond “Do it, pussy”. well.. do it, I did. haha
If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be?
The industry has already faced a lot of amazing changes in recent years for the better. There are no more rules. I literally put gongs and sitars in songs and people still consider it “pop enough”. We live in a special time, and there will always be things to change whether in the music industry or society at large. However, i feel like hyper focusing on change leads to unnecessary revolutions as opposed to just truly appreciating what we have. I used to think I was born in the wrong generation but damn was I ever wrong. This is the best time to be alive in every walk of life.
What is the best and worst about touring for you?
The worst part is that the schedule gets thrown off massively and eating habits become inconsistent but that is completely overshadowed by the best part being that I’m literally doing the exact same thing I do in my bedroom but in front of so many people ( as in the music making 😉 ). Plus I get to do it with my best friend. Having people waiting outside your changing room to take pictures with you is also pretty kewl
Who inspired you to start making music?
Both of my brothers played guitar before me. I tried to learn, but wasn’t able to maintain interest learning chords and scales. It wasn’t until my little brother taught me a simplified version of Holiday by Green Day that I really saw the magic. Then my friend let me borrow his electric guitar where I proceeded to destroy the ear drums of everyone around me and get sentenced to playing in the garage (to the dismay of my neighbors… but who doesn’t want to hear an amateur play Crazy Train a thousand times before bed?)
What is one message you would give to your fans?
If you want to make it in music, that’s all it takes. No one has any more energy than anyone else, energy comes from desire. All the energy that ever has been and ever will be is around you right now. Find a way to become obsessed with something that will take you to toward your goal and DON’T ASK FOR FEEDBACK FROM FRIENDS until you’re at the point where your confidence can remain unaffected! Find feedback from mentors. Drop your tracks buddy, because if you ask even 50 friends, that’s way too small of a sample size. No matter how trash your music is, someone will enjoy it. Invest your time into developing your craft and finding those people with click funnels lol
What artists are you listening to now?
Alt J, Emancipator, Lewis Taylor. Alt J for doing their own thing, listening to no one, and thriving at it FOR THAT REASON. Emancipator for being a true master of the craft of production, an automation and exotic instrument legend. Lewis Taylor cause damn that boy can feel it.
What is your practice/rehersal process like?
There is no practice for me. I have never once sat down on a guitar, piano, bass, drumkit, computer, or synthesizer and thought “let’s practice”. I thought “let’s play”. Seeing it as practice will limit you to an employee mindset forever. Develop and hone your skills no doubt, but change your perspective. Rehearsals are for tightening up a performance of your SKILLS that you’ve stumbled upon over the years by loving what you do 😉 The out pour of support solidifies that people just truly love to see someone doing what they love. That is how you produce change. Stop practicing, start loving what you do. It’s not about how “talented” you are, it’s about how hard you sell it.
What is your pre-show ritual?
What are you working on right now?
I am working on creating a pipeline of tracks with my friend Sylus Rose so that I can bring him on tour with me. None of this shit is any fun if you are doing it on your own. I am also doing a ton of digital marketing with the help of my beautiful entrepreneur girlfriend and founder of Scoria World, a company that makes EPIC yoga gear and donates 10 meals with every purchase.