Having millions of people recognize your skills is a dream come true for many musicians. With YouTube, Soundcloud, and social media sites like TikTok, there are countless ways to approach fame these days. You don’t even need to show who you are.
Do you want to know how to be a famous anonymous musician? Developing your skills in both music-making and marketing while keeping your name and face a secret is vital. Additionally, being a famous unknown musician is much about patience and luck.
Being famous, especially while hiding your identity, is a lofty goal. If you want to get there, start by looking at the essential components we’ve outlined in this article.
Hiding your Face
One of the downsides of fame is being called out in public often. Some may relish the attention, but it can get tiring. To preserve your anonymity as a musician, you must not show your face.
If you’re uploading songs to Soundcloud, all you need to do is avoid putting your image in your profile. However, if you’re making YouTube videos of you playing your music, you’ll need something else. Release animated videos like Gorillaz do or consider wearing a mask. You’ll need something that fully covers your face if you’re going the mask route.
Need examples? Look at the members of bands like Daft Punk and Slipknot. Their masks are more iconic than the faces of the people wearing them. Granted, these guys aren’t anonymous because you can easily find out who everyone is if you look up the bands. If you want to be anonymous, you’ll need to conceal your identity entirely.
How to Choose an Alias
Choosing an alias (or pseudonym) is a fun part of creating your anonymous identity. While the words “anonymous identity” sound contradictory, it’s best to think of anonymity as creating a musical alter-ego. If you want to be famous, people still need to call you something. A good alias needs to be:
- Catchy: When word of mouth spreads, you want your alias to roll of the tongue well. Otherwise, people may stumble and forget it, hindering how quickly your name gets out.
- Memorable: When you make incredible music, people need to know how to say who did it.
- Identifying: An alias should have a personality, and the name you give it outlines that.
- Easy to spell: Again, people need you be able to cite your alias easily so others can look you up.
What’s great about an alias or pseudonym is you can get creative. Unless you have a great first and last name combo (like Charlie Chi), an alias will sound better and be easier for fans to chant.
How to be a Famous Anonymous Singer
If you’re looking to become renowned for your unique voice, then you have one more thing you need to hide. Fortunately, disguising your voice isn’t that hard, as speaking voices and singing voices differ.
You can use Soundcloud (for example) to upload recordings of your natural singing voice with minimal risk of being “found out.” If you work a day job, your coworkers are unlikely to catch on to your musical alter-ego unless you sing all day at work. Even so, the timbre of your voice isn’t going to be the same between locations.
Just note that to become a famous anonymous singer, you must practice independence. Even traditional solo singers occasionally promote themselves by singing with others in featured songs. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to do this without risking giving up your identity. It just means you’ll need to generate fame in other ways.
Anonymous or not, you’ll need to prioritize marketing if you want to become internet famous.
How to Market Yourself as an Anonymous Musician
Learning to market yourself or self-promote is a must if you want a shot at fame. It can be an exciting or dreadful experience, depending on how you feel about it. As an anonymous musician, self-promotion means promoting your musical alias.
Without going into the more rigorous details of digital marketing, we encourage you to:
- Research what’s trending. The internet is a volatile place where popular content rides fleeting waves of demand. What people want now isn’t going to be the same as what people want a month from now. This goes for music, too.
- Be original. While emulating what internet famous musicians have done to get where they are helps, copying them doesn’t. People can sense desparation. Follow the strategies, but create your own style.
- Use the right social media site. If you’re going the music video route, YouTube remains a top choice. If you want to give people a snippet of your playing, TikTok is great. However, if you’d rather skip the video side and just upload some music, Soundcloud is king.
- Create a website. When popularity comes, people are going to want to learn more about you. A website is a great place to show upcoming releases, insights, and more without needing to showcase your identity.
Ultimately, successful music marketing, anonymous or not, comes down to building a following. Optimizing your content for views while showing the best of your music will help bring the success you seek.
How to Develop your Skills as a Musician
To be an outstanding musician, you need to be unique. Perhaps you want to be an anonymous singer who delivers a revolutionary vocal style. Maybe you’d like to be the next Flea and crush the bass like no one else, so people demand to know who you are (you don’t need to tell them).
Achieving great fame as an anonymous musician comes down to one thing: impressing people. To impress people, you need to be an exceptional musician.
Note that being exceptional comes down to pinpointing what people like. You don’t need an advanced technique to be famous. Many bands and artists have built massive fanbases with just a few chords. You do need to sound good, though.
If you’re hoping for massive success, you need to learn the basics at least. Start by:
- Learning basic chord progressions. You’ll find that the majority of pop and rock songs rely on these.
- Understanding the intervals of the pentatonic major and minor scales.
- Becoming intimately familiar with your favorite instrument, be it voice or keyboard.
To be a successful anonymous singer, guitarist, flutist, or whatever, your fame will rely upon how you translate this fundamental knowledge into a signature sound. Keeping your melodies simple instead of complex will benefit you. People prefer music to follow along, sing, and dance easily.
Be Willing to Work Hard
Rarely will you achieve great fame and wealth through inaction. To be a famous anonymous musician, you have to want it. Even then, there’s no guarantee you’ll get it without working hard and being innovative.
You will spend a significant portion of your time making music. Expect to have (song)writer’s block from time to time. When this happens, you’ll need to take a break while pushing yourself to get back to work as soon as possible. Remember, no boss is overseeing you. Nobody else is going to force you to do anything except yourself. Discipline is crucial. Fortunately, songwriting is incredibly rewarding, so motivation should come more accessible to you than it does to a freelance accountant.
The rest of your free time should go to making yourself known. While many people like to brush off internet celebrities as having “gotten lucky,” promoting your content takes effort. Know that going in, especially if you’re working a full-time job, you will be putting in a good chunk of your waking hours hustling. While it will get easier once people start seeing your music, starting can be a (worthwhile) struggle.
Pros and Cons of Being an Anonymous Musician
Musicians may decide to stay anonymous for a variety of reasons. Additionally, musicians may research the advantages and disadvantages of anonymity and decide they’d rather get their real name out there instead of an alias. If you want to gain a following as a musician, what path should you take?
The decision is yours, but here’s what you can expect if you decide to keep your identity a secret.
|Becoming an Anonymous Musician|
|Pros||1) You’ll keep your privacy|
2) People won’t beg you for autographs when you’re in public
3) You can keep your day job without damage to your image
4) You may attract people to the mystery that surrounds you
|Cons||1) You won’t truly be famous for your name|
2) People may underestimate you
3) Certain gigs, like collaborating with other artists, are off the table
4) Keeping your identity a secret is hard work.
In conclusion, being an anonymous musician is for you if you want your music to be famous without being harassed in public. On the other hand, hiding your identity means you won’t be able to brag in public without losing your anonymity.