Should You Use An Alias For Your Various Musical Personas?

Musformation reader, Mike Earl, writes in to our open thread asking, about how you should split up your various musical aliases?

“Is it a good idea to use your real name if you’re a solo artist, or better to use an artist name? i’ve always used my real name, but i like to be diverse musically, and fans of one album i make might not like others i make.

i mostly make pop music, verse/chorus structures, catchy melodies, etc, as well as hip-hop beats. but one album i’m making is more darkish ambient, and i don’t know if the people that like my pop music would like that album. i mean, i think it’s good, but just might not appeal to everyone, whereas most of my other music is pretty accessible.

is it a good idea to release it under my own name, or should i have like an alias or something? i’d prefer to release everything under my own name, but i’m curious if the ambient album might have a negative effect on my building a fanbase, one that’s more indie pop/rock fans. it’s just a small EP, probably like 4 tracks, maybe 5? thoughts?”

In this day and age one of the best ways to get new fans is via recommendation algorithms like you see in Spotify, Twitter music, Pandora, Rdio, Earbits etc. If you are making very diverse music under one name these recommendations won’t be accurate  and not gain you more fans. In addition to just confusing your fanbase, diversifying these titles, while getting publicity for your diverse musical endeavors can help make your legend grow. Changing your sound from album to album has worked for acts like Beck, but it is rare this works out. I would suggest using another alias for each of your projects, but be sure to build your marketing off your ability to make diverse music.

Jesse Cannon is the editor of Musformation. He produces records at his studio Cannon Found Soundation. Follow him on Twitter at @JesseCannonMusF. For more info please visit his website.

  • Jerke Ýûrkï

    Don’t these recommendation algorithms work on the level of tracks/albums, rather then on the level of an artist?