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Written by Ramsey Brown
Are you struggling with the task of coming up with catchy artist names for yourself as an individual or for your band? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. We know that it can be difficult to get the ball rolling on artist name ideas. Your name will follow you throughout your music career, so it is a big decision that has long-lasting effects.
Don’t let that scare you, though. Here are some simple steps that you can take to move closer to reaching a brilliant name for yourself.
The first thing that you need to think about is what you represent as an artist or a band. What kind of music do you make? Where are you from? What are you interested in? Answering these questions is a smart place to start when trying to come up with artist name ideas. Your name should represent you, so think of all the things important to you.
After you have put some thinking into the things that represent you as an artist, it is time to start the brainstorming process. While most people know what brainstorming is, there are ways that you can have a more productive brainstorming process. Let’s walk through the things involved with brainstorming that you should keep in mind to get the most out of your time.
Word vomit is simply words that come out of your mouth having no thought associated with them. If you are stuck and lacking any motivation, word vomit can be a great place to start. You can always come back to these ideas if there ends up being something you like. Word vomit is just a way to get the ball rolling and overcome writer's block.
This is like the word vomit that we talked about. Just to stress the point, you want to focus on quantity over quality. Getting as many ideas down as you can will make the overall process take less time, and you won’t be as stressed because you will have more options.
We wanted you to focus on a larger quantity over getting caught up on the quality, because now you can take the time to build on all the ideas you have. Remember that ideas are a starting point for new ideas. Instead of rejecting any of the names you have come up with to this point, ask yourself on how you can build on them. Challenge yourself to make the names better.
Brainstorming can be a tough task when you are lacking motivation. A smart way to try to fix this problem is by practicing methods of visual brainstorming. Visual brainstorming includes any way of expressing ideas visually. You can try drawing, affinity diagrams, concept maps, and much more. There are also free tools and programs out there to help you visually organize your thoughts and ideas. Just remember to get creative and let it all out!
Within the process of selecting a name for yourself or your band, there are some important things that you need to remember. So before you celebrate, check through this list and make sure that your newly selected name holds up.
Have you ever seen an artist's name spelled weirdly and you just think to yourself “why did they do that”? It’s actually very common, so if you’re going to use a weird spelling on your name you should be very careful. Even doing as much as asking your peers if they think it is a good idea can be helpful. The problem is that a lot of artists think a weird spelling looks cool, but when it is presented to an audience, it may fall short.
Being able to search for something easily has become a very important element of an artist's name. You need to be practical about your name. When you find out about a new artist and become interested in them, what is the first thing you’re going to do? Either google them, or search for them on a popular streaming platform like Spotify.
There are a couple of things you should think about when it comes to how easy it is to search for your name. To start off, how common is the name you are choosing? If you share the name with other established movies, places, or people, then there will be a lot of competition for you within the search engines. It is also wise to check and see if your artist name has already been trademarked or patented to further protect yourself down the road. You can search this at https://www.uspto.gov/
You should also avoid a name that is unnecessarily long. Don’t make it a pain for your fans or new listeners to find you. Now this doesn’t mean your name has to be three letters, but just avoid making your name longer than it has to be.
Make sure you try avoiding boring and generic names. You want to create something that draws interest around your music, not something that potential listeners will brush over. This also ties back to how easily people can search for you. Generic names will be the ones that have been used more by others.
If you can, try to envision yourself as an artist ten years in the future. Imagine that your music has grown, you are successful, and you draw in tons of streams over popular platforms. If that was all true, would you still like the name you’re thinking of using? If not, maybe reconsider and try to think of some alternatives.
Coming up with artist name ideas can be a stressful process, and many people struggle with it. If you are struggling to name yourself, just remember you’re not alone. Don’t put a lot of pressure on yourself, feel it out, and choose something that feels right to you. Remember that you can always ask your peers to help you through this process, as the more ideas you have the better.
Also, keep in mind that your work will add significance to the name over time. The name you chose will never be perfect. Just take the time to go through the process carefully, pick something that you think represents you well, and let your music add strength to it.
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