How Griffin Stoller, Stanford Student turned Music Entrepreneur, Gained Over 1 Million Monthly Listeners On Spotify In Under A Year
Griffin Stoller is a 22 year old Music Producer/Vocalist based out of San Francisco, California. Known initially as an award-winning violinist with a Carnegie Hall debut at age 16, he has recently exploded onto the Dance Music scene with a flurry original music gaining over 15 million streams on Spotify this last year. His music has been supported by Martin Garrix, R3HAB, Louis The Child, and Sam Feldt. My personal favorite is his song called “How To Feel”.
City where you’re from: San Francisco, CA
Hobbies: Playing ukulele and photography
Favorite quote: Music doesn’t lie, if there is something to be changed in this world, then it can only happen through music — Jimi Hendrix
Great having you here Griffin. What is unique about your music?
Griffin Stoller: I got into music production my freshman year at Stanford. I was always interested in making my own original content but struggled to find the right vocalist. One day the vocalist I was working with cancelled on me so I said… Maybe I’ll just try sing the part myself. Even though it felt awkward at first, I began to grow into my voice and haven’t looked back since.
Where do you see your music 5 years from now?
Griffin Stoller: It’s really exciting to see how people have reacted to my music over the past year. I attribute the rapid growth to releasing original content consistently, a new single almost every month. I want to continue to push myself to release quality music as frequently as possible over the next few years…and hopefully collaborate with some other producers and vocalists along the way.
How do you promote your content?
Griffin Stoller: For every song I release, I make video content for Facebook to help drive traffic to my Spotify page. I pay attention to my demographic information from my Spotify listeners and use location, age, and music preferences to help target my facebook posts and ads to reach the right people. This strategy has helped me break through in a heavily saturated market.
How do you Interact with your fans?
Griffin Stoller: I try to make connections with people who enjoy my music. Whether it’s responding to YouTube comments or reaching out to fans individually through e-mail and Instagram DM, I find that connecting to my audience has been an invaluable tool in sustaining an active community around my music.
How did you gain a big Spotify Audience without a record label?
Griffin Stoller: Before I released content on Spotify, I had many people in the industry tell me that it was a bad decision to release original content without the support of a record label. Eventually I just went for it.
During the process, I realized that if the content was good enough and the marketing was on point, the songs could get traction. Breaking into Spotify’s Viral charts in the U.S. and U.K. markets on my first single was a huge milestone for me. I found it important to build off of this milestone and constantly look towards strong follow up projects. I believe that releasing a track a month rather than five songs at once was critical to my growth on the platform because it retained a large portion of the listeners that were engaging with the latest single.
How do you balance producing music with entrepreneurship?
Griffin Stoller: I love making music, but I also want to share it in the most effective way possible…this is where the entrepreneurship components come into play.
Online streaming platforms such as SoundCloud, Spotify, and Apple Music have created a monumental shift in the Music Industry, changing the fundamental way people consume and share music. I believe that educating myself on this market shift and its implications is an ongoing process but one that is critical to developing and maintaining a successful project.
Give the readers the best entrepreneurship advice you have.
Navigating through the music industry can be confusing, daunting, and discouraging…don’t let that hold you back. These are a few lesson i’ve picked up in my journey that have helped me stay motivated and sustain a positive attitude.
- One-hundred No’s are easily outweighed by one yes: Don’t be discouraged if someone doesn’t vibe with your content…the market is huge.
- Keep up to date with how other artists market themselves, and deliver their content. Note what works for them or what falls flat.
- YouTube is your friend. I have learned an incredible amount about producing music and marketing music just through YouTube videos alone.
- Use social media as a tool to heighten your brand awareness and as mechanism to keep up with the micro-shifts of the industry. Follow other Artists, managers, publishers and pay attention to how they interact with each other.
- Reach out to other Artists and tastemakers via Instagram DM every day. It sounds a bit excessive but when it works it’s totally worth it.
- If someone helps you out, even if it’s very minor, make sure to thank them.
- Realize that people will give you bad advice. It has happened to me many times. Ultimately no one will care about your music, content, product more than you. You have to trust yourself.
- If you show your music to your inner circle, friends, mom, dad, girlfriend etc.. and they “LOVE IT”..take that with a grain of salt. The market is how you judge your content. Put your music out, see how many people share it. What do they say about it? The market is the best metric to see how good your music is. Read every comment.
- Spending a lot of time on one song does not necessarily equate to a quality song. Some of my best songs I’ve made have taken me under 10 hours. I’ve also trashed projects that I’ve worked on for 3 months.
- A great piece of content can practically market itself. Put the content before everything.
Tell us about your latest release
I just released a new track called ‘Vibes’. I am really proud of this song because I feel that it represents how i’ve grown as a producer and a songwriter over the last year. “We’re just living life, Holding onto Good Vibes”
Watch Griffin Stoller sing vocals for his last single ‘Vibes’:
Originally published at Future Sharks.