What do Lorde, Macklemore, and Shawn Mendes have in common? They used free media sites to promote their musical talents.
New Zealand-born Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O’Connor (Lorde) was only 13 years old when she signed a music contract with Universal.
The Love Club was self-released in November 2012 as an extended play but originally uploaded to SoundCloud as a free download. When it hit 60,000 downloads, that’s when the record company stepped in.
Lorde’s first single Royals was listed on Spotify‘s Hipster International and eventually became the 2013 number one song on the Billboard Top 100. It was the most streamed song in New Zealand and Lorde was nominated for four 2013 Grammys and won two: Song of the Year (Royals) and Best Pop Solo Performance. Her song Yellow Flicker Beat was part of the soundtrack for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part I.
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis released an independent mix tape, three extended plays, and two albums and became the first duo to have two number one singles on the Billboard Top 100: Thrift Shop and Can’t Hold Us. They were nominated for seven 2013 Grammys and won four: Best New Artist, Best Rap Album (The Heist), Best Rap Song (Thrift Shop), and Best Rap Performance (Thrift Shop).
Growing Up (Sloane’s Song) featuring Ed Sheeran was released as a free download and the duo’s third album was announced via Twitter.
Shawn Peter Raul Mendes is a Canadian from Toronto who made his mark uploading six-second cover Vine videos. He amassed a large following on the network and became the third most followed musician.
His popularity and talent caught the attention of Island Records. The label produced his first solo album Handwritten in 2015. At age 16, he was the youngest artist to have a debut song (Life of theParty) reach the top 25 on the Billboard Top 100.
Mendes recently opened for Taylor Swift on her 1989 World Tour and he became one of Time magazine’s 25 Most Influential Teens in 2014 and 2015.
Originally published December 4, 2015. Debbie Elicksen. freelancepublishing.net