Xan Griffin has grown his Spotify monthly listeners to currently over 100,000, ORGANICALLY! Plus in the past he’s hit highs of up to 500,000 monthly listeners, has a YouTube channel with about 30,000 subscribers, and has a successful presence all around the internet. In this episode we talk about how he did it.
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Andrew and Xan talk about why consistency and passion are key to capturing and keeping your audience’s attention and ultimately becoming a successful artist. You have to be willing to put in the work to create high-quality music, do the marketing and branding, engage with your fans and build a community.
Xan is sharing how his first manager suggested only releasing remixes for a while instead of original music and how he initially resisted that idea. But when he finally gave it a try, it really worked, his popularity skyrocketed and it even lead to the Chainsmokers reposting Xan’s music.
Andrew and Xan discuss why networking or joining collectives can give your career a big push. By doing favors for free, upcoming artists are able to build strong, genuine relationships that you can fall back on later on in your career when you need their help.
[03:02] How Xan started producing music at age 9 – Xan
[06:36] A 9-year old trying to figure out how to produce with Reason – Xan
[08:45] How Xan learned by trying to reproduce his favorite tracks – Xan
[09:28] Xan’s introduction to electronic dance music – Xan
[10:22] Xan producing house music as 11 year old on YouTube – Xan
[12:32] Getting signed by the age of 13 – Xan
[16:48] How to get a labels attention – Xan
[18:39] Getting helpful connections from a label owner and learning from other producers – Xan
[20:22] How to push your music career forward by joining remix competitions – Xan
[26:21] Building up a following on Soundcloud – Xan
[27:36] How to start from the ground up by producing music in another genre – Xan
[28:57] Creating a uniform look for releases – Xan
[29:36] How to build hype by being consistent with your release schedule – Xan
[31:32] How being part of a collective helped Xan to hit 10k plays on Soundcloud – Xan
[33:32] Xan’s experience with his first manager – Xan
[36:35] Only releasing remixes instead of original music for 1 year – Xan
[42:34] How Spotify’s playlist algorithms react to frequent releases – Andrew
[46:03] “Some people ask for these advanced tips or secrets because they don’t really wanna put in the effort of just doing what is necessary.” – Xan
[46:32] What it takes to be a successful artist – Andrew
[50:48] Why Soundcloud is not the best place for your music anymore – Xan & Andrew
[50:48] Why reposts don’t work anymore – Andrew
[56:08] Building connections with Trap Nation – Xan
[59:28]“it’s all about finding that connection who could really like, market your music to people and get it to people’s ears and then they blow up.” – Xan
[01:00:53] Why Xan cut ties with his manager – Xan
[01:04:00] Getting a remix reposted by the Chainsmokers – Xan
[01:06:37] Why you should establish a regular release pattern – Xan
[01:10:49] The story behind Xan’s album “Zodiac” and why it was so successful – Xan
[01:31:21] How Andrew got his first editorial placement on Spotify – Andrew
[01:34:18] The power of networking – Andrew
[08:45] “I spent that time really just like listening to songs that I liked and like trying to recreate them. And that got me like a lot of insight on like how songs were like structured and what sounds do what and it like really trained my ear so I could really hear what’s going on in music.“ – Xan
[17:25] “I would always email labels and stuff and never get a reply. Not even like a, not even get denied, like they just wouldn’t reply. So I was like, okay, I gotta figure out how to like, get them instantly. Like I gotta get an instant reply. So I found this label owner on Facebook.“ – Xan
[21:32] “That was my strategy, to build genuine relationships, like where I will literally not ask for money if they need favors from me. Like if they need me to make something for them or like do some kind of favor. I was just trying to build strong relationships so then I could ask for something later.“ – Xan
[29:36] “I would do this thing where I would make like three songs ahead of time and then I would like schedule them out like three weeks apart. And then it was either a month or three weeks. And so that way I had some consistency cuz I realized that if I kept doing it consistently, then I would be able to build off of like the hype of the last track.”- Xan
[43:36] “ In the era that we’re in now, people’s attention spans are like short, short and you need to like stimulate them like constantly in order for them, in order for them to not forget about you. So as a new artist, if you just release one banger, like a lot of people will probably just forget about it honestly.“ – Xan
[46:43] “if someone’s not passionate about enough about the music and willing to take it hard enough, they’re not gonna (succeed), not only not make music that hits the quality they need to hit, but they’re also not gonna spend all the time to actually like, push it and market it and keep doing that consistently and figure out the branding and engage with their fans.” – Andrew
If you enjoyed this interview you might also like this one I did with Benn Jordan (The Flashbulb) on how he’s made a living with music over the past 20+ years.