We caught up with Ali Wali, founder of Norwegian record label Nora Collective.
Interview by Julia Carlsson - March 19, 2019
From nailing social media, to building your personal brand, we caught up with Ali Wali, founder of Norwegian record label Nora Collective at by:Larm music festival and conference to find out his advice for up-and-coming DIY artists.
What is the most important thing to consider when developing your social media strategy as a new independent artist?
I would say the most important thing is to be active. Really use your social media to connect with people and try to start conversations with your fans, peers and people you look up to.
What qualities do you look for in an up-and-coming artist?
The X factor. It’s different from person to person, but for me, I look at the overall energy of the person. If you are someone with heavy energy, like if you get noticed when you are in a room with a lot of people. I’m looking for humble people with good energy. And then the music comes after that!
What are your top three tips for building your personal brand as an artist?
First, be a nice person. Be humble and talk to people as if everyone is equal. That’s very important in my mind. Something I’ve seen with a lot of artists when they use social media, especially Instagram, is the one-way communication. It’s a picture of [you] looking cool on stage and that’s it. And that’s not building your brand, that’s showing off. I would say being active and communicating with people on social media is the most important thing.
What’s the best way that artists can get their track out into the world without any marketing budget?
Playing local shows and sharing your music with people. Send your music to all your friends and your parents. Just share your music and be a nice person and that will really help. That’s probably the way we started — we were playing everywhere with a USB and a DJ set. Just be active and strive for your goals everyday. A lot of young artists are waiting for someone to tell them that they’re good at what they do. They just sit there making music and hopefully someone will come in and say, “oh I like your music, let’s work together” and I'm strongly against that. Because either you do music, and you like your music, and know that it will be something that people will like, or you should do something else.
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