How To Make An Album or EP

Creating your first album or EP can feel like an impossible task. There are so many different factors that make an artist project, so it’s understandable to feel overwhelmed. 

Don’t fret! We’ve put together a complete guide on how to create your first album or EP. We’ll share the key points of preparing properly for a formal release below, and share some tools to make your life a little easier. Let’s dive in! 

How To Make Your First Album or EP In 8 Steps

Ready to get started? Follow these steps to put out your first professional artist project. 

1. Define Your Concept 

2. Build A Budget 

3. Make Sure Your Songs Are Good To Go 

4. Create A Schedule 

5. Don’t Forget About Visuals

6. Put Power Behind Your Promotion 

7. Register and Release 

8. Rinse and Repeat 

1. Define Your Concept 

One of the most important distinctions between singles and full EPs or Albums is that complete projects are more conceptual. Your tracks are more likely to have a connected storyline or at the very least, a common sonic thread that ties them together. 

You’ll need to spend some time thinking about which of your tracks go together, why they go together, and what story or stories you have to share with your audience. If you find yourself torn between two or more concepts, ask your fans for their opinion! 

You can use a link in bio mini app like Poll  or You Choose to help source your fan’s opinions. Your fans will love being an integral part of your process! Just be sure to take the time to customize your profile so that your audience gets an excellent first impression when heading over to your supercharged link. 

2. Build A Budget 

Making art is fun, but it can be costly. Before you move forward, make sure you have a clear idea of how much it’s going to cost to record your music, produce it, make the art, music video, and all other aspects related to your project. Add in some padding for good measure – it’s easy to get carrier away when you’re working on something from the heart!

If you don’t have the funding just yet, ask your fans, friends, and family to help you bring your vision to life using mini apps like Fund My Project. It can take a village to make a full album of EP, so don’t feel like you can’t ask for help

3. Make The Music 

Once you have a clear idea of what your music project will be about and how much it’s going to cost, it’s time to get the tracks in order. Before even thinking about distribution or putting together a schedule, your tracks need to be fully recorded, produced, mixed, and mastered.

Make sure your tracks all align with your album or EP’s main idea. Again, if you’re having trouble deciphering which songs should make the cut, enlist the help of your fans! You can even sell unreleased snippets or early previews of your song through tools like Locked Audio. 

Then, move to finalizing all of your songs through the recording process: 

  • Preproduction: Before you head into the studio or record the music yourself, your songs should be fully written with final lyrics, a solid chord progression, and any other melodic ideas you may have in mind. If you’re going into a studio to work with an engineer, having sonic references and the native BPMs of each track available is helpful. Make sure your audio files are organized and labelled to make the process as efficient as possible. 
  • Recording: Before going into the studio, you’ll want to get a good night’s rest and pack plenty of water to stay hydrated while tracking vocals and instrumental parts. You should know all lyrics, melodies, and chord progressions by heart to make the recordings as efficient as possible. This saves time and money for you and your engineer. 
  • Post Production: During this part of the process, your music is mixed and mastered by an engineer to balance your recording and give your listener a consistent listening experience across playback devices. 

Gather all metadata before settling on a distribution company to get your music out into the world. The project should be completed with high-quality cover art that ties together the main themes of your project. 

It’s also a good time to reach out to other musicians and collaborators for feedback. While art is ultimately subjective, if you find a common thread across feedback from multiple people, take that point to heart. 

4. Create A Schedule 

Now that you have your music project ready to go, it’s time to create a schedule for your pre-release promotion, release date, and social media posts. Make it as detailed as possible so that you can hold yourself accountable on meeting your goals. Remember that it’s wise to give yourself some lead time in between distribution and release day to drum up anticipation, pitch to editorials, and reach out to blogs. Organize any of your upcoming shows and meetups using Event Calendar to keep your fans up to date.  

5. Don’t Forget About Visuals

Music often speaks for itself, but strong visuals can draw in listeners that haven’t gotten that chance to hear you (yet.) Make sure you have a killer music video and visualizers lined up to post on your release day. 
You’ll also want to create short videos for Spotify called canvases which can be uploaded via your Spotify for artists’ profile. These video snippets can be repurposed and used for social media content, teasers, or monetized via Locked Photo and Video. 

6. Put Power Behind Your Promotion  

Putting effort behind your music marketing is just as important as making killer tunes. Make sure your social profiles are all up to date and your link in bio is customized to fit your brand or the theme of your album. 

You should be promoting your music via a presave campaign before the song drops, on release day, and after it’s released. Consistency is key – try to focus on reaching one new fan every day rather than trying to shoot your song into stardom overnight. Being consistent increases your chances of going viral while allowing you to sustainably grow in the meantime. 

7. Register and Release 

When distributing your music, you should also make sure it’s registered with a PRO or performing rights organization to collect publishing royalties. When release day rolls around, make sure you update your Music Links to funnel your audience appropriately. 

Link out each platform to a playlist of the full project rather than individual songs. Koji’s link in bio supports direct mini app embeds for Spotify, YouTube, Apple Music, TikTok, Tidal, Deezer, and Bandcamp

On release week, make sure to stay engaged as possible with your fans to maximize the impact of your music. You can use link in bio mini apps like Ask Me Anything, Shoutout, or Challenges to interact with fans on a deeper level. 

8. Keep Up The Momentum 

Congratulations on publishing your first completed project! The best way to foster an audience is to stay consistent and continue creating in a way that makes sense for you. This could be shifting your focus to marketing your released project to your target audience, or opting to work on another project. 

Ideally, you focus on balancing both. Continue to promote your released project to your audience, find new fans, and most importantly, keep making music.

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