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Top 10 Music Influencers Of 2023 And Best Practices For Working In Harmony With Them

So you’re trying to get your music out there. We get it—standing out in today’s music industry is no task for quitters. But you’re no quitter; you’re in this industry for a reason. We’ve got a secret weapon for you: music influencers. 

Picture your song blasting in the background of a viral TikTok dance, in the intro music to a popular YouTube vlogger’s daily videos, as the soundtrack for a creator’s viral video. Sounds like a dream, right?

Wake up, good news! Partnering up with music influencers is at the reach of your hand—literally. They offer emerging and established musicians an intimate gateway to their audience’s hearts. DJ, put the record on; we’re getting to it!

Understanding the power of music influencers

Alright! Let’s dive headfirst into the music influencer ocean. But what on earth is a music influencer? We’re not just talking about the Beyonces and Taylor Swifts of the world here—we’re thinking more along the lines of the cool indie YouTuber who reveals unseen nuances in popular tracks or the bubbly TikToker who creates dance challenges for the hottest new songs.

“A music influencer can be any creator who incorporates music into their content, or promotes, reviews, or discusses anything related to the music industry.”

These influencers are powerful marketing assets. They influence (the hint’s in the name!) their audience’s musical tastes and purchasing habits. They can make a lesser-known song go viral overnight—just remember PinkPantheress’ “Just For Me”—or help an artist climb the charts.

Music influencers are the new hit-makers. Their far-reaching digital nets offer an unrivaled platform to broadcast music on a global scale. So, if you’re not already considering leveraging these influencers—well, there’s no time like the present to start.

Music influencer with a guitar

Identifying the right music influencer

Now, the tricky part is identifying the best music influencers for your brand. We’re not just talking about hooking up with the biggest names with gazillions of followers. It’s about finding someone whose style and values resonate with you. Remember, this game isn’t just about numbers—it’s about connection, authenticity, and, above all, music.

Take a close look at your music. Who are you trying to reach? Are you all about teenage heartbreak songs? Maybe a TikToker known for lip-syncing emotional tracks is your guy. Or maybe your sound is more gaming tunes, and that “God of War” Twitch gamer with a rocking opening sequence is a better match?

The key is to study these influencers and their communities. Yes, there are tools to find that perfect match, but it’s you who has to vibe with them. You need to be on board with what they create. Remember, they’re not just promoting your music—they’re integrating it into their brand, and in turn, you will integrate them into your broader marketing strategy.

And let’s be real, they aren’t going to be your cheerleaders for the sake of it—they’re going to be collaborators—co-creators of a new sound experience. Apart from having the numbers, they need to have that “something special.” That thing that makes audiences believe, engage, and finally, reach out and hit play on your music. Finding the right match could transform your music career!At the end of the day, this will be part of your music marketing strategy, so don’t be afraid to track the creator’s performance. This way, you’ll be able to maximize your investment and help both you and the creator get the best out of the partnership.

Navigating different platforms

The world of social media is just like ours, and each platform is a unique habitat, teeming with its own beasts (AKA influencers, audiences, and trends). When it comes to platforms, each one offers its distinct flavor, and this flavor will ultimately impact the dish you’re serving to potential fans.

TikTok

TikTok is the new kid on the block, and boy, is it rocking the music scene. It’s the perfect place to catch a viral wave. From dance challenges to just playing in the background of literally anything—yes, TikTok gets weird sometimes—it’s the dream playground for music promotion. 

Creators and influencers also benefit from having cool, vibey tunes in their content, so don’t think of it as them just doing an ad; they’re also gaining a lot from this collab! Music influencers on TikTok offer instant exposure; a hit track here can lead to chart-topping success.

Instagram

Instagram is another platform you can’t ignore. Between Stories and Reels, creators have a multitude of avenues to showcase their music. Music influencers on Instagram can incorporate your sound as part of their brand’s visual story, a perfect melding of sound and vision. From interior decorators looking to enhance their *aesthetics,* to comedy accounts, or even science accounts, everyone needs a cool soundtrack to their content.

YouTube

YouTube is the OG of music promotion. It offers a combination of tutorials, reviews, promotions, and much more. YouTube’s music influencers have a dedicated audience specifically for music: reactions are not going away anytime soon, vocal coaches abound, and music connoisseurs are eager for new sounds to discuss and show to their audiences.

Twitch

While generally known for gaming streams, don’t overlook Twitch. Music is a significant part of these streams. Gamers often listen to (and discover) new music during live-streaming sessions, opening up a completely different demographic for music creators to tap into.

X (formerly known as Twitter)

X (formerly Twitter), at first, might not seem as music-friendly as its counterparts, but don’t be fooled. Twitter is a massive pit of potential fans eager to find new jams. It opens a direct take on conversations with your audience, enabling an authentic connection. Sneak peek tweets, lyric-reveal threads, the avenues are endless.

Working on “long-play” relationships with music influencers

Sweet talk goes a long way. And we don’t mean the hollow, sugary kind. We mean the genuine “I appreciate you” type of sweetness. Your connection with music influencers shouldn’t be a one-off transaction. It’s a game of long-play relationships, slow brew coffee, instead of instant sachets, if you will.

Make them feel special. Remember their birthdays or congratulate them on landmarks. Send a thoughtful message out of the blue, or exclusively share that snippet of your new track before it hits the market. These small gestures might seem insignificant at a glance, but they’re the lifeblood of long-lasting relationships. They keep the partnership alive, authentic, and thriving.

As we wrap up, let’s cap it off with some of the reigning champions, the titans of the influencer world. They’re the pioneers in bridging global audiences and music, each with their flair.

1. Adam Neely

Adam Neely is an NYC-based bassist who creates education-rich content primarily centered around music theory and performance for his massive following of 1.5 million subscribers. You can find him on YouTube, X, and Patreon.

2. Mic The Snare

Giving musicology a fun flip, Mic has been educating and entertaining his 150k subscribers with easily digestible music theory. You can find Mic on YouTube, Instagram, and X.

3. Rick Beato

Our multi-talented music producer, composer, and musician, Rick, attracts over 2.3 million followers with his music theory, production techniques, and much more. You can find Rick on YouTube.

4. Andrew Huang

The host of 2.3 million followers, Andrew redefines music tech with his unique reviews, tips, and experiments. You can find Andrew on YouTube, Instagram, X, Bandcamp, and Patreon.

5. Dame Dash

Co-founder of the infamous Roc-A-Fella Records, Dame’s 550k followers log in daily to get the latest on underrated and upcoming artists. You can find him on Instagram.

6. Disco Face

This mysterious and popular anonymous singer, songwriter, and producer fuses bright electronic music into covers of various songs and mashups. You can find Disco Face on TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, and his website.

7. Marc Rebillet

Molding funk, hip-hop, and electronic music with humor, Marc’s taste in music has won him a vast fan base of 2.17 million subscribers counting. You can find him on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, X, and Twitch.

8. Seth Davis

Seth brings joy to hundreds of thousands of people across multiple social media channels with his drumming videos. You can find him on YouTube, Instagram, Twitch, TikTok, X, and Facebook.

9. Loren Gray

With 43.9 million followers, Loren specializes in dance, lip-syncing, and comedy videos. She also recently released her single “Breadcrumbs” and is transitioning to become a full-fledged artist. You can find Loren on Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, X, and Facebook.

10. Jalaiah Harmon (TikTok)

As the creator of the Renegade dance challenge, Jalaiah attracted 2.4 million followers and is known for original choreography on TikTok. You can also find her on YouTube.

Key takeaway

Partnering with music influencers is a powerful strategy to gain exposure and catapult your music to new heights. Understanding their role, identifying the right match, exploring various platforms, and building long-lasting relationships is crucial to success. As we’ve shown, music influencers, such as the Top 10 of 2023, have the power to bridge global audiences and music. Remember, it’s not just about the numbers; it’s about connection, authenticity, and the passion for music. So, start seeking those influencers who resonate with you, and let your music journey soar to new heights!

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Special thanks to our friends at Grin.co for their insights on this topic.
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