Marshmello: How to build your brand to become an EDM superstar
Over the past couple of years, Marshmello has undoubtedly become one of the biggest EDM superstars of our generation. With billions of views, Spotify streams, and collaborations with A-List celebrities, it seems as if there is no stopping the growth of this talented producer. Having established his brand and become internationally recognized by people all over the globe, we’ve put together a giant case study on how he grew to superstar status. After all, the hope is that you will use the information to further your own career. In this article, we’re going to take a look at how the project started, the strategy behind his growth, and the logic behind the branding.
Out of the millions of producers out there, only a small percentage end up getting millions of streams and touring around the world. But of course, only one has managed to achieve that dressed in a Marshmello helmet. With his tracks consistently gaining upwards of 100 million Spotify streams, he has quickly become one of the highest paid producers within the entire entertainment industry. During an interview, his manager (Moe Shalizi) said that he wanted to create a project “that’s not driven by who it is, or what it’s about”. Essentially, he wanted to create a faceless brand.
After the Marshmello project was established in 2015, he immediately began releasing free music on Soundcloud in order to showcase the project to the rest of the world. Using remixes as a way of expanding the brand and gaining a new audience, Marshmello has amassed a social media following of several million people around the world. If you’re a new producer looking to establish a following, you could follow the template of Marshmello and create regular and consistent content for free download across YouTube, Spotify etc. Meanwhile, try and get a range of remixes to help grow your brand amongst people who may not have heard of you before. As well as increasing your revenue from music streams, this tactic will help to grow your brand substantially. For example, you could hit up 100-200 producers that you absolutely love and ask to do a remix of their new song. Admittedly, most will reject you. However, 10-20 may accept your request and send you the stems. With a strong promotional plan, and a good release timing, your remix could chart higher than the original song on YouTube’s SEO platform – and subsequently allow your career to open up to many new opportunities.
Despite many producers regularly talking about the Marshmello brand, social media has played a strong role in its growth. In the same interview, Moe talked about their “Wolves” collaboration with Selena Gomez. With over 130 million Instagram followers, every shoutout towards Marshmello allowed them to gain over 30,000 new followers a day. If you’re looking to be strategic about your music career, try collaborating with producers and vocalists that already have an established following. After all, the shoutouts they give you will allow your brand to grow exponentially. For example, you could look at vocalists doing covers of songs that are a similar style of music to what you produce. By creating an original song with influencers, you’d quickly be featured across their social platforms and consequently growing your fan base (if they have a strong following).
Despite gaining millions of followers and streams from his music, touring seems to provide the primary stream of revenue for this talented producer. Having done shows in multiple continents, and regularly performing at the worlds largest EDM festivals, it comes as absolutely no surprise to learn that he is earning upwards of $150,000 USD per gig. Pretty impressive! In order to kickstart your touring career, collaborating with people that regularly do shows is always a good place to start. After all, if you’re working together on new music, it’s probable that they’ll bring you on-stage for a performance. Take a look at producers doing shows in your country, and consider sending them a collaboration request.
Having also expanded into rap, hip-hop, and multiple other genres, Marshmello has taken the world by storm. Collaborating with the likes of Migos, Logic, and many more impressive names, the strategy behind the growth of this producer is certainly phenomenal. Now that we’ve spoken about the music strategy behind the growth of Marshmello, it’s certainly worth taking a look at his persona, and the branding of this musical phenomenon. Regularly uploading photos of himself doing normal activities such as riding a bike or hanging out with dogs, the comical nature of his appearance make the photos pretty entertaining to view. His manager, Moe, said that by creating these types of content, and even launching the “Cooking With Marshmello” series, new viewers become intrigued and subsequently search the music. Building strong branding and a comprehensive growth strategy is absolutely essential to becoming highly successful within the music industry. With Marshmello just being one example of someone that is doing well, all it takes is talent & hard work to follow in his footsteps. Good luck!