Here’s How I Created An Entire Album and Revenue Stream While A Global Pandemic Kept Me Isolated

Published on November 17, 2020

Like many people around the world, I’ve spent an unordinary amount of time alone and isolated this year. It was scary. It was painful. And it forced me to confront all my thoughts and traumas that I had been putting aside for years. As I sorted through my thoughts, I wrote down how I was feeling and poured my emotions into songwriting.

I created 9 songs that I released into an album on October 20th called “Songs for Introverts (And Extroverts Too). I did this with zero musical experience and zero access to the outside world.


Step 1: Write Down Your Thoughts and Feelings

First, I started by writing down my thoughts and feelings in poems. Then, knowing nothing about music except that it rhymes here and there, I changed the poems to include more alliteration and stanzas of rhyme.

Here’s a sample of a song I wrote called “Don’t Let Strangers Break Your Heart

You’re dancing with a stranger

It’s likely it’s the danger

That fills your palms with elation

Sit down girl, turn the station

When I wrote this, I jotted down some thoughts about the initial rush of dating someone new and then made it rhyme-stranger, danger, elation, station.

I filled journals with ideas, thoughts, and feelings and poured my thoughts onto the pages. Many people think it takes weeks to write a song. My process for songwriting is to quickly write down all my thoughts in a span of 10-20 minutes, and 10 minutes organizing it. Over the next months, I worked to refine the lyrics, story, and message. I find many artists and creatives strive for perfection which can often hold you back from ever creating and releasing anything. My process is to strive for 75% and then optimize the final 25% as I go.

At this point in the process, don’t think about how you’re going to make money with your art. Nothing kills the creative process like thinking about your next dollar.

Step 2: Take Your Lyrics To A Composer And Vocalist

After I had my lyrics, I browsed Fiverr, a freelance marketplace that boasts thousands of musical artists from composers to vocalists to mastering engineers. There I found amazing composers who helped put a melody to my lyrics. I worked with them to create a melody that sounded sonically pleasing to my ears. Once I had the lyrics and melody finalized, I then found a vocalist to complete the final vision.

During the creation process, I tested out a variety of artists to see what worked with my vision and what didn’t. Not everything you make will be amazing–and that’s okay. During the last year, I’ve written 40+ songs. My new album will feature the top 9 that I felt really were something special. It’s okay if everything you create isn’t amazing–you’ll learn and get better as you go. Depending on your budget, you can find artists in a wide range of price ranges.

Step 3: Optimize and Revise

Once you have the lyrics, melody, and vocals, it’s important to sit on what you make and think about how you can make it better. Sometimes a song needed the instruments tweaked or a lyrical revision. It would take me months to think of these changes. I sat with my work for months listening to it, revising it, and asking others for ideas. It took the entire year to finish this album, but the refinement process made my final product as amazing as I could possibly make it.

After you’re happy with the lyrics, melody, and mix–then comes mastering. A mastering engineer can take your work and adjust the sound levels to make it playable across devices and sound systems. I found all the talent needed to finish my songs on the same marketplace including designers who helped with the album art.

Step 4: Release Your Art Into The World

Once you have a final product, you can then release your music onto major music sites. For this album, I chose a release site called United Masters. It allows artists to keep 100% of their royalties but also pitches their music to partners like the NBA for sync licensing to create a new revenue stream for artists. A distribution site will help release your music across platforms like Apple Music, Spotify, TikTok, Instagram Music, and more.

Once you release your music, you can earn royalties contingent on how many streams you get. The more streams, the more possibility for income. I’ve used this easy 4 step process to create the nine songs on my upcoming album, and I can’t wait to share it with you!

You can stream new album here “Songs For Introverts & Extroverts Too” here:
Apple Music

Follow the project on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Arianna O'Dell is a songwriter and entrepreneur based in New York City. When she's not making music, you'll find her working with marketing clients at Airlink Marketing and designing gifts at Ideas By Arianna.

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