Music artists Justin Bieber, Katy Perry and Sean Kingston all have something in common, besides being accomplished musicians and celebrities, of course. These icons all made it into the world of fame by sharing videos of themselves over the Internet. After accumulating a large number of followers online, they were eventually discovered by important people in the music industry and embarked on their music careers; developing into the successful stars we know them as today. Although this may seem like an effortless task, there is more to becoming discovered online than simply catching a lucky break. With a little push, however, I think this innovative way of reaching your dream is at least worth a try.

Rather than the boring, old-fashioned way of being scouted in shopping centres or discovered in talent shows, these days it is becoming more and more likely for music artists to become known through online networking. With websites such as YouTube, MySpace, Facebook and Twitter, social media has provided the youth of today with the exposure that new artists need in order to gain world-wide fame. The process of sharing a video with just a click of a button is proving to be more powerful than we could have ever imagined.

Justin Bieber is probably the most well-known music artist to be discovered on Youtube (besides Rebecca Black perhaps, but, for obvious reasons, I will refrain from mentioning her ‘claim to fame’). Bieber began singing at the early age of twelve and casually took part in local talent competitions. Wanting to share his talent with their friends and family, Bieber’s mom opened up a YouTube account and posted videos online of his performances. It turned out that it was not only his friends and family who were interested in his videos, but many other people were too. More and more people began to subscribe to the videos and Bieber quickly established an online fan base. The commotion around these videos soon came to the attention of talent manager, Scooter Braun. Braun, obviously impressed by what he had seen, contacted Bieber and flew him out to Atlanta, Georgia to meet with world-renowned artist, Usher. In October of 2008, Bieber was officially signed to Island Records and went on to record his debut album, “My World”. Usher continues to mentor Bieber as he manages to maintain the public’s attention, whether good or bad, and thus demonstrates how it is possible to achieve global fame simply through the Internet.

Sean Kingston’s story proves to be a bit more about persistence than luck. Instead of using YouTube, Kingston followed tips posted on the Internet about how to gain recognition via MySpace. Taking this advice, he proceeded to send music producer, J.R. Rotem, countless messages pleading him to listen to the songs which he himself had posted on his MySpace profile. Kingston continued to send Rotem messages until, eventually, he replied. After listening to Kingston’s music, Rotem became interested in working with Kingston and it wasn’t long until Rotem signed Kingston to his new label, making him the first artist to be signed. Kingston has since created a name for himself in the music world. He has gone on to work with artists such as Bow Wow and Lil’ Wayne and is set to work with Akon, T-pain and Dr. Dre in the near future. Therefore proving that, by taking advantage of the opportunities he had in front of him, Kingston was able to use the Internet as a means to get himself noticed.

Katy Perry’s journey to fame demonstrates how, even though there might be a certain amount of luck involved, little can be achieved without putting in hard work. Before gaining international stardom, Perry pursued her music career as a Gospel artist, signing with the Christian music label, Red Hill. During this time in her career, she released a self-titled album, “Katy Hudson” (she only later adopted the stage name ‘Katy Perry’, due to the fact that her actual name was too similar to that of the actress Kate Hudson). Her debut did not prove to be a success and even failed to chart. In the end, the record label ceased any further operations. Perry, however, did not give up. She went on to record yet another solo album, but this unfortunately never got released. It was only in 2007, when Perry signed with Capitol Music Group, that her career took flight. In November of 2007 she adopted the idea of offering a free download of her up-and-coming song “Ur so Gay”, which she posted on her MySpace account, in order to create online buzz. It proved to be an instant hit and was even brought the attention of Madonna, who created even more of a buzz by mentioning it on various radio stations. From then on, Perry’s career blossomed. From the release of her chart-topping single, “I Kissed a Girl”, she has since spawned five number-one hits and shows no signs of slowing down. Through her story, she demonstrates that, while it is easy to disclaim these stories as pure luck, fame is only achieved by putting in the effort. She went through a lot of rejection in the beginning of her career, but broke through and never gave up.

The difficulty with this means of finding fame, however, is that there are more than a million other equally, if not more, talented people out there with the same dreams and aspirations. It is said to be believed that there is an average of 48 hours of video material being uploaded every minute onto YouTube alone. This obviously decreases the chances of ever being noticed by anyone who can make you famous, but it does not make it impossible. The stories mentioned above, although examples of artist who managed to find their place in the music industry just by sharing their talent over the Internet, ensure that becoming famous does no simply happen overnight. They do, however, suggest that, as long as there are people who are willing to continue to do the same as what they did, it is more likely that music executives, and other important people in the industry, will come across such talent and go on to create budding new stars.

I therefore encourage as many of you as I can to display your talent on the Internet and try to gain as many followers as possible. For, whether you are an aspiring rock star, an indie kid, or even if you believe you are the world’s next pop sensation, it seems quite clear that posting your videos on the Internet might pay off quite well. It certainly did for some artists.

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