Published on May 22nd, 2022 | by Dr. Jerry Doby


The Future of Personal Branding for Artists

Artists need more than a sound to succeed. They need a distinctive brand. They need a style that makes them stand out. They need something for their fans to rally around.

In 2022, artists looking to establish and leverage their personal brand have some powerful new tools at their disposal. Technology not only allows artists a limitless degree of customization when it comes to their branding, but it also allows them to project their brand into new spaces and build new communities of loyal fans and followers. Now more than ever, artists can quickly and easily establish a recognizable and relatable brand.

Personalization and customization is the future of personal branding

Dani Diarbakerly has become a sought-after partner in the world of artist branding. She is the Founder and CEO of KingPro, a custom products and design services company that creates eye-catching, one-of-a-kind designs for both established stars and rising artists. One of Dani’s prints has even been worn by Drake. She has also worked closely with American DJ, songwriter, and record producer Diplo.

KingPro provides artists with a wide range of customized merchandise, but custom t-shirt design is one of Dani’s specialties.

“When I discovered screen printing for t-shirts, I loved how you could take an idea from the computer to a t-shirt in a matter of hours,” she says. “There was no paint drying and no waiting. It was instant gratification, and I just fell down the printing rabbit hole.”

Dani’s focus when working with artists is developing designs that match the style of the artist’s music. Her specialty graphics work caught the attention of Screenprinting Magazine, which named her one of the Rising Stars for 2022.

Dani believes that personalization and customization plays an important role in the future of personal branding in the music industry. She has taken custom printing to the next level by going on tour with artists, offering customized clothing alongside the standard tour merchandise that artists sell.

For fans, concerts can be highly emotional experiences. Having a t-shirt to remember the show can be something special for them; having a t-shirt that is customized for that particular show is even more special. It is something that the fan will wear again and again.

“Merch is forever,” Dani says. “Wearable art is a form of promotion that is invaluable for brands. The more personal it is, the more it will get worn and the more it will get seen.”

Leveraging blockchain technology to build a brand

Whereas KingPro is focused on making brands more visible through wearable art, Solo Music increases visibility and builds brands in digital spaces. Its expertise is non-fungible tokens — an emerging class of digital assets more commonly known and referred to as NFTs.

“The music industry is going to see a creative revolution as drastic as the impact of the internet,” says Barron Solomon, CEO of Solo Music. “Blockchain technology is empowering artists to take charge of their careers. It’s giving them access to their fans like never before.”

Barron has a lifetime of experience in the music and entertainment industries, as well as a record of success working in IT, cloud computing, and blockchain technology. His vision is to create a long-term blockchain strategy specifically for the music industry.

Barron and Solo Music are bridging the accessibility gap for both the industry and its fans when it comes to NFTs and music. Solo Music has already worked on NFT projects with breakout country singer Walker Hayes and Grammy-nominated artist Eric Paslay, as well as releasing the Country Music Awards’ first NFT.

NFTs are digital assets built on blockchain technology that allow creators to bring their art, including music, into the digital realm. They also give fans a new way to engage with and support their favorite artists. While still an emerging technology, NFTs are already considered a powerful tool for building community.

Solo’s CMA NFT drop highlights the wide range of opportunities that NFTs offer to artists as they promote their brand and expand their audience. Those who purchased the NFTs were rewarded with content available only to NFT holders, along with the promise of exclusive access and ticket opportunities for future music events.

The NFT drop for Eric Paslay, which took place in March and April 2022, not only gives holders a chance to connect with the artist as part of his digital community, but also gives them access to royalties from Paslay’s new album.

“We are designing the way for music fans to interact with this new industry — purposefully — with the music industry in mind, and creatives at the center,” says Barron.

About the Author

Editor-in-Chief of The Hype Magazine, Media and SEO Consultant, Journalist, Ph.D. and retired combat vet. 2023 recipient of The President's Lifetime Achievement Award. Partner at THM Media Group. Member of the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture, the United States Press Agency and ForbesBLK.

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