Musicians and bands are frequently young, and usually working within a tight budget, often funding promotional material from their own pockets. As a result they’re one group of people who try their hardest to stay within a budget. Most times, this affects their web presence. Major and independent artists alike tend to go cheap on their websites by either using templates or free sites to put their music online.
It’s no big deal, but it’s important for musicians and bands to build a brand, much like any other business. So, having a unique spot on the web can really add to the presence of the music artist.
There are many routes an artist can take to put their brand online. Using a custom website helps create that consistent brand image that’s important to every artist. Imagine if a legitimate business’ only web presence was Facebook and Twitter. The brand is often crossed with others and can make things tough for those interested. This is the same for musicians.
As someone who has a foot in music as well, I know and understand how tough it can be with websites. Today, I’ve put together a decent list of musicians (major and independents) who have some pretty remarkable websites.
We start off with a well-known name in the world-renowned Beyoncé. A performer this fabulous deserves a website that is just as fabulous. This website works with her brand because it’s as if she doesn’t drop any of her history off to accomodate this website. You become closer to the artist, learn the history, learn the music and much more. This one of the most feature-rich music websites I’ve ever come across.
Billy Harvey Music
Yes, this site auto-plays the music but you must admit, this is an extremely creative idea. The album is played and you can enjoy the music, but you also get a little show of sorts from Billy Harvey himself. The links are on connected Polaroid pictures and I guarantee you will get a giggle or two out of Billy.
Flight of the Conchords
These are a pair of funny guys who also happen to be extremely multi-talented. If you peruse the site, you gradually start to wonder whether they’re serious or not, nevertheless, you must give them props for what they’re doing. They’re hilarious and the site has a wonderful vintage feel. Not much losing here.
Hanging up the moon
I stumbled upon this website a while ago and fell in love with it right then. Sean creates a wonderful interaction with this home-recorded album by giving each track it’s own place to live. The animated GIFs almost set the thoughtful mood of this album and makes it that much more enjoyable.
Just check their Twitter followers and Facebook fans — this band has a huge following. And most times when you have this big a following, everyone wants to see you perform. Arctic Monkeys use their website as a way to keep fans up to date on upcoming performances more than anything else. It’s simple and straight to the point.
Jack Johnson Music
It’s not often that you see a heavily themed sites nowadays that wraps everything up in the design. The Jack Johnson band was not afraid to do this and it results in a very comforting, down to earth feel. They pull of the theme while having tons of features and news as well.
Some artists want to sell hit singles. Some artists want to sell merchandise. Jonathan Levy is different — he wants to sell himself. Unlike most bands, Levy is a musician for hire so his website isn’t focused on his latest project, but focused on himself and his long history and client list. This website is less about musicianship, and more of a resume, but this works for him.
Right when you enter the site of Josh Garrels, you probably don’t think much about it. The header design is very nice, but otherwise it’s just a regular looking type of site–nothing to write home about. Well, this actually works in Josh’s favor because he thrives on creating and fostering connections between himself and his fanbase. He makes his followers feel comfortable and cozy online.
Leeland is a progressive worship band whose reach and fanbase just keeps growing. They have a wonderful designed website that allows them to showcase different aspects of their band (shows, social media, etc.) equally and without lending to complete and utter clutter. This is an extremely clean approach to the band website.
More Hazards More Heroes
This is a great example of a new band making use of what they have. Not all the time will an artist have a store, videos and all types of other features because they’re just starting out. That’s ok because More Hazards gives us an example of how to do a wonderful site without much to show. The simplicity also makes it easy to understand who they are and the type of music they make.
Oh Land is the home of the very eclectic singer and producer, Nicole Oland Fabricius. What I love about this website is it’s a no-holds-barred type of thing. You know exactly what she’s going for and how she’s going for it. The target audience is easily reached and there’s so much fun to be had. Minus the auto-play music, this is a grade A website.
The Ousback website is another example of how to create a band’s website with very little features. It kind of mimics the Hanging up the Moon website where the music is the main event. However, Ousback takes a much simpler approach, leaving you to make your own decisions about the music.
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Another household name, the Red Hot Chili Peppers have a website that’s just as eccentric and weird as they are. There are, of course, lots of features and fun things to go with a very interesting site. I recommend you play around with it and see what I mean.
When I think of a music or band’s website, this is probably the closest vision I get in my mind. But Jamie does a great job of making this his own little space online. You’ve got all his music sectioned off and most importantly, all the ways fans can connect with him. This a wonderful spin on the traditional music website.
Rivers & Robots
Rivers and Robots is an extremely clean website that utilizes a typical two column blog layout. This works for them because, while they have many links, there isn’t a ton of content to go on each page. You get an intimate kind of feeling from this website.
The Honors Society
In the realms of graphic design, when we want to give away freebies, many experts tell us that we need to do an information capture so we can start building a list. Many industries use this practice, but not so much in the musicland. The Honors Society tries to make use of this tactic as soon as you entire their site. Because after all, if there’s no Facebook or Twitter, how will you interact with fans?
Tvyks is a very busy young man, from running club nights to creating music and DJing. While most musicians like to showcase songs and videos on their site, Tvyks stays very near to what makes him who he is. His page is filled with his upcoming performances and important dates for his fans and followers.
A custom website is definitely an investment worth making for bands and musicians who want to be taken seriously. It contributes to the brand and creates a space for artists to be in complete control of their merchandise. Paired with a great social networking campaign, a good website can really increase the web presence and name recognition of artists.
Did we miss any of your favourites? Have you worked on a site for a band or musician? Let us know in the comments.