Sometimes we get questions about our thoughts about changing an artist name or not, so we have summarized our thoughts giving our view on the topic. In short, to change your artist name is not something you should take lightly upon.
To change your artist name is like starting all over again
(Or simply the cons)
On Facebook, it’s more or less impossible to change your page name. This means you will start all over again creating a new artist page and try to get all your old followers to follow you on the new page. Remember, it’s harder to get your first 500 fans than the next 1000.
On Spotify (and other music services), you will lose all your followers and artist page and the connection to your Spotify for Artists. This means that we can’t pitch to Spotify Editors since we need at least one song on an artist page. You will also lose all related artists, be lowered in the playlist algorithms used for Discover Weekly, Radio Playlists etc. If appearing on features with other artists, this will lose all its value to your new artist name.
Other search engine value will be lost. All your social media accounts, websites etc will start all over again in the rankings on search engines such as Google.
You will lose all the momentum you have built up with your current brand and visual associations. It takes time to print your name into your fans heads. Imagine a heavy flywheel which you push. In the beginning, there’s a lot of friction and everything is going slowly, but for each push, the flywheel will turn a little bit faster. After a while, it has increased in momentum and has such a pace that it goes almost automatically. Your brand works almost like a flywheel and changing your artist name is like start pushing on a new flywheel with a lot of friction in the beginning.
There’s a lot of work involved, taking focus from other things. To change an artist name is a long process. Sometimes, we have seen artist start the process of changing an artist name, just to end up in the old one a couple of months later on.
Some stuff that needs to be changed/lost:
- All visual materials
- All text materials (Bios, Press Releases, Riders, Booking Press Kits)
- Social Media accounts
- Music Services
- Search Engine Value
When changing an artist name might be a good idea
When your music you create is completely different and has a completely different target audience than your existing. So that the music appearing on your artist page will be completely different with different related artists. For example, changing genre or lyrical language. There are many artists releasing music on more than one language, however (such as Laleh).
When there is a duplicate artist that is bigger than you, or when too many artists have exactly the same name as yours. To find out if this is the case, go to Spotify and search for your name. If there are more than five artists who are called exactly like you, it might be a good idea to change your artist name. This also applies if some copyright infringement is involved.
If you realize your old artist name has a connotation you’re not feeling comfortable with. (Could be racist, political, sexual, cultural, or whatever).
There’s an old Japanese proverb that the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now. There will never be a good time creating a new identity, but if you should ever do it, do it now. But unless you just can’t stand your current name, please stick to the old one.
In any case, if you’re definitely changing your name, please let our team know as soon as you can. This affects all of our processes and timelines, so there’s a lot of admin to take care of!