How To Pick The Right Artist Name


Your artist name is the first thing people will hear about you.

Some artists just use their actual name or some rendition of it, like Tierra Whack for instance. It just helps that she has a unique name that stands out and makes people want to say “is that really her name?”

Some artists use their childhood nickname.

Some artists create names that give us insight to what their music sounds like.

The name you choose to represent you is entirely your choice. However, you do want to make sure that your name makes you stand out. And we don’t mean stand out in just a “that’s a cool name” way. You need to stand out online.

As much as everyone loves to hate it, we live in a very digital world.

You’re literally reading this online right now.

What’s the first thing people do when they hear about something that they want to learn more about?

You guessed it… they look it up!

If you hear about something, the first thing you do is google it, or try to find it on Twitter, Youtube, Instagram or Facebook.

When someone sees you perform, or finds your music online, or hears about you from one of their friends, they’re going to hop on their phone and either search your name in the google search bar, or go on their favorite social network and look you up.

When they do this, you want to be the first thing that comes up in their search results.

The easier you make it for people to find you, the better.

So the key to choosing the right artist name nowadays is to make sure that no one else has your name so that you’re easy to find.

Quick [true] Story: A few years ago I was interviewing artist, Trev Rich, and he told me a story about why he changed his name. He said that he used to go by Rockie. Thing is, he’s from Colorado. So people would tell him “Bro, every time I search for your music i can’t find it because the colorado rockies show up.” And then aside from that, artists like A$AP Rocky and Rockie Fresh were getting popular at the time, which made searching for “rockie” that much harder to find. So he decided to use a rendition of his actual name, hence where Trev Rich came from.

key things to think about before deciding on your artist name:

So before you decide on what to call yourself officially, double check these few things:

  • Search the name on all of the main social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube and Soundcloud) and make sure the @ names are available (preferably without the use of underscores and numbers). If you can get the exact @yourartistname you’ll come up first when people search for you which can really help with your marketing.

  • Use a search engine like to search the domain name and make sure it’s available (you’ll want to have for your website).

  • Google the name and see what else comes up. Those things are your competition. If you see other artists come up, that might not be the best name to choose.

A few ideas to help you come up with a name:

  • Use your real name (or some version of it). Don’t rule out your middle name either.

  • Think of how your music sounds and what it’s about - what would you call it?

  • Think of how you want your music to make people feel - look up words that represent that feeling.

  • Think of words that can describe you and the message you want the world to know - look up words that have those meanings.

  • Open up the dictionary and start flipping the pages (yes, we’re serious). You may find a few words that stand out to you.