SELF-MADE SPOTIFY ARTISTS

How young musicians are utilizing social media to make their mark in the music industry


By Caroline Kawabe



We are in the era of self-made music artists. In the 21st century, musicians have more opportunities to share their art with the world than ever. Amid the rise of streaming services and social media, young artists have taken it upon themselves to create, perform, and stream their music on their own.


Ande Estrella is a musician who has self-released four singles in under two years, accumulating more than 27,000 monthly listeners on Spotify. She was attracted to music at a very young age and has since known that she wanted to be a singer-songwriter. Whether she's performing at local music festivals, theater productions, or just for her friends and family, Estrella has always loved performing. However, she was performing other people's work.


Estrella always loved to mess around and write on the piano but never showed anyone her work. That all changed, however, when the coronavirus pandemic hit. Estrella said she was inspired by Fiona Apple's emotional Fetch the Boltcutters album, which made her more aware of music's "sharing aspect."


"It helped me recognize that you can be brutally honest in a song, and you can be vulnerable," said Estrella. "You can just, like, say what you're thinking, and so I just started to be more honest with myself."


Estrella wrote her first single, "Excuses," in 2020, amid the height of the pandemic, and released it in January 2021. She has since gained countless new followers across streaming and social media platforms, including Instagram, TikTok, and Spotify. The singer-songwriter now has more than 27,000 followers on TikTok, and samples of her four singles are available on the app. She said social media has been a huge part of her success, but is still learning about the industry itself.


Estrella has reached an astounding number of people in barely over a year, and personally, I'm very excited to see what she does next.


A Southern California-based musician, Martin Andre recently made his Spotify debut with his original single, "Business." Like Estrella, Andre was introduced to music at a young age. He has said that his Filipino heritage played a huge role in his passion for music. However, it was his sophomore year of high school when he fell in love with songwriting. Andre uses music and writing to express, cope, and reflect on his experiences.


"I mean that's the best part about music," said Andre. "How you feel at a certain moment of your life, you can write something about it just to cope or help you get through what you're going through."


Andre is a self-taught singer, songwriter, and musician who utilizes tools like YouTube to aid his learning. After years of writing and practicing, he finally decided it was time to pursue his dream of becoming a singer-songwriter. Andre began to work with a producer he met through mutual friends, coming up with a musical track, followed by a hook, melodies, chorus, and lyrics.


After producing the song "Business," Andre began to share and publicize his creation with the world. He connected with a promoter through his producer, who assisted with the distribution of his single. As soon as Andre got the release date, he took to Instagram to share the big news with his followers. Social media has been crucial to making connections, promoting music, and receiving feedback. He hopes to release more songs in the near future, and to one day perform in front of live audiences. Andre was proud of his song, but feels he can do even better, and looks forward to continuing his musical journey.


"I feel like it was my destiny to do music," said Andre. "My goal with music is just to like to make it mine."


Young artists are using social media and music streaming platforms to change the world as we know it. Up-and-coming artists like Estrella and Andre now have more ways to share their content with the world, and they are taking advantage of it. Check out Martin Andre and Ande Estrella on most streaming platforms, and see for yourself the talent of these self-made artists.