When to Consider a Project or a Band Name

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As an independent artist, your name says a lot. It’s often the first impression people – fans, in addition to potential managers, booking agents and publicists — will have of your music and your brand. It’s important that you choose a name that’s reflective of your sound and something that you’re willing to commit to for a long time.

If you’re an independent (and often, solo) artist, here are reasons you may want to consider taking on a project name or a (new/different) band name:

  1. Rotating Players: If you’re an artist that often plays with a variety of musicians, but you want to be seen as a consistent unit, consider taking on a project or band name that conveys your collective sound.
  2. You have a bad name: If you have been going by your given name but it’s hard to pronounce, hard to spell or generally not reflective of your sound, it’s time to consider a band or project name.
  3. You have a boring name: If the name you’ve been going by is boring or hard to remember, now’s the time for a project or band name. You need to stand out among hordes of other musicians, so The Joe Smith Band isn’t going to cut it.
  4. If you’ve been going by “The [insert first and last name here] Band”: The time has passed. Use your creativity to brainstorm a project name that better reflects your sound.
  5. If you want to start fresh: If you’ve been working for many years and your sound, style or musicianship has changed significantly, over time it’s time to consider going by a new name. Keep in mind that those old YouTube videos of you in the Queen Cover Band will live on, and people will continue to find them if they search for the Queen Cover Band. If you take on a new name, that gives you the chance to start with a clean Internet slate.

When choosing a band or a project name, remember that you’re going to have to tell people this name and answer the question: “what’s the meaning behind your name?” Look for words and names or phrases that mean something to you or have an interesting back story. Choose a band or project name that you – and the general public– won’t be embarrassed to say aloud.

Tell us what you think! Have you decided to go by a band or a project name recently? What was the naming process like?

Up next: Interview series: Galuminum Foil Studios owner Chris Cubeta talks about owning a recording studio.

The SongCast Crew

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