I’ve written before about why it is important to pick the right artist name either for yourself or as a band. There’s plenty of artistic reasons like:
1. You want to stand out in the crowd.
2. You want to seem original.
3. You want something that defines who you are and what your music is about.
But there’s one really important reason:
So people can find you. And just you and not some one else.
It’s very tempting to go with something simple you can remember, but every first or last name is most likely already taken (The Smiths, Jackson 5, Sabrina), every animal is pretty much taken (like The Turtles, The Eagles and you could try the Beetles, but I’m pretty sure that would get you in trouble with the Beatles) or any single word in the English dictionary probably is too, like: Yes, Foreigner, Kiss, The Doors, Blur).
You could just ignore this and pick any name that sounds right and just ignore any other band that may have had some success with the name, claiming you’ll be much more famous. It worked for Nirvana. No not that Nirvana.
Here’s a great example of how not to do it. If you have Spotify, do a search for the band ‘Nomad’. Now for the record, I know Nomad as that house music duo that cored a very minor hit with this 1990 track: I Wanna Give You Devotion:
Nomad isn’t obviously the first to use the name, since there’s an Swedish band named The Nomads. But let’s focus on the name ‘Nomad’ in Spotify. According to Spotify, Nomad has been really busy lately and released:
- a staggering 4 albums in 2014, one Hungarian rock, one in Russian, one as a New York rapper, one with an American singer named Mare Wakefield
- 2 albums in 2013, one in Russian and one with classical Egyptian dance music
- 1 album in 2012 in French
- 3 albums in 2011, one Belgian indie rock, a double album with a mix of world music styles, a rap album, plus one Hardstyle single.
- 1 metal album in in 2010
- 1 blues album in 2009
- 4 albums in 2008, including another metal album, again a world music album, again Belgian Indie rock and this one.
- 1 Hungarian album again in 2007
- 2 albums and 1 EP in 2006, including a hiphop album, this EP and another Belgian Indie rock one.
- 2 albums in 2005, one jazz and one world music
- 1 album in 2004, easy listening
- 2 albums in 2003, a dance album and a self-titled rock album
- no album in 2002 (you have to take a break some time)
- 3 albums in 2001, including another dance album, this album with an (intentional?) spelling error in the title, and a hiphop album
- 1 album in 1999 with Aborignal music … from New York
- 1 self-titled album in 1994 with Aborigonal music.
- the single I Wanna Give You Devotion in 1990
- some 18 singles between 2002 and 2014
Now, either that house duo from 1990 has gotten really diverse and multi-lingual and managed to produce 27 albums in the last 14 years or some people really start to use more original names for their band. Cause right now, unlike Discogs, Spotify will mercilessly throw all the Nomads onto one really big pile. Well, except the Nomads of course. So next time, naming your band something dumb like the Foo Fighter, might not be so dumb after all.Like this? Buy me a drink!