Solo Project: Real Name or Web Handle?


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Riffman15
02-22-2011, 02:34 PM
Hey all,

I'm currently in the process of writing and recording a demo for my solo project, which I'm probably going to keep as a constant thing from here on out since I'm not shooting to become a "full time" musician, but rather keep it around as a hobby of sorts in addition to my regular job/career.

The band thing always ends up being too short run; I put in a lot of effort only to have it all come to naught after the band breaks up.

Currently I need to come up with a name to use on my websites that I'm going to debut after the demo is recorded.

I'm debating between using my real name, or using my "online" name from my youtube account, which is currently "theindividual21".


I think the online name, theindividual21, is cool as it would bring consistency between my other sites and my youtube account, which is now basically serving as my main hub to showcase my musical projects.

Using an online handle also has the benefit of serving as a gimmicky little "Web 2.0" hook.

My real name probably doesn't have celebrity potential (and I would rather not share it on these forums), but at least it would be more stable in the long haul, as the web handle idea might just be lame and/or only work in the short run.

What's your take?

asator
02-22-2011, 02:40 PM
If you don't tell us what your real name is we've got no way of answering the question. It might be something great, or it could be something that wouldn't work at all (like John Mullet, or Steve Smith or something. You know, like awful names that nobody would want to listen to).

What is your name? :)


teeheeheeheehee

JJ2003
02-22-2011, 02:46 PM
I have my own solo project which I at first created using my real name. Since I play guitar, keyboards, write drums, and mix all my music people often asked me "Who else is in your band?"
After about a year of answering that same question I made up a moniker, "Amaeven" and now produce music under that name. ( http://www.last.fm/music/amaeven )

I think using something other than your real name is the way to go.
If you like Porcupine Tree, or know about them, it was started by Steve Wilson. On the initial demo he played all the instruments. When he sent out the demo he made up the names of the people in the band. I thought that was cool.

One thing I found useful was to google my band name before I chose it. "Amaeven" brought up no results. Today, if you google "Amaeven" the top 10 links are all to me, and my music.
I think that does wonders for traffic as people don't have to "look" for your music, it simply pops up. And we all know EVERYONE uses google.

I would take your chosen name and "google" it, see what pops up.

Personally, "theindividual21" does not sound like a band name. I like the use of "theindividual"
Play around with it, see if you can change it up slightly to make it more "your own". Try and make the spelling as original as possible yet readable.

Amaeven was derived from Damavend Mountain in the Middle East. Drop the 2 D's and you get "Amaven".

Just my 2 cents... good luck.

Riffman15
02-22-2011, 04:31 PM
If you don't tell us what your real name is we've got no way of answering the question. It might be something great, or it could be something that wouldn't work at all (like John Mullet, or Steve Smith or something. You know, like awful names that nobody would want to listen to).

What is your name? :)


teeheeheeheehee

Rotfl. We'll just say your examples are close enough.

But yeah, I guess speaking more generally, I guess the idea of using a youtube handle just seems alluring in the Web 2.0 generation. I remember some kid
"funtwo" won an opportunity to perform with Joe Satriani, and Joe introduced him as "funtwo," it just seemed to work.

Riffman15
02-22-2011, 04:36 PM
I have my own solo project which I at first created using my real name. Since I play guitar, keyboards, write drums, and mix all my music people often asked me "Who else is in your band?"
After about a year of answering that same question I made up a moniker, "Amaeven" and now produce music under that name. ( http://www.last.fm/music/amaeven )

I think using something other than your real name is the way to go.
If you like Porcupine Tree, or know about them, it was started by Steve Wilson. On the initial demo he played all the instruments. When he sent out the demo he made up the names of the people in the band. I thought that was cool.

One thing I found useful was to google my band name before I chose it. "Amaeven" brought up no results. Today, if you google "Amaeven" the top 10 links are all to me, and my music.
I think that does wonders for traffic as people don't have to "look" for your music, it simply pops up. And we all know EVERYONE uses google.

I would take your chosen name and "google" it, see what pops up.

Personally, "theindividual21" does not sound like a band name. I like the use of "theindividual"
Play around with it, see if you can change it up slightly to make it more "your own". Try and make the spelling as original as possible yet readable.

Amaeven was derived from Damavend Mountain in the Middle East. Drop the 2 D's and you get "Amaven".

Just my 2 cents... good luck.

Yeah, Amaeven, that has a mystique to it that seems like it would be better than Joe Blow.

I guess another good thing about a stage name is you kind of get to create an alter ego too, so people start to contemplate what the man behind the mask is really like.

asator
02-22-2011, 07:25 PM
Rotfl. We'll just say your examples are close enough.

But yeah, I guess speaking more generally, I guess the idea of using a youtube handle just seems alluring in the Web 2.0 generation. I remember some kid
"funtwo" won an opportunity to perform with Joe Satriani, and Joe introduced him as "funtwo," it just seemed to work.
Haha well your band's MySpace is linked on your blog. :p:

Riffman15
02-22-2011, 07:32 PM
Haha well your band's MySpace is linked on your blog. :p:

lol, not anymore.

Punk_Ninja
02-23-2011, 08:14 AM
"Theindividual21" isn't really a name you can go by.

Like, the youtube people like FunTwo, JerryC, Chatreeo, NicksterMC, they're all name that can kinda work as you hear those names and you think of those people.

Theindividual21 sounds more like a username than an actual name of some kind.

I'd go with your real name, for example, I'll be started a solo project as soon as I get my cash in order, I won't be calling it "Roryrockssocks" "Punk_Ninja" or any of my other online usernames, it'll be "Rory Butler" "The Rory Butler band" or stuff like that, cos it sounds more real.

krypticguitar87
02-23-2011, 05:32 PM
"Theindividual21" isn't really a name you can go by.

Like, the youtube people like FunTwo, JerryC, Chatreeo, NicksterMC, they're all name that can kinda work as you hear those names and you think of those people.

Theindividual21 sounds more like a username than an actual name of some kind.

I'd go with your real name, for example, I'll be started a solo project as soon as I get my cash in order, I won't be calling it "Roryrockssocks" "Punk_Ninja" or any of my other online usernames, it'll be "Rory Butler" "The Rory Butler band" or stuff like that, cos it sounds more real.

so basically your advice is don't use a web handle because no one else does it.... sorry dude but I gotta disagree with that...

dmiwshicldply
02-23-2011, 06:32 PM
I dont have a problem with a web handle being your name but i just don't like theindividual21. Its a solo project i know your an individual, why are you telling me this again? you know what i mean? So in my opinion the web handle could be a good idea, just not your current one. This is all just my opinion so take it for what its worth.

Punk_Ninja
02-23-2011, 06:47 PM
so basically your advice is don't use a web handle because no one else does it.... sorry dude but I gotta disagree with that...

No, what I was saying is people do go by their web handles (I.e, Funtwo, Chatreeo, etc, as I mentioned in my post...) but what I was saying was "Theindividual21" doesn't seem usable.

It's too generic, like Funtwo for example, that's fairly original, I mean it's not the most creative name ever, but you don't see "Funthree" or "Funone" knocking about, though I can guarantee there will be users on youtube or whatever with the name "Theindividual18" or something like that.

krypticguitar87
02-23-2011, 06:59 PM
No, what I was saying is people do go by their web handles (I.e, Funtwo, Chatreeo, etc, as I mentioned in my post...) but what I was saying was "Theindividual21" doesn't seem usable.

It's too generic, like Funtwo for example, that's fairly original, I mean it's not the most creative name ever, but you don't see "Funthree" or "Funone" knocking about, though I can guarantee there will be users on youtube or whatever with the name "Theindividual18" or something like that.

oh I agree that theindividual21 is a bad name in itself (since it pretty much proves that he's not really the individual) but I like the idea of the numbers at the end... like if he was RamRod872 (although I think an email address would be more interesting like RamRod872@yourface.net) it just makes me think of the internet community, something that I haven't seen, at least not in the local scene around here.....

Punk_Ninja
02-23-2011, 07:07 PM
Hmm, I guess that is a good point, the numbers do pretty much enforce the idea that you're active online, which could potentially be used as a marketing tool.

Though I guess that'd be best if you were aiming for your main demographic to be the online community. I mean if that's the case then a sort of "username"-esque name for the solo project may be a good idea.

Though if you're focusing a lot on physical gigs then I think a more "real" name would be better suited.

Riffman15
02-23-2011, 07:15 PM
lol, about the "individual21" confirming im not the individual..

Yeah, it's a tough decision, I'm thinking about eventually recording a real album, then relying on building an online following and selling online, via itunes and whatever else is available.

However, I want to also play live at local open mics (nice low risk situation, built in crowd, should be good for working the kinks out since I'll be new to the solo artist thing), and eventually venues to build a more grassroots following. Hand out business cards, flyers etc.

I plan to play to backing tracks at first, since a big part of the draw will be guitar work/demonstrations anyway.

krypticguitar87
02-23-2011, 08:26 PM
personally I would suggest choosing a name different thatn theindividual(insert any nuber here) just cuz it seems pretty lame. do you have a different handle you go by?

also if you really want numbers at the end of your name the lower the number the more faceless it seems.... especially if its just one word, if I was online and played some game with a guy named individual21 and the next time i played with individual38 I would not really notice and just assume they were the same person. however if you had a bigger number it does seeem less nameless... individual732 (now people would thing your an individual from jersey...) just something a little more individualistic... maybe throw on the last 4 digits of the phonenumber on your buisiness cards... then you kind of have a jingle to it.. like individual4325 if your phone number were (732) 555-4325.... just some suggestions...

oh yeah I only used individual(#) since you were already using it, I still think it could be something better... anyway I hope this helped you...

Riffman15
02-23-2011, 08:42 PM
yeah, I feel ya, I might try a mix like "theindividual21 AKA Real Name." Or just my real name, as it's well real, and has long term viability.

the_perdestrian
02-25-2011, 03:43 AM
I think using a login is kind of lame. an onlin handle is different though. funtwo and the like have a handle or a nickname but the individual 21 just sounds like a login.

hope that made any sense.

Ryan Rage
02-25-2011, 10:08 PM
Use your real name, Youtube names are gay and real names show profession.

Hail
02-26-2011, 02:12 AM
A lot of it depends upon your own creativity and the ring of your name. Look at Buckethead; he can use his alter ego as a business tool and is recognized for it, and is extremely unique and respected, so it's not like all pseudonyms are awful and to be avoided. Just do something that people would actually take seriously if they saw on a youtube video/album, and something that you personally will take seriously when you look back in 10 or 15 years.

Also: if you're afraid to tell us your name, I don't think you have the confidence to put it out on a Youtube video or on an album cover comfortably, honestly.

SlackerBabbath
02-26-2011, 09:10 AM
"Theindividual21" isn't really a name you can go by.



Agreed, but 'The Individual' is.

steven seagull
02-27-2011, 06:44 PM
Agreed, but 'The Individual' is.
It's also incredibly poncy.

Seriously, everyone is an individual...you can't be "more" individual than somebody else. As a recording name it smacks of somebody trying far too hard to stand out from the crowd, something that's more likely going to have the opposite effect. If I saw an awtist marketed as "The Indivudual" or similar my immediate thoughts would be "up his own arse, better be shit hot but probably compensating for something", I'd be judging them before I even heard them and that's the danger of slapping some knid of self-proclaimed title on yourself...you're almost presenting yourself as some kind of pantomime, like a wrestler's gimmick.

Use your real name, let your music do the talking.

Riffman15
02-27-2011, 06:56 PM
It's also incredibly poncy.

Seriously, everyone is an individual...you can't be "more" individual than somebody else. As a recording name it smacks of somebody trying far too hard to stand out from the crowd, something that's more likely going to have the opposite effect. If I saw an awtist marketed as "The Indivudual" or similar my immediate thoughts would be "up his own arse, better be shit hot but probably compensating for something", I'd be judging them before I even heard them and that's the danger of slapping some knid of self-proclaimed title on yourself...you're almost presenting yourself as some kind of pantomime, like a wrestler's gimmick.

Use your real name, let your music do the talking.

rotfl. Yeah, I think I'm going to go by my real name, eventually, for the professional element and the staying power. I actually recorded my first instrumental for this project a couple days ago, which is posted on my youtube. I didn't put any name for the project yet, just "sickest instrumental shred thingy ever" or somthing like that, lol.