So, you’re considering changing your stage name? Before you do anything, let’s chat about what you should consider. It’s not as easy as it seems. And, it’s rarely a good idea.

Personal Identity

Your name is more than just a catchy moniker; it’s your musical identity. It reflects your artistic persona and style. Before changing, think about whether a new name truly aligns with your identity. Consider how it resonates (or doesn’t) with your artistic vision, values, and the message you want to convey to your audience.

Brand Recognition

Your name is a brand. Changing it will confuse your existing fanbase. It disrupts the very relationships you’ve worked so hard to build. Consider the time and effort you’ve already invested in building recognition and loyalty. A sudden change could disrupt this connection and make it harder for fans to find your music in a sea of other releases.

Online Presence

Maintaining a strong online presence is crucial. A name change will unnecessarily complicate things like search engine optimization, social media handles, and create broken links–many of which cannot be fixed. Think about the impact it will have on your visibility and discoverability.

In light of all this, if you’re still dead set on changing your name, here’s a list of items that will need to be addressed:

1) Press Kit

Your bio needs to be updated. Logos need to feature the new name. Press photos need to capture the new persona (if applicable). All promotional materials available to the public need to be updated with the new name.

2) Website

Your website needs a complete overhaul. New materials and a new domain name. Other than a “formerly known as” disclaimer, there should be no evidence of your old name.

3) Social Media

It’s important to have a consistent handle on all social media platforms. Check for availability of your desired username on all platforms before announcing or starting the process of changing your name. Some places may remove any acquired verification for a time or forever if you change your handle.

4) Profile

One of the most important (yet most difficult) steps in this process will be changing your name at all of the DSPs. Your name has to be changed in the metadata of every single project you’ve released. It also needs to be changed on the projects you’ve appeared on. Those may be controlled by other parties and you will have to work with them accordingly. You’ll have to update all of your cover art. The DSPs will automatically create new profiles for you. This means you must reclaim all of your accounts (Spotify For Artists, Apple Music For Artists, Amazon for Artists, and Pandora AMP). Sometimes, we might be able to move or merge data from the old profile to the new profile. But you should never rely on this. It’s up to the person working on the operations team at each DSP. For many of the places, it’s a fact that you will be starting all over again at zero.

5) Details

It’s important to triple-check everything. Many places will need manual updating. For example, but not limited to, all music, links, TikTok sounds, SoundCloud, Discogs, Patreon, Bandcamp, and Wikipedia. Even old media posts.

6) Announce

If you have successfully made it this far, it’s time to reintroduce yourself. Post on social media, letting your fans know who you were and who you are now. Let them know why you changed the name. Use tools like Pandora AMP Artist Audio Messages and Amazon Intros to help connect listeners from the old profile to the new one. Send out a newsletter to your email list informing them of the change. Personally connect with any editors or media to let them know as well.

In some cases, changing your name is necessary, but other times, it’s just extra work and costs you the brand recognition and leverage that you’ve worked so hard to build. Be fully committed to your decision before taking the leap.

But also, never change your artist name… Please?