If you are a musician in today's world, one of your biggest questions is probably how to get people to listen to your music. Record labels are not really working with people who don't have a large fan base and all that's left to do is to self-promote.
Build an email list
Email list is one of the most essential things when it comes to marketing your music. Most artists simply forget or neglect to do it or they think that it's outdated. However, an email list is a crucial part of any marketing strategy.
You need to start building it before you even finish your album. A year earlier is a good place to start but you can definitely go earlier. Gather people, share useful and entertaining content and stay consistent.
There is no use releasing an amazing album when there is no one there to buy it. With a newsletter, you have someone to market it to and that could be a valuable source of attention for your music.
If you are not quite sure how to get people on that list, you could try offering one or two free songs in exchange for an email or offer an ebook on something from your industry. People love freebies and will usually go for it.