Josh Jackson is the Editor-In-Chief and co-Founder of Paste Magazine, one of the leading online culture websites on the internet. While certainly not its only focus, music has always been a big part of Paste. The’ve championed many young bands who have gone on to become extremely successful; recently, for instance, The Civil Wars and The Lumineers who gained early exposure from Paste long before they became household names for many.
In this interview, Josh talks about what artists can do in order to gain the attention of someone like himself, as well as others in media.
Some key takeaways:
1. Be Clear
Be VERY clear in your emails, and make the links to where your music can be found visible and apparent.
2. Shorter is Better
Speaking of your email outreach, make certain that you keep it short, and note what you sound like (of course, you have done your homework and aren’t sending emails to places that don’t cover your type of music). Also, mention what you’ve accomplished in the email. If you’ve opened for someone notable, for example, this is a perfect time to make editors aware of this fact.
3. Start in Your Backyard
Regional success is still important. Even in this ever-connected, global world, it’s crucial to develop your fan base regionally, and get some early supporters in your own backyard who can then champion you out to a broader audience.
4. Consider a Publicist
Publicists, while not absolutely essential, can play an important role based on their trusted relationships with certain editors and writers. These editors and writers rely heavily on trusted sources—publicists or otherwise—to help them filter through the clutter.
5. Get Online
Social media is important with respect to showing that you are active and have a fan base.
6. It’s About the Music
Refreshingly—and this is what makes Josh such a great editor—he emphasizes that, at the end of the day, it’s the music that matters. If you make great music, and are unique and original, you will have a much better chance at finding supporters in the media.
[Disclosure: As COO of Norton, I oversee Paste, among other properties.]
George Howard is the COO of Concert Vault, Daytrotter, and Paste Magazine. Mr. Howard is an Associate Professor of Management at Berklee College of Music. Follow George on Twitter.