Tag Archives: independent music

Local Publicity: How To Maximize Events & Releases in Your Own Backyard

[Editors Note: This is a guest blog written by Fiona Bloom, publicist and founder of The Bloom EffectPrior to running her own business, Fiona has overseen many careers including her time at EMI Records where she ran marketing campaigns for Digable Planets,  Gang Starr, Shara Nelson, The Solsonics, Eternal and others.]

Artists are so concerned with the big picture that more often then not, they lose sight of the importance of acclaim in their own backyard. How could you possibly think you’ll conquer the world before conquering your town?

The great thing about local promotion is that you really get to tap into your community, build real fans, get into the trenches guerrilla style and network in the most genuine ways possible!

A long time ago in ancient history – well, the 90’s -every record company had a street marketing department, and there were street team companies being hired independently. In fact, my first gig ever in New York was overseeing the street promo at EMI/Chrysalis.

Are you ready to undertake the responsibility of getting visibility, building buzz, securing local media and having fun whilst doing it? Here’s how…

Get started early

So, you have a show coming up. First off, you need to make sure you have enough lead time to work the market. Keep in mind there’s a few mediums to work with. Print usually requires at least three to four weeks advance. For digital/new media, you can get away with two weeks advance.

Social media operates in real time, so while that can be instantaneous, it also needs some strategy behind it leading to the day of.

Radio needs about two weeks, and TV can be two to three weeks advance. It also depends on how much traction the event already has. Is there a big name attached to it? Or how about a sponsor? How many folks on your team?

Get visual with it

In this day when promoting, visuals are just as important as the music. A web flyer and print flyer are worth it if you can afford the investment. Your web flyer should be high-res (300 DPI) and should be captivating – a nice image and clean font and text with the who, what, and where:

– Line Up
– Date/Time
– Ticket Price
– Venue Name/Address
– Ticket Link
– Partner logos
– Social Media URLS (you can create hyper links)

Hit all corners

I consider ‘local publicity’ now to be all-inclusive, meaning:

MediaTV, Radio, Social, Print, Digital and Mobile
Street MarketingI still believe that physical flyers can make a difference and play a role in your success with getting the word out. It’s always good to identify a few drop-off locations, too, which would include record stores, the venue your show is at, tattoo shops, and other lifestyle outlets; and don’t forget about he library, and coffee shops.
SNIPES/PostersThese cost a little more to manufacture and therefore you don’t need as many. 25-50 maximum will probably do, but please be careful if you’re going around the town stapling your SNIPES/posters to lamp posts, railings, trees, boards – you can get fined and that’s expensive!
Club PromotionIf it’s a single or album, you can hit the clubs – promotion managers and DJs – they love vinyl, too.

The great thing about these ‘Best Practices’ in your market is that they can be applied to each city you play in.

So whether it’s a show or a video or an album you’re promoting, just make sure the visual/packaging matches your product and that it’s as clear and concise as possible.

Research your market

Print

For print, find all your local outlets (daily papers, weekly’s, monthlys, glossys, college papers, bi-weeklys) and their respective web sites (digital). Make sure that if you’re a hip hop act that you’re not sending to a paper that just covers rock or alternative. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and call them – the receptionist or operator can patch you through, or often times will give you the name of their music editor and email address.

You can also ask the venue that booked your show. They have their own media lists and are usually very happy to share these as it’s mutually beneficial.

I used to spend hours at Barnes and Noble before the internet and the advent of social media, going through tons of titles and looking at mastheads – writing that stuff down and of course buying a few ‘zines too so I was patronizing. You don’t need to do that anymore – it’s much more time efficient and effective now and it’s all there at your fingertips! Just don’t be lazy: do the work. You have to start somewhere.

You can also build your list and database from scratch. I did. Yes I may be into this 20 years but my rolodex/database is now 20,000 strong. That’s my bloodline, my livelihood and sure enough, my value. You’d have to pay me a sh*t load of money to sell it! Although, your lists are only as good as your relationships. Relationships are built over time, but the beauty about today’s world is that as long as your pitch (phone, in-person and/or email) is compelling, clear in message, and your follow through is impeccable, you’ll get responses the first or second time around. It’s presentation and delivery!

local publicity

Make sure you service the music and entertainment editors, calendar editors, nightlife and music and features editors with a press release, publicity photo, the flyer and a short email; then follow up at least three or four or more times, depending on how soon you hear from them. Invite them to your show, (make sure you offer them guest list access if they’re interested in covering), and make sure to fulfill their request whether it’s a photo pass, back stage interview, live review and/or video cameras – those need to be pre-approved.

Your main goals for these outlets: ‘Preview’, ‘Calendar Pick’, ‘Best Bet’, ‘Item’, ‘Blurb with Photo’, ‘Feature/Interview’ and ‘Live Review’.

Radio

When pursuing radio locally, you have college/community, commercial, public, internet, satellite, and pirate stations to target. Again – do your research. There’s local market radio lists you can get on the internet and, in the case of an event, the venue will be able to share. You can also look at CMJ’s radio charts, Billboard, and other trade magazines.

You can send them music and offer ticket giveaways and artist interviews – at the college level they’re usually receptive to this if the time slot/DJ happens to play music that’s similar in style. Make friends with the DJs. They can champion your music and artistry and in turn bring loads of fans to your brand!

local publicity

Internet – Blogs and New Media

Each market bloggers. There’s even micro-blogging, which is the likes of Tumblr, Reddit, and personal websites. Take advantage of all the tools and features you have at your disposal.

Know your audience here, too. Know that a blogger is often younger and doesn’t blog full-time, therefore they don’t have hours each day to update and there may be a delay getting back to you. Also in some cases they don’t want to necessarily be pitched — some bloggers prefer to discover on their own so you can ‘gently’ send them some music and mention the release and/or the show without it being a hard sell or push.

It should be easy, clean, short and to-the-point with all the links available on the email. No attachments and preferably photos should be available via Dropbox, WeTransfer, Hightail or other file sharing mechanism. Music should be shared the same way if they want a download or streaming link (Spotify, Dropbox, Soundcloud, YouTube, Bandcamp etc.).

There are event sites out there like Eventful, Fusicology, BandsinTown, Facebook, Meetup, Eventbrite, Yelp, and others. They all have ‘Submit’ buttons.

local publicity

TV

Depending on the reach and clout of a network, the main networks will be especially interested if there’s a charity angle, recognizable name or unusual hook/novelty. Targeting cable and video shows is the way to go. Once more: do the research. Every market has at least five cable and video outlets. You can pitch a live video session, interview and/or performance on a morning segment or other program. Send a short email, include links and practice lots of follow up. You can go their social handles and reach out there, and the phone is always suggested.

When you’re dealing with all these mediums and making contacts and building relationships, be as cordial, polite, concise, informative and engaging as you can – the more passion resonated, the better it’s received, and you’ll be amazed at the results.

Connecting with local fans

So now you’ve done your street marketing, reached out to radio, hit up print outlets, blogs, TV outlets, and event sites. Here comes the very fun part: engaging with your existing fans and reaching new ones via your social media platforms.

All artists be utilizing social media channels like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, SnapChat, and Instagram to tap into their communities. You can do targeted Facebook posts via paid ‘boosting’ and or running an ad campaign in your area. Make sure also to follow local venues on all their socials and interact on each.

Follow some of the brands and users they’re already following. Subscribe and leave comments on YouTube videos, and of course all whilst telling them about your upcoming event or release – you can add the link but in a friendly and open manner. Remember, it’s not a one-way street or about ‘Self Promotion’ on social media — it’s a dialogue. Think about reciprocity, giving back and being alive and vibrant! It’s called ‘social’ media for a reason.

local publicity

Hashtagging works best on Instagram and Twitter. Try to use generic and a clever tag that nobody’s used. With Snapchat, you can create a whole storyboard of fun, clever, creative ways to get folks to pay attention and come see you live or meet you in person.

It’s amazing what you can do with SMS and messaging apps. You can send flyer visuals and nice short texts to friends in the area.

At the end of the day, everyone is looking to achieve the same thing: get as many eyeballs and ears to their music and art, and get as many of their fans to their shows! It’s not rocket science, but it does take a lot of effort and hustle. Please enjoy these steps, as I promise it will be less tedious, more faster-moving and you’ll actually be very happy with the results.

What It Means: Catalog Sales Outnumber Current Sales

Every year since people have been reading and writing blogs, January has been a time in the music industry to examine the depressing statistics of album sales from the previous year.

While often grim, these articles are an essential part of covering the year-to-year evolution and changes in how music fans consume their favorite genres. (Plus, they’re usually a better read than the comment section in your favorite music blog’s article about the best albums of the year.)

Case in point, a very interesting article emerged on Music Business Worldwide over a week ago, presenting to us that 2015 was the first year in recorded history during which catalogue album sales outnumbered current album sales.

According to Nielsen data, catalogue albums – which it defines as any release over 18 months old – shifted 122.8m copies in 2015 in the US, down 2.9% on 2014’s tally of 126.5m.

And since no music article is a music article without mentioning Adele, author Tim Ingham pointed out that the pop starlet’s 25 album made up for 7.4 million current sales. That means without her release in 2015, catalogue sales would have cleared any current releases by 11.7 million. (It’s of course important to acknowledge Adele’s position in mainstream music – independent artists don’t necessarily have a lot in common with this sort of star when it comes to sales, whether they’re old releases or new. Adele is worth mentioning in this case because of how much of an impact one album had on the final stats for the year 2015.)

catalog sales nielsen

Taking a deeper dive, the Nielsen stats show that there was a larger discrepancy between sales of new albums and sales of past albums in the ‘physical sales’ column than in the ‘digital sales’ column. Not hard to believe when you factor in the popularity of vinyl records – it’s a lot more likely that the 21-year old getting into record collecting is purchasing 2 old Rolling Stones or Velvet Underground LPs than using his or her record player to spin albums released this year.

On the digital front, current albums beat out catalog albums in sales 52.5 million vs 50.9 million, with catalog singles beating current single sales by a larger margin of 484.9 vs. 479.8. This probably comes down to the demographics of those purchasing music: younger fans are more in touch with digital consumption, following their favorite artists on social media and knowing just when their new music is going to drop. Streaming on the whole is being done by a younger demographic, and we see that this group is more likely to stream singles than older consumers, who might opt for a more dated release. This is good news all around if you’re an artist looking to appeal to a wide array of ages.

catalog sales nielsen

Are catalog sales not something you’ve ever really taken into serious consideration when thinking about the state of music? You’re not crazy. If you’re an independent artist reviewing their year-end sales, you’re likely more focused on how you can continue to better market your more recent or even upcoming work.

What does this mean for artists who are going at it without label support, booking their own gigs, and managing their own marketing efforts across all channels? It’s a lot of data to digest, and there are lots of conclusions to draw. One hugely clear takeaway from all of this, however, is that your old releases can still be important to your future career.

Now, if you go from playing black metal to pop music over 6 years under the same name, yeah, maybe you can let go of some of those early releases as you head into a new direction. But as you continue to evolve and you begin to reach new fans, they’re going to want to hear everything you’ve got to bring them, even if it’s from years ago.

There may be some releases you have from back in the day that have a lot more value you than placed in them originally. You’re trying to appeal to diehard music fans, and in 2016 diehard music fans want access. Find your ‘super fans’ on social media channels, your email lists, and at your shows – give them as much access to your music as you can! When you find those demos or old EPs you handed out after gigs and offer them on iTunes, Spotify and Deezer, you’re able to grow your super fan base and reinforce their dedication.

We’re seeing that catalog sales and streaming matter for all artists, and when you’re able to offer access to more of your music to super fans, everyone benefits.

14 Reasons We’re Thankful to be Artists

Here in the States, we’re just two days out from Thanksgiving – a time of turkey, stuffing, football, family and friends. But this time of year goes beyond all that awesome stuff just mentioned. It’s truly a wonderful excuse to stop dead in our tracks and remember what we have and why we’re thankful for it.

We all know being an independent artist isn’t easy. In fact, it can be difficult to get down on some of the struggles, right? That’s why it’s important to remember why you chose to be a musician – why it called your name – and acknowledge that it’s a pretty incredible journey to embark on.

This year, we reached back out to our community and asked them to share with us why they’re thankful to be artists!

“I am thankful to be an artist because music and art have always been able to say what words cannot. No matter how loud or how subtle our mark is, I truly believe that every day we are given the chance to make a difference. Don’t believe me? Go to an Adele concert and then go to a political function and compare the attendance… art might be the only thing keeping the world together.”
– 
YONAS

“I’m thankful to be an artist because with a couple of chords, a melody, and lyrics I have the ability to impact somebody else and make them smile, or, even better, feel related to – even if it’s just in those 3 minutes and 30 seconds. I get to take my soul, emotion, or story and pour it into a form that can be danced to with friends, sung at the top of lungs in a car, or listened to on repeat.”
– Chloe Caroline

“Music has given me the opportunity to explore places I otherwise would have never seen and introduce myself to new friends I otherwise would have never met. So I’m thankful to be an artist because it means that every day is a chance to discover more of the world.”
 David McMillin

“I’m thankful to be able to perform and entertain people, and give them a moment’s break from their problems, jobs, relationships, etc.  That’s why I do this, that’s what Adakain is about, and I couldn’t be happier!”
– Ryan Ray/Adakain

“We’re thankful for being artists because it allows us to truly appreciate great art. Knowing that each creator has climbed their own mountain of doubt, frustration, and insecurity makes art all the more impressive, and all the more human.”
– Nikki’s Wives

“I am thankful to be an artist because it gives me a reason to get up in the morning and know that I have purpose: to be creative and to help people feel things they want to feel. When someone asks what do I do, I’m always proud to respond “I play music.” It’s our duty as musicians to help people feel.”
– Tyler Boone

“Thankful to TuneCore for putting my music in the ears of so many incredible fans. A lot of people come back to me and say that my music helps them through the dark times, and changes their life. Them telling me this, in turn, changes mine too. It’s a beautiful cycle, that I’m proud to be a part of.”
– Antix

“We’re thankful for being able to travel the world playing music with our friends. Meeting people who share our passion for music is a highlight of our job. We’re also thankful for Taco Bell.”
– These Kids Wear Crowns

“We are thankful as artists to be able to travel the country and share our music with others. We are most thankful for the opportunities our fans have given us to see the entire country and all its beauty. We are thankful for the many people we have met along the way that have shown us the magic of music and how it brings different people together.”
– First Decree

“We are thankful to be musicians because it’s the most powerful tool we know to communicate  feelings, ideas, and dreams.”
– Prinze George

“I’m thankful to be an artist because of the gift that music gives to me: It allows me to be emotionally, spiritually, and intellectually fulfilled every day. As long as I focus on living out of that gratefulness, the rest comes easy and I am able to give back to those around me more than I ever dreamt I could.”
– Adley Stump

“We’re thankful to be artists for countless reasons! One thing we especially love is getting to meet so many incredible people. It’s so inspiring for us to hear how our music has impacted them, and hearing these stories gives us more strength then our fans will ever know. It’s so fascinating how music can connect all of us in such a unique and special way.”
– Two Story Road

“I’m thankful to be an artist because I am given the chance to do what I love everyday, which is expression through singing, songwriting and performing. These are what dreams are made of and to share it with the world is the ultimate blessing.”
– David Garcia / Bridge To Grace 

Thank You TuneCore for helping me and many other artists connect and engage with our fans around the world.  No matter the physical distance – you bring us closer to our fans than ever before!”
– Denny Strickland 

 

How To Balance Your Day Job With Your Music Career

[Editor’s Note: This article is written by Farah Joan Fard and it originally appeared on the Sonicbids Blog. Great advice for so many independent artists juggling jobs with their passion while building their music careers!]

Does going to your 9-5 and then playing a gig that night ever make you feel like a Clark Kent/Superman combo? Do you feel like there’s not enough time in the day for both your full-time job and your musical duties? You’re not alone. Balancing a day job with a music career can be tricky on so many levels, especially when you’re so serious about your music – you want to be dedicating 100 percent of your time to it, but you need some way to pay the bills until you can get there.

We know what a massive struggle it can be, so we’re here to help you through it! You’ve likely encountered (or will soon encounter) the challenges below, so read on to learn how to handle each one without jeopardizing your day job or your music career.

1. DIY doesn’t mean you have to do it all yourself

If you’re in a band, it can be helpful to divvy up responsibilities between bandmates and work schedules so that you’re not digging into either role with the other. For instance, if one of your bandmates has a job that is more flexible with email, that person can reach out to venues or musicians during their break. If another bandmate gets out of work earlier, they can help with posters. If another has a car, maybe moving equipment is their job. You get the idea. (Note: A band agreement may help you out here.)

Or, if you’re solo (or you and your bandmates all have hectic schedules), a manager can definitely help you get there. They will only take a cut when you make money, so you’re in it together for the same end goal.

2. Don’t use your music income for non-music expenses

Oh, boy. Whatever happened to my band fund from high school? Last I saw it was under our bass player’s bed, circa 2005. This is a great example of how not to manage your funds.

However, it’s on the right track in some way: It’s a good idea to separate your band money from your other accounts. This way you can limit music expenses, plan for them, and budget well in advance. Sites like Mint or even a Google Spreadsheet can come in handy for this.

3. Somebody’s watching me?

You’ve definitely heard that employers will Google you, but your social media settings are pretty private, and you don’t Tweet about your 9-5 or anything. What could go wrong?

Part of being an artist is self-expression, social movement, and sometimes ruffling some feathers. However, what if your boss came across an image or video that puts you in a different light? What if you work for a daily paper and your songs show a political slant? What if you’re a teacher and there are themes in your music that the PTA might grumble at? (Case in point: A substitute teacher in Massachusetts was fired recently because of his music video.) You have to accept the fact that whatever you put out there is available to anyone who is looking.

Of course, you can also use this to your benefit. I know a music teacher who was hired without having to perform during her interview, because her employer had looked her up and seen that she could sing and play well through her live performance videos. You can let employers see the ambitious and creative side of you.

The takeaway here is that if there could be a conflict of interest between your day job and your music career, be cautious of what you share online. If you ask yourself, “Would I want my boss to see this?” and the answer is no, don’t take the risk – you still need a way to pay those bills before you can solely rely on your music income!

4. Prepare in advance for weekday gigs

Often, when a venue wants to get used to your sound and audience pull, they’ll want to try you out on a weekday first. This might mean a long night ahead of an early morning.

If a weekday gig is your only option, there are a number of things you can do to make it as painless as possible. For instance, maybe book with a band you know personally so you can coordinate time and equipment to make loading out faster. Drink plenty of water so you don’t feel sick in the morning. Plan your (and your instruments’) ride home in advance. Face the fact that you might be grabbing breakfast at a cafe instead of at home. Plan your next day’s work outfit in advance, and anything else you’ll need for the day. And if you need to leave work at 5 p.m. on the dot for your gig, have your meetings and deadlines sorted ahead of time so your coworkers don’t feel abandoned.

5. Don’t become a procrastination station at work to get ahead with your music

Hopefully you have a 9-5 (or 9-6, 10-6, whichever) that you enjoy. I’ve often found that my day job has me surrounded by coworkers who are also artists, actors, musicians, and writers, so everyone is aware of balancing our office creativity with our activities outside of work. Even if that’s the case, though, remember not to let one bleed too much into the other!

These days, when our smartphones have us pegged to email and social media, it can be easy to blur the lines between personal and professional. But think of it this way: You wouldn’t want to be emailing clients or vendors in the midst of your band’s set, right? So taking phone calls to set up gigs or reaching out to music blogs during office hours is probably not a good idea, unless it’s during your break.

On the other hand, using your phone to record ideas while you’re walking to work or at lunch, or jotting down a quick note for later can help you remember a great idea when it strikes! These apps may help you kick it up a notch in the notes and organization realm.

Even if your day job isn’t related to music or the arts, it’s still a symbiotic relationship. Your job can help fuel your music career with income, networking, and motivation. And perhaps your musical aspirations help you in the workplace (music helping you with the day to day – now there’s a whole other topic!). Keep it balanced, and it will keep rolling like a river.

From the TuneCore Community: Lessons & Advice on SXSW!

If you’ve ever been, you know firsthand that SXSW is a chaotic conference where instead of a few massive stages in a confined setting, you’re navigating venues and bars, and the festival grounds is downtown Austin itself. With 1/3 of artists performing at SXSW having distributed through TuneCore, we reached out to a group of Austin-bound indies to get their take on what lessons they’ve learned from performing years past and what advice they’d offer to those making their debut trip.

We’ve broken these lessons and tips into groups: TuneCore Artists who are making their second trip to SXSW, those who have played three or four times already, and those who are seasoned vets, having been to SXSW five or more times. Take note, TuneCore Artists!

Second Timers

Humming House (Americana)
Lessons: “We spent some time talking to our stage manager and the sound crew at our official SXSW showcase last year and learned a bit about what goes on behind the scenes. Become friends with the people working at your showcase and take into consideration what that week looks like for them. It’ll make everyone’s lives easier.”
Advice: “Go see some acts that you haven’t heard of or that you haven’t seen before. Be kind to the SXSW crew and treat Austin like it’s your home town; thousands of people descend on that city for three weeks straight and the transformation is absolutely wild. So live it up, but be considerate of the Austin denizens and the people around you!”

Sean C. Johnson (Hip Hop/Soul)
Lessons: “Plan, plan, plan! Look over the schedule for the week and highlight the shows and events you want to attend. Then plan your week around those. Last year I missed out on a lot of cool stuff because I didn’t know when and where it was happening.”
Advice: “Sleep when you get back home. Take this week to soak up as much of SXSW as possible and network with as many people as you can.”

Lyric Michelle (Hip Hop)
Lessons: “Always be prepared and have a plan for everything! What no one ever told me is that you might get separated from your group and that’s ok. You need to have a plan to what you are trying to accomplish and how.”
Advice: “This is the time to meet all the important people. Meeting Jay-Z would be incredible, but the person that booked Jay-Z, now that would be even better.”

LAB Records (Rock/Pop Label)
Lessons: “Be organized. Plans can change last minute and not everyone will have their mobile phone attached to them as on a normal working week. Be as flexible as possible with others but as punctual as possible with plans you have made.”
Advice: “Meet everyone you can – split into a couple of teams if it helps. Sometimes the most productive meetings can come from the most unlikely of sources!”

OptivioN (Alternative)
Lessons: “Have your housing arrangements ready.”
Advice: “Meet as many people possible. Don’t sleep.”

Joe Herter and the Rainbow Seekers (Folk/Rock)
Lessons: “Be prepared for lines at shows. Also, it really pays off to book a place to stay early in advance. If a better deal comes up, you can always sell your room to another band (there are websites that will help you with this).”
Advice: “SXSW can be really overwhelming. Don’t let the partying get the best of you. If you’re playing SX, then you’ve likely worked hard to get there, so make sure that you’re focused on playing your best. This also includes being healthy. Take care of your bodies! Also, SX presents an awesome opportunity to connect with other people. Attend other shows and try to make some friends. I always seem to find myself favoring a particular venue (one that hopefully provides free drinks for artists) that I spend most of my time at. When you party with a similar group of people over a few days, you’re bound to make some lasting friendships.”

Third & Fourth Timers

The Racer (Alternative)
Lessons: “Mass un-targeted flyering on the street is a waste of time and a significant source of litter. Renting a big house seems worth the extra money, but if it’s all cozy and comfy it’ll keep you away from all the action! Austin is a party, so have fun, but avoid the urge to treat this as a vacation. If this is going to be your career then this is a business trip.”
Advice: “Network! It can be a grind, but MAKE and KEEP plans to meet up with as many people/groups/companies as you can. They won’t all be worth it but you never know who you’ll run into. Also, travel light.”

Ben Aqua (Electronic)
Lessons: “Pace yourself! Spread your energy out over multiple days and rest and relax as much as possible so you don’t burn out/get sick/throw up everywhere.”
Advice: “Be friendly, kind, and loving to everybody you meet.”

Andrew Duhon (Folk/Blues)
Lessons: “I think I learned that its more about listening than performing. There’s a ton going on, and its coming from all over the map. There’s plenty to be inspired by. That, and I learned I need to call my Austin buddy sooner than later to reserve a spot on his couch before the other 5 friends with bands do.”
Advice: “Make a schedule for the morning panels you want to check out, but don’t bother doing so with the night music showcases. There’s so much music that going with the flow at night is as likely to put you in the right place as anything else. “

Vandaveer (Folk/Pop)
Lessons: “Take your own pillow and sunscreen. Eat lots of Torchy’s.”
Advice: “Assume you will achieve nothing at SXSW, then feel good about your experience matching your expectations. In the event things go exceedingly well, bask in your good fortune.”

PaperWhite (Pop)
Lessons: “SXSW is a crazy scene. Imagine the downtown area of a major city with the streets filled to the brim with people! I think it’s really easy for a band to get lost in the whole thing. Something I’ve noticed in the past that worked for me, was trying to have a specific focus on who I wanted to come to our shows, and to try to make meaningful connections with a few people rather than just trying to meet and play for as many people as humanly possible.”
Advice: “Have fun! Go see as many bands as you can. Be inspired, keep an open mind, and let it be something that fuels your creative energy!”

Dead Leaf Echo (Alternative/Pop)
Lessons: “Stay away from 6th St if possible. Give yourself enough time to get by the cops even if you have a parking permit most of the time they won’t let you by. Don’t trust a lot of the free food.”
Advice: “Go crazy but not on consecutive nights. Stay away from the big shows unless your playing them.”

Dre Prince (Hip Hop)
Lessons: “If you can make it then go. Even if you’re not playing or scheduled to play you might run into people who put on showcases for next year or they might ask you to fill in then.”
Advice: “Don’t be afraid to get out there and network & make things happen for yourself. You never know who you’ll run into.”

5+ Trippers

Nightmare Air (Rock/Alternative)
Lessons: “Networking is everything! Drink water. Texas can get cold at night in March so bring a long sleeve if you’ll be out all night…I’ve been freezing in a T shirt miles away from my hotel one too many SXSW nights.”
Advice: “Get out there, talk to people. Take cards, remember names, get contacts and follow up in the weeks after SXSW.”

The Octopus Project (Pop/Experimental)
Lessons: “Don’t kill yourself by trying to play a million shows! Pick a handful of good ones & stick with those. You won’t be completely exhausted & that will give you time to meet people & check out all the other fantastic folks playing! “
Advice: “Make as many friends as you can! There are literally thousands of people all converging in the same place that have your same interests & are in the exact same boat as you. Make buddies! Don’t try to get “discovered.” Just have fun!”

Bill Baird (Rock/Folk)
Lessons: “Don’t get distracted by the mayhem. There is a lot of corporate bullshit but just keep walking by it if it’s not your thing. Use the festival as an opportunity to introduce yourself to bands you like (go to their shows and say hi afterwards) and, most important, try to meet up with other like-minded folks from around the country, folks who you might not ordinarily get to see. The most valuable things are relationships you cultivate.”
Advice: “If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that you never really know what’s happening until after it’s finished.   That unassuming dude you met might actually be an amazing songwriter, an inspiring artist, a label owner, or might be friends with somebody like that.”

 

#TCVideoFriday: Feb. 20, 2015

Happy Friday! Only one more left in this chilly month, but for now you’ll have to keep warm with this round up of TuneCore Artist videos:


Denny Strickland, “Swerve On”


Jessica Sanchez, “This Love”


Orange Grove, “Easy Love”


Grumble Bee, “H.C.A.D.C”


Dear Boy, “Oh So Quiet”


Diana Espir, “Tomboy (feat. Nelly)”


WATERBED, “Somethin”


Kwame Katana, “The Worlds Waiting For You”


KNOWER, “Fuck the Makeup, Skip the Shower”


Michelle Willis, “Broken Sky”