Check out the top instrumental Hip Hop sites on the web.
Check out the top instrumental Hip Hop sites on the web.
To begin the process of reaching out to potential music festivals for performing interests, you’ll need to go back to your document and see how the festivals prefers to except submissions from music acts interested in performing. Once you’ve located the proper area to submit your music for consideration, you’ll need to submit your stuff and wait for a response. I know it sounds simple, but that’s really all there is to it. If you don’t hear back from the event coordinator by the end of the first month of your submission, now it’s OK to reach out with a personal email and ask did they receive your submission and have they considered using your band for their festival.
Public radio is also another format. The main difference between commercial radio and public radio is that the government and donations fund public radio, while sponsors and advertisements provide sponsorship for commercial radio. This allows public radio to not only to program different content, but also not air commercials. Just about every major city in the United States has a public radio station, and they are known to better promote their city’s local music scene. This proves to be an easier way for local artists to get airplay, though typically through a smaller audience base. The great thing about local public radio stations is that they tend to throw a lot of quality events in their city, and are always seeking good talent to showcase.
Satellite radio is a more recent format, being just over 10 years old. This subscription-based format eliminates all commercials, and offers a variety of stations to the user based on genre, style or topic. Satellite radio offers many more options than traditional radio, and is able to play more content throughout the day. The great thing about satellite radio is that their content is not government regulated, as commercial radio’s is. With this, you receive a much bigger variety of content. In terms of gaining recognition through satellite radio, it is usually up to the DJ or station director to choose the music, and doesn’t take submissions. There might be a few smaller stations that do, but for the most part their doors are closed.
Currently, the quickest growing radio market is Internet radio. Officially, it started back in the mid 90’s when a few local stations started streaming online, but started to become prominent in the recent decade with many Internet based radio stations starting. Their format of radio is slightly different than the others, as it is almost acts as a melting pot for other formats. Users can pick a genre or artist to base their radio station off of, and they will continue to hear new music based on their selection. They can also choose between having a subscription to the radio, and hearing commercials every so often to offset the cost of providing free music to listeners. Obviously, there is no official DJ running each station, so the programming is mostly based around the users choices. The biggest benefit for being an artist featured on this is the fact that it can be accessed nation wide, and the demographic possibilities for this is almost endless.
The next tip is also very simple, but require a little bit of team work to pull off. You’ll need to peers that have the same interests musically as you do and have them listen to your music art piece to give you some feedback and critics on what area could be better.
The last tip is actually the next natural step in the process of making your music art piece better. You’ll need to take the notes your peers gave you from there listening session and rework that sections of your art piece. Once you have the song reworked from the feedback of your peers, now all you have to do is repeat this process over and over until you feel you’re making strides forward on being an artists.
Back in “golden years”, A&R used to serve as the middleman between the artist and record label and work very closely with the artist. They would discover a band, convince the record executives to sign them, find the band a record producer and studio, and help develop many aspects of the artists career such as style, promotion and marketing. Today, thanks to the internet, most of that can be done by the artist themselves. Today, recording hardware and software is cheap, accessible, and can be easily run by monkeys, marketing and promotion can be done through social media websites and digital distribution, and now every major player in the business wont even acknowledge you unless you already have some self-made clout. So now, who is A&R for? Record labels? Artists? Do A&R services even exist anymore?
The answer is yes. Although there are a lot less of major labels, the power of an A&R rep is diminished, and the web has provided an easy way to discover music, these labels still have a few A&R reps that have new methods for discovering new artists, and are used to filter though the watered-down internet. In the independent label world, old school A&R is still used, and actually still a very relevant way to scout new talent. The best example of this is indie label XL Recordings discovery, development, and utmost support of Adele a few years ago. She is still with XL, and very successful. Other than that, the face of A&R has changed so much, most wouldn’t even recognize it anymore. Many have been saying that music supervisors are the new A&R people. Music supervisors are the ones whom, most of the time, are selecting music for film, tv, and video game projects (among other duties). Some 90% of the music placed in these projects come from unsigned, independent artists, and many have been discovered and launched successful careers by this approach.
Others have said that another new form of A&R is websites and blogs. The Artic Monkeys were the first band who’s career was greatly impacted by MySpace support, and Incredibly popular music blogs have a lot of pull and can serve as the new “gatekeepers”. A blog like Brooklyn Vegan, one which is viewed by millions a month, can essentially make or break a new artist simply by featuring an artist on their homepage. Other sites like Yahoo music helped launched Katy Perry and the Plain White T’s, and sites like YouTube offer an excellent platform for videos, and are debuted on a weekly basis. YouTube has also expressed that they are not just in it to just throw any old artist up, and hope for the best. The label department of YouTube actively seeks out artists that they actually believe in.
Music publishers have also been thrown into this new A&R conversation as well. Long before Coldplay was signed to Capitol Records, they were affiliated with BMG music publishing who provided funds for recording, and even shopped the band to labels. Chrysalis music publishing also is building a reputation for really getting behind and pushing their artists into the spotlight.
Ultimately, the fan is the true A&R rep of today. With all the options and avenues to discover music on our own (and 99% of the time it’s free), the fan is truly the sole “gatekeeper”. Fact is, cream rises to the top. Most every major player in the music industry will tell you the best advice they can give bands and artists is, “Just be good”, and the fans will let you know if you are. Bottom line is, if you really do have great songs, there should be no excuse not to be discovered with all the amazing technologies today that allow you to get your music in the peoples’ hands cheaply, and all on your own.
Selling merchandise is one of the best ways for generating income for your band, and as a matter of fact, it may be the only source of income that you as an artist can make that you can easily control. If you are a touring act, selling merch is often times your livelihood, providing money for food, and gas to get to the next gig. Following these easy tips will help you sell more items at your shows, and will help you get off the road-dog diet of gas station hot dogs and beef jerky.
Try to create as much buzz around your merch booth as possible. It is always helpful if you can find a motivated friend that doesn’t play in the band to help out. Think outside the box in order to draw more people over. Hold raffles, give away small items for free like stickers, key chains etc. Offer deals like buy a t-shirt, get a cd, etc. Really try to push the limits on this one. There is a lot you could get away with in a club, but just to be safe, double check with the venue before you try anything too outlandish.
Lastly, fans love items that are tour or album specific. Try selling a previously unreleased track from the album your promoting, and sell it exclusively at your live shows. T-shirts with the name of the city and venue on the back are great because people love to prove they were actually there (but as mentioned don’t over order these). It’s a bit tacky to sell your set list, but coupling your set list with a purchase is appealing to consumers.
A lot of these tips can be applied to selling merch online as well, just make sure your
music contacts are heavily promoting the fact that you sell online too. The most important thing to remember with this is to be sure to punctual in sending out orders. No one likes to wait, and if you don’t send the item promptly, you may lose a fan.
Here’s a great video the will guild you through selling merch
This is my first go at blogging so I hope you find my content about all things music and everything that goes in to creating it interesting enough to come back and enjoy again and again.