Review: The Independent Artist's Guide To Exceptional Income

Noisetrade is one of my favorite artist discovery sites.  If you're unfamiliar, artists can upload their music for free, and give it away to fans in exchange for their email address.  Which we'll talk about in a later post.

But recently Noisetrade added a books section to their site where you can download both written and audiobooks on a whole range of subjects.  And here is one that you should pick up:

the independent artist's guide to exceptional income

Short, practical, and easy to follow.  This is a great listen from someone who is just like many artists, attempting to make a living by telling their story.  Williams helps artists process their unique opportunity, organize and plan their time for maximum effectiveness, grow in areas of existing strength while stepping into unfamiliar terrain, and finally how to be able to turn that into a career that is self-sustaining.  

Get it 'The Independent Artist's Guide To Exceptional Income' here!  And then let's talk about how you can practically apply those steps to your unique voice as an artist to tell your story.  Email me here.

The Artist Debate

I know, kill me.  One more person posting a blog about Kanye, Beyonce and Beck.

But this is not really a blog about ‘justice for Beyonce’ or about how ‘Beck actually knows how to play instruments.’  Because if I’m honest, I’m a big fan of both of these artists!

beyonce beck kanye

And that’s the truth – they are both artists.

Of course that looks different for each of them because they have unique gifting, unique talents, and unique desires about how they want to use their craft to affect their listeners.

When it comes to artists, just like everything in life – one size does not fit all.  One songwriter/musician/singer is no more of an artist than the next – their artistry just looks different because it comes from a different artist.

What makes an artist stand out is their ability to know their voice (not speaking of merely singing) and knowing how to effectively use it accomplish the desired result: to connect, to make a career, to build fans, and to influence and impact.

What makes artists stand out is their ability to be as Bob Dylan said in his 2015 MusiCares speech: ‘fearless and sensitive at the same time.’  Sensitive to their craft and calling, sensitive to their listeners, and sensitive to the broader artistic community.

You do not need to wonder if you are an artist based on the type of music you sing, play and write.  You are an artist.  The question you need to ask yourself is, do you know how to translate your artistry to effectively communicate your story.  Let’s work through that together, email me here

3 Of My Current Favorite Tools For Musicians

tools for musicians

We are inundated and over-saturated with information in 2015.

Which is fantastic, and yet difficult to know what is helpful and what is not.

But fear not, if you’re an independent artist, I put together a list of three of my favorite resources to help you in your craft and career:

1. All You Need To Know About The Music Industry (by Donald Passman)

Making all aspects of the business-side of this industry accessible and practical.  Thankfully, Don updates the book regularly as the laws and industry change – so make sure you’re picking up the newest version, not just a second-hand $.78 version on Amazon!

2. Brand Like A Rockstar (by Steve Jones)

You’re not just a singer.  You’re not just a writer.  You’re not just a performer.  You’re a brand.  And once you understand that, it will change the way you approach every aspect of your career.  This is a must read.

3. Billboard.biz

Not only do you need to be aware of musically what's going on in the industry, but you need to be familiar with the ins and outs of the business.  Where is the industry headed, and who is shaping it?  Billboard.biz has got you covered. 

best tools for musicians image

Of course all of the information in the world is useless unless you know how to implement it for your unique needs as an artist and brand.  Let’s talk about how we can do that together.  Email me here.

Projects: Working With Newsboys

One of the first artists I had the opportunity to work with when I moved to Nashville was, Newsboys.  First as a part of their record label, and more recently as they released their independent hymns project: ‘Hallelujah For The Cross.’

One of the things that management asked me to do was help put together resources for worship leaders – with this being a hymns record, in many ways they wanted to be able to resource the Church with classic songs with a modern update.

Being a worship leader myself I knew there were a couple of things that I always find helpful: chord charts, song stories, and reference material.  So that’s what I helped create for the band:

Chord charts for every song on the album.

Song Stories – Who wrote the songs, what inspired their beginnings.

Thematic and Text Tie Ins – many of the songs were written from specific Bible verses, so I wanted to include those references.

Song Stream Videos: From a marketing perspective we also created a song stream teaser video leading up to release, as well as individual song slide videos – a great way to encourage listening and sharing by one of the biggest music streaming sites – YouTube!


There are two questions every artist needs to be asking as they release new material and content – who am I, and who am I trying to reachDon’t create content for content’s sake, create things that make sense with your brand and the audience you’re trying to reach.

Do you know who you are? 

Do you know whom you’re trying to reach? 

If you’re unsure, let’s answer those questions together. 

Let’s tell your story together, email me here.

Why Artists Should Be Pro-Spotify

I am as pro-artist as they come. 

I am also pro-Spotify.

Gasp, I know.

why artists should be pro spotify

Here’s the deal: you’re right, as an artist you’re really not making any money via Spotify.  But as an artist that is trying to make a living off music, you’re not making the bulk of your income off of record sales or streams anyway!  It’s songwriters and publishers who have more to be upset with when it comes to the fractions of pennies they are getting from Spotify – not you!

As an artist, the bulk of your income should come from touring, licensing, as much exposure and endorsement deals as you can muster, and thinking like an entrepreneur about unique opportunities to use your gifting to make a living.

If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.  Part of being an artist in this day and age is realizing that streaming in some format is here to stay.  So instead of getting worked up and frustrated about the pennies that streaming is leaving on the table for you because of the hordes of people that had planned to buy your album until they saw they could stream it, lean into it!

How can you make streaming work in your favor?  How can you utilize it for something you need more than pennies: exposure, listeners that become life-long fans?

Streaming is here to stay, so make it work for you.

If you’re interested in more reading on the subject, here’s a great detailed article from Billboard showing how streaming is not having as adverse an affect as everyone assumes.

Want to make a plan to make streaming work for you?  Let’s talk.

Email me here.

Case Study: Milo Greene

For the last two years I've followed Milo Greene - thanks (once again) to Nashville's independent radio station, Lightning 100.  I loved their singer-songwriter sensibilities along with their three part, alternating lead singer vocals and harmonies.

milo greene control album cover

They've got a new record coming out, and so far they've released three singles and lyric videos from the new album.  These songs are darker, and more electronic while still maintaining the different pieces that drew me to the band in the first place.

I love how the lyric videos incorporate the look and feel of the album cover and tie one to the next without being the exact same images, colors and textures:

Milo Greene's new record comes out January 27th.  Can't wait to see how the visual and musical themes continue across the whole album.

How Track Sequencing Tells A Story

the importance of track sequencing for artists

This is perhaps one of my biggest pet peeves – poor track sequencing.  Track sequencing is a subliminal way of relaying your brand.  Your fans may not pick up on the overall story you’re telling through your sequencing – but that’s exactly what it is, a cohesive story.  A track sequence done poorly is like riding with someone learning to drive stick shift: jolting, bumpy and filled with lots of stops and starts.

Here are a few things to consider when putting together a sequence for your release:

Tempo

Hopefully you’ve written and recorded a good balance of varying tempos.  Don’t weight tempo too heavily to either side of the album – spread the love.  A good mix of fast, moderate and slow songs throughout the whole project will always feel more rounded

Production

Is this song seriously fifteen minutes long?  Oh, it’s been four different songs?  That can happen when the production elements stay the same – instrumentation, dynamics, key, structure, etc.  Don’t be that band.

End Listener

Sometimes as an artist your end listener will be different, keep that in mind when sequencing.  You’ll want a different flow for your audience than you would for industry professionals you’re pitching for a record deal, tour bookings, PR or placement opportunities.

Yes, sequencing is important, and makes an impact on your listener.  Don’t just throw songs together without thought.  Let your brand influence how you communicate the story of your records.

Don’t be the person learning to drive stick shift with your track sequencing.  Let’s work out those transitions together, email me here.

 

Case Study: Surprise Albums

beyonce vs u2

In a world that is saturated with over-hyped projects, even the world’s biggest artists are looking at new ways to create, distribute, and market their latest releases.

And surprise albums seem to be popular as of late – in the last 12 months Beyoncé and U2 have each released full-length records to the amazement of fans.

I love the idea of a surprise album – it’s fresh and exciting.  Fans will follow and support anything you do, but if you can do something out of the box, you stand the potential to gain new fans purely from curiosity.

U2 released their album free to all iTunes accounts – over 500 million to be exact.  As much as everyone loves free, the downside of an artist like U2 releasing not just a single, but an entire brand new album for free is that they run the risk of devaluing their music.  I am pro-free music, especially for new and developing artists – which will be a post for another time.  But U2 is not a developing artist.  This may open them up to new listeners, but will the music be good enough to turn casual listeners into fans?

Beyoncé’s album was paid, and available exclusively (for a time) in digital retailers.  Because it was packed with content – digital booklet, and music videos for every song on the album, Beyoncé added additional value to her record.  Purchasing the record was the only place you could hear the music, or watch the music videos – and just like U2, Beyoncé created an opportunity to engage a new audience eager to investigate what she had released.

Ultimately, true fans are what every artist should be going after.  Fans support your art no matter what.  Fans are the reason you’re able to make a living doing music.  Artist’s like Beyoncé and U2 clearly have lots of fans – but will releasing surprise albums help them turn people on the fringes - the casual listeners - into dedicated new fans?  Only time will tell.

Thinking about surprising your fans with new or free music?  Let’s consider first what you’re trying to accomplish with your brand.  Email me here.

Become A Fan

‘I like every kind of music besides country.’  As soon as someone says that to me, I instantly know a couple things about them – one: they have terrible taste in music, and two: you don’t like every kind of music if there is one you don’t like, and three: we will never be friends.

Who only listens to one genre of music anymore?  Thank you YouTube, Spotify, and as much as it pains me to say, Top 40 radio for expanding the palette of music fans everywhere.

I’m always surprised when I ask musicians what band’s they are listening to these days that they stick within two or three genres.  You can be a hardcore fan of maybe three to five genres of music.  But you can appreciate hundreds of variations in style!

Learn to be a student of talent, skill and ability across multiple genres of music. 

What makes someone a great performer in country music?  How is that different from a great crooner performance?

What makes someone a great writer in pop music?  What are the parallels with great rap lyricists?

How can the honesty of singer/songwriters influence the precision of a world-class vocalist?

As you follow talent you will begin to see similarities in approach, execution and passion that will serve you in whatever genre you are pursuing.

Don’t be a snob. 

It’s really annoying, and we’ll never be friends. 

Become a fan. 

Because we’ve all got things to learn from the most unlikely places.

Let’s be fans together, email me here.

Case Study: Throwback Honesty - She & Him

Good brands don’t put on a brand – it flows from the essence of who they are naturally.  There is always crafting, shaping and refining, but never a forgery of true identity.  That is clearly the case with well-branded artists.  One example of that would be: She & Him.

Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward formed the band in 2006, bonding over a love for George Martin and Phil Spector produced albums.  With each individual working on their own solo projects, as well as Matt producing recordings for other artists, their point of bonding became the jump off for the music that they would create together.

The ‘wall of sound’ method made popular by Spector in the 1960’s the characterizes so much music of that time, as well as Martin’s creative approach to many British pop/rock artist’s can be heard throughout the songwriting, recording, and production of each of She & Him’s four projects.

she and him

Melodically, musically and visually the band represents 60’s and 70’s pop music; layered vocals, reverb-heavy simplistic production and ‘lovey-dovey’ lyrics.  Typically it would bother me that an artist isn’t active on their social media – but who knows, maybe even that is an intentional choice to represent the artist’s of yesteryear! 

Take a look at their trailer for their new album… If YouTube was around in the 60’s I’m sure this would be an accurate representation of those artists as well.

She and Him know their story – and they stick to it.  Because well-branded artists know who they are and how to craft their story, instead of forcing themselves into a direction that doesn’t make sense.  Do you know your story?  Do you know how to craft the brand that already exists in your artistry?  Let’s do that together.  You can email me here.

Case Study: Palatable Artistry - John Mark McMillan


Christian music gets a bad rap.  Sometimes deserved, sometimes not.  The reality is the Christian music most people are familiar with is what they hear on Christian radio.  And just like Top 40 mainstream radio, Christian radio is not a full representation of the music coming out of a particular community.

john mark mcmillan

John Mark McMillan is an artist.  Many bands and musicians consider and identify themselves as 'artists' – but there is a big difference between being an artist and a musician… Which is another post for another time.  But when I say artist I mean: someone who is creating music with a purpose greater than entertainment, with staying power and substance.

John Mark McMillan is also a Christian musician.  Lyrically he weaves together real life with his faith through overt and subtle Biblical references – without falling into cliques and overused illustrations.  Musically his production elements have never been poor imitations of what’s going on (or has already passed) in mainstream music.  His songs are structured more like a story than they are a typical A, B, A, B, C, B format – while still being easy to follow.

Every piece of John Mark’s visual brand makes sense in the context of his music.  Whether it’s tour wardrobe, stage set up, logos and album covers – there is a simplistic artistry that is ever-present.

Being a true artist does not mean that you create things that people don’t understand.  That is in fact the antithesis of John Mark’s story – which is: palatable artistry.  John Mark knows his story, do you know yours?

JMM Photos

It is clear when an artist understand that their brand is more than just their songs; but that the core of their brand drives every piece of their artistic process.  Do you understand your brand?  Do you know how to communicate your brand?  Let’s figure it out together.  Email me here.

Record Labels: For and Against [Part 2]

DO need a label

(This is a blog is the second part of a two part post.  You can read the first about why you DON’T need a record label here.)

Here are the reasons why you DO need a record label.

There are three main things record labels provide for artists:

Expertise, access and cash.

 

Expertise

As long as you’re not signing with your friends start up record label in their Mom’s garage (read this post about why you shouldn’t go into business with friends here), you’ll be working with people that have done their job with multiple artists.  The time and experience that these people have invested in their career will benefit your band exponentially.  Knowing and understanding the process of dealing with co-writers, producers, the recording process, how to market your release, and how to set a strong trajectory for your career are just a few of the things an established label can offer.

Access

Because of their position – record labels have relationships with radio, PR, booking agents, artist managers and other artists that you do not.  And with that position comes a level of credibility that a label can call upon to build those relationships on your behalf.  Because all of life is ‘who you know’ aligning yourself with people that have relationships is never a bad idea.

Cash

No, I’m not talking about six-figure signing bonuses.  Those days are long gone.  But if you’ve recorded your own record, paid for merchandise, or funded a tour, you know how expensive all of those things can be.  One of the biggest benefits of a record label is that they have those funds up front.  So instead of having to decide whether you should record a few songs for an EP or print up some new t-shirts for your tour, a label could potentially help you fund both possibilities.

Just like individuals, every band is different.  One size does not fit all, and because of that some artists are more suited to signing with a record label while others are better off staying independent.  Which artist are you?  Let’s figure it out together.  Email me here.

Case Study: Why Taylor Swift Is Still Country.

Cowboy boots, some banjos and fiddles don’t make a country star.  And since record one, that has been the question about Taylor Swift – is she truly a country artist?

taylor swift

‘We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together’ from her last record Red was by far the most pop-leaning release from Taylor… That is until last week when she released ‘Shake It Off,’ from her forthcoming album 1989.

Some people say that she has fully embraced the fact that ‘she is a pop artist.’  But I do not agree.  Just like wearing cowboy boots and playing acoustic guitar do not make you a country artist, neither does loosing the boots and singing over a beat make you a pop artist.

Taylor is a country artist, always has been and always will be.  Because it’s not production that makes a country artist – it’s the songs.  It is the writing style.  Taylor is a storyteller – and at the core, that is what makes a country artist.

I have an easier time arguing that people like Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Sufjan Stevens, and even some hip-hop artists are more like country artists than their main identifying genre.  Because those artist’s primary mode of communication has been through telling stories.

Whether the synthesizers on Taylor’s new record outweigh the use of acoustic guitars, it still won’t change the fact that she is a country artist.

What do you think?  Are your songs and career painting an accurate picture of who you are as an artist?  Lets figure that out together, email me here.

Record Labels: For and Against [Part 1]

DONT Need.jpg

Most artists fall into one of two camps: ‘I would saw off my right arm to sign a record deal!’ or ‘There is no amount of money that could ever get me to sign a record deal.’  This is part one of a two-part blog series that will explore both sides: why you don’t need a record label, and why you do need a record label (click here to read why you do need a label).

Here’s why you don’t need a record label.

Of course, you want to make a living doing music.  That’s the dream right?  But at the core, you love music, you love art, and you long to be able to connect with people through something that close to your heart.  Right?  Yeah, labels don’t care about that.  A label is a business and that is their primary goal – make a living off of your art.  They will not be as concerned about ‘artistic integrity’ as you will be.

Just like any relationship, there is give and take.  There are three main things you give up when you sign on the dotted line with a label:  Freedom, Creativity, and Ownership.

Now, there are many factors that influence to what extent you give up each of those elements: the size of the label, your clout as an artist, the kind of deal you’ve agreed upon, etc.  But those are things you have to be willing to surrender to sign with a label.

Here are some examples of what it may look like to give up…

…Freedom

Your label may want you to release a specific song as a single that you didn’t write because it’s the most marketable.  They may want you to go on tour with an artist that you don’t like.  They will want to speak into the kinds of endorsement and sponsorship opportunities you have as an artist, because it effects their vision for your career.

…Creativity

We’ve all seen the movies: struggling singer-songwriter signs a deal, gets turned into a pop music puppet by the big bad record label.  It’s really not that extreme, but most labels are about science not art.  ‘This worked for that artist, it will work for this artist.’

…Ownership

Labels make money by owning something you’ve created.  Typically that is your masters (the final recorded piece of music that you wrote).  When you give up ownership, you now have to ask permission to record, perform, and release the songs that you put your heart and soul in.  It also means, that there is a chance, if you walk away from your deal or get dropped, you’ll never be able to record or release those songs again – bye-bye greatest hits, live record or acoustic EP.

And perhaps the most obvious reason you don't need a record label is that it's 2014.  There are more opportunities, markets and ways for an artist to make a decent living than ever before.  Between being able to record a decent album on your laptop and the internet giving you access to fans that you would have never known existed, with a little business sense to drive you forward there are infinite ways to pursue a career in this industry.

Now, as someone who has and does work for a record label, they are not all bad.  And there are certainly benefits to signing with a label that outweigh doing this completely on your own.  We’ll explore that in post two, coming next week.

What do you think?  Time to pursue this completely on your own?  Let’s talk.  Email me here.

Case Study: Brooke Fraser

I love Brooke Fraser.

I do not however love, how long she’s been talking about she’s releasing new music ‘very soon.’

People don’t want you to tell them what you’re doing, they want you to show them.

brooke fraser.

 

Building suspense, hype and excitement for a record are very important – but you don’t need two years of talking about how you’re releasing new music to build suspense.

Fans only have so much mental energy, memory, and patience the hype machine.

Sure, things go wrong in the record deals.  Things take longer than expected in the recording process.  You can’t get your co-writer to agree on the splits.  And the producer can’t remember the name of the musician who he wants to come in and record a specific part. 

But don’t start broadcasting that you’re close to releasing new music, until you’re close to releasing new music.

Brooke has been posting for the last 18 months about this upcoming project in various forms, here are a few that I've dug up to show examples of exactly what I'm talking about...


 

With that being said, I really do love this new song from the forthcoming (hopefully!) Brooke Fraser record, it’s dark, minimal, and different from anything else we’ve heard from her – and that is worth hyping.  Take a listen:

 

 

When’s the right time to start talking about your new music?  Well that depends, let’s talk.  Email me here.

Why You Shouldn't Hire Your Friends To Build Your House

foundation image

I know nothing about building, construction, or really anything to do with things that happen outdoors.  I do know for a building to stand it needs a solid foundation.  The same is true with your brand.

Whether it’s a house or your brand that foundation should be laid by people that know what they are doing.  Not your friends.

I know, you like having them around – that’s why they are your friends.  I know, they will work for free to be able to say ‘they knew you when,’ but we’re building something that will last – spend the money to help lay an unshakeable foundation.

Here are two (of many) things you should look for when hiring someone to help you build your brand:

Knowledge

A proven track record, and understanding of the industry.  Someone who has successfully been a part of other artists’ branding.

Objectivity

Sometimes relationships can cloud judgment.  If you’re friends first, it can make having difficult conversations even more difficult.  You need someone who can see you, your music and your situation accurately and able to speak without fear of damaging the primary bond of your relationship – your friendship.

Now, if you are friends with Ryan Tedder, T Bone Burnett, Scooter Braun, Jimmy Iovine, and Scott Borchetta – then by all means, hire your friends.  If not, let the professionals help you build your foundation.

Are you ready to build the house?  Let’s do this together.  Email me here.

 

 

 

Case Study: Sia

I don’t know what I appreciate more about Sia.  Her voice.  Her melodies.  Or her distaste for ‘celebrity.’

 Most of the public didn’t realize they were a fan of Sia before hearing her smash hit ‘Chandelier’ earlier this Summer – but actually they’ve been a fan of hers for years!  That is because Sia is the songwriting force behind huge songs for the likes of Rihanna, Beyoncé, Katy Perry, and the list goes on…

Screen Shot 2014-07-14 at 2.01.30 PM.png

I’ve had her record ‘1000 Forms Of Fear’ on repeat the last two weeks and can’t get enough.  Along with that, I’ve tried to spend time getting to know the artist behind the music.

Sia pursued music from an early age, experienced moderate success (a generous description) with her own solo career.  But along the way realized that she did not like the touring aspect of being a pop artist, or the fact that you give up so much of your personal life and anonymity for that career.  What she discovered she loved was songwriting and it’s ability for her to pursue her passion and gifting without sacrificing her life to fame.

Sia’s story is her ability to pursue her dream her way.

Although writing is her main pursuit, Sia still performs as an artist, but now has the ability to decide how and when (ie: not facing the camera on national television, or appearing on the cover of a magazine with a paper bag over her head).

When you know your story, stick to it.  Let your story determine your journey – not what is expected of you as an artist.

‘Fame is a fickle food upon a shifting plate.’ – Emily Dickinson

What’s your story?  Let’s tell it together here.

The Importance Of Your Live Show

They say the music industry is dead.

I don’t believe that for a second.  Sure, it’s changing, but that doesn’t mean it’s dead or dying.  The distribution of recorded music looks different now than it did 30 years ago, but one thing that hasn’t changed?  The live show.

There is still no replacement for a great band on stage creating a moment between the musicians and the audience.  There is something unique in that moment.

the importance of the live show

Bands that understand their story know that these are five important elements that deserve consideration for their live show:

SET LISTS MATTER

It’s all about the flow.  Disjointed songs that jump back and forth between tempo and content are like stopping and starting to the audience.  Make sure it makes sense.

THE BANTER

Some bands have natural, easy, fun on stage banter.  You can tell they feel comfortable with one another, and therefore the audience feels comfortable.  Some bands are awkward and the audience feels uncomfortable as they robotically speak on stage.  Practice, practice, practice what you’re going to say, and then practice again.

STOPING THE SHOW FOR TUNING

Until you’re at the stadium level, you probably won’t have a tech to tune your hundreds of guitars, which means it's all you.  But for the love of all things holy, please don’t stop the momentum of your show for tuning your guitar.  Plan your flow, and transitions accordingly.

NO MERCH

I’m always surprised when a band does not have any merch.  These days it’s so inexpensive to have high quality t-shirts, custom posters, stickers, and recorded music, there is really no reason not to have some kind of branded merchandise.  If you’ve converted fans with your show, give them the opportunity to show their affection – with a impulse purchase.

WHAT IS YOUR NAME?

Perhaps one of my biggest pet peeves – when a band never says their name.  Do you want people to track you down online, on iTunes or social media?  Make sure you say your name often, over and over again.

 

What you do in your live show is as much a part of your story as your songs, styling and social media.  Is your live show telling a story consistent with your brand?  Let’s determine that together.  Email me here to get started.

Case Study: The Black Cadillacs

Later this week, I’ll be writing about the importance of the live show.  And so I thought it was fitting to talk about a band whose story is their live show.

the black cadillacs


The first time I saw The Black Cadillacs was opening for one of my other favorite Nashville bands, The Kicks.  Instantly, I was hooked – bluesy, dirty, rock n’ roll, like a combination of Led Zepplin and Jack White.  The energy and chemistry of their performance was rare for such a new band.  They were alive, and everyone in that room could tell.

Take a look at these videos, and you might be able to glimpse what I mean:

If you get the chance to actually see this band in person - do it!

With that being said, if they are a band whose story is their live show, there are a handful of things that I would want them to flesh out more clearly...

Recorded Music

As much as I love this band, their records don’t capture the energy that their live shows.  Producers help bring out the best in bands – The Black Cadillacs should find a producer who wants them to track everything live.  Sometimes when you put musicians in a studio individually to track solo, it loses the magic that those musicians have when they play together.

Stage Clothes

I’m not a fan of matching outfits (this isn’t the early 2000’s and this isn’t Backstreet Boys).  But it’s important that a band looks like they go together.  You can always tell bands that have been styled and plan tour outfits – effortlessly cool, and not forced.

Production

Often the last thing touring artists are worried about is carrying their own production – sound, lights, etc.  But if your story is your live show, investing in some top of the line production will only enhance your story. 

The Black Cadillacs story is their live show.   What is your story?

Let’s learn to tell it together.  You can email me here to get started.

Four Reasons You Need A Killer Bio

When you meet someone for the first time, there is some semblance of two questions you will always ask:

“What’s your name?”  And  “What do you do?”

Finding common ground, building relationship, understanding the individual with their unique perspective and background live in between the lines of those questions.

The same is true for an artist bio.  And yet it is one of the things artist develop the least in their career.  Sure, your music is generally your first impression – make that good.  But in converting listeners to fans, they need to buy into who you are as people.  That’s where the bio comes in handy.

Here are my top four reasons why a killer bio is important.  Two are important, helpful and educational for the artist, two are essential for the public.

reasons you need a killer bio


As An Artist Killer Bios Are Helpful Because…

They Teach You To Speak In Sound Bites

Short, sweet, and to the point.  The best communicators know how to express what they are trying to say with as few words as possible.  Often in interviews, the journalist doesn’t have the real estate to print everything you say – so they edit.  Because you don’t have the ability to change what they edit, it’s better to edit what you say before they get the chance - meaning speak in sound bites.  Good bios teach you what matters, and how to articulate that succinctly.

It Keeps You Focused

A good bio might have lots of information, but only has one story, one focus.  And good branding is telling that one story well – a great bio will help you understand more thoroughly what your story is, and how to communicate it in everything you do.


For The Public They are Helpful Because…

It’s A Promotion Tool

If your album or concert is being reviewed or promoted, often the journalist, promoter, or media professional will pull from the artist’s bio to publicize the performance or article.  Do you really want to risk them pulling incorrect information from Wikipedia about your band?  Don’t think so.

It Tells The Reader Who You Are

What sets you apart?  Why do you matter?  What’s your story, history and passion?  A good bio will help answer all of those questions.



A good bio isn’t a profile for a dating website.   It’s a piece of your brand that clearly explains who are and what you’re about; so make it true, make it clear, make it engaging.  Let’s tell your story together.  Email me here for a quote on putting together a bio for your website, press release, or album launch.