Category Archives: Contributor

Wednesday Wisdom: How to Get Booked for Gigs

We kick off our Wednesday Wisdom series with Jeannie Jones. Jeannie is an award-winning journalist, media personality, actress, producer, director and brand architect. Jeannie’s Los Angeles-based multimedia firm, Ready Set Impact, specializes in music, film, and radio production; publishing; social media marketing, branding, and casting.

Jeannie is no stranger to the live music scene, and she dropped by here today to offer some insights on how you can book more shows, more often.

Booking a gig is always an exciting moment. The anticipation of an upcoming live performance is a huge motivator to finish songs and prepare to perform. There’s nothing more exhilarating than the in-the-moment feeling of playing live music. 

Now that venues are reopened after being paralyzed by the 2020 pandemic, promoters and managers are eager to work with talent that’s prepared to perform. That’s why you need a plan to book your next (or first) gig. After all, it’s your chance to be heard by fresh ears in a live environment.

Let’s look at a handful of tactics you can employ to book a gig, get on a great bill, and get invited back. 

Read more

Save the Date: Virtual Panel to Commemorate Black History Month Feb. 15

This year, we’ll be educating the masses with a series of roundtable panel discussions featuring music industry veterans, who will share their experiences and perspectives for the benefit of those navigating their own creative journeys.

The first of these discussions will take place online next month — and it’s free to tune in!

Learn more

Learn from Industry Experts with UMC’s New ‘Wednesday Wisdom’ Series!

Here at Underground Music Collective, we’re all about empowering our community to better navigate the music industry. We believe in sharing the perspectives of those who have been there, done it, and brought back the souvenirs of knowledge, ready to be shared with all who seek to learn.

That’s why we are thrilled to announce our new Wednesday Wisdom series. This weekly series will feature guest contributions and insights from music industry professionals, as they give you the tools you need to succeed on your creative journey.

Meet our Experts!

PREMIERE: Get Away with TopHouse’s New EP, ‘Campfire Stories’

Well folks, as though they hadn’t already done it several times over by now, TopHouse has arrived.

Their new EP, Campfire Stories, is a collection that will make you think, make you feel, and make you want to tap your toes and slap that tambo in the great outdoors with all your chosen family. It’s such an inspiring collection of songs that I needed to know more. So, while they picked their strings, I picked their brains. 


Musicians: Here’s How to Make SMART New Year’s Resolutions

It’s that time again! Time to say goodbye to one year, while welcoming in a brand-new 365-day sprint full of endless possibilities. You know what else that means? It’s time to make your New Year’s Resolutions!

I can hear the questions now: “What’s the point? Does anybody ever keep their New Year’s Resolutions?”

Well, sure. If you’re SMART about it…

The reason New Year’s Resolutions have a reputation of falling by the wayside somewhere around mid-January is because many people don’t build in parameters to ensure their success. Sure, we can resolve to “write more songs” and “play more shows,” but those vague proclamations don’t give us any true benchmarks.

That’s where the SMART goal setting philosophy comes in. The acronym SMART stands for:

Specific: Does your goal contain words that will inspire particular actions?
Measurable: Are there metrics/data benchmarks that signify success?
Achievable: Are the goals within your scope, and attainable within the established timeframe?
Relevant: Are your goals relevant to your overall mission?
Time-bound: Do your goals have a specific deadline?

There! Now you’re more empowered to set SMARTer goals than ever before. (See what we did there?)

If you’re looking for some ideas on how to put this philosophy into action, here are a few to get you started.

Identifying Your Fears (and Ways to Push Past Them)

My “Navigating the Creative Journey” series (which I’m officially titling for the first time, right now) continues at the Muze blog with an acknowledgement of something that all must face and address.


This idea was actually inspired in part by some of our previous work here at Muze. Back in January, my colleague Luke wrote an insightful piece – which included personal examples – about the fears that hold musicians back from performing their craft, and wrapped it up with a beautiful resolution that encourages aspiring and emerging artists to douse their apprehension by enjoying the creative process itself.

Now that 2022 is winding into its final stages, I thought now would be a good time to re-visit the topic of fear. Specifically, I’m interested in diving into the specific, existential fears creatives may encounter when stepping out into the professional wilderness, and ways that we can navigate through them.

If you find yourself held back by overarching fears, my hope is that this piece provides you with the antidote to overcome – or at least, manage – your fears.

Control Your Controllables: Remaining Focused on Your Musical Journey

Over the past several weeks, we’ve generously acknowledged the up and down nature of the creative journey. There will be triumphant highs alongside disheartening lows and, as we well know, the key to enduring is to ride the waves, stay level-headed and focused, and keep pushing forward with patience and persistence.

Today, I’m here to throw another variable into the equation: the notion of control.

Along your journey, you are virtually guaranteed to encounter circumstances beyond your control, and they just might throw a wrench into your plan.

  • Playing an outdoor gig? That gig – and many times, the number of people in attendance – is at the mercy of the weather.
  • Have a co-write scheduled? Sometimes, life happens, and people need to reschedule. You might even run into an unavoidable conflict once in a while.
  • Did you put your best foot forward when submitting to an opportunity? Well… it’s still up to somebody else to decide if you will receive that opportunity, and the music industry — much like life itself — offers us no guarantees.
  • Even if you’re the kindest person on Earth, you will encounter people who are not kind in return. You will have conflicts, and you will run into criticism from time to time.
  • Also, I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge that the early 2020s have presented industry-wide challenges that were, in many ways, completely out of our hands. (Lookin’ at you, ‘rona…)

Even despite our best efforts and wishes, the fact is that countless factors exist outside of our own influence, and some of them can lead to disappointment. However, the more we focus on that disappointment, the more powerful it becomes.

What’s an emerging musician to do, then? Simple.

Control your controllables.

No matter what the world throws your way, you still have an opportunity every day to re-center and focus on what is within your own individual sphere of influence. As you’ll see in this article, the list of your controllables is not especially long. Nonetheless, it’s important to know where to direct your attention when everything around you seems to be going haywire.

What are these “controllables,” you ask?

De-Mystifying Virtual Music Lessons

The notion of “virtual learning” became popularized over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. With lockdowns in place, those wanting to learn a new skill (or build upon an existing one) took to conference software and the internet to get it done.

Our friends at Music on the Move Studios are among those who have kept their lessons virtual, even as the world has reopened. Added convenience and accessibility are among the benefits to students and instructors alike, as remote learning allows anybody, anywhere to seek education.

Dive in with Erin McLendon (vocal coach) and Caitie Thompson (instrument coach), as they explore the benefits of virtual instruction.

LISTEN: Little Hurt Balances Light and Dark on “Depression Pop” Single, “Buttercup”

Singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Colin Dieden had all but forgotten his childhood nickname “Little Hurt” until one night, when he felt a strong pull to fulfill the name once again. Not on the baseball field, like he did growing up in Kansas City, but in the studio and on stage as the moniker for his solo project, Little Hurt

“It’s part of my past, so it felt right for the future. I’m just a kid from Kansas who’s a little hurt,” Dieden says.  

Hear the Single

4 Ways Your ‘Day Job’ Can Help Your Music Career

If you’ve been reading along at the Muze blog over the past several weeks, you may be noticing a pattern: we’ve been talking a lot about the creative process, and how success in the music industry is not a destination, but a journey.

We’ve covered ways to find joy in the process itself, and we’ve shared tips on how to keep yourself functioning at an optimal level as you move, step by step, toward greater artistic fulfillment. These ideas are great to keep in mind, no matter where you are on your road to success.

For many of us – especially those starting out – continuing down that road and keeping all aspects of our lives in balance can feel easier said than done. This is compounded by the fact that the vast majority of us who embark on a creative path do so without industry connections, and with finite resources (i.e. the cash necessary to feed the beast) to help us along the way. At one point or another, most of us will be employed outside of our passions in order to keep them going.

Although it can feel daunting to get up and go to a job – especially one you don’t like – when you’d rather be working on your vision, the good news is that there are still many positives to take forward from this leg of the journey. In fact, your seemingly unrelated “day job” might hold the keys to your success down the road.

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