Category Archives: Muze

Finding the Right Artist Management

Artist managers wear many hats. However, at the core of their job is the responsibility of ensuring that artists move steadfast toward their long-term creative and professional visions. For certain, a manager is one of “The 10 People Musicians Need on Their Side.”

What, exactly, are a manager’s responsibilities, both in a long-term sense and a day-to-day sense? Can — or should — one manager take on all of those responsibilities single-handedly? How do managers help artists build a strong team culture around their craft?

We asked two artist managers – Nathan Dohse, co-founder of AGD Entertainment and the author of the Zero to 60 by AGD artist development program, and Lexee Shapiro, co-founder & artist manager, 9802 Management – to share their experience, and their insight proves tremendously valuable for any artist looking to secure management. Simply put, this is a must-read!

Finding the Right Performance Opportunities

For artists, there is much to consider when trying to score better live performance opportunities. Where can artists find paying gigs? Are the gigs in question the right fit for the artist? How can performers build relationships that will help them secure more opportunities and further their careers? Are there platforms out there that are designed to help performing artists as they search for these opportunities?

The latest article in our “10 People Musicians Need on Their Side” series tackles these questions. I reached out to Channing Moreland, who is the co-founder of EVAEVA is an online marketplace that connects entertainers with paid live event opportunities. While it’s important to note that EVA itself is not a booking agency, EVA works directly with booking agents and independent artists alike to connect musicians and entertainers – of all disciplines and career levels – to paid performance opportunities at corporate events. These opportunities can be vital toward helping entertainers build lasting relationships and grow their platforms.

Finding Support from the Indie Music Media

Musicians: whether it feels this way or not, opportunities to be seen and heard are all around you. I would know – I happen to run an independent music publicationa podcast, and an event production company. So, when Luke Holden and I divided up the articles for Muze’s “10 People Musicians Need on Their Side” series, I laid claim to the “Media Supporter” archetype right away.

What I didn’t want to do, though, is just have this be an op-ed about all of the things I look for when considering whether to feature an artist or their music. So, I received an assist from a couple of my peers in the industry for their takes on what they’re looking for, where they find new music, and other tips and tricks that will help you identify the right opportunities.

What Can a Publicist Do for You?

All artists – especially those at the outset of their musical journeys – need all the support they can get, as they look to communicate their stories to the masses. Of course, that means building a fan base full of people ready and willing to engage with their art. To do that, artists also must find opportunities to connect with new audiences. Building that buzz is no easy task – especially in the beginning, and especially when attempted alone.

That’s where a publicist comes in! Publicists are the great connectors between artists and opportunities such as media features, public appearances, sponsorship opportunities, and more. The right publicist will believe in their artists and advocate on their behalf, ultimately ensuring that they find opportunities that are the best fit for their career vision.

As part of our series on the 10 People Musicians Need on Their Side, we sat down with Sarah Bennett. Sarah is a Senior Publicist at IVPR, a narrative-based music and culture public relations firm located in Nashville, Tennessee. Sarah graciously shares her insights into the world of public relations, including:

  • Her role in helping artists tell their stories.
  • What she looks for when assessing taking on a new client.
  • What artists need to be “ready” to work with a publicist or PR firm.
  • The importance of relationships for every artist.
  • What not to do when trying to grow your artist brand.
  • …and much more!

Class is in Session: Finding the Right Music Teacher

Sooner or later, and no matter where you are in your musical journey, we all could use some guidance.

Last week, Luke kicked off the breakdown of Muze’s “10 People Musicians Need on Their Side” series by helping you learn what to look for when shopping for the right producer. But, before you can even get into the studio… you have to know how to perform!

So, in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, I decided to ask a couple of teachers how it’s done!

Erin McLendon and Caitie Thompson are performing artists and the co-founders of Music on the Move Studios. Based in Nashville, Music on the Move is a female-owned business which helps artists grow their careers through educational and performance opportunities. Those opportunities include private and DIY lessons – Erin teaches voice, while Caitie instructs students on a variety of instruments.

I sat down with Erin and Caitie to learn more about the role of a voice or instrument teacher. In the process, they helped dispel common myths, while showing the correlation between learning proper technique and building confidence.

The 10 People Musicians Need on Their Side

As we’ve pointed out plenty of times on the Muze blog, it takes a village to build a career in the music industry. No one artist – or industry professional, for that matter – can go it alone. And fortunately, you don’t have to.

This article is dedicated to helping you know what to look for – and what roles to fill – when building your team. And of course, you’ll need more than musical talent in your midst to bring your career to the top. Let’s explore the different roles together, shall we?

Your Artist Brand: A Uniquely True Story

Over the past few weeks, we’ve taken the time here on the Muze blog to discuss effective ways to get your music (and your story) in front of the masses. We coached you up on the components that should go into your Electronic Press Kit (EPK). Then, we covered what to do with it next – that is, how to identify the right opportunities for your music, and best practices for using your EPK to pitch your art to tastemakers.

With all of that said, there is an important part of this whole process that deserves a deeper dive – and it’s making sure that you have your story straight.

Indeed, any independent musician – any “singer-songwriter from Anywhere, USA” – can put together an EPK and send it out to media, talent buyers, and other music industry tastemakers. However, it takes a truly unique individual to stand out and endear themselves among the pack. It takes a compelling story – dare we say, a personal brand – to connect you to your potential audience.

In this article, we’ll cover:

Making Your Pitch: Using Your EPK to Discover New Musical Opportunities

A couple weeks ago on the Muze blog, we took a deep dive into the components of a complete, thorough musician’s Electronic Press Kit (EPK). This virtual promotional package is an all-in-one look and listen which highlights who you are as an artist. Having an EPK is an essential component to telling your story to music industry tastemakers, including media outlets, talent buyers, and others who offer creative or professional services to help you further your career.

Now, for the million-dollar question: what do you do once it’s complete?

You pitch it!

However – like anything else you do in the digital space – you’ll want to pitch responsibly, and understand the steps that you can take to ensure your music lands in the right hands and has an opportunity to shine. In this week’s article, we’ll cover:

Sound like fun? Let’s jump in!

Want to learn EVERYTHING there is to know about pitching your music? Sign up for UMC’s on-demand Perfect Your Pitch course!

Crafting a Musician’s EPK: What Are The Components?

Let’s say this loud, and say it proud.

Every musician in search of new opportunities needs to have a well-crafted EPK.

What is an EPK? It’s shorthand for Electronic Press Kit. It’s a single document or webpage dedicated to hosting a complete, multifaceted promotional snapshot of your music and all that it represents.

Of course, your audio – that is, the music itself – will have a home on your EPK. However, that is only the beginning; your EPK exists to be a world of multimedia for music industry tastemakers – including members of the media, promoters, and even managers and publicists – to explore, as they consider you for opportunities to further your career.

In this article, we will cover the components that go into a comprehensive EPK, including:

  • Developing a strong artist bio.
  • Getting your music ready for consumption.
  • Including high-quality visuals that are on-brand to you.
  • Providing press clippings (reviews, features, interviews, etc.) from digital media outlets.
  • Where to host your EPK.
  • Sample artist EPKs currently online.

Let’s dig into the specifics, shall we?

Embracing Technology’s Role in the Modern Music Industry

As we progress through 2022, we find ourselves smack in the middle in an exciting, dynamic, and ever-evolving creative landscape. After years of traditional music industry dominance, power is now moving back into the hands of the individual creator, with new tools constantly emerging to help musicians (and artists of all disciplines) get the most out of their careers, on their terms.

However, as the famed philosopher Ben Parker once said, “With great power, comes great responsibility.” To get the most out of the modern digital landscape, not only does it behoove us to use these tools – we must be willing to understand them in the first place. Then (and only then) will we get the most out of these tools, and find ourselves in prime position to locate bigger and better opportunities.

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