Category Archives: op-ed

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!

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!

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.

Musicians: Here’s How to Stay Accountable to Your Goals

In my previous article for Muze, I invited you to come along with me, as we walked through 10 New Year’s Resolutions for musicians to carry forward into 2022. It’s still January, which means that it’s still the New Year; therefore, it’s not too late to dissect these resolutions into further detail, and adopt them on our journeys forward.

Today, we’re going to take a closer look at our resolution on accountability. Don’t let its position at the bottom of the list fool you; a strong sense of accountability – to ourselves, and to those around us – is paramount to achieving our goals as musicians and creative professionals.

Keeping that in mind, here are some techniques you can employ to hold yourself accountable to your goals, as you strive to make 2022 your most successful year to date!

New Year’s Resolutions for Musicians in 2022

Folks, we did it. We’ve made it to the end of another year, which means that it’s time for your New Year’s resolutions!

2021 was undoubtedly filled with challenges, as the music industry began its climb back from pandemic-induced shutdowns and uncertainty. This state of flux surely made it hard for many people within the industry to set goals at the start of the year. After all, it isn’t easy to hit a moving target.

Nonetheless, we emerge victorious from this year, and head into 2022 with a clearer sense of what’s to come within our industry. That makes this the perfect time to plan for the future – which, by our watches, is just about here!

Here are some New Year’s resolutions we’ve cooked up for musicians. Feel free to adopt these and make them specific to your circumstances. And, if there are any we should add, let us know in the comments!

Partner Content: What You Need to Begin a New Artist Project (Besides the Obvious)

I am thrilled to announce that I am now a contributing writer for Muze, the dating app for musicians. Muze allows musicians to find their perfect musical matches, leading to stronger and longer-lasting collaborative relationships between artists.

Here’s an excerpt from my first article. Check out the full article on the Muze blog by clicking the button below!

When thinking about what you need to begin an artist project, some obvious things come to mind. You will need to find your sound – or at least, a sound that you are comfortable having as a starting point for everything to come. You will need to pick an instrument (don’t worry, singers – your voices count, too!). You will need the right gear to keep everything sounding great. Then, you will need to develop proficiency at your craft. And, if you are starting a band, you will need to find other members to complete the lineup. (The great news? You can find your next bandmates anytime you log into Muze!)

However, there are some less obvious – and in some cases, intangible – items involved in starting an artist project that are just as essential toward your long-term success. Let’s dig into some of the important things that may be flying under your radar, as you begin your mission toward superstardom!

What Every Music Teacher Wants You to Know Before Starting Lessons

Music on The Move Studios is known for a few things: An all-female showcase at City Winery, a podcast called Paradox Jukebox, a soon-to-be TV show, and a music education studio. My business partner Caitie Thompson and I have been teaching private lessons for a combined 15 years of experience between us. We have seen every kind of student you could imagine, so I thought it was only appropriate to write this with Caitie, and to also give advice to anyone looking to start lessons.

So, here are a few things that we, as music educators, want you to know before you begin lessons with us!

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So, You Want to Start a Showcase?

For all of you artists and entrepreneurs looking to start your own live music series, I have compiled a handy-dandy checklist of items to keep in mind. These are broken down by category, to help you stay organized.

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