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This month, Sheena Metal brings you tips on building a music career and gaining success in the industry.
The FNO Staff
Festival Network Online
|Create A Buzz: If You Build It They Will Come! By Sheena Metal
a music career is hard work. Every day, month and year you repeat
the same grind: build the band, write the songs, record the songs,
rehearse the songs, perform the songs, promote the band, advertise the
band, solicit industry, publicize to the press, build the website,
create the message boards, forums, and chat rooms, assemble the street
team…it goes on and on until you think your head will surely explode
from the mountains of menial tasks that face you, the unsigned artist,
each day. |
Still, after putting in all of that work a band will hit dry spells,
slow times and glass ceilings. Some days, your already slow
move-forward, seems to retard even further. Sometimes it feels as
though you’ve peaked and will never advance. There are even days
you want to blow off all of this tedious monotony, get a job in the
electronics department at Target, and call it a day!
But even as your face is smushed up against the glass ceiling of a
never-changing cycle of music business grunt work, hope is just over
the horizon. See, there is something that you never stopped to
think about all the while you were chasing the elusive brass ring of
music stardom…all of this time, you were in control. If
opportunities have stopped coming your way, then make your own.
If you want to be a rockstar, develop a situation you can star in and
rock. You have the power and the ability to be anything and
everything you have ever wanted to be if you learn to simply create
your own buzz.
The following are a few tips that may help you to get started creating
your own buzz in order to push past the obstacles and keeping moving
down the Yellow Brick Road of musical superstardom:
By following these tips and others soon you will find that your band is
enjoying the opportunities and buzz you were only dreaming of
before. Best of all, you’re now in charge of your own career and
musical destiny; creating profitable situations for yourself. You
are playing good shows and coming home with money in your pocket.
You are selling your own product to pay for band expenses. You
are filling your press kit with reviews, interviews and mentions of
your band. You are meeting people and building your mailing
list. You are establishing your reputation as an important member
of the artistic community. No longer waiting to be thrown a
chance by some industry member, you have taken command of your musical
destiny and cast yourself as the star of your own show. Now,
don’t you feel better?
- Create Your Own Gigs: Tired of whining that you never get the gigs
you want? You know: good clubs, weekend shows, prime slots,
longer sets, decent pay, good bands on the bill, press attending,
industry confirming and most importantly, your band headlining.
It’s ridiculous to waste time complaining, when you could be booking,
planning, promoting and playing your dreams gigs right now. Sure
it will be a lot of time invested and it may mean putting smaller gigs
on hold for awhile in order to promote one giant show, but the payoffs
will inevitably outweigh the work…and the best part is, it’s all about
you. You are the promoter. You are the stars of the
night. You pick the date, the times, the bands. You invite
the press and the industry. Within a month or two, you could be
playing the types of gigs you have always wanted, and all the while
getting press, making money, collecting names for your mailing list and
building hype for your band that even the stodgiest industry can take
- Join The Ranks Of The Press And/Or The Industry: You know what
they say…if you can’t beat them, join them. If you want to get
industry or press to notice you and your band, what better way than to
become a member of the industry or press. Pick up a gig writing
for a local magazine and review your friends’ bands and the shows you
promote. Intern at a record label and meet friends in the
industry to invite to your gigs. Start a management/promotion
company and book your band and your friends’ bands to become better
acquainted with clubs and their booking agents. You’ll find it
will be much easier to deal with industry people when they consider you
more of a peer and not just another band asking for help.
- Numbers, Numbers, Numbers: It may sound ridiculous but in the
entertainment industry (as in any business), your perceived worth is
tracked by your numbers. Web posters, gig patrons and listeners
of your music all translate to numbers and the big ones impress fans
and industry alike. If you want club bookers, managers, magazine
editors and A&R to notice you then make sure your numbers are
up. Web hits, fan group members, online community friends and
people on your personal mailing list all add up to your bankability as
a band so keep driving those numbers up and watch the doors swing open
wide for you.
- Teach, Volunteer, Take Classes, Join Groups: If you want to meet
new people, gain different opportunities, and find fresh ways to obtain
your goals, then get out where people are doing what you seek and
mingle. If you play and instrument, start teaching and get to
know the bands of your students. If you see big events happening
in your town, volunteer to work them and get to know the management,
talent and audience alike. Take classes and join music
organizations not only to learn but to network. There is a whole
world of entertainment people out there. Get to know some of them
and make those folks a part of your band’s promotional circle.
Sheena Metal is a radio host, producer, promoter, music supervisor,
consultant, columnist, journalist and musician. Her syndicated
radio program, Music Highway Radio, airs on over 2,400 affiliates to
more than 126 million listeners. Her musicians’ assistance
program, Music Highway, boasts over 10,000 members. She currently
promotes numerous live shows weekly in the Los Angeles Area, where she
resides. For more info: http://www.sheena-metal.com.
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