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« Do We Consume Music More, Enjoy It Less? | Main | How Artists Can Profit From File Sharing »
Wednesday
Jan122011

How a Lyric Website, a Memorable 'ah' Noise, and Drake Helped Promote Chase and Status

Okay I thought it was about time for another one of my ‘thinking like a fan’ posts! Last time I posted on Music Think Tank I analysed how a combination of boredom, time, and talking videos converted me into a fan of Jason Mraz, and today I’m going to analyse my most recent ‘becoming a fan experience’ – how I became a fan of a song using a combination of lyric websites, remixes, and ‘ah ah ah’ noise related Google searches.

Typically, most of what I hear about lyric websites (the sites that just list song lyrics) is pretty negative – they’re just dodgy sites set up to profit on advertising when people are practicing for karaoke, but I think there’s more to it. Truth is they’re well optimised for search engines and they’re often what appears in Google when I’m searching for a song by lyrics that I’ve heard for songs that I can’t remember the name of – that makes them pretty powerful music promotion resources.

Sometime in October I was driving to a house party in my friends car and he played a really cool song that I started humming to, I had no idea what it was, but I loved it and foolishly didn’t think to ask what it was (but if I did this blog post probably wouldn’t exist!).

In December it got back into my head and I desperately wanted to know what it was called – all I could remember was the chorus went ‘ah ah ah ah eh eh eh eh’ or something like that, so I Google’d those exact words and had no luck finding it, oddly enough.

In January I was checking out some of Drake’s new tunes and by chance I heard this ‘ah ah ah ah eh eh eh’ sample! So I google’d ‘Drake – I’m ready for you’ (the name of the song with the sample) and I was bombarded with lyric websites, many of which said ‘chorus is a sample of Nneka – Heartbeat’. I then popped that in to YouTube in the hope of finding the version I wanted and Chase and Status – Heartbeat appeared, the version I had heard in my friends car, finally!

Needless to say, since then I’ve downloaded the single, added it on Spotify, shared it on Twitter, played it in my car, and played it to my office – a relatively small, yet significant promotional effort providing my story is not unique to me.

To wrap this post up, this isn’t really to highlight the unique benefit of lyric websites, nor having remixes made of your songs (though they are in my opinion very good practices), the lesson, or better yet, the question to take away from this is how is your music findable? How is it memorable? How easy is it for someone who missed the title, and artist name to get hold of it?

Oh.. and if you like epic rocky dubstep, you might like the song in question, enjoy!

This article was written by Marcus Taylor, founder of The Musicians Guide.

Reader Comments (2)

I've been having fights with the artists on my little label about having lyrics up on the website. I don't know how many times I've heard a catchy song on a college rock station & googled the lyrics & of course there's no results because the band is too obscure. Every indie band/artist/label should make an effort to have googlable lyrics even when they say "I don't want the lyrics separated from the music!" For that matter, with the number of young kids doing web videos of covers of obscure songs, why not put your tablature up as well!

Do you know if there's one main site to submit lyrics to, or are they all different? Is there one main site that should be the priority?

January 12 | Unregistered CommenterGreg

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