I was asked to do a presentation for Fort Lewis College in Durango, CO on How To Release Music As An Independent Artist. It’s mostly from an EDM/Rap perspective, but I figured it would be beneficial for everyone to learn from. Some of the details are missing since I explained it to them in person, so if you have any questions or anything here needs to be corrected, please post them, and I’ll be sure to reply to all of them so we can disuss further.
Entries in Album Release (12)
This article originally appeared on the Sonicbids blog.
The first album you release sets up the rest of your career, and it can help you gain a lot of fans… if it’s any good. Timing the release is important, because if it comes too early, not enough people will know who you are, but if you make people wait too long, the perfect moment might have passed you by. Here are five signs that it’s the perfect time to release your debut album.
Whether you paid thousands of dollars working with a great producer or made your own bedroom recording, chances are you want people to hear your music.
Over my 20 years in the music industry I’ve seen bands and even record labels make the same mistakes which ultimately prevent their record from standing a chance for success.
In order for people to hear your music and increase the chances your album or EP release will be a success, you need to create a solid plan before you release the record.
1. Do NOT release the record the same day you receive your masters back or your CDs arrive on your doorstep.
This is the #1 mistake we see bands make. You’ve spent months, if not years, on your album and you just want people to hear it. I get it. However, as counterintuitive as it may seem, you greatly reduce the amount of people hearing your music by releasing it right away.
There have been a whole bunch of revolutions lately. One of the ones I’m most excited about is the revolution in the area of recording gear and software. I think it’s really incredible how just in the past few years tools have evolved to the point where people like you and I can get REALLY great recordings on our own, in our own homes.
I think a lot of people are aware of this particular revolution and are really jumping on board, which is awesome! But there’s another revolution I want to talk about today that I think a lot of people are missing… and that’s the promotion revolution! Just like in the recording arena, there are tools that are now available to normal people like you and me that we can use to really effectively promote our music.
Fence-sitting has no place in marketing and release plans. When planning a release or campaign around a tour, for example, it is integral to define your marketing strategy and make sure you give it your all. In a music marketplace that is saturated with artists (many that have a larger marketing budget than you), it has become even more difficult to stand out. Marketing endeavors or companies who are constantly saying “we’ll just give it a try for now, with a small budget” without the right care, attention to detail, and most importantly attitude behind it, will come across as half assed in the marketplace. Potential fans can tell when you’re not committed and it seeps into every aspect of a project in peculiar ways.
It’s still technically winter-time at the time of writing this post, but before you know it, it’s going to be spring and there’s a good chance that you’re thinking of releasing a new album. I’ve read at least a dozen articles with people who make sweeping claims like “Don’t release in January” that quite honestly don’t have any idea what the hell they’re talking about. When you should release your album depends on A LOT of factors and there’s no simple reason why you should pick one month over another. It all has to do with what your plans are AFTER the release. Let’s take a look.
For DIY musicians the old model of recording an album may no longer be relevant. Why make your fans wait, when you’ve spent so much time building that relationship. Release music more often to create more of a buzz, grow as a musician and keep your fans interested.
If you’re heading into the studio to record an album, you should go in with plenty of songs to spare. Sometimes, things don’t work as well in recorded format, sometimes your tastes/ideas change. At any rate, going in with more ideas allows you to choose the very best songs for your album. Besides, it’s always better to have too many songs to choose from than not enough. But how do you decide which songs should stay and which should go?
This is what I recommend that you do: Treat it like a songwriting contest.
I updated the original article I posted on October 19th.
Maybe I am missing something, maybe I don’t understand why territory restrictions still need to exist. I guess thinking of the world as the territory is wrong.
Maybe my feeling that fans will buy music if you make music available the moment they want it, at a fair price on whatever device they use is just wrong. But right now trying to buy music actually can drive a fan to steal music.
So much of what I write comes from my life experiences; either having worked with bands or from my being a fan and consumer. Life is full of many great lessons. Here is a lesson that hit me over the weekend.
I’m filling in on bass for a band that’s gearing up to release their new CD. When filling in for a band, I try to take a back seat on the band’s business. However, I sometimes just cannot keep my big mouth shut. In this case, the guys were discussing details of their upcoming CD release, and I had to chime in. Here’s a rant based on both my experience with my former band and quite a few drunken conversations with various bands over the years.
Recent Popular Content
(Updated January 13, 2016)