At only 22, it might seem unusual that Texas-based ReverbNation artist Maren Morris is already a veteran performer. But when you understand that she’s been onstage since she was 12, it begins to make sense. And just last week those years of writing, performing and recording payed off big time when Maren was named “Artist On The Verge” by the esteemed New Music Seminar (NMS).
The AOV contest first identified 100 talented artists — 63 of which were Reverbers (listen to their tracks here). The field was narrowed to three finalists — Black Cobain, NINJASONIK, and Maren Morris — who then performed at Santos Party House on Monday, June 18 to an enthusiastic crowd of NMS attendees and guests.
Reverb team members where there as well and got to watch all three stellar performances, plus tape a quick interview with Maren, who turned out to be super sweet, smart and talented! We’ll post the full interview in a few days, but meanwhile, watch the NMS AOV winner announcement below. Wonder why it took her a few seconds to get on stage? She was wrapped up backstage, having a brief hello with Wyclef Jean!
“I really was so moved by all the people involved with NMS. Winning ‘Artist on the Verge’ is truly a remarkable and humbling experience for me and my music career,” said Maren. “I’m still in shock!”
“The best part of NMS is giving away the ‘Artist on the Verge’ award,” said Dave Lory, NMS Executive Director and Producer. “Maren is an incredible songwriter and vocalist and we hope the prize package gives her career a well-deserved boost.”
Just before the announcement, Maren sat down and played one of the beautiful guitars on display in the Gibson Lounge. Have a listen to her impromptu mini-concert from upstairs at NYC’s Webster Hall.
Three months ago, ReverbNation teamed up with DJBooth for a contest that would give up-and-coming artists worldwide the chance to flip instrumentals from standout Reverb producer Shane Eliinto fully formed, original work. DJ Booth received a great response, with approximately 1,500 submissions. After combing through all of those, they’ve selected the two winners, one artist and one producer/instrumentalist. Congrats to ‘Reverbers’ Kin4Life and Dave Lindley, who will be featured on DJBooth, be eligible to perform at BMI’s Next Fresh Thing showcase and receive a free, exclusive instrumental from Shane Eli!
Want to listen to the winning tracks? Click on the their pictures below and let them know what you think in the comments!
Missed out on this opportunity? Don’t let that happen again. To keep up with all of the great opportunities we find for our artists, make sure to follow ReverbNation on Twitter, go to this page to check out the latest, or submit via ‘Opportunities’ in your Control Room!
If you’ve heard of Google+ Hangouts, you’ve probably heard or seen Daria Musk. A Reverb artist since 2008, Daria pioneered the use of Google+ Hangouts for musicians when she hosted an 8-hour hangout concert last August (a month before will.i.am from Black Eyed Peas hosted his). On this impromptu interview in front of Kingdom Club in Austin, TX, Daria tells us about her SXSW experience and how the whole Google+ Hangouts experience happened in the first place. She also told us her favorite color.
Much like everything else that goes down at SXSW, I ran into Daria by total chance while walking on the busy streets of Austin. Her bubbly, outgoing and energetic personality made our connection that much better. I’m proud to say we became BFFs for a night.
A couple of weeks ago we let you know that the “2012 Hang Loose Band Competition,” presented by America’s premier beachfront music festival, The Hangout Music Fest, had picked the ten finalists and invited fans to vote. Well the masses have spoken and this year’s big winner is The Revivalists.
We’re sending our congrats out to the band and thought other Artists might enjoy hearing a little more about their success. So here’s a little background, a Q&A and link to their music so that you can take a listen.
Since forming in 2007, The Revivalists have earned their standing among the best original bands in New Orleans. The group’s blend of soulful, syncopated rock and earnest songwriting comes to life through a meticulously crafted ever-evolving live performance. In 2011 they were named Best Emerging Artist at Gambit Magazine’s Big Easy Awards. The band is proud to be included in New Orleans’ burgeoning independent, music scene.
Q. How did the band get together in the first place?
A. Zack (guitar) and Andrew (drums) met at Tipitina’s Sunday Morning musician clinics. They had been jamming for a while when David (singer/guitar) moved into New Orleans in August ’07. David was out on his porch singing and playing guitar when Zack rolled by on his bike. Zack stopped to enjoy the music. The two became fast friends and musical collaborators. The band had its first gig in October ’07. The other fellas were friends, jam mates, and class mates.
Q: What’s the best gig you ever played?
A: That’s a tough question. Everybody has a different favorite. It’s always great to play a huge festival stage, like when we played the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival for the first time two years ago, but sometimes there’s just more magic in a smoky little room in Jackson on a random Wednesday night. I guess our shows are like children. We love them all equally, but for different reasons. Does that sound right? None of us have kids.
Q: How did you learn about this opportunity? And what made you want to apply for it?
A: We learned about it from our ReverbNation email list and decided to apply. It’s a cool beach festival with a great lineup so we definitely wanted to play it.
Q: What was your reaction when you found out you were going to perform at Hangout?
A: We were on stage in San Francisco when our bass player got the news. He shouted, “Tommy just sold a half a million brake pads!” We all went a little nuts and then had a great set.
Q: Why do you think you stood out to the promoter?
A: Aside from our ROCKIN’ sound, we have a nice following in the Gulf Coast region. We’ve played The Hangout Venue. We love Orange Beach, Pensacola, and all the beach towns.
Q: How did you market the opportunity to your fans and get so many votes?
We made an event on Facebook and invited a lot of people, and it just kind of snowballed and took on a life of its own. We’ve always been lucky to have such amazing friends and fans, and a lot of them really took it to heart. We had people making their own Facebook events, or posting the link to vote with comments like “vote for The Revivalists or we’re not friends anymore.” We had aunts walking door to door around the neighborhood, friends forcing office mates into voting, famous bands, radio stations, and musicians tweeting and posting. It was really humbling and gratifying to see so many people get behind us like that.
Q: What other advice would you give to other bands wanting to play festivals like Hangout Festival?
A: Just keep plugging away. Stay positive, stay productive, and stay busy. Work on yourself and all the other stuff will work itself out.
When we met the bands at SXSW, we were curious to find out how they got to Austin. Some flew, some drove and some flew and drove (like the 4-piece band Mr. Bleat all the way from Medellin, Colombia). Others, like the rock band from Long Island, Blameshift, used a more unconventional method of transportation — a method that serves as an example for many on-a-budget touring bands out there: the super economical veggie oil bus. Watch the video for a tour on the bus and a small impromptu performance, then read what Blameshift members have to say about the life of a veggie oil bus owner.
We bought a Ford E350 Diesel Shuttle Bus off of Craigslist a few years ago. We found out that Diesel vehicles are capable of running on veggie oil, so we started looking into it. We ended up driving out to Salt Lake City on a tour and had the bus converted out there. We bought a 70 gallon tank which we house in the bus itself. We use a pump to transfer the used vegetable oil from the dumpsters behind restaurants to our tank. On a full tank we can drive 700 miles. It took us about 2 years of solid trial and error to perfect the art of veggie oil finding and filtering. It definitely is not easy, but with a lot of determination we now have it down to a science. It’s a great feeling for us as an independent band to be able to drive coast to coast on less than $100 and not participate in increased gas demands and rising prices. It really has allowed us the freedom to be able to tour full time which is our ultimate goal. We have logged over 100,000 miles in this bus… and counting.
“2012 Hang Loose Band Competition,” presented by America’s premier beachfront music festival, The Hangout Music Fest, is giving ten up-and-coming ReverbNation bands the chance to put their music in front of thousands of online fans! The lucky winner will get to perform at The Hangout Music Fest in the Gulf Shores, Alabama, alongside the all-star-lineup below.
These 10 bands depend on the votes of the fans! So head to Hang Loose Band Competition page, listen to their music, and click “Like” to vote for your favorite — may the best band win!
The winner will play on same stage as these bands!
In this guest post, former touring musician and CEO of Marcato Festival, Darren Gallop offers eight simple tips for building valuable relationships with live performance venue managers and staff. Darren’s learned these tips the hard way, and shares his words of wisdom to help your band maximize the potential of live shows and build support as your career grows.
It’s no secret these days that live performance can be one of the most important elements in a musician’s career for two reasons. Live performance is a key source of revenue and record sales for an artist and is critical to increasing an artist’s exposure level. For these reasons you should aim to establish the best possible relationship with performance venues and the people who manage these very important resources in your career.
The results of a positive relationship with the venues include increased opportunities, greater revenue, more flexibility and referral to other venues in other towns.
As you build your network of cities where you perform, these relationships can deliver real results. If a venue needs an opener for a high profile band coming to town, they are going to call the band they like. And by like, I mean they like their music, their personality and they’re interested in nurturning that relationship. If they don’t like you, don’t expect the call.
Here are the eight simple things that make up the secret to building a successful live performance career for your band:
1. Promote the Show
When you have a show at a venue don’t wait for them to get the word out there. Take it upon yourselves to promote the hell out of it. Send posters well in advance, set-up a Facebook event or if the venue offers to create the event, share and promote it. Tweet about it, put it on your website, reach out to press in the area. Let the venue know what you are doing and give them any updates if you get any press or if there is anything they should know that they can use for further promotion of the show. (Editor’s note: Bands and venues are using Promote It for Facebook campaigns and getting awesome results. Check it out Promote It.)
2. Send the Venue Your Music
Ask the venue how they want to have the music. Do they want a CD to play at the venue? Suggest that they do some CD giveaways at another show beforehand. You can also do this with digital dropcards or download codes.
3. Under Promise and Over Deliver
This can be said about many things in your professional and personal life. Do more than what you say you will do when you are pitching the show, and certainly not less. Most people talk about all of the great things they will do to make the show a hit and then they do half of them — bad business in general. Make a list of all of the things you told the venue you would do for the show as well as all of the things that were in the contract. Enter them on your calendar and make sure you do them…and do them on time. If the venue has to chase after you for stuff it will be a much less positive experience for them.
4. Be On Time
Show up for the soundcheck on time, start your show on time, end your show on time. Get your gear out of the venue on time. If for any reason something is going to run late or not go as planned, communicate with your venue contact as soon as you realize there’s an issue.
5. Deliver a Kick Ass Show NO MATTER WHAT
Even if you don’t get the audience you were hoping for, KICK ASS! Even if you are only performing for the staff and a handful of regulars, don’t show your discouragement. If you did not get the audience everyone hoped for, but your show was awesome they may give you another chance. If you don’t get the audience and you and your band mates act like a bunch of cry babies…your chances take a dive.
6. Be Friendly and Polite to EVERYONE
Treat everyone with respect — they’re all important. Just because you think your band is cool does not mean you are better or more important than the bouncers and servers. Don’t just kiss the booker’s ass. Be awesome to everyone.
In my gigging days I have always been nice to everyone in all of the venues I played. The booker often asks the staff what they think so you want everyone to report good news. Also, I have seen myself be in a town visiting or playing another venue with another band and then drop over to a venue to be greeted by a door person who lets me in for free and then have a server who gives me a free drink. Or even better, bouncers helping us carry our gear out at the end of the night!
7. Be Loyal To the Venue
Avoid playing another show just before or after in the same town or even a neighboring town without the venue’s consent. In fact, once you have a venue that works for you in a particular town or city, stick with that venue unless you outgrow it and need a larger venue or if the opportunity to start playing a better venue comes up.
When you do decide to move on, let the venue you were previously working with know. Write them an email or call them. Thank them for their support and let them know why you are moving on. If it’s that you need more capacity to satisfy your growing fan base, they will likely understand. If it’s because you are getting a better offer, at least give them the chance to counter it.
8. Tip the Service Staff
If the servers are running you drinks, bringing you food and helping you out, give them a tip at the end of the night. If you had a great night give them a good tip. In my experience this goes a long way. You will likely get better and faster service and they will be much more likely to say nice things about you and your band to senior management and venue patrons.
Remember, venues are your clients so treat them with respect. If they like you musically and personally and you conduct business respectfully, they’ll likely give you more and treat you better. It’s a win-win scenario.
NOTE: We’re proud to publish this guest column from long-term ReverbNation artist Cheryl B. Engelhardt. Not only is she sharing valuable information and excerpts from her e-course, “In The Key Of Success: The Five Week Jump-Start Strategy,” she’s also offering the whole course to fellow ReverbNation musicians at deep discount. Keep reading to find out more.
So you’ve made a record. Hopefully you’re starting to look at yourself like a business with a product to sell and money to make. Taking that product and using it as your source of income is key to achieving financial stability. Make your music work for you, and look for income opportunities that will create continuous streams of money, not just single payments.
As an artist, there are several ways to make money through your music, but these are the three you should be most concerned with:
1. Distributing and selling your music (CDs and digital sales)
2. Licensing your music and collecting sync fees and royalties (TV, film, commercial, online-videos, radio, in-store, and other placements)
3. Touring and collecting ticket sales (as well as merchandise and CD sales)
Personally, I add a fourth category that not all singer/songwriters are interested in pursuing:
4. Composing music (writing music for a specific project or media outlet).
“Passive income” is the term financial coaches and other moola-savvy folks use to describe the income that grows over time or continues to come in without you having to do any additional work. Sounds good, right? Royalties from a music placement in a TV show are one example. In fact, royalties are the best source of passive income a musician can hope for. Sure, you can sell CDs and tickets to shows and get some quick cash. But making the CD work long-term is the goal of licensing and publishing. Also, co-writing with others who will be selling their music, can be a fruitful source of passive income. One co-writing session and years of radio and sync fees could be headed your way. For now though, lets focus on licensing.
Understand what it’s all about
In a nutshell, the way music licensing works is you send your music to a publishing company, music library, or film / TV show itself for consideration. Make sure that your music is copyrighted and registered with a Performing Rights Organization (PRO) like ASCAP, BMI or SESAC.
It’s important to understand how you get paid from your music being placed in any form of media. From there, you can figure out which avenue you’d like to pursue. Figuring out all the different ways to get paid has taken me years. The main points to understand are:
The difference between publisher’s share and writer’s share
What master, mechanical, and sync licenses are referring to
Who pays what, and how you get your cash
There’s good five pages explaining each of the above in my E-course, so you can head there (discount code at the bottom!) to dig in deeper. Once you’ve understood the ways you get paid, you can move on to taking action to start making money!
1) Shake what yo mama gave you!
The first thing you can do is to use the resources you already have. I suggest making a list of the people, things, opportunities and skills you know you have. Once you see what you’ve already got, turn those into opportunities. For example, I had ReverbNation on my list under “websites I’m on.” This one item on my list turned into several thousands of dollars almost a year later. Here’s how: I saw that ReverbNation was offering a licensing program in conjunction with APM Music*. I submitted a song for free, and it was approved and become part of APM’s music library. Within two months of submitting, I was seeing it all over the ABC Family channel. A few months later, the same song was on “So You Think You Can Dance” (video below). These are media outlets I would not have otherwise had access to and came out of making one little list with “websites I’m on.”
2) Know your audience, and create opportunities for them
Get familiar with all the media outlets that could use music like yours. Watch TV shows that place songs in your genre. Look up the music supervisor. Do a search for publishing companies in your city and try to set up a face-to-face meeting to learn more about their operations and how you can help them out. (If you found a company that needs your kind of music, you’re providing them with the content they need and you are making your music more valuable!) Make your music an opportunity for them.
3) Branch out
Look beyond TV shows and films to place your music.Develop relationships with online content creators. These folks are accessing a new niche of media that needs music. They will be the future viral video directors, TV writers, and film producers. While much of online video content production has smaller budgets and less chance of continued income, the opportunities in this arena are really limitless and may be worth your while to check out. Look into web series, viral YouTube videos, and animation sites.
Another place to look is independent films. If you are looking to break into the world of indie films, a great place to start is Craigslist. My sneaky and fun way of getting a few music placement and film composing gigs is looking up film auditions on Craigslist, going to the audition (no, I have never been cast… yet!), bringing up that I am interested in being involved with the film in their post- production process, and letting them know I can be a music resource. I usually get a call- back… and not for the part. (Note: If I ever am offered any part, I will take it. Do not waste these people’s time by showing up to an audition with no intention of taking a part. That would be super jerky of you.)
4) Get busy!
Figuring out where to send your music takes a bit of research and legwork. Get yourself organized in your research. Make a list of every TV show or film that you have seen (and ask some fans and friends to help you on this) where you have thought “Man! My song blahbitiboo would have been perfect in this.” Then look up that show on IMDB (The Internet Movie Database) or Google, and find the music producer or music supervisor. Look up their company. Their name and company and contact info goes on this list. I would contact them first to see if they accept unsolicited records. If they do, great! Head to the post office!
5) Create your mailing package
I strongly recommend sending a neat CD package of both the real CD (with all the vocal tracks) and a CD of the instrumental-only tracks. It’s been said that you increase your chance of placing your music by 50% if instrumental tracks are available. In fact, I would say that about half of my TV placements have been the music only, without the vocals. (Sometimes they may like the feel and energy of the track, but the lyrics don’t match the scene, or there may be a lot of dialogue so lyrics get in the way.)
6) Responsible follow-up
After you send the CDs, follow up within two weeks to make sure they got your package and have listened. If they think your entire record, or certain songs from your record could be a fit for their program, they will have you sign a “licensing deal.” This deal will allow them, the “Licensor” to use your music, sometimes exclusively, sometimes non-exclusively, for a period of time. This period can range from a year (with a big library like APM Music) to “in perpetuity,” a.k.a. forever (like with a publishing company such as Heavy Hitters Music). Some folks like to add a clause in the contract that if the track doesn’t make a certain amount of money in a certain amount of time, the track is yours to shop around again.
If that haven’t heard your package yet, ask them when they will be getting to it so you can follow up. Have the intention that they listen to your music. Don’t be desperate for them to want to sign you right now. Baby steps work, especially when you are committed every step of the way.
7) Submit to everything
I saw an opportunity on the ReverbNation site that called for a song for a Microsoft campaign. My first thought was “oh geez, everyone and their mother is going to submit to this, I’ll never get heard. Plus, I use a Mac.” But I submitted my tune anyway and ended up winning over $500 through the promotion. You never know what people will latch on to. (I mean, look up Boo The Dog on YouTube. Seriously?)
So that’s all for now. Take these steps and make them your own. Figure out your own systems and what works in your life. Once you’ve got your system in place, keep at it like your life depends on it. If you’re a full-time musician, it sort of does, right?
* ReverbNation and APM Music regularly invite new artists to participate in the Song Licensing Program. Invites are sent out to ReverbNation artists who are active users of the site, have complete profiles, and whose music fits what music supervisors are seeking. To learn more about the program, visit http://www.reverbnation.com/main/apm
Cheryl B. Engelhardt is a composer for films, ads and CollegeHumor.com, and a singer/songwriter who’s booked a bunch of tours around the USA and Europe and gotten her recorded music placed on TV shows. Her website is www.CBEmusic.com and she writes a music industry blog called Living On Gigging. You can follow her on Twitter @CBE.
She just released “In The Key Of Success: The 5 Week Jump- Start Strategy,” an E-Course for independent musicians on how to jump-start their careers to radically change the results. If you liked this article, check out the rest of Cheryl’s E-course. She guarantees you will get results that you want, or your money back. And because you are a ReverbNation artist, you get a ridiculous 70% discount off the normal selling price by typing in REVERBN8TION when you go here: http://www.cbemusic.com/ecourse.