It’s a common misconception in the music industry that hiring a publicist will make all your dreams come true, and that to make this happen you won’t have to lift a finger. The idea that hiring a music publicist will automatically land an emerging act on Pitchfork or Stereogum, and that all you have to do is make good music couldn’t be further from the truth. There are a few things that every artist should know before bringing on a publicist.
A music publicist can get you in front of the right people, but we can’t make them like your music.
One of the more disheartening things about my job is telling a publication how incredible an artist is, only to find out they don’t feel the same way. Unfortunately, it happens. We can get your music to the right outlets, make sure we’ve researched what they’re into, and if it seems like you’re a fit, send them a perfectly fine-tuned pitch email with all the proper info and why we think you’re the greatest band ever, but at the end of the day taste really is subjective and we can’t force them to like or feature your music. Try not to take this one too personally. Just because the current staff of writers isn’t into your music doesn’t mean that someone else won’t be, or even that in a few months when you release your next single, a new team member at the same publication won’t be into it. A lot of this industry is about timing, so if your first single doesn’t stick with certain publications, there’s still a chance that your second one will. I know it can be easy to shoot the messenger, but try not to blame your publicist if you’re finding that your music isn’t getting into the outlets you’d hoped for. After all, we can only work with what we have, and we can’t force people to be into your music.
What’s it like to hear your song featured on FOX’s hit series Empire? Just ask Cincinnati bred independent hip-hop artist Joey Mack who landed a sync placement for his raw single “Do It” via an exclusive ReverbNation opportunity. We caught up with Joey to get the lowdown on landing his first sync placement, being featured on This is 50 (50 Cent’s blog), his recent diagnosis of Schizophrenia and how music has served as a creative outlet.
Congratulations on landing a sync placement on FOX’s hit series Empire! How did this come about?
The beginning of 2016 I was invited by ReverbNation to be an artist under a development program called CONNECT. CONNECT gave me an incredible outlet which as a purely independent artist under zero management I was excited about and craved. I jumped at the idea to actually have people who believed in my craft and working in the background to help further my career. Daren Searcy, a CONNECT manager, worked his magic and landed me a sync placement with Hitcher. I was amazed and honored to be under the same roster as Run The Jewels and Killer Mike. Anyways, one day I remember specifically I had gotten fired from my current job with AT&T because I took a risk and left for Atlanta to meet with a highly accomplished songwriter, Sky Keeton. They didn’t like that I left to chase an opportunity so I happily accepted their reason to fire me. On the way home I checked my e-mail and saw a message from Daren about Hitcher interested in one of my songs. It was a song I originally released two years ago titled “Do It” and at that moment I just knew it would work out somehow. Fast forward to a few months later and Daren informs that we may have a bite through Empire. I took a few moments to actually realize what was happening, a song I wrote two years ago is going to now be on a hit TV series using my lyrics and broadcast to millions of people. I really just can’t explain in words how good it feels to land such a massive placement as my first one. I hope this can project my career as not only a recording and performing artist but now an established songwriter. Maybe one day I’ll write songs as a staff writer for a publishing company. All I know is November 30th of 2016 will be a day that I’ll never forget. My city is so underrated as a music hub even though we have had great people emerge from this city but no one in hip hop has really made an impact outside of Hi Tek and Mood & Lantana who signed to RCA and made it to BET. I just feel blessed and I pray it opens more doors for my career. I’m wanting to be that artist that can say I’m from Cincinnati, Ohio and we have so much talent here. I want my city to shine just like NY, ATL, CHI, CAL.
In 2015, U.K. born, bilingual singer/songwriter, Josh Savage, played 79 intimate shows across the U.S. and Europe with Sofar Sounds and in homes of fans. Holding the record for playing the most Sofar Sounds shows worldwide, Josh is hoping to inspire other artists with his new documentary Living Room Tours. Read on to learn about Josh’s heartfelt and inspiring Living Room Tour, how Sofar Sounds has helped in the development of his career, and more.
Hey Josh, it’s been a few months since we chatted! Give us a breakdown of your Living Room Tour.
As a new artist, it’s difficult to connect with your audience in bars and in venues where people talk over your music, text or get drunk. Often, I wonder if people even go to gigs for the music anymore. So in 2015, I played 79 shows across America and Europe in intimate environments with Sofar Sounds and in the homes of fans. It was a wonderful yet tough experience and it was a great, affordable way to kickstart my music career as a singer/songwriter.
How do you hope to inspire other artists?
I hope the documentary will show other artists that you don’t need the “go ahead” or permission from anybody to follow your dream. With the internet today, you can make your own rules.
We caught up with Hy Brasil to get the lowdown on their new single, “Let Go,” creative process, live shows, and the story behind their mythical band name.
Hi guys, before we start off can you please introduce yourselves?
Absolutely, my name is Wyatt Hull, I’m the chanteur of refined bellowing for Hy Brasil, we are a mostly alt-rock specific band but at times genre confused. Currently we reside in Ventura California, about an hour up the coast from Los Angeles.
Where did you come up with the name Hy Brasil?
Hy Brasil was the name of a supposed island once on all the ancient mariner maps but now has vanished. Its mythology is very similar to Atlantis but more fascinating because of the numerous eyewitness accounts of the island. The word was derived from “Breasal” which means “High King of the World”. I could nerd out more on the history but its ties to extraterrestrials are what really attracted me to the name. In one of the most famous & well documented UFO encounters, at a US military base in the UK’s Rendlesham Forest, Jim Penniston touched a grounded alien craft & received 16 pages of binary code burned into his mind that were later translated to “EXPLORATION OF HUMANITY 666 8100 52.0942532N 13.131269W (Hy Brasil) CONTINUOUS FOR PLANETARY ADVANCEMENT.” Which in a nutshell says that Aliens will someday return to the coordinates of the island of Hy Brasil for planetary advancement. Also if you rearrange the letters in my name Wyatt Hull the anagram is Hy Brasil.
Set to release their first full-length album, Cincinnati-based quintet The Upset Victory is turning heads with their uptempo, high energy brand of alt-pop. We recently got up with the band to discuss their latest single, “The Weekend (Bad Habits),” stripped down songwriting process, and more.
Hey guys, thanks for catching up with us! You just premiered “The Weekend (Bad Habits)” on MySpace Music and said, “”The Weekend” is a bit of a satire, urging one to embrace their inner demons or desires (bad habits).” What’s the story behind the track?
You’re absolutely right. Jason, our lead singer, said it best, “‘The Weekend’ is a bit of a satire, urging one to embrace their inner demons or desires (bad habits), whilst poking fun at the status-quo of “morality” — church and confession of sins. The song also points to our innate attraction to chaos, and our tendency to lust after something/someone despite knowing or being told it is “no good.” Lastly, I feel, “The Weekend” is a reflection of my own life and the menace I have been.”
Sneak Attack Media is a boutique digital marketing and creative services agency based in NYC. Since its inception in 2006, Sneak Attack has worked with some of the biggest artists in the world including The Cult, Tom Petty, and many more. We chatted with Marni Wandner, the President of Sneak Attack Media, to learn how artists can market themselves like a pro.
Hey Marni, thanks for chatting with us and we’re excited to launch the Sneak Attack Artist Reboot opportunity! As President of Sneak Attack Media, can you give us an introduction to the company?
Hi! We’re excited for the launch as well – we’re looking forward to being able to help a lot of artists navigate the crazy world of promoting their own music. We’re extremely passionate about putting the keys back into artists’ hands and giving them the map they need to build their own fanbases.
Sneak Attack is a boutique digital marketing and creative services agency based in New York City. This year marks 10 years of promoting entertainment and lifestyle brands through innovative digital strategy, and collaboration directly with our amazing clients.
We tend to do things a little differently than most marketing and PR companies so each campaign is quite different, and our clients are people who think outside the box right alongside us.
What does Sneak Attack Media offer artists? Sneak Attack offers creative online PR, grassroots digital marketing, social media strategy, content creation and consultation, creative promotions, and influencer partnerships. Some of our campaigns are a few months long, some go on for years.
By combining R&B and hip-hop, LA-based singer/songwriter and rapper Young Scrap will have you listening to his tracks on repeat with his unique style of “Trill And B.” We caught up with him to get the deets on his latest album, what it’s like to perform with Nipsey Hussle, 21 Savage and Trey Songz, what advice he’d give aspiring hip-hop artists, and more.
Hey Young Scrap! Before we get started tell can you tell us little about yourself?
I’m a singer, rapper and songwriter from Inglewood, California that’s a huge video game nerd and grew up in love with music. Lol
We read you grew up in Inglewood, CA and later moved to Maryland. Both cities have had a major influence on hip-hop culture. How has living in both cities influenced your style?
Maryland taught me about a style of music they call “go-go” and “club” since I’m right in the middle of D.C. and Baltimore. It gave me a major chance to soak up both influences and utilize them sometimes in my music.
How do you describe your sound and what kind of message are you trying to send to your fans?
My sound I call it “Trill And B” it’s a mix of R&B and hip-hop that’s heavily influenced by the Houston sound of rap. As far as my message I wanna promote 90’s love…nobody’s in “love” anymore. Everybody just wants sex. Or at least according to music and artist today…I’d like to change it back to how it used to be. Peace, love and positivity.
First impressions are everything and your band bio gives people a first glimpse of what you’re all about. Our CONNECT Manager, Sharyn, who has written countless bios gave us some quick tips for how to make yours stand out.
DON’T overestimate the reader’s attention span. Keep it short and sweet – think one to two paragraphs max.
DON’T let writing intimidate you, reach out to your writer friends for advice
DO hook the reader in with the very first sentence
DON’T use cliche phrases like “hails from” or “we sound like (insert band name) and (insert another totally different band) had a baby. Be original.
DO create a strong, unique tag line for your band that press can latch onto like “disco pop princess” or “post-millennial Billie Holiday”
DO find a compelling story line about your life and music that sets you apart and build the bio around this