16 January 2017

Practice is better than promotion: why your social media campaign is destroying your music career

Blogs, websites, forums and fellow musicians are drilling it into our skulls that ‘internet presence is vital’. They’re telling us to create a ‘brand’ or an ‘image’ and that without a highly active and engaging social media presence our career as artists or musicians will flop.

There are statistics and percentages about how many times a day you should post on each social media account and which time-periods gain the most reception. We’re told to post images and videos and make ourselves look ‘friendly’ so that people feel involved in what we do. But I’m worried that this stoic approach towards our use of social media is doing more harm than good.
Are we shooting ourselves in the foot here?

The reason we ‘need’ a recognisable brand or image is of course to help us stand out from the crowd. As is the reason we need to make it seem like we’re living incredible lives as musicians and love our audience very much (which of course we do).

But the reason we need to stand out from the crowd is because there is a crowd of people doing just that. Trying to stand out from the crowd.

And more often than not, it’s just false, forced business advertisement. Posting exactly 15 tweets a day, 1 Facebook post at 16:37 and videoing Johnny setting up his drum kit every week isn’t quite the entertainment an audience is looking for.

I’m scared that as a global community of musicians who rely more and more on the internet to promote and distribute our music, we’re becoming too preoccupied with popularity and ‘good business practice’ and losing touch with the fun and playful side to music.
We should be standing out from the crowd by experimenting with our sound. Not ripping up our jeans up and taking a picture of ourselves with a guitar string up our nose to look edgy.

And of course spending all that time making incredible music instead of instagramming is all well and good but utterly useless if you’ve no audience to share it with. So it’s a difficult balance to find.

But I believe that the music should come first, and that by focussing on creating a social media presence before you’ve got anything half decent to present, you’re doing more harm to your career than good.

Prepare first. Have patience. Take the time to make something you’re proud of. Make a video. Take some relevant pictures. By all means, share inspirational quotes and count down to release dates but please don’t forget that your music is more important than your ‘total reach’ statistics.

That can come later. And it needs to be real. Catch a video of your bandmates pissing about after a gig. Do a photoshoot to go with your upcoming release, and make it all one theme and relevant, celebrate milestones and achievement, offer live versions and alternative versions of songs, share the things that genuinely interest you that your fans might be into as well, ask for feedback and comments, and thank for support.

Be true to your music. Don’t get caught up on your computer.

Don’t let it ruin your love for an art that speaks much louder than an image on a screen.

18 December 2016

Jeanette Lynne - It's Gonna be a Good Christmas // Advent 18

A very 'real' Christmas song for you today, sang with a smile by a songwriter we can all relate to this time of year.

Jeanette's lyrics are fun and carefree. She paints a picture of the perfect Christmas day with a sweet intimacy that makes you feel like you're sat right there in front of the tree.

17 December 2016

SunStock Interviews Learn By Sight

'The Long Time Gone' is a newly released concept album by Sebastian Howarth. 

The album features short, intimate tracks alongside some instrumentally wider tracks that represent the expanse of its setting and theme. Though the production has a rough around the edges, home-grown vibe, it does well to use this to its advantage in telling the story of a man who's doing the best with what he's got. 

Favourite tracks include 'The Great Escape' and 'The Great Disaster'. These two conflicting songs highlight Sebastian's ability to convey the opposing emotions and energies of a story that create dynamics both in the music and narrative.

Le Mieux - Let it Snow // Advent 17

Here's a traditional song in its simplest and rawest form.

This beautifully smooth a cappella cover is fun, free and an enjoyable listen. She's covering a new Christmas song every day for the month so make sure to keep your eyes peeled for more!

16 December 2016

Father Christmas Bananastan - No More Leroy // Advent 16

Now this is alternative Christmas!

Listen to the end. I'm not sure if it's supposed to be creepy but I found it pretty creepy. Well produced track though! Nice one.

15 December 2016

Dante Bucci - Carol of the Bells on Handpan // Advent 15

Here's an alternative take on a classic tune. The handpan is a beautiful instrument and Dante's playing is incredible.

Carol of the Bells is one of my personal favourites. The handpan is my favourite. I love this take on the track. Today's feature is entirely for myself. But I think you'll love it too!

14 December 2016

Tongues of Fire - Empty X-mas // Advent 14

If there are any grunge / punk fans listening this Christmas, you'll be a fan of this one.

Amongst all the upbeat Christmas cheer we've been spreading this month, there's been a couple from the other side and this is one of 'em. I especially love the lyric sheet on bandcamp with its guitar descriptions : '(Shranggg... Da da dun dun). Ace. Check it out.

13 December 2016

Communal Bathroom - Peace and Love and Spilt Gravy // Advent 13

'Save your beef til boxing day'. It's day thirteen!

Dispatches From The Communal Bathroom is a podcasting project but here, Chris Delamere writes a funny, clever and charming Christmas song about mishaps around the dinner table. Listen to the end. It's ace!

11 December 2016

Learn By Sight - Christmas in the Southern Hemisphere // Advent 11

So we've had a couple of winter tracks and songs about snow so far this month. But here's one from the other side! 

South Africa based musician Learn By Sight is outside in his t-shirt? What? Where's the snow? 
Watch out for another feature for this guy with the release of his new album, The Long Time Gone.

10 December 2016

Kludo White - It's Christmas Time Again // Advent 10

So funny dog videos are always a winner, yeah? Here's one for ya!

Kludo White's Christmas album is well produced, funny, charming, and features both original songs and favourite oldies (with an original twist).
With a bit of a Beatles, surf rock vibe, have a rock n roll Christmas!