How do I pitch my band/music to record labels?
The best pitches are short and sweet. A few sentences on who you are, why you are getting in touch - eg you really love x and y band the label works with, a link to your music (ideally new music or good quality very nearly finished music - but old material does also work), short outline of selling points (bands you’ve played with/festivals/radio/playlists) and then a link to more info and/or your social media profiles. That's enough to tell labels everything they need to know initially, with ways to find out more and dig deeper if they like it.
What is the best practice for sending demos to labels?
Do NOT send music that needs to be downloaded. Soundcloud/Bandcamp/Spotify links are best - labels don’t have the time or the bandwidth to be downloading demos all day. Bribes and pet pictures are also allowed.
Is there financial support for bands outside of selling records and shows?
Yes! There’s lots out there for artists at various levels, you just need to know where to look. Try
- https://www.creativescotland.com (Scotland only)
How should I spread the word about my music?
You are the best PR for your music. Social Media is the obvious way to reach people. Keep your profiles up to date with links to your music, make sure all the gigs you are playing are listed and regularly post about what you’re up to. There’s lot of ways you can make social media fun and creative to help build your fanbase.
How do I get my music onto streaming platforms?
Have a look at places like Tunecore which allow you to upload and distribute across streaming platforms (Spotify/Apple Music/Deezer etc) for a small annual fee. Once it's in the Spotify system you can sign up to their Spotify For Artists app and submit your tracks to be considered for playlists.
How do I get featured in music press?
You could do your own press campaign, or you could enlist the help of a PR company. When approaching PR companies with your music, think about the following things:
- What success has the PR had with other artists?
- Is their roster similar to the type of music you make?
- Are they reaching the type of music press currently whose readers are similar to your fans?
- What kind of services are they offering you?
- MOST IMPORTANT - does the PR love your music?
- How do I get shows/tours outside of my hometown?
Have a look at your friends bands/bands similar to you, find out where they are playing and who is promoting the show. Reach out to the promoter and see if they would be interested in putting you on. Make sure to include a link to your music, social media and a brief outline of where you’ve played before!
What’s the best way to plan a tour?
See if you can anchor the tour around one date eg a London gig, hometown show or festival appearance. From there you can build a string of dates around the first show, and look at the most economical routing (be realistic - you don’t want to play in London on Monday and Inverness on Tuesday, the fuel price alone getting there would be brutal) and have some back up routes in mind just in case. Contact promoters along the route and see if they’ll book you et voila! You have a tour!
How do I get support slots on bigger tours?
Be nice! Chat to bands at shows (even if you’re there as a fan), build friendly relationships with other artists in your scene and you’ll more than likely end up on tour together. Don’t be afraid to reach out to others online with a quick message to say you like their music and to introduce yourself. You might open some surprising doors. But don’t be pushy, be nice!
What is the best way to approach promoters?
Same as above really - go to shows and see if you can chat to promoters there, or reach out to them online. Don’t go demanding £500 for playing to 20 people down the pub in the town centre (don’t be that person), but send a quick message about yourself, what you like about the promoters work and what opportunities there might be in the future for shows.