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Blog dedicated to educating the independent artists on development, making money and more.

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  • Submitting music for different opportunities and have been asked for a Biography everytime and an EPK about 60% of the time. Main point being is you need this. You won't always be face to face with a person booking talent, they won't always see you Live and in Person, so taking the proper steps in making the best impression for talent buyers is very important. Invest in Bio's & EPK's or build one yourself. You will need 4-6 Professional Pictures 1 or 2 Live Performance Videos Website Social Media Links Music Links Updated Bio Discography Booking Information Extras (nominations, awards, contest wins) If you don't have all of these materials at the moment there is nothing wrong with building slowly. Tips on getting Started Hire a Professional Photographer/Videographer to take shots of you while performing and also have video recorded. This needs to be done with a high quality camera. Start keeping track of performances especially Festivals and Big Name Openers Keep Professional Pics and Videos in a Folder on your computer Keep track of any nominations, awards, contest wins Always keep your music and social media links uniform. Using one name helps your followers to find you easily. Invest in an Artist Website that showcases all of your music and tour dates.
  • I've used many methods to promote my music from social media to blogs to live performances but I want to talk about ways I've promoted that often aren't thought about and that go unnoticed. So here it is my favorite way of promoting my music . 1. Market yourself as a Business: What this means is get out of the bubble that everyone else is promoting in and standout. Promote to other businesses that will promote your music on their larger platforms. Over the years I have used my brand Cymphani Music Productions and I have given away beats to Cyphers, Rap Battles, Award Shows and all types of events as prizes. By doing this people started to contact me for beats to use on their bigger platforms and I became a sponsor for the event. My only term would be to have my logo placed on the flyer so that my brand was promoted as well. This is one way that I Marketed myself as a business. Other ways included agreeing to have my music in youtube videos, radio shows, background music for podcast and I even use my music in Platforms I myself have built. (We will talk about this later) But, by making my music available to bigger platforms I myself was promoted on a larger scale. I did this by building relationships with the Event Planners and Platform owners as an artist you can do this by building relationships with DJs, TV Channels and more established musicians. 2. Create Your Own Platform: Since I've started I've always had a platform to showcase other Artist music as well as my own. My first website was called "CC's World" it was a social networking website that artist could network with each other and I would interview artist that went to my college and share different music from the artist and I also shared my own music on the website. This was in 2008. There has always been a natural urge for me to share the work of other Independent Musicians and today I host the music of artist from all over on my platform called Indy Artist Connect. This platform is for artist of all types and even hosts the Memphis YouTube show 901 Indy Underground another platform that Indy Artist can be interviewed on to showcase their work. Through these platforms I promote others as well as myself and this grows my brand as a business and a Producer. Also if you build a relationship with others in the scene you can always pitch your ideas for them to use on their platform under the condition that you also be apart of it sometimes. 3. Be More than a Musician: Being a musician is great but when growing your brand you want to identify what else it is that you're good at that will draw people in. The purpose of this is establishing your target market. For me it's educating Indy artists about getting paid in the business. This allows me to get directly in front of my target market which is Artist. Artist need beats but they also need help with the business side of music. I often have consultations at home and now when an artist books a consultation they learn about my music production and even other services I offer. Also when the artist leaves the consultation they also are emailed the information we discussed. Trust and fans are built from these consultations because the artist knows I'm here to help. 4. Invest in Yourself: Last but not least is Investing in yourself. Invest in Marketing, Publicity, Promotion. Invest in anything you need to grow yourself as a brand. If you need a website and you don't know how to create one pay to have it done professionally. Pay for professional graphics and videos, pay for quality in your music. It's hard enough being independent so you want everything you do to build awareness around your brand and grow it. This is how PR works when you can't afford PR. And it may seem like a lot of work but the more you're out here grinding the more everything will come together. Other things you can do to promote your music is by building a website and posting unique content on a regular basis, throw your own events, do a lot of live shows and collect a lot of footage on and off stage. There are lots of ways to promote your music but these 4 tips have really grown me other the years so hopefully these methods work for you as well. As always. I'm here to help #CymphaniSpeaks.
  • While Mainstream Artist have a team of people to make sure their music is released properly YOU DON'T. Being an Indie Artist can be time time consuming when it comes to registering your music and distributing where it needs to go. Many may think BMI is the only step but realistically BMI only collects royalties for Songwriters and if you're not registered as a songwriter you will miss out on royalties. You can read more about that in my Blog " You Own it So Claim it " When releasing music it's easy to look over important things so I have put together the top 10 steps to follow when releasing and even after releasing. If you follow this blog you have seem similar notes about this earlier on but I decided to lay everything out in one Blog as opposed to writing out brutal details to each resource below. So I present to you My List! 1. Register with a Performing Rights Organization (PRO) Whenever your music is performed publicly, whether it be live in a venue or on TV and radio, the songwriters are due a public performance royalty. PROs are the agencies that collect these royalties and make sure that they find their way to you and your publisher. There are three main PROs in the United States: ASCAP , BMI & SESAC . Once you register with one, be sure to submit your compositions to them. 2. Register with SoundExchange When your music is played via non-interactive services (where you don’t choose the tracks you hear) such as Pandora or SiriusXM, the songwriters are due a digital performance royalty. SoundExchange is a non-profit PRO that collects these royalties and routes them to featured artists and sound recording copyright owners. If you operate as your own label, you can register as both a featured artist and rights owner. 3. Submit your artist bio & images to All Music iTunes & Spotify turn to All Music for the bios & images that are included on artists’ pages in their stores. 4. Set up Apple Music for Artists Beta Apple Music for Artists enables you to keep tabs on how your music is performing and find out how your fans discover your music. To get your account set up, follow the instructions here . 5. Claim your profile on Spotify for Artists Designed to help artists & their teams get the most out of the platform, Spotify for Artists enables you to manage your profile and access key performance data about your music and fans. Get started on Spotify for Artists here . 6. Register your title & ISRC with Nielsen SoundScan Nielsen Soundscan tracks the sales and streams of music and video throughout the U.S. & Canada, and powers the Billboard Charts. Register your title here , and your ISRC here . 7. Submit your release information to Nielsen BDS Nielsen BDS (short for Broadcast Data Systems) is a service that tracks monitored radio, TV and Internet airplay of songs. This service also feeds into the Billboard Charts alongside SoundScan, so it’s important to make sure both are set up. 8. Submit your release information to Mediabase Mediabase monitors radio airplay in the U.S. & Canada, and publishers charts based on the most-played songs on terrestrial (AM/FM) & satellite radio. 9. Register your entire song catalogue with Music Reports Music Reports maintains SONGDEX, a proprietary database filled with rights information for millions of sound recordings & compositions. Registering your songs with Music Reports helps to ensure that you’re collecting performance royalties from the use of your music on platforms such as SiriusXM, SoundCloud & Amazon as well as local television stations. To register your catalogue, email shareinfo@musicreports.com with an excel spreadsheet containing: Artist Title Album Composers Publishers Percent You Own Territories In Which You Have Ownership 10. If you’re distributing physical CDs, submit your track data to Gracenote Gracenote helps with metadata recognition of CDs in cars and on laptops, and they also can help to ensure that you are receiving royalties for your copyrighted music. Submitting your track data to Gracenote can be completed by following these steps: Open iTunes Insert your CD Highlight all the tracks and select “Get Info” Input all related metadata Click the gear icon on the top right, and select “Submit CD Track Names”