How To: Making a High-Quality Lyric Video that People Will Actually Watch

I was able to get "Big Day for the Little People" done in less than 2 days because of previous & spectacular failures. I will focus on those here. I created that video using Sony Vegas, which I preferred to Final Cut because the interface is essentially the same as Sony Acid, which I grew up making beats on. Regardless, all video editing software is based on the timeline, and I won’t be addressing the finer points of the software itself at all.

The most important step was preparing fully prior to starting the actual video arrangement. I started with a printout of the lyrics and made notes next to every single bar – what kind of images it invoked, general notes on what to look for. I would say roughly 20% of the total workload was just spent on Google Images and gathering the images. In previous attempts, I didn’t have a full folder ready to go, and this resulted in tons of wasted time interrupting my workflow to go back and seek out new images to fill unexpected gaps. So my advice: have every frame accounted for prior to opening your video software at all.

My next step was processing the images, which I did in two shifts on two different computers (thank you, Google Docs!) using two different image editors: Adobe Photoshop and surprisingly capable free alternative, GIMP. I started by taking a thumbnail view of the entire folder and flagging all the images that seemed dark or muted. I processed these in a batch to increase the brightness and contrast. Then I ran a batch process for the whole folder to emphasize vibrant blues & oranges – which is the current standard for "professional" Hollywood posters.

I sized everything to 1080 x 720, because the sad reality of our digital wonderland is that your artwork will pretty much only ever exist in a youtube player. Personally, I am happy to trade off some definition & saturation in exchange for the biggest global audience on Earth, but I respect the purists who work in more ambitious formats.

Finally, I added all of the actual lyric text in Photoshop – although both Sony Vegas and Final Cut Pro offer flexible, powerful options for working with text, I just didn’t want that step in my workflow at all. This is a personal choice; I don’t want to be thinking about design while I think about sequence.

The advantage of this front-loaded approach only becomes apparent in the final phase, which I did in a six-hour shift. There were a little under 200 different images involved in this video, but I had them all saved as sequentially numbered .jpgs, so the only real work I had to do in Vegas was micro-adjustments in the timeline. I would guess that I rendered and critiqued at least 10 test videos before I was satisfied. The tighter your cuts, the greater the impact, whether you’re doing a mixtape, directing an advertisement for BMW, or just making a lyrics video for the sake of art.

Humpasaur Jones is a recovering marketer who has retired to his native Vermont to focus on his life goals of rap, rap and rap. He is currently gallivanting around New England doing shows in support of his latest project, Breakup Music.

The Importance of Music Licensing (Wordsmith Interview)

Wordsmith is an artist that I have been following for nearly a decade and I marvel at his work ethic and his ability to reinvent himself.

Recently I reached out to the busy emcee/father and he shared some great information on his latest album and the importance of music licensing.

You can follow along with the interview below. You can purchase his latest album, Blue Collar Recital, via iTunes.

I have been following your career for some time now and I have always been impressed by your ability to adapt. What inspires you to continue to make music?

Wordsmith: First off really appreciate you following my career the way you have P and people like yourself keep me inspired. I'm at the point in my career where I am blessed to receive daily feedback from fans and other artists alike. When someone I never met sends me a personal message saying one of my song(s) helped them through a personal problem or they use my music as motivation it really cements why I am doing this.

My goals have always been to reach a level where I can live off my music, affect people lives through the messages in my music & be a teacher to all Artists who need help achieving their musical dreams. Other then that I just really have a daily fire that keeps me driven for more success & it definitely helps when you see corporations, artists, fans and even old friends contacting you for your services or just to say they are proud of you!

Would you mind sharing the inspiration behind your latest album, Blue Collar Recital?

Wordsmith: This was the most organic Album I created so far as most of it was done without having a blueprint of each song; meaning I did a lot of creating while standing at the mic or memorizing lines in my head to create songs. I knew I wanted the concept to be a story from 5am in the morning, going through the struggles of an average morning, hitting lunch break, dealing with heavy traffic after work, releasing stress through happy hour and ultimately taking a break to go on vacation.

I wanted BCR to be the theme album for the average blue collar citizen. We are in a time where TV, Movies & Music don't give an accurate picture of the world we live in, so today's generation thinks its all about what they see in a 2 Chainz or Cheef Keef Video. We are seeing history like government furloughs happening, so in my opinion those people with families would rather listen to something relate able that represents there current life rather then music that is only really good for the club.

The other thing I looked to accomplish was keeping the records catchy, melody driven and in a fashion where the audiences who just like good beats and hooks would still love my album. If you are more of the conscious type you will dig deeper into my lyrics and see how much encrypted info is really in this album. I like to think I do a good mix of Hip Hop and Pop culture rolled into one.

How does this album differ from King Noah?

Wordsmith: King Noah was more of a life lesson album for my son, but also for our youth in general. I wanted this album to teach our youth about the world, so I consider it an album that could be taught on a college campus or a good album to introduce your children to when they discover Hip Hop for the first time. They will get a glimpse of the past, learn about life and have fun while listening to it.

Recently you put together a band for your live performances. Why did you make the decision to put together the live band?

Wordsmith: I just rocked with a LIVE Band called Grey Theory in Las Vegas via Insert Coins. This was actually the first time I rocked with a band and now I'm addicted, lol. I'm currently putting my regular band together in Baltimore and have a keyboard player already on deck with a guitar player and drummer on standby. As mentioned earlier because I do things more organic when I write music I want the same affect on the stage. The cool thing about rocking with a band in Vegas was having the freedom to change up a verse, a hook or add something new based on the tempo or rhythm of the band.

What do you love the most about performing?

Wordsmith: When I perform it reminds me of my days in Theater, while in College. When you act there is the opportunity to discover and become a different character. Though I don't play a character with my music when I hit the stage I do feel like I transform into Wordsmith and become this confident performer full of mass expression. The other thing I love and all artists love is the energy a crowd can give you while on stage; its priceless!

Recently you have gravitated towards music licensing. What do you think it is so difficult for artists to grasp the effectiveness of music licensing?

Wordsmith: I think artists can't seem to grasp it because it is not something you can hear on the radio or see on the TV everyday. Music licensing is more in the background because it deals with the use of your music in TV, Films, Games, etc.

Sometimes just a hook from your music is used for a commercial or sometimes just the production is used or the full track is used for a campaign. Artists in general have to understand just because something is visual, it doesn't mean its making you the most money. Right now the money I make from music comes in this order; 1. Music Licensing 2. Album Sales 3. Show Fees and 4. Merchandise.

When did you receive your first song placement?

Wordsmith: My first placement was actually a big one as I worked with CBS out of the gate for a show they were doing with James Belushi called "The Defenders." They licensed an unreleased record of mine called "Beg for Mercy" in one of the opening scenes of the show and once I got my first royalty check it really changed my perspective of how I was living off my music.

Do you have any tips for artists that are trying to license their material?

Wordsmith: Definitely; be smart about the records you're creating down to the song titles, concept of the records, content of your lyrics and the production. You want to make your music easy to license because these major corporations hear tons of music just to place the right records in a movie, a TV show, a commercial or a video game.

Make sure the production level is very high and you understand commercial radio/corporate song structures of songs. Indie or not you want them to see you as a professional musician who can deliver them quality records at the same level of a major artist.

How can the masses get in contact with you?

Wordsmith: Please feel free to reach me at I answer back to everyone so don't be shy.

Any final thoughts?

Wordsmith: Yup, read this interview and pass it along to another artist who can take the info and run with it.

4 Easy Ways to Brand Your Music and Keep Your Fans Happy

In a digital age where music is sold through McDonald’s Big Mac specials, Starbucks promotions, online ticket sellers and iTunes, branding your music effectively is how you, the artist, will distribute your music across a digital landscape. People are emotional and if they can’t connect themselves to you through something they can associate with, it doesn’t matter how great of a performer you are or how awesome your music is or how much you tour, your fans won’t know you exist unless they know your brand.

From Cows to Digital Marketing

Back in the day, the brand was a stamp made from hot iron and it was burned into the hide of cattle so ranchers could differentiate between each other’s herds. The stamp was unique to that rancher, something that represented him or the family. No, you don’t have to burn a stamp into your fans, but the principle still applies.

To sell yourself as an artist, you must market yourself like you’d market a product. Create an emblem, a symbol, a tone of voice, a drawing or a logo that represents your music and plaster it on everything you distribute. Branding your music with your emblem lets your fans know that particular album, T-shirt or mp3 was made by you.

Be True to Yourself

A superficial fa├žade is difficult to maintain in public and will grow old over time, just like the music. For example, if you’re not a burlesque fashionista like Lady Gaga, you’ll probably grow tired of dressing in gossip-inducing attire quickly. If you like to play your guitar in jeans, then keep wearing jeans. If you like wearing top hats, always wear a top hat on every photo you publish.

Be unique, but don’t lie to your audience. Once you’ve established your identity and your brand, trademark that brand. But also make sure no one else has a brand based on that same idea. Your brand should be you, not a glorified, fantastical version of you. What about your music is different? What emotional connection can your fans associate with you? This should be your public persona.

Spread the Word

Now that you’re branding your music, plaster your brand everywhere you can think of: on your album cover, Facebook page, Twitter profile and blog. If you create stickers, T-shirts or other memorabilia, make sure that brand is clearly visible on every last one. Put it everywhere and don’t be afraid to flaunt it.

Promote yourself but not too shamelessly. Don’t spam your fans like a migrant worker with stripper flyers on the Vegas strip. Talk to your fans. Update them on your life. Offer a free T-shirt or sticker here and there, but always include your brand with every public interaction. Include your fans in your music and they’ll want to listen more.

Be Consistent

Now that you know who you are and you’ve plastered your brand on everything that represents your music, make sure that brand stays the same. You’re not Madonna. You can’t reinvent yourself too early in your career. It takes time to develop a brand and create brand equity (which is basically the value of your brand over time). It doesn’t happen overnight.

Think of your social media as satellites to your main page. If someone visits your Facebook, your Facebook page should be a copy of your website. For example, Beyonce has a backward B on her album art which is used in the text on her website and the backward B is also the profile picture on her Facebook page. All her sites resemble each other and you should do the same thing with your brand.

When you distribute an individual brand that is true to you and your music, people will get to know you and what your music is about. They’ll crave your music once their emotions are ignited through your brand. They will remember you and seek you out. That is how you sell tickets. If you’re patient, yet persistent and keep in contact with your fans, you will effectively brand your music while growing in popularity. So get to branding. You never know! Perhaps you’ll be the next viral sensation.

This guest post comes from Ron Caruso of Prims Marketing, a place for all your music marketing needs.

5 Simple Ways To Create Stunning Pictures With Your iPhone

We are a visually driven society that wants things instantly. The evolution of Instagram, Flickr, Tumblr, 500px and other sites makes this possible. Recently I stumbled onto the phenomenon of iPhoneography (think photography with an iPhone).

I found myself studying the culture more and I discovered the work of Emil Pakarklis. Emil Pakarklis is an excellent photographer who understands iPhoneography. His tutorials are awesome and his videos are very specific.

I decided to reach out to Emil and interview him about iPhoneography. You can check out the in depth interview below. Emil also provided me with some photos as well.

How long have you been interested in photography?

Emil Pakarklis: I've had some interest in photography for a long time, but I never really took it seriously. I just enjoyed snapping photos with someone else's DSLR, but I didn’t have one on my own.

All of this changed when I got my iPhone 4S in December 2011. It was the best camera that I had ever owned, and now I had it with me at all times. I soon began to take more and more photos, discovered the world of apps, started sharing my photos... and so my
passion for iPhoneography was born.

What caused you to create the iPhone Photography School and how popular is iPhoneography?

Emil Pakarklis: I started iPhone Photography School in May last year when there were many popular iPhoneography blogs and news sites already. These sites mostly focused on photo app news. However, there weren’t that many tutorials on how to take and edit better photos with the iPhone. While I was by no means a photography expert, I thought I could just share the things that I learned about taking and editing photos with the iPhone. And so I started sharing them on iPhone Photography School.

I was somewhat embarrassed by the name of the site at first since I was in no position to be a photography teacher, but that was pretty much the only domain name I could get with the words "iPhone Photography." Today iPhone Photography School is primarily focused on iPhoneography tutorials, interviews with iPhone artists, and a weekly photo contest on Instagram. More recently, I have also expressed my opinion about some major industry news such as the announcement of the new iPhones and the release of iOS 7.

As for the popularity of iPhone photography, there is no easy answer to that question. The iPhone has been the worlds' most popular camera in terms of photo uploads for years, and the explosive growth of Instagram only proves that. With a total of 700 million iOS devices sold, the iPhone is easily the best-selling camera of all times.

On the other hand, not that many people take iPhone photography seriously. For the majority of iPhone users the camera just happens to be in their phone, and they may occasionally take snapshots without giving it too much thought. Not that many people actually pay attention to the quality of their smartphone photos.

I love the fact that you share tips and tutorials that appeal to beginning photographers or seasoned veterans. Explain the feelings associated with helping others improve their photography skills?

Emil Pakarklis: Thanks Patrick!

It's the strangest thing ever. I never considered myself a photography expert, and I always thought that I was not a creative person. But after I had been sharing my tutorials for some time, people started to express gratitude and told me how much they had learned from me. It makes my day every time I get an email like that, and also motivates me to keep working when times are tough.

I also like your willingness to get others involved as evidenced the contests that you run. What caused you to organize contests and how effective have they been?

Emil Pakarklis: I initially started the contest to make people more engaged with the site and to give new photographers a chance to get their work featured. Overall, the contest has been a major success, and it played a key part in the growth of iPhone Photography School. At first the site got a lot more visitors every time the winners were featured.

Today I still enjoy organizing the contests because I get to review some truly amazing iPhone photography which always reminds me of the near-endless possibilities of the iPhone as a creative tool. The contest is also a great motivator for people to apply the
skills they have learned from my tutorials and elsewhere.

What apps do you use during your editing process?

Emil Pakarklis: Snapseed is my overall favorite (I have free video series teaching Snapseed), but there are so many amazing photo apps these days. An awesome app that I recently fell in love with is VSCO Cam, which has some really simple and great-looking editing options.

There are also many other apps that I use depending on the situation, such as ProHDR, AutoStitch, Camera+, PhotoNova 2, Filterstorm, Blender, ColorSplash, Aviary and Slow Shutter Cam.

In general, I prefer to keep my edits simple and focus on taking great photos. However, there are many amazing iPhone artists whose editing process is actually more creative than the photo capturing.

There is a common misconception that expensive equipment yields better photos. Do you believe that iPhoneographers are viewed as amateurs based on their choice of equipment?

Emil Pakarklis: I have certainly heard that argument, but at the end of the day it’s the quality of photos and what they express that determine how good they are. One only has to look at the photos of any of the thousands of really great iPhoneographers to change that opinion.

Of course, the iPhone’s camera has its limitations, particularly in low-light situations. On the other hand, the iPhone was the first device that made it was possible to take a photo, edit it using state-of-the-art photo editing software, and share it with the world so quickly.

The iPhone has democratized photography and photo editing, which used to be something that only professionals with expensive equipment could do. As more and more people are getting serious about photography, some old-school photographers are getting concerned and calling them amateurs.

What is your favorite genre of music?

Emil Pakarklis: I really don’t have one favorite genre. I listen to a strange combination of indie, electronic, rock, classical music, and old-school hip hop. I just listen to whatever artists I like without paying much attention to genres. The last gig I saw was Wu Tang Clan in Stockholm!

Who is your favorite photographer and why?

Emil Pakarklis: This is not an easy question to answer. There are so many talented photographers out there, both using traditional cameras and the iPhone. My favorite iPhoneographers are Richard Koci Hernandez, Susan Tuttle and Cedric Blanchon.

Would you mind sharing 5 simple ways that we can use to enhance our iPhone photos?

Emil Pakarklis: 1. Always have a clear main subject (or subjects) in your photos, which can be anything that first attracts the eyes of the viewer. If there is no main subject, the photo is empty, and there is no reason to take it. It’s a typical rookie mistake to photograph the sunset with nothing but the sky and sea in the frame, which on their own can’t attract the eyes of the viewer.

2. Always take a second to compose your shots. No editing can turn a bad photo into a good one, and proper composition is the easiest way to improve your photos. The rule of thirds is a good starting point, but you don’t want to follow it blindly. Also remember that composition should always serve to emphasize your main subject.

3. Do not over-edit your iPhone photos. The most common mistake I see is editing photos to the extent that they just look bad, which is easy to do with filters. If you follow the first two tips, your editing should only serve to enhance the composition, draw attention to the main subject, and add the right feel to the photo.

4. Always stay creative and keep experimenting. All of my best photos were taken when I took a second to step back, look at the scene, and see if there was another way to take the photo, change the angle, etc. This will not work well every single time, but that’s how you learn new things and get more interesting shots.

5. Pay attention to the interesting and beautiful things that you see around you… without even turning on your camera. In our fast-paced world many people have lost the ability to just look around and appreciate all the amazing things we get to see. When you start paying attention to them, your photography will also improve.

Any final words?

Emil Pakarklis: Just get up, turn off your computer, and go outside. Pay attention to everything you see, the people around you, the buildings, the nature, and try to take some photos. Don’t get obsessed with the results, they might not be that great at first. Focus on the process, and you will soon become a better photographer and more aware of the world around you.

Do It Your Damn Self: The Mentality of a Self-Taught Photographer

Do It Your Damn Self is about educating yourself about things that you are passionate about. We waste time relying on others because we fear the unknown. I am not saying that relying on others is bad just understand that productivity is based on their time or lack of time.

Life is awesome because of the potential for continuous learning. There is always someone out there with more knowledge and more wisdom than you. With that being said I decided to interview UK based videography/photographer Mr. X.

I contacted Mr. X because of his Do It Yourself mentality and awesome tutorials on YouTube. Check out the awesome interview below.

I recently subscribed to you on YouTube and I was amazed at your Do It Yourself attitude. What motivated you to start doing instead of just sitting back and watching?

Mr X.: First of all let me take the time to say thanks for reaching out to me to do this interview.

Since I started in the business of photography and video I began to get asked by many people how I got into the game or where did I learn my art, or how do I use the iris on the camera etc. After the umpteenth time of answering questions, I decided to put together a text blog with photos describing how to do tutorials. But that quickly turned into video tutorials, as I preferred to see on video how things are done. Now I can send people to my website rather than having to explain.

Would you mind explaining the DIYDSU mentality?

Mr X.: For those that don’t know, DIYDSU stands for Do It Your Damn Self University! It simply means; if you want anything done, try and do it yourself. Depending on, or waiting on others can be tedious and can waste a lot of your time.

Also society teaches us that the only way you can become professional in any industry is to go through their learning system, which most of the time is out of reach for a lot of people. The DIYDSU mentality is simply to teach yourself and put your work out there. We have social networking now with a wealth of information on how you can get started in a vast selection of industries. So now there’s no excuse to not go out and get started by yourself. The great thing about starting from the bottom is... the only way is up!

In one of your tutorials you talk extensively about taking advantage of the window of opportunity. Why do so many people miss out on this opportunity?

Mr X.: Opportunities are those unpredictable things that come along during our lives no matter who or where you are in the world. Some people are aware of this phenomenon and put a lot of enthusiasm into preparing for such events and situations. Many successful people are fully aware of this as I am too and this means that as much as possible, you will take every meeting, every call, reply to every email observe every possible information with the understanding that one of these opportunities may lead to something great.

Now many people don't do this, whether they don’t have the time, or their work ethic is low, or they believe that opportunities are predictable, meaning they turn down opportunity because they believe that many are just a waste of time.

What caused you to focus on videography and photography?

Mr X.: I use to be in the music business, and making music, I always had the visuals in my head of how I thought the video would be. I also got involved with artist creativity in their style as well as their image. When we did photo shoots I also envisioned in my head what the final product would look like.

This obviously paved the way for me to pick up the camera and start experimenting with some of the artist I was working with and then the next thing you know I left the music industry and began a career in video and photography.

I know that you are pretty busy with your video/photo empire but do you ever find time to crank out beats?

Mr X.: I still enjoy music and I still make beats, but not anymore for artists. A lot of the background music you hear on my videos is my own beats that I make in my home studio. It is good because a lot of my more high end clients require background music, but don’t want the problem of copyright infringement or the effort to source or pay separately for the music. So I have my own library of various styles of background music that I can offer my clients as part of the deal.

How did you deal with rejection when you first started out as a videographer/photographer?

Mr X.: When you are open to possible opportunities and you go in with all your heart, you already know that not all will end up positive. For every ten tries, one may come up positive. So you are able to deal with rejection. It’s those that have no understanding and think that with every other step, it must lead to a positive. I always give this example: How many people do you know could stomach working with no income for 3 years straight?

If they were honest, most would say no they wouldn’t, as they could not survive without income.

But, go back and ask this. Would you be prepared to work with no income for three years with the guarantee of one million pound payment at the end of that period?

Now all of a sudden the possibilities start turning in their head, and I can bet their answer would change and they would be prepared to slaughter it out for three years and get creative on how they could survive during that period.

This is the difference between those that see that million pound future to those that don’t. Rejection is simply a part of that hurdle.

I find that I am most creative at around 2 am in the morning. When are you the most creative?

Mr X.: I get most creative when I’m relaxing during the day or mostly in the bath or shower which can be annoying as I have to jump out my bath and start writing my ideas down as I tend to forget.

I notice that you always give praises to the most high during a tutorial. Would you mind sharing the correlation between your faith and creativity?

Mr X.: The Most High and Yashayah (Jesus) are the two most important things in my life, nothing comes close. It’s not just me being "spiritual" with no substance. I have real life experiences that have just propelled my faith.

It is all about truth, faith and obedience. There is so much to learn on how to follow the true ways of The Most High in the Bible. I study, I read and I take The Most High by his word and put it into my life based on the word of the scriptures. And, as he promised, The Most High gives back, and through Yashayah he has shown me wisdom and knowledge on how to deal with the times of today.

It is all trade, you give to him in regards to how you live your life in truth, faith and obedience and The Most High will reward you in what ever you ask for. All you have to do is go out and get it. And once I get my reward, I never forget The Most High Or Yashayah, in fact I glorify them even more. That’s how to correlate between faith and creativity. I have turned down paid work that doesn’t sit well with me spiritually. It's all a constant give and take as well as a constant learning and passing it on to the next generation.

What are you currently working on?

Mr X.: Oh wow, I’ve learnt through past experiences never to mention the names of the brands I'm currently working with until the job becomes past tense. It is good practice. There are no good people out there that will take it upon themselves to contact these companies and drop your name. But I'm working on quite a few projects at this time.

I do a lot of work for fashion and clothing brands and I'm currently working with a few brands doing videos and photography for their lookbooks, catalogues and lifestyle shots.

I'm also working with a few big YouTube bloggers who have come to me to do their YouTube intros and some of their lookbook videos. I got hired to produce a promo video by a well-known football academy to do a video on the process of applying to their brand. Also working doing a few seminars, capturing their events on video for clients, which is a lot more demanding, as your capturing live audio and video with a 2 or 3 camera set up and sometimes it is linked to a TV or screens around the venue so people in far away seats can see what is happening.

A good job that just came in for me to shoot behind the scenes at one of the UK's biggest music award ceremonies on behalf of their sponsor. So my job is to capture the action, vibe and interviews of celebs and crew backstage and on the red carpet.

How can the masses get in contact with you?

Mr X.: Well, you can either connect with me on my YouTube
My Facebook
My Twitter
My Instagram

But the best place with the biggest resources all in one place is through my personal website or through my service website

Who are your five favorite videographers?

Mr X.: Derek Blanks
Philip Bloom
Freddie Wong
Vincent Laforet
Andrew Kramer

Thank you...

The Truth About Hip Hop Blog Submissions by Stereo Assault

What bothers me most about submissions is not following the submission instructions given, not working a release (project), and self-proclaiming your own accolades. Hip-hop blogs need artists/bands/musicians just as much as they need blogs but there are do's and dont's when trying to building a relationship.

Depending on the blog popularity, blogs receive up to 50-500 submissions a day and unfortunately not every email will be opened. But if a blogger does open your email, bloggers hope all of things I stated above are done appropriately. I'll explain why below.

If the blog asks for specific information, the information helps that blogger best serve you. Too many times, I've received submissions that do not follow our instructions and I won't look at the email again unless we have built a relationship of some kind prior to that email.

Some blogs may ask for social media links, website information, where you are located and etc., as that helps write up a proper feature for the artist. We don't have time to track down each and every artist and look for their information because it's time consuming. For your benefit, follow the submission instructions and there goes half the battle.

The second thing that bothers me most about submissions are not working a project. Blogs like to serve and promote artists that invest in their careers. One of the best investments as a musician will be investing and producing an album. But please do not send me (bloggers) the album when it's a day or two from its release. Blogs cannot create any buzz for you if you submit an album days before it's release.

As independent artists, you have to face labels whom have marketing departments that research and draft out plans to reach their demographic with $100,000 marketing budgets and above. Never will you see a label just pop out of no where without any publicity or public relations about a new project. There is a build up of buzz and awareness around each release, whether its a single, EP, or LP. Your best bet if you didn't get the attention of the blog before the album release date, try submitting a video (music video/documentary/short film/etc.) that promotes the project. Properly campaigning a project to bloggers gives blogs time to strategize and help artists the best way possible.

Lastly, self-proclaiming accolades in your submission are the worst thing on Earth next to seeing Miley Cyrus twerk. Seeing the "hottest", "dopest", "best coming out of....", and etc., mean nothing to a blogger honestly. I've received emails with false accolades in their description of their music and bio, and when I do some quick research, none of it's true. Bloggers and industry folks spot it out rather quickly. So please be honest, humble, and be factual. Simply explain to blogs why this submission important to you and how it can benefit both you and the blog.

These three things are some of the things that bother me most when dealing with submissions. Please don't find yourself being marked as spam when sending out submissions. Most of all when submitting music, make sure your music is dope. Making dope music saves you from the terrible submissions we get sometimes. And what I mean when I say submitting dope music, I will paraphrase Kendrick Lamar, "every verse needs to be a brick."

Julian Keaton is the Editor-In-Chief of has become a news source for up-and-coming independent artists, clothing brands and anything dope that is could be considered urban culture. Relaunched on Labor Day 2013, Stereo Assault started off as radio show based at Webster University in St. Louis, MO and is now a blog, event promotion company, radio show and talent management firm.



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