The New Standard: Marketing your Music Online with Mike Trampe


Are you struggling with your music marketing strategy online? Do you feel like everything that you are doing is wrong?

You are not alone. Marketing your music online is not easy. Luckily we are blessed with people who are knowledgeable about this topic.

The New Standard is a web show by Platinum Producer Dj Pain 1 and touring manager/Blogger ShaH Evans. I believe that this will be a weekly thing and I will make sure that I share this valuable content with you.

The exceptionally skilled duo decided to interview marketing strategist/Blogger Mike Trampe of HipHopDX/MikeTrampeTV fame and he shares some relevant information about marketing music online. At 14:30, Mike Trampe talks about big blogs and what they look for. Later in the web show, Mike Trampe mentions my site, such a humbling experience.

The discussion is needed in the industry. I feel like a lot of artists lack the knowledge needed to become successful music marketers. The trio did a great job breaking down the process in a simplified way. Check out the entire web show below.


MIC:LEE Talks About his Writing Process & Improving As An Artist


I really like the message of "To This Day". What was your thought process behind the song?

"To This Day" is a part of the upcoming Canadian Artists Against Bullying Mixtape Vol. 1. My thought process was really just me analyzing things that I've had to go through in my life and interpreting it all in a metaphorical way while still throwing the positive twist on it all. I used to let peoples' words get under my skin and just eat at me, and I realize that's how a lot of people are going through their daily lives so I figured those people would relate to my own experiences.



I notice that you are a gifted writer that relies on syllable placement. Would you mind sharing your thought process with the masses?

My thought process when I'm writing is honestly different song-by-song. For "To This Day" I sat down, threw the beat on a loop and then wrote the entire song. I've found that the more and more I write, the less I think about things like syllable placement(instead, it just comes naturally while writing).

SoundCloud or Bandcamp?

Currently I find myself using Soundcloud a lot more simply due to the fact I'm not pushing any actual projects yet. However, for releasing actual projects and discovering new music I prefer Bandcamp. It's easy to use, has a lot more customization/options than Soundcloud, and finding new music is simple.

You also make beats as well right? Do you find it difficult to rhyme over your own production?

Yes, I do make beats as well! As for writing over my own production, the difficulty depends on the beat. Some beats I make are that head-nodding boom-bap kind of sound which I find it easy to rap over while other beats are just experimental in every way and I find myself playing with the flow a lot more on them.



What drives you to improve as an artist?

A few different things. When I was just starting out writing rap, I had plenty of people tell me I would make it nowhere. I feel as though I have to prove myself to quite a few people and as a result of that I'm always striving to do better and better.

However, what drives me even more than that are the supporters. When someone tells you how great your song was and how much they related to it, you just get a great feeling inside that isn't really matched by anything else. Beyond that, whenever I just take time to look at the bigger picture of things and even just realize I'm working with some of my idols I find myself extremely motivated.


Skyyhook Details Radio Work, Interviewing Sway & Having a Limited Social Life


Would you mind sharing a brief introduction for those who are not familiar with your work?

Sure! I am an editor at AllHipHop.com and TheUrbanDaily.com as well as an on air contributor for "The World Famous Wake Up Show" with King Tech, Sway and DJ Revolution on Sirius/XM's Shade 45. And after all of that (laughter) I am the General Manager of Skyyhook Radio which is a station that caters to Independent Hip Hop and RNB artists world wide! I'm excited because we will be relaunching the site in a few weeks!

You touched on your radio work. What do you enjoy the most about working in radio?

You know, it's funny because it really depends on the day that you ask me! I love being on Skyyhook Radio because anything goes! (Laughter) I'm able to play what I want and say what I want and I work with a crew of craziness! My team is so amazingly funny that they make each show a blast to work on! Some of them are very thoughtful and their shows are quite helpful to people and I love being a part of that too. I just like the creativity and freedom of it all. And when I get tweets from the other side of the globe from people who are listening...man...that just puts everything into perspective you know? It makes the hard work so worth it.

At the same time, I am also in love with my job on The Wake Up show as well. Breaking artists on a show that has broken most of our favorites...is a thrill! I still shake my head each week in disbelief that the fellas allowed me to be a part of their show!

King Tech has been the big brother/Hip Hop Radio God Father that I never had and it's truly been a blessing learning from the masters. Those three guys are so dope...I'm just honored that they thought my ear and judgement were good enough to be a part of what they do! I've been a fan forever and to have Tech and Sway as mentors and DJ Revolution spinning the music and artists that I recommend...it's like...how do I top that? I'm not sure that I can! (Smiles)

And I'd be super remiss if I didn't touch on the feeling that I get when an unknown or relatively unknown artist gets broken on our show and they first find out that we are playing them! There's nothing quite like that feeling of getting to hear their excitement and sometimes their disbelief! (giggles) It's like you can actually hear their smiles through the phone and you know for maybe the first time they feel like all their hard work is being recognized...they are so happy and I'm happy for them. It's a win win!


Recently you had the opportunity to interview Sway and ask him questions (talk about a role reversal haha). Can you describe the feelings associated with the process?

Ummm...the feelings associated with the process? Ha terror, nervousness and excitement all rolled into one! (laughter) I was scared man I won't lie! He's the master of the interview and he's my boss! So, I knew I had to get it right! I wrote and rewrote those questions about 40 or 50 times no lie! I actually decided on those particular questions in the Sirius/XM lobby! I just wanted to allow everyone to see the personal side of Sway. He works so freaking hard and so much...yet the public never really has the chance to see that side of his personality. So, I tried to ask things that would allow him to share a more personal part of himself. But yeah I was afraid! (laughter) There were a lot of deep breaths taken before, after and during that whole interview!





You also write for numerous sites. How are you able to balance radio, article writing and having a social life?

A social life? What is this you speak of? I know nothing of this! (laughter) Getting to have my dream career comes with a price. Unfortunately for me that price would be my social life. Sad but true. When you write seven days a week few have the patience to put up with you! I can't be too far from wi-fi and little things like that slowly grate on people's nerves. But I totally get it. I signed up for this not my friends etc.

Plus, Chuck Creekmur and Jerry Barrow have to be able to trust that I'm out here representing the right way...so that alone is reason enough for me not to be falling out of shows tipsy etc. Basically, I'm the biggest square that ever lived within Hip Hop...I'm aware of it and make no apologies for it you know? People are counting on me to have my stuff together 24/7 so I'm trying to live up to that the best way I know how. But I admit it would be nice to let go once in a while too! (Smiles)

A lot of artists focus solely on blogs to build their buzz. These same artists seem to disregard the power of radio. What advice would you share with these artists?

Hmm, I guess I would say that in today's world you have to be able to have your fingers in many pies at one time just in case one thing doesn't go the way you planned there is a back up waiting to go or already in progress. Artists spend too much time focusing on just one thing and it hurts them every time. They should really develop a team that has components that are good in various areas. Diversifying your strategies of attacking both the internet as well as the radio is the smartest thing you could do as an artist.

And in the end you are only as good as your team...if your team is full of people who know less than you do about the industry...man good luck! You need professionals who know how to get you out there properly.


5 Strategies for Building & Sustaining A Twitter Chat


I have been following and participating in #blogchat for almost two years, would you mind briefing explaining the premise of #blogchat?

The idea behind #Blogchat is that once a week, bloggers can come together and talk blogging, share tips and ideas with people that love blogging as much as they do. It really helps to bounce ideas and questions off other people that are going through the same things you are, and who have the same point of view.

The thing that I love about #blogchat is the sense of community. People take time to read and respond to tweets. What made you gravitate to a Twitter Chat?

I saw that Twitter was really taking off in popularity around 2009 and the tool was a great way to facilitate real-time interactions and discussions, so it seemed like a better vehicle than another site like Facebook or Google Plus. Some other tools might be better for reviewing a chat after it's over, but I still think Twitter is the best for real-time discussions.

Blogging has evolved over the years. Bloggers are now gravitating towards adding a voice to their message as evidenced by the increase in podcasts and video blogs. Why does the written word continue to hold value?

If nothing else, blog posts are still great for reference. It's just easier to share key ideas when they are in written form, it's easier for me to share a post and point a friend toward a quote in the 3rd paragraph versus telling them to listen to a podcast, especially the point made starting at the 2 minute mark. Plus, we will always love to read good content, that's never going to change.

Do you have any predictions on the future of blogging?

I think you'll continue to see video, pictures and audio more interwoven into blog posts because it's all about using additional forms of media to make your larger point more compelling and interesting.

Would you mind sharing 5 tips for someone looking to start a Twitter Chat?

1 - Figure out what your focus is. What do you want to talk about, who are you trying to reach, and why do you want to connect with them.

2 - What's in it for the participant? You have to know what you want from the chat, but you also need to know what everyone is going to get if they participate. Here's what you get, here's what I get. Answer that and your chances of having a successful Twitter chat go up dramatically.

3 - Pick a day and time and stick with it. Think about who you want to connect with and when they will be available to join you. Now you may have to change days and times a bit at the start, but as quickly as possible you need to get the day and time set. Once people know that your chat is every Wednesday at 5pm, then they can promote it.

4 - Make sure the participants know that it is THEIR chat as well. Give them ownership, empower them to help you pick topics, let them showcase themselves, and especially go above and beyond for the people that show up every week. When people see that you are empowering them to have more of a say in the chat, that encourages them to view it as 'their' chat, and they'll go to bat for you and the chat.

5 - Think about how the chat will be moderated and how big you want it to be. With #Blogchat I purposely lean toward 101-level topics because I want to increase participation. I've learned that most people are smarter than they give themselves credit for, but in order to encourage most people to jump into a chat, the topic needs to be more 101 level so they feel more comfortable sharing their opinions.

As for moderation, most chats are set up so there's several questions posed to the group throughout the chat. I prefer to have fewer questions with #Blogchat, but you need to decide which way will work best for your chat and which way your participants want to go.


Tataee of B.U.G. Mafia Breaks Down Managing, YouTube & Success


First and foremost, would you mind introducing yourself to the masses?

My name is Vlad Irimia and I am a Romanian rapper known by the alias Tataee. I am also a songwriter, music and music videos producer, A&R, booking manager, PR, executive producer and manager for B.U.G. Mafia, the group I am part of since co-founding it in 1993. I've worked with other artists too in my 20+ years career as a producer, I also managed other artists for different periods of time, but I am mostly known for my work with B.U.G. Mafia.

B.U.G. Mafia is the most successful Romanian rap group and one of the most loved musical acts in Romania. And, if we take in consideration our numbers so far, one of the biggest rap acts in Europe.



You are the manager for one of the biggest Romanian rap collectives, B.U.G. Mafia. How difficult is it to manage an established group?

Music management is very difficult in general because that means a lot of work, but our situation and the situation in which the Romanian music industry has been in makes my job as a manager that much harder. As I said earlier, I do a lot of things for the group and sometimes the time I have is just not enough.

As a manager of a big act these days you have to maximize the multiple revenue streams, find new ones and constantly adapt your strategy based on the many changes that the online and offline mediums suffer very often. That's not easy at all if you take into consideration just the changes that one platform, YouTube, has been subjected to since its launch.

You also have to supervise the activity of your whole team and keep everyone in check, make hard choices when needed, always growing your business network. And many, many other things. Don't get me wrong, I love all my roles, I'm doing what I love and I'm my own boss, that's means a lot.

What is the biggest misconception that managers deal with?

"My manager has to do everything." Yes, a music manager has to do a lot, but that does not exclude in any way the fact that the manager has to have a team around to help in order for the manager to do a great job. The artist has to get involved in management too or at least that's how I see it. Without the constant input of the artist I think that management suffers a lot. A campaign designed by the management that is not fully understood and agreed upon by the artist will almost always be crippled from the start, for example.

It seems that YouTube is cracking down on independent artistry. Has their business practices affected your marketing campaign?

To be fair, I don't think that YouTube is cracking down on independent musicians. All this controversy that surrounds the launch of their new paid subscription service seems to be just that for now, no uploads were removed yet or at least that I know of. I've had my issues with the platform and even got pissed a few times, but, in the long run, I think that they did and do their best to improve YouTube for all parties involved, them, creators and users.

And even if some of us may have felt frustration over the way the conversation evolved at some point, a paid subscription service is a natural improvement and addition to the platform, given the fact that it's the number 1 music discovery tool on the internet. So, to finally answer the question, it hasn't changed our approach to marketing our content yet. We'll see what we're going to do if our content is removed from the site, but right now I doubt that is going to happen. I mean our channel just got verified on YouTube at the beginning of June, would be pretty strange for YouTube to delete it one or two months later.



Would you mind detailing 3 keys to B.U.G. Mafia's success?

Not at all. There are a lot of things that made our group as successful as it is today and the first one would have to be content quality. We always tried to give people quality content, music or videos and did that even if it meant spending a lot more time and money producing it than our competition. On our albums we tried to not have more than one song about one specific subject, going from very social, anti-establishment songs to party songs and that added a lot of consistency to our projects. Also, even if I produced 99% of our instrumentals, we insisted on them to be different from one another music and sound wise.

The second aspect that made us big was the mystique that always came with the B.U.G. Mafia name. We were very careful not to over-saturate with content, interviews or shows in the same city and that made our fans want even more. Almost always stayed far away from personal life related questions. The fact that we didn't rub shoulders with every other new star on every other TV show made us seem uninterested in exposure at any price and it amplified that mystique.

The third one is the fact that we also tried to remain as humble as possible towards our fans. We gave autographs to and took pictures with almost everyone who wanted it. We kept a very close and real connection with our fans, we treated them as equals and that created a very strong and large community around our music.

There are a lot of other things too, like activating in the same formula from the beginning, refusing to participate in electoral campaigns and even luck and lucky coincidences, but those first 3 are our strongest attributes.


The Evolution of Nikki Siixx and the Birth of NikkiJoMazing


Your website has totally transformed over the past few years. What makes your website more than a blog?

NikkiSiixx.com is an online source where underground artists are supported for their arts. Ranging from their music, art, talent, and creativity. We show our appreciation and critique to what we find to be great music to be shared through the hip-hop community.

We also provide artist advice articles that give them a bloggers perspective of how to properly carry themselves to promote their music, interact with female promoters, social media 101, and even how to get booked for shows. Besides showcasing tracks, projects, music videos, and visuals by these talented individuals, we also share a bond for movies, videogames, comics, and some viral gems. Also our content is always original and written by either NikkiSiixx herself or one of her writers from her staff of contributors.

Recently you started a weekly hip-hop series called NikkiJoMazing. What are you trying to accomplish with this series?

NikkiJoMazing is a group of female bloggers who consists of JojoFabs from JojosBlock.com, Kassandra & Melissa from Womazing, and myself. Every Monday we bring you an episode regarding artist we support in the hip-hop community and have a sit down interview.

We discuss previous/current/upcoming projects, collaborations, new music and music videos. We want to spread the word on good music brought to you by local artists. I also want to show that as woman we can keep our goals in order and complete numerous episodes covering artists from all over. It's pretty funny their even calling us "The View of the Underground".



Do you scout talent for the hip-hop series?

We're always looking out for upcoming artists. Currently we're showcasing artists we've worked with previously. Once we get the ones were targeting, we're going to generate more ways to interact more artists who deserve a feature on the show. By all means they can email nikkijomazing@gmail.com for inquires.



I read that you direct and edit the series. How did you get over the fear of being in front of the camera?

Yes, I do direct and edit all the episodes of NikkiJoMazing. It's a lot of work but somebody has to do it. Might as well be me, so I know it's getting done. I've always been photogenic, the camera and I have always been friends. I get more nervous when I speak in front of a live audience. In either seminars or when I'm on stage hosting a show.

You also put on showcases in Miami. What are some of performance based pet peeves that you encounter?

Oh man, this just pinches a nerve! I can say the worse habits from performers is when they're late, or when they have some sense of entitlement when they're not running the show, and lack of respect for time. Which can really hurt the show and possibly can lose your spot and any future opportunities with the promoter, who runs the show.


Play On Words Talk About Leather CD Jackets for "Suns Of God"


For those that are not familiar with your work, how did Play On Words become a group?

It was really just law of attraction, everything has been organic since we met. In high school we were two individual artists but through features, we built up chemistry and really started pursuing the sound you hearing now.

What was the inspiration behind "Icons"?

The track (ICONS) made us think about our day-to-day lives and everything we’re working towards. Even the instrumentation of the beat felt iconic, and it painted a perfect backdrop for what’s to come, which we wanted to foreshadow through our lyrics.



Early this year you guys dropped Suns of God. What inspired this release?

Innovation and individuality were the intent for the Leather CD Jackets. The music was the inspiration. In collaboration with Lvxwa, we created a timeless avant-garde accessory to match the lasting impression of the music.



One thing that stood out to me was the unique packaging of Suns of God. We live in a digital age yet Play on Words decided to defy the odds and present music in a leather cd jacket. Would you mind sharing the mindset behind this innovative packaging move?

The Leather CD Jackets were a seamless illustration of the music. Honestly, the designing of the case and production of the music was brought together through a unique creating session between the artists and designer. It’s amazing what a group of high-minds can achieve in the right environment.


What is on the horizon for Play on Words for the rest of 2014?

The rest of 2014 is all about growth. Traveling is definitely a top priority in expanding our audience, as well as building a strong foundation for Las Vegas hip-hop. All while we continue to give people nothing less than useful music.


The Truth About Music PR by Quin Marshall


You have a booming fashion website that is niche centered. When did you decide to start handling PR for musicians?

Why thank you! Ok, bear with me. I don’t meant to be long winded but I believe in being clear and concise. If someone can learn something valuable from this interview then I've done my job!

So, I’ve worked for huge corporations for over 10yrs before I started my PR firm tracycainmedia.com and my fashion website, allthingsfabandfly.com. I left corporate in 2010 after working for Monster.com for 5yrs as a successful marketing and public relations executive. At the turn of the year in 2010, I decided I wanted to be more fulfilled and make a difference in lives. So I went on a limb and decided to start my business and help people directly and be rewarded by the outcome of the feeling of helping an individual get from point A to point B.

There are so many entrepreneurs that could be super successful with the right person backing their project. The fashion website actually came after the start of my company, TracyCain Media Group. My fashion website came second, solely as a hobby. I created Things Fab and Fly, in 2011 to, once again, help people. The goal was to develop a platform for emerging brands to showcase their fab and fly brand to a niche audience that wouldn’t necessarily have seen their product otherwise. I didn’t realize my hobby would turn into a success! The great thing about it is, it allows me to have an additional platform for my PR clients.

A lot of artists are confused in regards to promotion. The concept of making music is easy yet the process of promoting it is difficult. How are you able to balance their needs with the harsh realities of promotion?

You know what? Good promotion and a good product go hand in hand. This is a harsh industry. Many artists confuse the duties of a manager and a PR rep. First, the artist needs to understand your job duties and description of your profession. Your publicist is there to promote, persuade and keep your music or brand relevant. I love to see an artist with drive, patience, talent, determination and thick skin. The artists job is to create a great product for the listeners. My job is to promote and publicize it. This is a true partnership. A marriage of two crafts.

The artist had to trust that I have their best interest at hand and I have to trust the artist will follow my lead. The harsh reality is, there are thousands of people out there doing the exact same thing that you are. Therefore, you have to stand out and be different. Think about what makes you different from the other millions of artists doing the same thing? It’s so important to provide the media with something interesting and innovative to share with their audience.

A lot of artists expect coverage right from the start due to a sense of entitlement. How do you deal with entitled clientele?

OMG! This is such a great question! Even though I have run across that only a few times personally, I have received tons of inquiries in which I had to turn down because of that unrealistic expectation. I lay everything out from the beginning. I want my client to succeed. Their success is my success. Unfortunately, there are no guarantees to this. A good publicist will explain that from the gate.

Some artists feel like just because their friends said their music was great means that the whole world will thinks so as well. Not true. Everyone should come into this game humbled. Understanding the fact that, for some artists, it takes years to break thru. I don’t deal well with the sense of entitlement. Because to do this effectively, you must have patience and have a realistic expectation. It takes time to beat down some of these doors, and when you do, who’s to say that media outlet will even feel your product? But a good publicist will keep trying until someone says “Yes”

I offer 90 day trial contracts so that my client and I can get a feel for one another and see if this will be a good fit. I’ve only had one client that was so extremely impatient that we couldn’t further the contractual commitment. He felt his product should have been in the media after 6 weeks. Which is a very unrealistic expectation to have. Does it happen sometimes, absolutely. But not to be expected. You have to invest in your future and look at this as a business plan.

How important is relationship building and maintenance in the PR world?

Relationship building is super important. Having a good relationship with a media outlet means getting your request to have your clients music listened to before the other 75 submissions for that day. Now, the kicker is, the owner of the media outlet still has to like what you are presenting. So, that’s why it’s so important to have a plan in place. Your image, your product and your goals. That media outlet may not be a huge fan of your music, but may love your image! That could be your in. How many artists out there have very mediocre music but a fly image? MOST of them. And on the flip side, there are some phenomenally talented artists that didn’t have good promotion.

Would you mind sharing some common PR myths?

Sure!

Myth #1 - Now that I’ve hired a publicist to represent my brand/music, I am going to be a celebrity. FALSE
Myth #2 - A publicist should do the same thing as a manager. FALSE
Myth #3 - My publicist has a relationship with media outlets so I am guaranteed to get a publication. FALSE.

If you would like me to expound on those myths or anything else, tweet me! @MsQuinMarshall.


5 Artistic Personalities That Can Curse a Collaboration


Collaboration is an awesome tool when executed effectively. The benefits to the parties involved can make a huge impact on their individual careers but occasionally, they can go wrong. Sometimes things just happen that can throw off planning, other times people just happen.

When “people” happen, it is not due to anomalies but rather reoccurring habitual actions that lead to expectations not being met. Some of these characteristics can leave a bad taste in the mouths of collaborating artists, producers and promoters, potentially causing social backlash.

If you recognize these traits in anyone you have worked with, are working with or desire to work with you can make adjustments accordingly to spare yourself some headache. If you recognize any of these traits in yourself, reflect on it and take the opportunity to become a person people love to collaborate with.

1) The Unintentional Absentee
It seems as if this person has an excuse for everything and nothing is ever their fault. Somehow circumstances always tend to get in the way of their good intentions and the only thing you can count on them for is their inconsistency, be it accidental or willingly. They haven’t written their verse yet because they worked 33 hours a day for 9 days at their job last week. They missed the studio session because they had to take their aging grandmother to the casino for her birthday and they were the only one that could do it. They haven’t come up with their portion of the money yet because they gave their check to a lady in need in the grocery store parking lot. They missed sound check because the cable guy didn’t show up when he said he would, etc.
 No matter how legit or far fetched the excuse is, the fact is the job didn’t get done. Curve-balls do get thrown in life, that’s undeniable, but reliability is important if you wish for your business relationships to flourish.

Know This Artist? Cover yourself with conversations and contracts or simply work around them.

Are You This Artist? Evaluate what’s happening. Is there a reason why everything else takes precedence over the task at hand? Bad timing? Fear or anxiety? Is your heart really in it? Reflect on it and be upfront about it when you are discussing collaborations.

2) The Self Admirer
This person is rarely on time for anything and when they do come through, they act as if you should be honored they chose to do what they said they would do. Though this person is extremely talented, often it feels like the headache included doesn’t make the end result worth it. People may deal with this temporarily, but patience is likely to wear thin, negatively impacting career longevity.

Know This Artist? Decide exactly what it is that you are trying to achieve. In the long run, you may be better off working with someone who understands the value of what you’re trying to do as opposed to someone who is only concerned about their personal agenda. If you feel you must work with this person, cover yourself with conversations and contracts to be sure you can keep things moving.

Are You This Artist? Know your worth, but remember your humble beginnings. Be sure to remain professional so that you don't alienate the people who can help you maintain the level of success that you presently have or desire to achieve.

3) The Perpetual Procrastinator
This person acts as if everything is a big surprise. As if you hadn’t asked them to be ready months or weeks prior. They didn’t write or practice before the studio session. They didn’t bring their CD or flash drive to the show, wasting precious time and/or money.

Know This Artist? Check with them ahead of time to see how they’re coming along. Arrange a meeting and/or rehearsal to check their progress at which time you can also collect any CDs or flash drives you may need from them.

Are You This Artist? Do everything you can to stop. Procrastination is a real issue for many people, but if you wish to continue to be contacted for opportunities, you must put forth your best effort. Be mindful that bad experiences travel rapidly, so if you have unsatisfied clients your reputation could be quickly damaged. Give attention to detail to everything you’ve been asked to do as if your career depends on it because in reality, it does.

4) The Project Snatcher
Even though It is not their project or show, this person knows exactly how everything should go down. While input can be helpful, this person takes it upon themselves to insert their views into every aspect of the collaboration whether it fits the originator’s artistic vision or not.

Know This Artist? Be upfront that you do not wish to stray from your original plan. You know exactly how you want things to go and although you appreciate their experience, they can just come along for the ride, focus on their art and not worry themselves with planning.

Are You This Artist? Understand that the person you are working with has a specific goal. This is something they have dedicated time to and have asked you to be a part of, not plan. If you have suggestions, ask if you may offer them. They may be receptive to listen, or they may wish to stick with the original plan...it’s their choice.

5) The Dream Dealer
This person has tons of brilliant ideas that never seem to come to fruition. They know all the right things to say to get you high on the possibility of what may be before they fade away into one of the aforementioned personalities or simply off the map.

Know This Artist? Talk is not cheap when you start putting money behind someone’s ideas and they’re not serious about making it happen.  Cover yourself with a contract before you move into anything serious with this person so that you’re not left trying to pick up the pieces alone.

Are You This Artist? Be open and upfront. Let the person know if you’ve got a lot going on and you’re just throwing ideas out. There’s no benefit to you to get someone’s hopes up to let them down. Perhaps work out a deal for them to collaborate with someone who can help carry out your ideas and just get a percentage of the action.

Whether you’re working with any of these personalities or happen to be one of them, honest communication from start to finish will make it a much more pleasant experience for all parties involved. Are there any personalities you’ve come across that have caused challenges in the collaboration process?



Image Retrieved from Alley Watch

Take the quiz: What's Your Artistic Collaboration Style?


Share your Artistic Collaboration Style in the comments section below.


Ace Dizzy Flow Talks About Formation of NQM & Production


For those that do not know you, who is Ace Dizzy?

Ace Dizzy is a blogger, beat maker and occasional tweeter who gets blocked from celebrities. and a Yoo-Hoo drinker. Lol.

You are the co-founder of NQM, would you mind sharing how NQM was formed?

NQM started out as a rap group with me and my lil tall sis Junie P, we were originally called "Get Fresh Kidz". Lol. I occasionally rapped but mostly I did the production. But one day, Junie called me up one day, (we both went to the same college), and was like "Hey let's start a music blog". I didn't know what the hell it was but I agreed to it. Lol. Five years later we're still here and relevant. Thanks to everyone.


You also produce beats. What do you enjoy the most about making beats?

I started making beats in high school of 2002, but didn't get serious about it until my sophomore year in college. The enjoyment I get from making beats is the challenges from creating them. I love a challenge. Especially when it comes to sampling, I sample 90% of the time, but I also just began layering strings, and chords over my beats. That's a challenge because I refused keyboard lessons at the age of 12. (insert facepalm). Lol. Also I'm working on a new instrumental album Ace Dizstrumentals Vol 4 which is coming soon.

You can check out Ace's beattapes here.



Bloggers are notoriously known to get bombarded by music submissions. How do you manage your inbox?

Yeah, we are. It's humbling but frustrating at the same time. I'm having to clear out my inbox every week due to the amount of submissions we receive. Don't get me wrong I'm thankful, but some submissions aren't really post worthy because they don't catch my interest. It's nothing personal, but I've received hate e-mails and slick talk on twitter from not posting the submission. Lol.


A lot of artists believe that they are entitled to blog posts. What are your thoughts on this and how do you deal with artists with entitlement issues?

Some artists are entitled to blog posts. Some aren't. The consistent artists with the quality of music we're looking for are the ones you will see posted. I try to reply to each submission and give the artist some sort of criticism. Everyone who hits a studio, records a song, and has a PR send out e-mails aren't automatically gonna get a submission.

Some artists sometimes don't believe in the "quality" when it comes to recording. If you go to a home studio, you'll get home studio quality. If you're serious about your craft, work hard to get official studio time so you can get the quality record that labels, listeners, fans and bloggers are looking for. I don't want to sit through 3 and a half minutes listening to un-mixed music. I know I'm not the only one Lol.


New Record Label Flip Recipe Releases Beatowski's New Album


My homie Sourface has been relatively quiet since we last collabed on "Super Saiyans." Matter of fact we both have been quiet haha.

He usually disappears for months at a time and then hits me with new material out of the blue.

A few weeks back he told me that he was starting a record label and of course I chuckled a bit. I thought to myself, "everybody has a record label." I am pretty sure you have felt the same way.

Am I correct?

So I decided to check out the material and I was blown away.

Flip Recipe is an in-house production team/record label that consists of Sourface (of snaresallday fame), Tallen, Riddle and Beatowski.

'Hand Crafted' from Beatowski is the first release from the record label. You can check out a sample from the record below and listen to the project HERE.



Follow Flip Recipe:
Official Website
Flip Recipe Facebook
Flip Recipe Twitter
Flip Recipe SoundCloud


Vakseen Talks About The Music Biz, Art and Optimizing Music Submissions


First and foremost, who is Vakseen and what does he represent?

I’m a creator first and foremost. A lot of people don’t realize I’ve been a producer and writer/artist way before I got my start on the business side of things. I’m a music producer, A&R manager, songwriter and visual artist/painter. I represent determination and perseverance. I represent the underdog that no one wants to give a shot. I represent the people that have had to fight, kick, scratch and claw to get every single thing they have in life. I represent the people working to make their dreams a reality. I represent change.

I gravitated to your presence due to the valuable content that you share on Twitter. How long did it take you to develop your Twitter strategy?

I appreciate you following the movement. I wouldn’t even say there’s necessarily a big strategy behind what I do. I simply enjoy sharing my experiences with people. If I can help someone avoid the same mistakes I’ve made in the past or help them maneuver through this biz, mission accomplished.


You also excel as an artist. Who are some of your favorite artists and how does art tie into your music endeavors?

If I have to name a couple artists that I’m a fan of, it’d have to be Rene Magritte and Salvador Dahli. My work falls into the surrealism realm and I definitely appreciate their contributions to the genre. Both artists changed the game and that’s definitely my intention as well. That mentality is probably how I make the two worlds connect.

Music and art are huge parts of my life so naturally they go hand in hand. They’re both extensions of me and my creativity. I’ve also done a few music pieces in the past. My Jazz collection highlighted some of the greats like Miles, Coltrane, Billie Holiday, Dizzy, etc and was greatly received by the public.


Your accessibility is also something that I marvel at. A lot of industry insiders are afraid to provide their email address because they fear being spammed. What made you decide to share your email publicly?

I’ve never really moved like most execs. Regardless of what I’ve seen or done, I’m as humble and grounded as they come. As sure as it’s given to us, it can be taken away. I also manage talent and my company does artist development so I’m always looking for talent to work with in some capacity. Even if your music isn’t ready when we connect, I aim to help you change that.


I am positive that you receive a ton of music submissions. Would you mind sharing 3 things that you look for in regards to music submissions?

Regardless of it being a producer, songwriter or artist submission, I’m always looking for something specific. First and foremost is professionalism and your ability to follow directions. First impressions are everything and you’d be surprised by some of the emails I receive. Hilarious and sad simultaneously lol. If I ask you to attach 3 mp3’s, that means just that. Do not send wav files, wma files, YouTube or SoundCloud links lol. People really just do what they want and expect to be taken seriously smh.

From there I’m looking for the highest level of quality. Ideally something with a unique sound that can stand apart from the millions of other creators out there. That’s important. Very. Finally, I’d have to say consistency. Consistency is everything. It shows your level of dedication to your craft.


Keith Science Reveals 5 Artists That He Would Collaborate With


First and foremost your bio states that you are a lifetime musician. Would you mind sharing what a lifetime musician is?

Well, I was born into a family of musicians. As early as I can remember, there were various musical instruments around the house such as guitars, amps, drums, etc. My Dad was a blues guitar player and my uncle John was a rock guitarist. I was majorly inspired by them both, and started playing guitar at an extremely early age. I was never really interested in learning how to play other people’s music much; I always wanted to create my own sounds. I knew all the way back then that I would dedicate my life to being a musician in one form or another.

I spent the better part of my early youth either playing music with other musicians, or sitting in my room practicing by myself. At around 8 or 9 years old, I began to learn about the recording/mixing process when my uncle John had acquired a Tascam 4-track cassette recorder and a couple of drum machines. I was instantly fascinated by the engineering and mixing aspect of music. At this young age, I learned how to program drum machines and how to operate a small mixing console. I was hooked!

As I had gotten older, I started to learn about underground/alternative music styles that I hadn’t been exposed to as a kid. Learning about alternative music was a major turning point in my life as a young artist. I started to realize that most of the commercial music that I had been listening to growing up really didn’t have much substance. It was then that I realized that art has no boundaries and doesn’t have to fit into a mold. I really started to look down on commercial music and decided to immerse my brain into underground musical forms. Around this time I played in bands for years as a guitarist or bassist, performing live, writing songs and recording.

Somewhere around 1992, I started hearing some hip-hop music that was breaking through at the time such as Gang Starr, A Tribe Called Quest, Showbiz & AG, Lord Finesse, Pete Rock & CL Smooth, etc. I fell in love with hip-hop instantly. Although I had been exposed to, and involved with various musical genres in the past, nothing hit me harder than that early 90’s New York sound. I loved it so much that I couldn’t really listen to anything else for years. I remember being in a band (playing a different style of music) at the time and starting to lose interest because hip-hop made me feel so much more inspired and motivated to create.

I was so inspired that it was a natural progression for me to attempt to produce hip-hop music. I already had experience with composing, recording, layering, engineering and producing. I also had been programming drum machines for almost a decade prior to making my first hip-hop beat. I already knew how to use all of the equipment from my prior experiences, so I dove in head-first.

Hip-hop production instantly felt as natural to me as taking up guitar as a young kid. However, this style of music allowed me to incorporate all of the skills that I had learned over the years, and combine all of my musical passions into one. All of the things that I had learned such as song writing, playing various musical instruments, recording, engineering and mixing could now be combined and used to produce hip-hop music. I knew this was the right path for me.

To this day, hip-hop production is my primary focus and I still incorporate my diverse musical background into everything I do. It’s not uncommon for me to use real instruments to create samples for my tracks. I’m really grateful that I was exposed to many musical genres growing up because it really helped to make me the well-rounded producer that I am today.

You have been making beats since 1992. What inspires you to continue to make beats today?

When executed properly, hip-hop is very exciting and artistic. That excitement and artistry is what had drawn me in over 2 decades ago. And you know what? I still feel that same excitement right now!

But I am also motivated by the fact that the art of sampling is really suffering and/or dying right now and the world needs a producer like me. My stuff doesn’t sound much like what most people are calling “hip-hop” these days, and that motivates me more than anything. I’m here to bring an alternative to the commercial sound, and I’m here to help bring the artistry back. I make music for the hip-hop purists that still want to hear that street vibe mixed with clever use of samples and artistic substance; the kind of intelligent hip-hop that sparks your imagination…

Also, I make all of my beats with vintage gear and try to keep computers out of the beat-making process as much as possible. My music is always grimy and organic. You’ll never hear a Keith Science production that sounds like some sparkly-clean computer sh*t. I’ve always strived to be different and I do now more than ever.

You released an album called Hypothalamus and the press clipping states that it is a "demonstration of sampling excellence." How does Keith Science attack a sample?

“Attack” is a great word to use because in most cases, I manhandle samples. My tracks usually consist of many layers of unfamiliar samples, cleverly placed rhythmically to produce an exciting reaction in the listener’s brain. I’ll take a sample from anywhere. But more often than not, I’ll edit and manipulate samples to the point where they are unrecognizable from their original form. Creating original sounds through sampling is what I am all about, and I feel like I really accomplished that goal on Hypothalamus.

There are so many different ways to edit and manipulate samples, but I think that a lot of producers have gotten lazy over the years. Many fans of real hip-hop live in a constant state of disappointment due to the lack of creativity these days and I’m here to be a part of the solution, not the problem.

A while back, I read a post on Twitter from some dude complaining that hip-hop producers no longer have any “sample game”. I never like to brag but... You want to hear sample game? Listen to Keith Science. I’m not the only one doing it, but I’m one of the dudes doing it right.



The latest song that you produced is called "I Never Fail" by Krumb Snatcha. Describe your relationship with Krumb, and detail what you look for in a collaborator.

Well first of all, I’ve been a fan of Krumb Snatcha’s music for years and years. I’m very familiar with his style and I always wanted to work with him. But, I never really felt like I had the right beat. One day, I made the beat for “I Never Fail” and realized that it was perfect for Krumb. I wasn’t sure if he’d be into it or not, so I contacted his manager and we began the process. Lucky for me, Krumb loved the beat and everything just went smooth from there. He wrote all of the lyrics, recorded them and then sent me all of the vocal files. I mixed the track at my studio and we had it mastered by David Torrey. I’m so proud of that single. I really feel like we generated an exciting vibe on that one and that’s what I was looking for. Evil Dee played it a couple of weeks ago on DJ Premier’s Live From HeadQCourterz Sirius/XM radio show and he cut the sh*t out of it! Shout out to Evil Dee!

I have to say that Krumb Snatcha is one of the nicest dudes that I have ever had the pleasure of working with. He is a true professional, and working with him was a breeze. Those are traits that I look for in a collaborator. I like working with people that are focused on what they are trying to achieve and don’t need much help or direction to get things done and be productive. True emcees like Krumb can grab a microphone and make a miracle happen right on the spot. Those are the kind of people that I prefer to work with, if possible.



You have worked with a ton of artists during your lengthy career. What 5 artists would you love to collaborate with?

In no particular order:

1. Nas
2. Joell Ortiz
3. Alchemist
4. Roc Marciano
5. Prodigy (from Mobb Deep)

Thanks for the interview, and don’t forget to create a “Keith Science” station on Pandora! Peace.


How Unemployment Forced Me To Become Creative


You constantly repeat the same routine. You wake up. You spend time searching for new jobs and you apply to those jobs. You have a strategy in place. You call the employers after three days pass.

The day arrives and you are nervous. You pick up the telephone with sweaty palms and a perplexed mentality. You try not to "Lose Yourself" and project a sense of confidence as you talk to the operator.

The employer gives you the same pitch that you are accustomed to, stating that "they will contact you if your resume matches the job description."

Depression begins to set in.

Being Unemployed is Depressing

There is nothing like being a starving artist that does not have a job. On December 23rd, 2013, my family and I decided to move to Florida to be closer to family. I knew that this move would test my faith, my patience and most notably my ability to persevere.

I knew right away that it would be difficult for me to get a job right quickly regardless of my education. My wife, who is a nurse, struggled for 2 months before she found a job. The stress of everyday life and the added stress of bills, buying a house and raising a toddler made me feel like a failure.

I felt like I was doing everything that I needed to do to obtain a job. I researched companies, I devised personal cover letters and I committed time to contact the employers, but still no luck.

I began to feel like a complete failure. I could not look my son in the eye without thinking of my miserable situation. I distanced myself from friends and family because of this unsightly sense of pride that I had. I started to lose hope and reading the word became an afterthought.

How I Found My Creative Energy

One day I sat in silence for a few moments and asked God, "Why me?" I wanted to know why he was picking on me. Why my prayers were falling on deaf ears.

A last ditch effort was made to generate some funds, I decided to file for Unemployment. Naturally I was declined unemployment wages due to a bogus FMLA finding (go figure). I had enough I decided to stop searching for work.

Days went by, my beard began to resemble Anthony Hamilton's haha. I lost the drive to do anything productive. Naturally I stumbled onto music again.

Music has always been the equalizer in my life. When my mom died, I turned to music. When I got married, I turned to music. When I had my son, I turned to music. The past few years I tried to establish myself as a taste-maker and decided to suppress my songwriting prowess.

Do this sound like something you can relate to?

I started everyday with this affirmation: I am a creative beast. I began to use other creative affirmations and relied on God to get me through.

I focused on the Power of I AM and started focusing on what I attached to it.

I Am a Creative Beast

I started using this affirmation more and more. I found that my creativity was flourishing because I stated to the universe what I was and not what I was not. I started being thankful for the things that I had as opposed to what I didn't have.

Finally I started living and doing what I was affirming.

▲ I write music consistently because I Am a Songwriter.
▲ I pitch music because I Am a Publicist.
▲ I come up with marketing ideas because I Am a Marketing Genius.
▲ I spend time with God because I Am One with God.

You Are What You Repeatedly Do

Unemployment can hamper your vision. It can have a big impact on your health, soul and relationships. It can even affect your creative output.

The good thing is you do not have to accept and internalize the rejection that you receive from employers. Remember that you are what you repeatedly do.

Continue to showcase your creative power and show people what you can do.

6 months later. I am in a better place. I am doing what I love (still searching for a job but I am thankful that I do PR work). I am stressing less and living more. I am truly blessed.

Image Retrieved from Skai.gr

Have you ever been Unemployed? How did you keep your sanity and stay creative? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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If your still reading. This is and awesome post that my awesome brother Praverb The Wyse posted due to the unemployment rates. Do what you love, jobs my be scarce but remain positive because believing in God and pursuing your goals is the ultimate test of will. Have faith and keep striving, hard work will payoff in the end. Keep music in your life or whatever it is that you may be amazing at!


Danami Talks McKnight Foundation, Creativity and Connecting With Fans


I read that you were awarded $25,000 for music via the McKnight Foundation. How did this opportunity come about?

Yes. I'm the first Hip-Hop artist to receive the McKnight Fellowship for Performing Musicians. The opportunity came about during my morning free write. GOD spoke to me saying "apply for the McKnight grant." I jotted that thought down and a few days later applied for the grant. The submission request consisted of music, an artist statement, and artist resume.

There were three judging rounds: the first one judges listened to only music submitted for a ten minute duration, the second round judges heard more of your music in addition to reading your artist statement and resume, and the third/final round (if selected as a finalist) was a twenty minute performance followed by a Q&A. Thereafter the judges - panel of seven - judge your performance and reread your artist statement and resume. I encourage all artists to apply for grants especially artists of color. There's free money in the world to further pursue your dreams.

What other genres inspire you to be creative?

I'm so inspired by Soul music I seldom listen to Hip-Hop anymore. Soul music speaks to me on two levels, love and spiritually. Both of these levels heavily inspires my writing by inspiring me to create lyrics of love and rap/sing over music that touches the Soul. I'm really focused on changing peoples lives for the better through my music.

You have an upcoming EP set to drop called Before the Wait with G Mo Beats. Would you mind sharing the chemistry that you have with G Mo Beats?

Sure. My chemistry with G Mo (Beats) is a constantly growing chemistry. Ultimately, we both make the same music. G Mo's sound is very soulful - he plays a lot of big church chords in his beats - and me being inspired by Motown (where I was born and raised) and other Soul music perfectly aligns our styles.

Interesting fact about our working relationship is for two years from 2011 'til September of 2013 we only sent music to each other via email and we lived in the same city. In September, I asked him to be apart of my live band The Blue as our Keyboardist. As a result of weekly band rehearsals and monthly performances we've grown closer as friends and brothas which makes the creating process more fun and fluid.



I also researched that you work with a backing band called The Blue. Can you please share the benefits of performing with a live band?

The benefits I receive from performing with The Blue (a group of friends mostly from college) is the ability to capture raw organic energy onstage that you hear in Soul music from the 50s through the 80s. I also enjoy the flexibility to be spontaneous with my band that's impossible to do musically with a DJ.


How does Danami connect with his fan base?

My primary tool for connection is blogging about my life lessons to inspire my fans in their daily lives. I get real personal in my posts sharing vulnerable information such as my fear of asking for help when I was literally starving in November '13 or something fun like my thoughts on having healthy fun dating.


Renaissance of Green Street Speaks on How Cancer Changed His Life


First and foremost, would you mind sharing the inspiration behind The Will to Win?

We began working on this project in the fall of 2012--a time when two of us were dealing with major health issues. Shortly after hearing A-Live was diagnosed with end-stage kidney failure and was in desperate need of a transplant, I was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor in my right lung, which I had an operation to remove just a month later. We came out of our respective operations unsure what the future held for us and if we would ever release music again.

After our surgeries, we worked harder and put more pressure on ourselves than we ever had before. Instead of worrying about survival, we were way on the other end of things—focusing on winning. It seemed insane to the people around us, but we somehow knew that that would carry us through our recovery.

The experience gave us the conviction we are destined to help keep real music alive. Releasing our biggest project to date just a year after staring death down made us realize that we had it in us to meet all of the smaller challenges that come with succeeding in music—as long as we had the will to win. We hope to inspire other people to find the Will within themselves, as well.



The Will to Win boasts some notable featured guests (Mickey Facts, ScienZe, Charmingly Ghetto, Geechi Suede and others). What made you reach out to these artists?

Our whole movement is based on keeping the soul from the golden era of hip hop alive and adapt it for today's culture. We wanted to collaborate with artists who are part of the tradition of real east coast hip hop--both the past and the present to show that that thread of music is still going and can still be built on. It was definitely a real honor to have artists I grew up listening to like Raekwon and Geechi Suede contribute to the project.



How did cancer change your perspective on life and music?

My surprise battle with cancer made me realize how much of life is about perspective. Two different people could have the same exact illness, but experience the process differently based on how they look at the world. I went through the entire process--discovering my illness, the operation, and recovery—supporting A-Live (Green Street co-founder and my best friend since high school) as he was fighting for his life himself, knowing that he was going through a situation that was potentially much worse than my own.

People would tell me that I was a hero going through a dire situation, but I had a tough time seeing it that way because my close friend was dealing with an even tougher challenge. It’s all about perspective. The biggest perspective shift for me was that it reaffirmed my existence as a musician and someone with a story to tell/a mission to fulfill.

"Music is what feelings sound like". Can you identify with this statement?

Beats are the best way I know how to express myself. I'm not always fully conscious of the larger picture when I'm creating, but when I look back at what I create, it invariably matches up with what I'm feeling at a given time period--often in a way that is almost eerie. It's awesome when I see the larger picture in the moment, but that's not always possible. I’ve just learned to trust my intuition and the way I feel in the moment while I'm creating, because that’s where the magic is.

I really love the marketing strategy for The Will to Win. 3 official videos and then the album release in April. Would you mind sharing 5 tips for marketing The Will to Win?

Believe it or not, we do all the marketing and branding for our projects in-house. A-live is a genius with that stuff, and really looks to push the envelope with what an independent artist is expected to be able to do. Our 5 tips for marketing TWTW would be:

1. Create content at all times: Content is the best way to tell your story, but you have to constantly be aware of creating it, even while being in the moment.

2. Invest in quality: When creating videos, photos, etc, you have to be willing to get the best quality product, even if that means squeezing the budget. This album was entirely self-funded, but we knew the value of having good quality assets to promote

3. Be prepared to be uncomfortable: A lot of the stories we shared during this process weren't easy for us, but we knew they had the chance to inspire, so we had to dig deep and tell them.

4. Observe and adapt: Not everything you roll out is going to perform like you expect it to. We had one video along this process that didn't do as well as we wanted, but instead of forcing it, we re-strategized and found a different way to connect with people.

5. Go the extra mile: that IG comment you didn't respond to, the hand you could've shook, the random person you could've made a fan, make sure you're on top of it all. Even if that means you never sleep!


10 Ways SEO Can Help Your Music Influence


As a musician, SEO may be the last thing you think you need to be doing. However, what if I told you that some basic SEO techniques could help you grow your audience and spread your musical influence? Contrary to what you may think, these SEO guidelines for musicians can be done quickly and easily- and the rewards you’ll get will make the effort well worth it.

The Basics

1. Keyword Research: Smart keyword research is the basis of all smart SEO tactics. By putting yourself in your listeners’ shoes, you can eventually work your way into their headphones. You can conduct free keyword research with Google’s AdWords Keyword Planner (all you need is a Google account). Input potential keywords like [your band’s name], [your city] + [your genre], shows in [your city], and more.

2. Put These Keywords to Use: Take a good hard look at your website and determine where you can include your target keywords. Some prime locations? An “About the Band” or “Biography” page, your discography, or a list of upcoming shows.

3. Add Your Lyrics to Your Website: The highest volume of music-related searches are for song lyrics. Give the people what they want, and post your song lyrics in their entirety on your website.

YouTube SEO

YouTube is the world’s second-largest search engine, attracting over one billion unique visitors per month. Your current fans are already on YouTube searching for your videos- but there are ways to capture the attention of those who have yet to discover your music as well.

4. Optimize Your Video Title: Not too long, not too short, and including your target keywords. In general, keep your YouTube titles to 65 characters or less. Include the name of your song and any other details that your audience may be searching for (is it the official video? A live acoustic performance?). If it’s a video of a concert performance, try to include the venue and location if you have enough room.

5. Optimize Your Video’s Description: Go beyond “A video of our band’s performance at the local pub.” Focusing again on your keywords, write a 2-4 sentence description of the video. You may also include a transcript in the description (if it’s an interview, for example), or the lyrics of the song you’re performing. This strategy will help capture more phrases that your listeners are searching for.

6. Optimize Your Video’s Tags: Discovering new music on YouTube is easily achievable with the “related videos” sidebar. To ensure that your video shows up, include at least 5-10 relevant keywords as tags for your video- things like your band’s name, the venue you’re playing at, your musical genre, and any other details like “official video,” “acoustic,” “live,” and more.

Local SEO

Especially if you’re just starting out, local SEO techniques will be especially helpful for spreading your musical influence. Local SEO connects you to people who are searching for your music in your area, making it much more likely that they’ll come out to a show or an album release party.

7. Use Local Keywords: To expand on the first point, combine your targeted keywords with your location to attract more page views. For example, try to use “hip hop show in Central Atlanta” rather than just “hip hop.” Being more specific helps your SEO’s effectiveness.

8. Subscribe to Local Websites and Directories: Many websites have directories where local bands can list their information and possibly link to a website or social media page. One especially smart tip? Create your own Wikipedia page. Doing this allows you to link your page to bigger directory-style pages. For example, you could add yourself to the “Atlanta Hip Hop Artists” category to increase visibility and local SEO.

Blogging and Bloggers

As a musician, you know how important it is to get press. With blogging, you can make your own press; reaching out to bloggers is crucial for publicity as well.

9. Blog for Yourself: Blogging goes far beyond the content that you can share on social media. You can announce tour dates or an award you’ve won, link to a great article about your show, answer fan mail, share your thoughts on the music industry or your particular genre, and more. This is your golden opportunity to use those target keywords we’ve been talking about so much. Plus, blogging means you’re creating content that your fans will likely share with their networks.

10. Blogger Outreach: If you want something, ask for it- this is especially true when it comes to reaching out to bloggers. But don’t send mass e-mails to a bunch of bloggers and hope one of them will bite. Instead, craft your pitch to each blog’s specific focus, maybe throw in a compliment on their work, and let them know why their readers need to know about your music.

Simply put, SEO gives you a leg up on other musicians and gives you the tools to reach-and eventually perform for- a much larger audience.

Kristen Geil is a Digital Content Writer/Blogger at Digital Third Coast, a digital content marketing agency based in Chicago. Connect with Kristen on LinkedIn and Google+. Connect with Digital Third Coast on Google+.


Maria Yap Reveals How a Near Death Experience Changed Her Life


Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions. First and foremost what do you represent?

I rep a lot of things! The indie culture, Hip Hop, Filipinos! and strength/faith.

Marketing and promotion is something that a lot of artist struggle with. Would you mind sharing the difference with the masses?

Well, I handle publicity which a lot of people confuse with marketing and promotion. Granted they are related and go hand in hand, but publicity focuses on generating public interest to an artist and their music. We deal with the press/media and an artist's image and how they are perceived.

In addition to being a hip-hop head you also do a bit of modeling. When did you begin modeling?

I wear many hats. That's not even the half of it lol But yes, modeling is something I do on a freelance basis. Nothing to serious. Some gigs are paid, some aren't. Just really trying to build my portfolio up, get my name & face out there and book more gigs.


Given your last name, do you like to yap a lot?

Ha! It really depends. I'm a pretty chill individual. Unless I'm extremely passionate about a subject, I don't like to talk people's ears off.

We are Facebook friends and I noticed that you posted a gruesome car accident that occurred a few years ago. I was shocked to find out that you were involved in the crash. How did this near death experience change your outlook on life?

It was November 15, 2004. I can't forget that date. It has mos definitely changed my outlook on life. What some people don't know is that prior to the accident, I fell into depression. The accident was an eye-opener and gave me a reality check. Idk what your faith is and what you believe in but I believe God kept me here for a reason.

And being able to survive something, against the odds, moved my motivation from 0 to 100... real quick. I appreciate life a lot more and don't let things get me too down and out. It's my testimony and I use it as fuel to keep going and not give up on my dreams. I also have a lot more appreciation for the people in my life and the little things I once took for granted. All I really have to say after all that is God is good. Stay resilient and have faith. Anything is possible.


Twitter: @yoitsMyMy
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