Tips for Musicians // Sending Your Music To Press
You’ve got your music, your masterpiece ready for release. You’re going to stick your music on Tunecore, or other music distributor, get it on Bandcamp, iTunes and announce to the world that your new music is ready.
Next thing you need to do is get your music to your favourite music critic and radio DJ. There a few things you need to do before just lobbing your mp3 off via email.
Tip 1 // What format does your radio presenter prefer?
While mp3 and wav are easy to send and use via the internet, there still are some old school presenters who prefer CDs.
If you do send a CD here’s a tip I have for you. Last summer, I was privileged to be in the presence of greatness, he who knows his stuff and does some great stuff on BBC Introducing. His view was that if an artist gets CDs printed and a semi pro cover, even for a demo, it shows that they are committed and serious about their work. He’ll pick up their CD and listen to it first.
So, if you’re going to get a few CDs done, get them printed properly, get a nice cover and put an address sticker on the back with a mini bio and the release date of the track/album.
Tip 2 // Make Sure Your Media Friend Likes Your Genre of Music
There’s absolutely no point in sending a nice country acoustic song to a DJ that only specialises in drum ‘n’ bass. Makes sense when you think about it, don’t do a blanket email to every music contact in the music bible. Select who you think will be interested in your music and send it to them.
Don’t be afraid to personalise an email and follow up a week or so later.
Tip 3 // Include a Press Release
It might feel that you don’t have a whole lot to say about yourself, especially if you’re a new artist. Give a little bit of background about how you got to where you were. If it’s not your first release, give an overview of what you’ve done, gig highlights and your last release.
Tip 4 // Get Some Press Photography Done
Whether you’re sending your music to printed press or to your favourite music blog, they’re going to need a few photos of you. Depending on the style and layout they have, they will need or a portrait or landscape shot.
Make sure that you send at least one of each in high resolution. You need it high enough for printing, which is 300dpi.
Make sure you have your photos titled and labelled properly. If you need your photographer credited, make sure you include that information and let the editor / whoever you’re dealing with know.
Tip 5 // Metadata – Make Sure Your Music is Tagged with the Song and Artist Name
As someone who gets a lot of music sent to them, this is the biggest pain in the ass for me. Make sure your mp3s have been tagged properly with the song title and your artist name. It’s not rocket science, if you’re having trouble, bring it into iTunes and put the title and name in.
WAVs don’t seem to have as much metadata ever! That’s just because when they are being exported, there isn’t the same amount of tools whatever software to add them to the wavs. Ask your mastering engineer and ensure that you’ve got your ISRC code info embedded at the very least.
Last weekend, I had to spend a couple of hours going through tracks I had downloaded and put the metadata in. Your radio presenter / reviewer needs to be able to see what track they have and the artist details in their library.
I use iTunes to keep all my tunes together, the folder system works for me. Not having the artist name in there is so annoying, it leaves it impossible to find.
If you’re sending wavs, put the track number title and artist name in the title like 01-A New Song – A New Artist. The easier you make it to find, the more likely they are to replay your track if they’ve already played it. Why? Cos they can find it!
Tip 6 // Have your social media and websites updated
The more you update and make the posts different every time, the more people will become interested in you. You don’t need to have thousands of followers but make sure that you don’t neglect your social media or website updates.
Make sure you have links to all across your press release, soundcloud, other social media and website.
Tip 7 // Have your music easy to download for Press
When you’re giving your media friend a link that downloads your music and/or your entire press kit, make sure that the link doesn’t expire in a week. It’s so annoying. Life gets in the way and if you don’t work full time at your radio / website it can take a while to get through your mail. There’s absolutely nothing worse than seeing a video of a track and the download link has expired.
Tip 8 // Don’t send an email with a lack of information
You wouldn’t believe the amount of emails I get saying “Band X has released a new single. Download it here.”
That’s it, no information, no details, genre, where the band are from, inside leg measurements, NOTHING and from some PRs too, would you believe. Just because a PR does this does not make it right. I don’t bother with these, not even clicking once.
You have to remember, you have to make life as easy as possible for press and media. There’s no guarantee that they will play it / review it but if they do, give them everything that will make their job easier.