By: Lauren Royer
Hey! What does it take to get noticed around here? I dug up some of my old-but-still-relevant notes from when I had an opportunity to attend a panel discussion held by Capitol Hill Block Party, Porter Novelli, and the Seattle Office of Film, Music, and Special Events.
The panel was set up to address the topic a lot of musicians are faced with all the time: how to get experts to recognize your talent. The panel had specialists from a variety of key places in Seattle who have seen, heard, and (probably) done it all. Luckily, your girl pulled through with a few notes for you to add to your toolbox. Jot them down and be about them.
Wear different hats. We all have to do this nowadays because that’s just what this world demands. Be multi-functional, multi-purpose, and change it up. Don’t let yourself be only one thing.
When responding to press or writing bios, HAVE A WRITER ASSIST YOU. Writers know how to be creative and entertaining… and that may not be your forte. There are a ton of writers looking for side gigs and would probably help you out for cheap. This will help grab crucial attention and minimize risk of seeming unoriginal.
If you do write for yourself… don’t talk about logistics behind the project… talk about how the project or song makes you feel. Talk about the inspiration behind it. Get deep. They can listen to the music and know what it sounds like; you don’t need to describe the sound to them.
Venues- look for venues that fit you and your style. Reach out. They don’t gotta come to you. Go to them, tell them what you’re about.
Speaking of venues… don’t be so picky! Play elsewhere BESIDES Seattle (or whatever major city you’re used to laying tracks down for). Go an hour away and play at some random bar, go a state over. It’s worth your time to get out of your community- and your comfort zone.
Approach people in ways that are personable. Did you ever think that maybe the talent buyer at that firm really would just love an invite to your show instead of getting a mountain of mixtapes to listen to? They may not be able to attend but the invite means something.
Remember to stay grounded in why you started, through the entire process.
Know who to direct your music to. If you’re reaching out to a radio station for example- which personality vibes with hip hop/rap more versus the personality that prefers jazz? Customize your approach that way.
Avoid pay to play venues- they are not for you, they are for themselves and they are not looking out for artists. (Can we get a round of applause here?)
“Ignore all perceived limitations”
Panel: “Pay Attention to My Band!…Please?”·
o Donovan Farley, Paste Magazine – Paste Magazine
o Kelly Fleek, Lo Flux Media – lofluxmedia
o Melissa ‘Meli’ Darby, Reign City Presents – reigncity
o Sharlese Metcalf, KEXP – kexp
o Sean Nelson, The Stranger – thestranger