Support Your Indie Supporters
by: Guest: Rick Brindell
For your edification I am writing my first article. So who am I? Why should you care what I have to say? Well if you don't know who I am, then my Indie supporters/promoters need to work a little harder. However some of you may know that I am an indie artist who produces my own music that you can listen to; stream; purchase at various websites.
But I am not here to write about me. Rather I am here to write about the people who truly support indie artists like you and me. Without these kind-hearted people who are so dedicated to getting the word out about indie artists, this huge movement would not be making such a large impact in today's digital music environment.
So let's take a step back for a moment. Writing; performing and producing songs are a loving but arduous task, and can be costly for an indie artist. So now you have your music or video the way you want it, but no record company behind you promoting your music. There is no substitute for promoting yourself, because let me tell you, no one will promote you, unless you do it yourself. There are so many methods of promotion these days and social media is certainly right up on the top of that list. But I am not going to focus on what you can do to promote yourself. I am here to remind everyone about the hard working folks who are willing to promote you for free. They work tirelessly but all too often can be unappreciated by the artists they promote.
OK, so having a new piece of music produced is in a lot of ways like having a gleaming new toy but no one to play it with; or taking the prettiest girl to the dance with no one there to notice it. That will never do. If I have the prettiest girl, you want everyone to see that, right? So why not let the experts do that for you? To that end, you need to find the folks who can get the word out about your date; aka latest single, EP or CD. If you are reading this article then I tip my hat to you because you found them already.
Some of them own radio streams; some write blogs; they run contests; they tweet; but they all promote. Most of the time it is free to the indie artist; others offer higher end services and charge a nominal amount for these services.
While there are many supporters of indie music out there, I would like to focus on a few I have had tremendous dealings with, hence much respect:
Butterflies Radio - WWIR - Carol and Mark are so much fun, and they live and breath indie music. Their radio stream is a great way to get your songs heard. In addition, their Twitter Tuesday Live show is heard by thousands on many syndicated radio stations via the Internet. They have a guest every week, usually an indie artist they would like to promote for their two-hour show. In fact TTL has won the 2014 Artists in Music Awards' "Independent Radio Show of The Year". For them to offer up a spot on that show should be coveted by indie artists like you and me. Make no mistake, when it comes to choosing who they want on their show; they will be looking first and foremost to the artists that show true gratitude in return. That could mean a nice note on Facebook thanking them; or a retweet on Twitter; or even a response to a question they pose on certain social media, in other words simple gestures of appreciation. Carol also publishes a weekly newsletter that talks about up and coming new releases by artists as well as gigs; videos and other items of interest. Mark on the other hand says his wife makes the best meatballs; but I have publicly disputed that, so sometime this year we are looking forward to having a wife "meatball-off" to bring this argument to a close. As Rich Wildman of MSI once tweeted "I love seeing grown men argue about their wives' balls".
Carol has mentioned to me on several occasions how rude certain artists can be; and try to twist their arm to have their songs played. It's almost an arrogant entitlement on the artist's part. Sorry but I don't see how these artists will ever be invited onto the show, not mention their behavior is reprehensible.
TRS247 - You will never find two people like Cris and Alysia. They are the hardest working indie promoters on the planet. Their radio station will stream your music for free, and that carries over to their associated radio stations too. In addition, they offer several different promotion packages at different cost levels. Let me tell you; worth every cent. In a short time they had me written up in several online publications like the Examiner; CNN iReport; Spot on Magazine; and more. They can get you a spot on Evan Ginzburg's Legends TV show. They will find you gigs too. They are true professionals and have a team of people who help them.
MSI - Music Scene Investigation - MSI is a little different from those mentioned above. Rich's web site actually pits artists against each other on MSI weekly where three music industry professionals review three songs a week; they make comments and then pick the song of the week. After that all four weekly winners go up against each other for artist of the month of which I am one for February 2014 for my song "It Is What It Is". Heck I even won a prize, a nice microphone. Additionally their affiliates like Butterflies Radio and even the Indie Music Bus tweet to the world about the winners so thousands of people hear about you in short order. Its priceless folks; and all you need do is go on their web sites and make contact, upload a song and off you go. Friend them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.
Indie Music Bus - Walt does so much for all of us. He provides a list of radio stations that will gladly accept indie music to stream on their stations. He will tweet about you and your music. He has interesting articles to read; blogs and so much more. He even has his own artist of the month/year.
Best of all; they work to cross promote each others events, interviews, tweets, etc. But these unsung heroes give up a lot for this noble and almost unrecognized pursuit of great music. Each of them have spent much of their own money and time doing this just for you, the indie artist in mind.
Our responsibility as indie artists is to make sure these fine folks, as well as the myriad of others not mentioned here understand how much we appreciate what they do for us. Do not take them for granted. If they tweet about you; retweet it. If they ask you to be on a radio interview; promote it. If they post on Facebook, like it. If they ask a question, answer it. Most importantly be appreciative of their time and efforts. You will be rewarded tremendously for it.
This guest article is copyright© 2014 Rick Brindell
"Rick prides himself on the fact that he is a fingerstyle guitarist, which means he plays guitar by plucking the strings directly with the fingertips or picks attached to fingers. Rick states: "I learned to play fingerstyle guitar after years of being a big Hot Tuna fan; I have even taken guitar lessons from the captain himself, Jorma Kaukonen."
From a satirical complaint about technology, to a spoof on a common colloquialism, to an uplifting theme after a devastating storm, he has creatively excelled in several different genres and styles of music and has written songs that are fun, satirical, sophisticated, current, and touching.
Having played bass for decades with various local bands on Long Island, Rick Brindell has an abundant amount of exhilarating music in its purest form. His music is the music of the everyday man, which comes from the heart."
Tags: Guest Article, Promoters