Releasing Music Independently In 2016, The Truth Form a Musician View Point.
With over 21 different featured blog premiers and write ups including Complex UK and The Smoking Section. Including 6,966 total monthly listeners as well as 185,154 total play for “I Can Love You” on Spotify. Accompanied by several different Spotify playlist placement including Fresh Finds and Hiptronix by Spotify and Mad Decent Weekly by Diplo. Collectively, Sixth & College has only released four individual singles and has managed to accomplish all of this without the backing of a major record label or a co-sign from a heavy hitting artist. Yet in 2016 this sounds more common than it may have been in previous years. However, there seems to be no real manuscript nor direct explanation to how an artist can actually accomplish this in 2016.
To be honest there is no real one fix solution that can catapult an artist to higher levels of instant success. However, there are stories and lessons learned that bands such as Sixth & College can offer to other artist to help avoid possible pitfalls along the way. These possible pitfalls include understanding how to contact writers, playlist curators, and learning how to get your music onto larger music platforms.
As an artist and member of a band I understand how difficult it is to get a straight answer to question like, how do I get in contact with writers at large blogs and publication or how do I get in contact with playlist curators? Sometimes there are moments of light at the end of the tunnel where I would get an email that baits these exact same emotions only to close out the email with a price of $119 for a list of email addresses for writers and playlist curators. Which at the moment sounds like an amazing idea, instead of actually putting in the work to finding these email addresses, I can just buy a list. However, the thing that must be considered is traffic. If this list of email addresses are sent to multiple recipients, then you have to think that there has to be hundreds of thousands of people with these same exact list of email addresses. So although this list took no work at all to find, if used it decreases the chances that your email would actually be read or even opened at all.
A great alternative to this is to actually put in the work and find the writers that relate to your music through social media and only find the writers name and articles of reference through the actual blog or publication. The only thing that you can guarantee by using the writers email address posted on the blog or publication is that, everyone else has this exact same email address and let’s be honest it doesn’t take much work to actually find those email address on the blog or publication of interest. You need to do further research and work to find email addresses that bloggers and playlist curators only leave for true fans that actually take the time to interact with them on social media. Though this may take hours if not days of shifting through thousands of social media accounts, it actually works and increases your chance of actually getting a response because the traffic to these email addresses are less intense compared to those that are easier to find.
The final piece of advice that I have to offer to up and coming artist is how to actually get their music on to larger music platforms such as Tidal, Spotify, Apple Music and Deezer. There’s no magic formula to this, all you need is a third party that works directly with these streaming services to have them place the music on these streaming platforms. One third party that we use is CD Baby and it is not hard to use at all. It takes two weeks and $34.99 for a single to go live on Spotify, Tidal, Apple Music and Deezer. This is not that bad at all the two weeks gives you time to plan a proper release and $34.99 for 4 different streaming services is less than $9 per outlet which is cheaper than going to the movies. It is also the only way that your music can be considered for playlist by Spotify and playlist curators. If you’re not on the streaming platform then you can not be featured, which makes sense. In essence, save your money or borrow some form a friend and put your music in positions to be heard by millions of active listeners.
To sum it all up these are the two main struggles that I faced while attempting to ascend in the music business. However, if you do not take the time to make good music that is mixed properly then this advice still will do little for you. But if you do take the time to make the music and master it so it can be accepted by a variety of listeners. Then you’re ready to take my advice and see how far your music can take you.
Thanks for reading!
I have also included a Spotify link so you can enjoy some music by Sixth & College.