Creatively Marketing Your Music
Everyday you pick up a pen and a piece of paper. There’s thumping in your head. It’s not a migraine. It’s the percussion of the tribal band you envisioned backing you up on stage at your first major performance. What’s that? Voices? It’s not that eight year old. You know the one. Your thirteenth personality that comes out whenever you’re afraid. It’s that wicked sick chorus line you were humming in the grocery line this morning while that old lady was writing out her check. This is what you do. This is creativity at work.
You’re a creative artist. We’ve agreed on that. So, why haven’t you put that creative mind to use in promoting your music? My brain flashes back to the Five Points Train Station in Atlanta where I ran into a sister with a stack of cassettes, a nice dress and a polite smile as she asked everyone who passed by to support her new music venture. I didn’t buy one. I was a broke college student. I needed my money for microwave noodles. But, my hat goes off to that sister and anyone who gets out there and creates their own way.
Ten years later, I wonder what happened to her career. If she never recorded another note, at least she tried it. Now, what are you doing to get your music heard by fans, record execs and others. Are you selling discs at club performances, standing on street corners, blasting your website out to millions, or getting yourself arrested for robbing a fast food restaurant in a clown suit just to attract television cameras so you can spit rhymes and advertise your CD as reporters hurl questions at you as you’re being dragged away by the police?
No? Why not? There are so many ways to promote your music and your career. There are as many ways as there are day dreams in the atmosphere. Try websites on the internet that you may not even have considered vehicles for your music. Stop off in the closest independently owned music store and introduce yourself to the owner and the staff. Hey, there’s a privately owned bookstore next door. Talk to the manager and see if they carry music as well. Why not mention to the manager that you’d be willing to host an open mic event in their bookstore to spice it up and bring in a crowd. At the events just keep repeating, “Mike Jones” when you step up to the mic. Trust me, it works.
How about wearing a Velcro cat suit to the mall? You’re a guy? That’s even better to attract some attention to yourself. Velcro copies of your new CD all over your cat suit. People will pluck free CDs off your body while they’re giggling. People love free stuff. I guarantee they will remember you. Build your fan base.
How about this? Pick a partner in the UK. If you’re in the UK, pick a partner in the US. You’ll need two people for this scheme. Get a police scanner if you can. If you can’t, find a way to follow news camera crews around when they cover shooting incidents. Jump in front of the camera and act like you saw the whole thing. That’s when you say, “I think this has something to do with the UK/US beef between rapper 1 and rapper 2.” You drop your name in third person as rapper one and drop your partner’s name as rapper two. He’ll be doing the same thing across the ocean.
Before you know it, you’ve created an imaginary international beef and anticipation for both of your album releases. Record and distribution companies will hunt you down to cash in on your creativity. Too far fetched? Check your hip hop history to see if anything remotely close has worked before.