Functional storytelling for artists – Spotify for artists

Courtney Harding, a former music editor at Billboard, shared a suggestion that her writing was part of a curriculum in a popular music class at the Clive Davis program at the Tish School of the Arts in NYU.

Despite being portrayed in glamorous antiques Almost famousToday, being a music journalist, less about partying and more about looking at an endless stream of emails from bands and promoters, everyone is asking writers to spotlight their band but basically saying the same thing. Meanwhile, publications are shutting down, click-grabbing headlines seem to be mostly fleeting and it may seem impossible for you to get out of the crowd. Ask any reporter, and they’ll tell you that just having some good songs isn’t enough; You need a story to draw readers in and help them relate to you.

A handful of artists have amazing stories:Maggie RogersWas discovered by, for example Farrell Williams When he dropped one of his performance classes at NYU; Jewel He grew up without electricity in Alaska before being discovered while in a van in San Diego. But no matter how conventional your life may seem so far, everyone has an interesting story somewhere and here are some tips to identify and tell it.

Check everything out

Open a document on your laptop or get a pen and paper and start making notes about your life story. There is a good chance that many things that seem ho-hum to you will be interesting to someone else. Have you grown up somewhere remote or bizarre? How did you discover music and start playing it? Who taught you to play? Do you have any big, constructive experiences, positive or negative? Also, think about your current life – what do you do besides make music?

Marnie Wandner, a preacher Syndicate, Often the artist’s engagement begins with a questionnaire that he describes “job interviews combined with a dating profile.” She says she’s looking to discover an artist’s passion and often asks them to think about what their friends and family will say about them as a starting point. And its Rachel Rosen Tell PR to all your friends Suggests that if an artist is stuck at this stage, it can help to interview a friend, so that more talking topics can be teased.

Don’t box yourself

If your story is coming up too easily, make sure it’s not something that will limit you in the future. This can be a problem for artists associated with more celebrities, either as a family member or collaborator – although being the child of a celebrity may take you to the door first, no one will want to write that story about you again and again (and you will probably find that in the end You want to come out of that shadow).

Rosen suggests that artists refresh their stories for each album to reflect their personal and artistic evolution. If your personal story doesn’t evolve, many outlets are less likely to cover it because they’re telling new stories as opposed to rearranging old stories.

Think of something exceptional

Look at your notes about your life and think about alternative ways of coverage – sure, everyone would love to be featured exclusively on the biggest blogs or podcasts or in the media, but getting that kind of attention doesn’t come immediately for most. Many niche publications, however, will be thrilled to cover an interesting new artist, so take your love for yoga or shelter animals, attach it to your narrative as an artist, and start reaching out to publications in that area.

Rosen warns against stretching too strictly. “If you work in animal rescue and write songs about your pet, absolutely pitch it,” he says. “But if you only have one cat and that’s it, it won’t be an interesting or useful angle.”

Enter your own title

If you’re stuck, spend some time looking at the publications you’re looking at and read all the headlines and photo captions. Notice that very few of them will have the title “Good Band Release Good Album”; Rather, there is something interesting about the artist and how it relates to music (from a recent Rolling Stone:Coldplay is biologically expansive ‘become admirably real in everyday lifeOnce you have eaten several of these, start thinking on your own. Think of it as a lift pitch – it’s a quick and touching one that emphasizes how different you are and ideally connects it to the music you create. It may take a few rounds and some feedback, but it’s a quick way to compress your story quickly. Then start using it with each pitch email and press release.

Be authentic

If you have parts of your past that you are uncomfortable revealing, even if they make up a great story, they are not worth using. You’re ideally going to give a lot of interviews about it, so if it’s hurtful, difficult or sensitive in any other way, be kind to yourself and remember your needs for privacy. You can’t emphasize a great story; It has to evolve naturally and be something you want to say over and over again and do it from the heart. And obviously, don’t lie – you’ll just get leaked and end up before your career starts.

Bringing an interesting story to the pitch and campaign around isn’t an easy feat, but it’s absolutely important if you want any kind of media coverage. But by examining your life, consulting with friends, and creating something that truly feels right, you’ll be in a better position to attract new potential fans – and nurture the attention of those who already like your music.

– Courtney Harding

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