Instagram for Musicians

Instagram for Musicians: Tips, Tricks, Tools and Tactics You Might Not Know

By | Instagram, Social Media | 2 Comments

Now with over 1 billion active monthly users, Instagram has become one of the most important social media platforms for musicians, especially younger generations. It’s such a versatile platform with plenty of functions and settings that the average user might miss.

In this blog, I will cover Instagram tips, tricks, tools and tactics from the most basic to more well known ones to maximize your presence and fan engagement on Instagram. Read More

How to Submit Your Song for Spotify Playlist Consideration

By | Music Streaming, Spotify, Strategy | No Comments

Looking for free exposure for your music? Getting on a Spotify editorial playlist could be a good way to get one of your songs out to a new audience. Editorial playlists are curated by Spotify’s team.

In late 2018, Spotify has allowed artists the ability to submit a song to be considered in their editorial playlists. It’s completely free! Although there are no guarantees you’ll get added, there’s no harm in trying. Read More

Going Viral: Did Lil Nas X Hack the Secret Code to Virality? The 6 Keys to His Success

By | Going Viral, Strategy | No Comments

It seems like every year, there’s a story of some young artist who blows up because of a song going viral. This year, it is the college dropout, turned rapper Lil Nas X (Montero Lamar Hill), who took over the world with a country trap song called “Old Town Road” at the age of 19.

As of this writing, the remix of the song has been streamed 400+ million times on Spotify alone, and has stayed on Billboard’s Top 100 for 17 weeks straight. This officially beats the Billboard record for the longest a song has been at number 1.

The Atlanta artist ended up signing a record deal with Columbia records and has released an EP so far through the label. He has become a music star, posting photos on his Instagram hanging out with the biggest names in music and culture.

He also claimed to have intentionally created “Old Town Road” so that it would go viral. Did this rapper, who only started rapping since May 2018, in fact figure out the secret to going viral? Read More

Music royalty basics

Music Royalties Simplified: An Income Source All Musicians Need to Know

By | Music Business, Music Distribution | One Comment

Understanding music royalties can be confusing, but very necessary for musicians who are new to the music business. I know I’m not the only one who struggled with this topic, so my goal was to put this together to help break it all down. I wanted to make it simple so that anyone who has no idea about the music business can easily understand… hopefully.

I’m by no means an expert, but this is more of an overview behind royalties through music publishing and master recordings as well as how to collect them. Read More

Music Copyright Basics

Music Copyright Basics: Do Musicians Really Need to Copyright Their Songs?

By | Music Business | No Comments

When we start to get into laws and legality of things, that’s when it starts to get really tricky and complicated. It’s no different in the music business, so it’s important to at least understand the basics.

If you’re a newer musician, you need to know copyright laws for:

  • Protecting your music against infringement and plagiarism
  • Receiving royalties you are legally entitled to when your music is used
  • Not infringing or breaking the law in regards to other people’s music or intellectual property

Even if you’re not a new musician, you should be familiar with these music copyright fundamentals to save yourself from any potential headaches in the future.
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Why people aren't following you on Instagram

Instagram for Musicians: 10 Most Common Reasons Why People Aren’t Following You

By | Instagram, Social Media | No Comments

Having a strong Instagram presence, in my opinion, is very important for musicians. Despite being a visual platform, Instagram has all the functions, features, attention and even audience for music artists. The fact is, Instagram users spend more money on music, while also devoting more time listening to and supporting in general.

According to a Nielsen study commissioned by Instagram from 2016:

  • IG users spend 30% more time listening to music on a weekly basis in comparison to the general U.S. population, and they’re more likely to be listening to pop, hip-hop/rap and R&B.
  • Instagram users are 42% more likely to spend money on music during the year, in comparison to the general population’s annual music spending habits.
  • 90% of Instagram Users Stream Music, compared to 76% of the general population.

While it’s easy to get caught up in wanting more followers, I think it’s worth pointing out that there may be reasons why people may not follow you in the first place. Read More

Choosing the Independent Music Business Model That Works For You

By | Music Business, Music Distribution, Music Streaming, Strategy | No Comments

The music industry can be overwhelming. Just like running your own business (because that’s what it is!), there are a lot of things to think about and manage in your career. When you’re working solo and can’t afford to build a team yet, it helps to have some overview or plan on how you should go about making a living from your music.

As an independent artist, you have 3 general business models you can adopt to mold and build your music career around. As far as I know, these aren’t official models, but it should provide some clarity about which approach is best for you. Read More

Black Violin

Developing Your Brand from Life Experiences: What Artists Can Learn From Slick Rick and Black Violin

By | Branding | No Comments
I had a chance to go on my first cruise with Butterscotch back in January. She joined a lineup that included artists like Babyface, Teddy Riley, Doug E Fresh, Slick Rick, Black Violin, Avery Sunshine, Kenny Lattimore, Jon B, Mike Phillips and Floacist.

The two artists that stuck out to me the most, and inspired me to write this is Slick Rick and Black Violin. Both of these artists shared stories at some point during the cruise that gave insights into their brand development.

In previous blogs, I’ve talked about basing your brand on elements of your authentic self, but I wanted to use this opportunity to elaborate on why these artists are great brands you can learn from.

For this month’s blog, I wanted to show how Slick Rick and Black Violin pulled from their life experiences to develop their brands, and why they are good examples. Read More

Content Creation: What Musicians Can Learn from a Legendary Jazz Bassist Eating Ramen in Japan

By | Content Creation, Strategy, Video | No Comments

Thanks to Butterscotch, I had the privilege of going on the Blue Note Japan tour at the end of December of 2018 for 2 weeks with the legendary jazz musician Marcus Miller. Butterscotch was invited as a special guest for his tour and I tagged along to capture content.

During this trip, I had the chance to consult and create content with Marcus Miller alongside his wife and manager, Brenda Miller. One of the things we created was a video of Marcus eating ramen at Ippudo, a popular ramen chain from Japan known for their Tonkotsu ramen. We were in Fukuoka, where Ippudo was founded in 1985, and ate at the very first location.

Here’s the video I made that got 157k+ views: Read More

What makes you unique?

The Basics of Branding for Musicians: Figuring Out What Makes You Unique (Part 3)

By | Branding | No Comments

One of the common challenges I’m noticing artists have about branding is figuring out that one thing that sets them apart from everyone else.

You hear it often in regards to branding. I have even said it in my previous blogs. Because there’s so much competition for attention in the digital era, you have to be able to distinguish yourself to stand out. You need to find what is “unique” about you.

I realize now that this could be misunderstood. Read More