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25th July 2019 - Written by The Unsigned Guide for DMS
As part of our regular offering to the unsigned music community, we've teamed up with our friends at The Unsigned Guide to offer the best practise advice and outline the pitfalls to avoid when submitting your tracks to the music industry. Where do you go when you've finished that track you've been chipping away at for months? A good starting point would be the whole host of blogs, magazines and radio stations that love hearing from new, emerging talent. Over to The Unsigned Guide to take it from here...
At The Unsigned Guide we’re no strangers to receiving music submissions, so we thought we’d put together some pointers on how best to send your track to the music industry. Just bear in mind that everyone likes their music served to them slightly differently, so make sure that you always check the submission guidelines.
It's nice to know a bit about you before we click play. We don't need to know the name of your first kiss or what your favourite colour is, but you would be surprised by the number of submissions we receive who forget to even tell us what their act is called. If you're submitting material via email or a contact form, it's also a good idea to include your act's name in the subject line. This is mostly for boring admin reasons (it makes it easier to seek out your details if your message is misplaced).
By all means include a press release in the body of your info, but try to at least personalise the first few lines of the email. We like to feel special.
Be proud of your achievements! Tell us about the recent airplay you had on local radio, who has said nice things about you, where you have been playing, that festival that you're set to play this summer. It also saves having to scroll through the past 6 months of your Facebook feed to see what you're up to.
This might seem like an obvious one, but make sure that you put a lot of thought into which song you send out. That 8 minute ambient drone track might introduce your record beautifully, but maybe there's a stand out all-rounder that is a better option.
If you're linking to a full EP or album - plug the killer track that should definitely be listened to. Most industry folks won't have time to listen to more than 1 or 2 tracks, so you'll want to make sure that you’re giving the best possible introduction to your music.
Although any kind of feature for your music on a blog, magazine or radio show will be earned solely on the quality of the music, it's still important to have as much info as possible to hand, so providing web and social media links allows us to investigate a little further if we like what we hear. Even better, have a nice email signature set up with all your contact details and web links.
There is a big caveat on this one though - ensure that the links you include are current and in regular use. It's good practice when sending tracks out to the industry to make sure that all of your web presence is kept up to date. If keeping all of your accounts in check seems like too much of a slog, then you're probably better to focus on one or two and delete those that aren't going to get the TLC that they need.
Another pet peeve of ours at The Unsigned Guide is when acts don't link their social accounts back to each other. Try to enter all of your web links on a platform where possible.
When you've polished off a track, you might be tempted to run to the nearest rooftop shouting, "IT'S FINISHED", and then immediately proceed to send it to the whole of Google. Before you get too carried away, try to take a deep breath and ask yourself, "Is everything in place to give the release the best possible chance of success?" Is the artwork ready? Do you need a video to go alongside it? Do you have some up to date press photos? Do you have some gigs or an EP launch lined up? Is your web presence looking uniformed and shiny?
Although, everyone is primarily looking for an amazing track, it also helps when we're writing about an act, if they have some strong imagery and something for us to talk about. We can work around this, of course, but if we're faced with 3 fantastic tracks of a similar sound and there is only room for 1 more in the blog - the act with plenty going on and a good press picture may just pip the others to the post.
The Unsigned Guide is a UK music industry directory aimed at emerging, independent & DIY bands, artists & musicians who are keen to progress their music careers. Search contacts covering 50 areas of the music business; from record labels, radio stations, booking agents, festivals to gig venues & promoters, new music blogs, studios, producers & more.