Building a Firm Foundation
Know who you are
Have a think about your sound – dig around… get to know it really well. If you’re keen to get your song released, consider which music playlists you want your project to be heard on. Define and hone your image. Nail your brand. Look at your commitments – is there anything you can move or adapt to enable even more time for music.
Build your team
No one can do this alone – music, like life, is better with others. Build your team – the people who will support you emotionally and mentally during what can be an intense period. Who is:
- Managing your diary
- Ensuring the finances are in order
- Controlling the budget
- Taking bookings
- Connecting you with the media; writing and updating blogs, websites, press releases and promotional materials
- Keeping your social media up to date
- Taking and editing photographs and video
- Creating your artwork, enhancing your visual brand
- Managing the release; promoting and plugging your project, getting it to radio, blogs, review sites, playlists and festivals
If you answered “me!” to all of them – have a rethink and start again – you need support. It’s at this point that most people realise exactly what a record label does and why they take such a hefty cut of the money.
Get your Team Directory together, this could be an excel spreadsheet, a mind map, or a simple list. Add all the potential people for each task – the team to ensure your release is a success.
Build your audience
Think about your audience – will this project meet and exceed their expectations, or are there some changes to be made to ensure you’re fully accessible to your market? Will there be new influences in this project that could attract new audiences
Define your audience demographic – think about; what nationalities listen to your type of music, their age range, whether you appeal more to males or females, which listening platforms they prefer, where they go to hear similar music, who your fellow artists are and where they play. Maybe you could be a support act to a larger band on their tour?
Define your role
To ensure your recording project runs smoothly, think about where you fit and which tasks you want to take ownership of – consider the following roles:
Executive producer – oversight, but not involved in the day to day
Producer – planning and coordinating every element of the project
Co-producing with an engineer – a great way to share the load and benefit from their expertise
Arrangement – reimagining an existing composition and making adaptions to create a new sound for a piece of music
What elements of your project can happen without your direct involvement? Play to your skills and delegate everything else.
Prepare for your recording
- Re-string and order new picks, reeds and accessories in good time
- Re-head drums and tune them prior to the session – if you can’t, let the engineer know so that they have enough time ahead of the session
- Beg and borrow the best cymbals for the session
- Make sure there’s a Plan B for everything
- Arrive early
- Make use of free rehearsal time ahead of sessions
- Remain calm and positive
- Speak out any concerns
- Ensure everyone’s roles are clear
- Make sure achievable expectations of the day are understood by all
- Keep communicating so everyone gets to the same destination at the same time