October 2014

MORE DIY Rock and Roll Halloween Costumes

I wrote this post last year about kick-ass Halloween costumes last year and it continually gets the most hits on the blog part of this website.

If you’re stumped for ideas, here’s some fast costumes that you can easily pull out of your, or your girlfriend’s closet.  Enjoy!!!

janis joplin style

Click for Janis Joplin, Lou Reed, Sex Pistols, Led Zeppelin and more costume ideas!

 

Indie Week Recap

Had a great time at Indie Week! Big thanks to them for inviting me to speak on a panel on grant writing and judging the Silver Dollar showcase last Friday night. Met some incredible people and saw some very cool up and coming artists. It was 3 crammed days of conferences with experts on everything from promotion, management, and radio.  The management and band branding conferences were particularly inspiring.

SamIndie4 (2)

Me speaking (centre) with Factor and Eek Productions on a panel on grant writing

This was my favourite band I discovered.

Getting stoked for Indie Week & Chatting to College Students

Last week I had the pleasure of speaking on Music Entrepreneurship at Algonquin College to a class of about 75 for an hour.  It was so much fun! The students are pursuing diplomas in Music Industry Arts and had loads of questions for me about what my daily schedule looks like, challenges of being a woman in the music industry and just how to get to running your own business.

I ended up staying to chat to another handful of students afterwards about their bands, their career prospects in Canada and abroad- it was honestly so inspiring to see that people in my hometown of Ottawa were dedicated to working in music as there was no program like that when I was in post-secondary. (My studies were focused on Liberal Arts in college followed by Film and English in university, which I have no complaints about but having this option close to home would have been advantageous…. then again, my job couldn’t have existed 11 years ago when I first started!

(I’ve been invited to speak at another highly respected music institution too in the next month so stayed tuned for more info!)

Indie week photo

I walked away feeling so pumped for this week’s speaking engagement at Indie Week in Toronto (October 13-18).  I’ll be joining some of the industry’s leading professionals and artists in the field on the subject of Funding Your Project (RSVP or more info HERE).

And they’re putting me to work! I’ll be an official judge on Friday night’s band showcase at the Silver Dollar so look out for the friendly redhead and be sure to say hi.

algonquin

Thanks, Algonquin!

 

Why you Need More than 1 Band Biography to Get Attention

Here’s an industry secret on band biographies:  the ones who get the most publicity have more than 1.

There’s three kinds of band biographies. A short 1-paragraph bio, a medium 2-3 length bio, and a full page bio.

1 paragraph approach is great because it’s the most direct line – people will follow up if they need more info but these are the basics that need to be included.  Think of this as your elevator pitch.  If you’ve cornered your favourite magazine or head of Universal THIS is how you would sell your band.

  1. Your band name and hometown
  2. Who you sound like (You’ve heard the whole, if Zepplin had a love child with Chromeo we’d be its illegitimate offspring before, right? No? Well, if you’re stuck this metaphor technique helps.)
  3. Who you’ve played with/notable successes
  4. Why anyone should give a shit about your band, rather, what makes you special

Plus, if you’re cold- emailing someone, this is the most professional approach as you’re not just copying and pasting a whole whack of content a promoter, agent or radio station didn’t ask for. If you’re clear and concise, you’ll stand apart from the rest. A 1 paragraph can easily be copied and pasted for live show bylines at clubs/venues web promo and filter through others like radio, blog and photographers. It really pays to have this prepared.

Now if you’ve just done something noteworthy like win a songwriting competition, achieved a landmark in crowd-funding or shot a music video that’s gone viral, that’s where background information in form of word length can help you. Tell the reader why the director of the music video is important to you or what relationship you have with them that’s going to make it an international hit.  Explain the meaning of the song in relation to the music video content. If you’ve had other music videos become popular mention the song names and if possible hit counts or where the video led to the song being placed or an artist of note that was a fan of the video.

A full page band bio is basically your EPK with a photo all web links and press highlights on top of artist history, discography, and notable successes.  Make sure you have a PDF of this in addition to high res band portrait photographs as it’s principally used for publicity/journalism.

One thing to hammer home here is making sure that your bio is CURRENT and free of spelling mistakes. And whatever you do, don’t fabricate any facts or quotes.

Conferences, festivals and media outlets all have different needs. These bios mean that you can adjust to them and are the perfect fit for them.

And if you’re not sure how to write a band bio, check out this post I wrote last year.