How to Send out Songs- Just Do It
*this post is best applied for people you’ve met IN PERSON, not mass cold-call emails
When it comes to putting art into the world artists are their own worst critics. You want to make that song perfect to send to the area promoter or radio DJ to flip out over even though they’ve already expressed interest in your band. You pour yourself into it and write and re-write it until it’s perfect then once you finally record it at home from your bedroom you’re dissatisfied and scrap it altogether to be hidden on your computer for another year until you’ve amassed 20 of the same version. Don’t. Good promoters, radio DJs and managers are busy people. If they weren’t interested in your live music, they wouldn’t have said to contact them.
Your bandmates and you already know the best 1 or 2 songs from live show reactions. You have to trust your instincts to lead you. In your email to them you can mention this is demo-form until you find a producer for your full professionally recorded album when you shop it around. Remind them of where you met. Obviously it’s nice to have a polished website but you don’t have to have a perfect band bio in the interim, just a solid contact page with a few basic bio details like where you’re from, influences, who you’ve played with, etc.
I just interviewed a young band that signed a multi-album major record label based on a 2-song digital-only EP that found its way to a popular audio blog. He wasn’t ready, but that wasn’t a bad thing. He believed in those 2 songs but just as I learned from Chris Guillebeau, there’s never a more perfect time than now. He found an audience of supporters. You can too if you act now.
The worst that can happen is they can say no. Even if they do say no, it could open another window of opportunity with the promoter or blogger or whatever saying, “Hey this isn’t for us right now, but I really think my friend X would be interested.” When you email that person, you’ve now started a dialogue based on a colleague of theirs they respect. They’re going to at least click to listen to your music now. (If you’re concerned about your music leaking, there’s plenty of ways to make private streaming and downloads possible.) Follow up with them a week after.
Making solid music for yourself over those you’re trying to impress (promoters, labels, etc.) is the first step towards reaching those important contacts. When you believe in the sound, others will follow. You can amass a strong and experienced team behind you to bring the best sound forward by doing this but before that happens it means you can’t just sit around in your underwear writing songs 24/7 waiting for someone to buy your song for a Gap commercial. You have to take the risk of asking, emailing, and just doing it. It takes some practice, but eventually becomes second nature until you have a publicity or booking agent doing all of this for you.
Obviously there’s a bunch of “don’ts” when it comes to sending out music (just ask!) but the most important thing to take away from this is that if someone with power of influence asks you to send some music, do not sit on it. And hey! If you want an industry professional to go over the song and email BEFORE you send it off for our professional feedback asap, don’t hesitate to send us an email. firstname.lastname@example.org