All artists need promotion right? One of the questions I get the most whether from a potential client or even a client that is going through the process is “Can you get me on Complex?”. I can throw any big name in that spot, XXL, The Fader are usually the most common requests I get. Later on I’ll explain why a post in any of those places when you’re just starting out won’t do much for you but what if I told you, that you as an artist you could still be successful without a post or tweet from those big names? Here are three alternatives if your submission to Complex or any triple-A publication isn't going through.
1. Submit to Smaller Blogs
I honestly believe this is one of the more underrated things an indie hip-hop artist can do. There are hundreds (probably thousands) of blogs and hip-hop publications out there looking for good music. Looking for new music. Inboxes of larger publications are usually full and a lot of times unless you already have some type of buzz. Smaller blogs usually fit a niche market and want to build a connection with the artists and are willing to invest in the music, if the talent is there. I’ll have a bigger list of publications soon, but you can start your research now, whether through Twitter or Google search.
2. Write About Your Project
Nowadays it seems like a project comes out, people consume it and then toss it aside for whatever’s next. However remember the days of CD inserts? Where the lyrics were present and sometimes you’d even get some background info about each and every song full with production credits and all? The days of the CD maybe waning but you can provide that information to your fans too. You can use Genius to post your lyrics and provide descriptions. It may be time consuming but this will strengthen your connection to your fans and make them feel closer to you and the music and in turn more likely to support your goals and music in the future. Furthermore you can even make a blog for your project. With it you can update fans on the process, make announcements, debut videos and just funnel your fans into one place. You can host a blog for free at places like WordPress or Wix.
3. Locals Shows/Open Mics
Another place I feel artists sleep is the power of the local show. I know this hurts to hear off top, but none of us are going to be rocking festivals and opening for Kendrick from the jump. It doesn’t work like that. Start with local shows, gain some fans there, network with artists that are on trying to make it in the same journey that you are.
Patience is key y’all. It’s easy to look at your peers or other artists and want to be where they’re at. But you have to remember that regardless of what they’re presenting it took time and patience and hard work to get there. Slow down, take a day or two to write up some contacts, make some connections and start climbing the ladder.
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