Advice for Emerging
ARTISTS & MUSICIANS
My Perfect Demo Submission June 2014
Hello one and all. Forgive me a second whilst I just do this…
*SOUND SUBJECTIVE BLOG KLAXON*
Right now that’s out of the way we can begin.
Arguably there is no ‘perfect’ way to send demos to industry people, but there are definitely wrong ways. So many wrong ways. More wrong ways than a faulty Sat Nav. And each person you send a demo to may very well have their own preference such is the beauty of us all being individuals by our inherent human nature. All this to one side though, the following is how I personally would utterly adore to receive all demos in the future. I’m aware this is a rose tinted ideology that, if were to come true, would no doubt lead to world peace and harmony amongst all colours and creeds, but I felt it needed committing to digital paper, if only to allow me to angrily mumble “didn’t they fecking read the blog?” the next time someone sends me a CD-R with just the artist name scrawled in childlike handwriting on the front.
I’m also going to take a punt and say although others may have a different preference when it comes to receiving demos, they’d probably favour the following to the amount of guff they currently receive. If my fellow bloggerati/industry chums disagree, I’m sure they’ll make their feelings heard.
1) Don’t send me a CD. I don’t care for them
I could be all pious here and state my lack of passion for receiving humble demos CDs is due to the weight of the carbon footprint resting on my conscious. In reality though I have to *get up* out of my chair in order to put a CD on. Imagine that. Also, whilst pissing about with a CD I can’t use my computer to do other such important duties such as emailing, researching the latest internet memes and tweeting nonsense.
There are a number of us here in the Sentric office all receiving demos on a daily basis, we all have computers and headphones, but the office has only one CD player. An alarming number of these demos contain astonishingly bad music (the other day I was sent a link by a pub singer which had a live recording of him murdering ‘Many of Horror’ in such a way I actually thought said demo had been sent by a higher power to punish me) which we’d prefer not to share communally. If one of us is sent something which is ‘reet good’ then it’ll get it’s airing on the office stereo for all to judge in due course.
2) Allow me to stream first & then download if I want to
A good electronic demo submission should have two links within it for the music; firstly a link where I can go and stream the tracks. My personal preference here is either SoundCloud or BandCamp as they’re brilliantly simple.
(I’ve done a post in the past entitled ‘How To Use SoundCloud and Dropbox To Send Music To Industry’ so have a gander there if you need a hand with that).
Both of these are pretty useful for me to have as I’d rather not download tracks onto my computer before I know if they’re any good or not for obvious reasons and if you’ve sent me something that I really like, but not allowed me to download it then further pissing about is needed between the both of us before I can grab a copy and start doing what I do best with it.
3) Correct metadata is *essential*
Christ you lot must be bored of me harping on about metadata on this blog so I’m not going to go through it again. Just read ‘7 Steps To Metadata Utopia’ if you haven’t already.
4) Tell me something interesting
Press releases are a minefield. They’re very hard to get right so they make you sound interesting, the vast majority I receive just end up making the artist sound like a self-congratulatory tit. I personally much prefer an artist just to tell me what they’re up to in an informal manner. Bullet points are always appreciated for example:
Played XXX festival and XXX festival
Received plays on [INSERT DECENT PROFILE RADIO DJ HITHER]
Releasing new single on XXX via XXX Records
Touring the UK throughout [MONTH]
Featured on [BLOG + LINK]
Doing the above will take you a hell of a lot less time to come up with compared to a fatigued press release and within a matter of seconds it’ll give me a good overview of where you are as an artist.
5) Send me to a well maintained website
If you’ve got a website which you actually update regularly then send me there. If you have one for the sake of having one, but don’t do anything with it and instead just keep your Facebook page updated then send me to your Facebook page instead. Recent activity is pretty much key here and I’d much rather see your social network page that has had some interaction on it within the past 48 hours over a website you haven’t updated in two months.
There you go. Alarmingly straight forward stuff, but following these simple rules will make my life a lot easier and therefore will increase your chances of getting your music heard. I should probably note that when I say ‘make my life easier’ I’m not being lazy – you have to appreciate the sheer amount of music I receive on a daily basis from artists wanting to get their music heard and pushed for sync usage. If an artist puts up barriers or needless steps which I have to take in order to listen to their music, it’s simply not going to help their cause.
I’m a nice person.
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