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  •  The EvO:R Street Journal

    The EvO:R Street Journal
    Editorial statement
    Dedicated to the culture, business and interests of the indie artist. EVJ delivers controversial points of view, hard-news commentary, Industry Insites, artistic prose and photography and welcomes responses (pro or con), feedback and topic suggestions from readers. If you would like to submit an opinionated article, inspired poem, photo or essay to EVJ, forward all copy to Editor ESJ and put To the Editor in the subject field.


    Creating an Indie Music Buzz
    Simple Ways to Get Heard in an Industry Dominated by the Majors
    © Zach Pontz
    May 4, 2007

    Finding your unique voice, honing your songwriting skills, knowing your audience, and using the internet to create interest will help your music get heard.

    When the music industry was young, record companies were mostly run by people who loved records and believed in their artists. Most labels are now headed by lawyers and financial advisors. The industry changes have left all but the top selling acts wondering where they fit in.

    Signing a major label record deal might be out of reach for most, but up-and-comers can be successful by growing their fan base and creating a music industry buzz. Although the band may never play Madison Square Garden, creating buzz will allow them to make their music and maybe a little money in the process. There are a few basic steps to take to help this process along:

    Be original!

    At a music conference held in Orlando , a panel of A&R executives oversaw a demo-listening session where they critiqued about 50 random songs from as many different bands. Of the demos critiqued, 48 were in the boy-band, guitar-based modern rock genre.

    Their advice: find your own voice, speak from your heart, and donít follow trends. If you try to be ďjust like the next-big-thingĒ your music will sound derivative.

    Use the internet!

    Before the internet, music industry scouts heard buzz based on a bandís live gigs and fan following. Today A&R executives cite the internet as the place where their initial interest is piqued. When asked by a band how they could send their music to him, an A&R guy simply said: ďPut it out there on the net and if itís good we will all hear about you, believe me.Ē He encouraged bands to make use of sites like myspace, pure volume, and sonicbids to get their music heard.

    Their advice: use the accessibility of the internet to your advantage and research sites that can provide maximum exposure for your music for minimum cost.

    Be the best you can be!

    This doesnít mean that you need to sing like Shakira or Regina Spektor if thatís not your style. Present your personal best. Within 30 seconds, the A&R panelists could say what worked and did not work for each song they listened to, and gave specific suggestions on what to change to make the song better.

    Your listening audience may not be able to be as specific as that, but they will know if they like your song within a few seconds. Your six minute guitar solo introduction may be amazing, but it may not be appeal to your potential listening audience. Hook Ďem so they donít move on!

    Their advice: hone your songwriting skills, practice your instrument diligently, and be mindful of your listening audience.

    Remember why youíre doing this!

    Itís easy to get caught up in the business of music. Itís important to take a step back and remember why you started playing music or writing songs in the first place. Remind yourself how you felt when you saw your first concert, or how it feels to find just the right lyrics to express how you feel. Think of the magic you feel when your gig is going right. Reminding yourself will keep your music exciting and your lyrics meaningful, which is the biggest buzz of all.

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    ESJ is looking for writers/poets for our next issues. All work is appreciated and will be published (with the exception of articles containing racism, bigotry or other demeaning topics) Also, this is a PG-13 rating and will be censored if you do not edit it. Please e-mail The EvO:R Street Journal.
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