Sure there are dozens of articles saying they know exactly who to contact, what to say and how to say it. What they lack is any source that provided them with that information. They themselves are not operating one of those websites, so why trust them?
We went straight to the source for answers. Colin Vlasak is the co-owner and creator of FUXWITHIT.com, a no non-sense website loaded with real content from a staff that keeps their ears to the underground of the hip-hop and the electronic music scene.
Having formed in 2014, FUXWITHIT boasts a good size following of fans that entrust them to provide the “in” or “out” on new music, artist interviews, premieres, and news. Starting out as 2 friends sharing a love for music, the “fun little hobby” quickly became an “obsession”.
Colin shares with you guys the right way to go about submitting your music and increasing your chances for it to be heard. We've broken it down into 5 steps. Ready?
How many submissions does FUXWITHIT receive per month? “I’d say about 500”, says Colin.
Consider that number every time you submit your music to a blog or playlist editor. You are 1 out of 500. How are you going to set yourself apart? How are you even going to get noticed?
Colin recommends, “The number one piece of advice is to make good music and hone your craft. Don’t send publications the first song you’ve ever made. Work on your craft until you’re truly confident and get real feedback from friends. If you send me something early on and it sucks, I’m probably not going to listen to your music ever again. First impressions matter”.
“If you’re able to get us to actually listen to the music it needs to be great. Make sure you’re bringing something fresh and original. If you’re sending us a future bass or trap record that sounds like every other future bass or trap record why would we feature yours?”
Research the websites, blogs, and review sites that are out there. What kind of artists are they featuring? Are they in line with what you are doing? Are you relevant to what they are doing?
If you have found a site you want to submit to, sign up, register, and interact. The best way to get featured is to have some sort of interaction or relationship with the blogger or writer/contributor to the website.
Colin advises, "one of the best things you can do is to build relationships with writers and editors at publications. This takes time and tact. It can start with a cold email or Twitter DM. If the publications engage with you, engage back and build from there. Once you have a direct line with a writer or editor it’s a lot easier to get your music heard and potentially featured. "
FUXWITHIT has a submission form on their website. Pretty basic information and they also have a comment box. So, what do you put in that little box of open space? Here are some things to consider.
- ”Don’t claim you’re the best new producer in the world or are about to drop the record of the year”. (Colin)
- Research the platform of the website you are contacting.
- Be genuine and straight to the point.
- Ask yourself what sets your music apart? What is special about you?
- Answers to these kinds of questions shouldn't be, “because its dope”. Prepare the listener as if it was a movie preview.
"[SONG TITLE, ALBUM NAME] is the debut from [INSERT LOCATION] native [INSERT ARTIST NAME].
This innovative offering in [INSERT GENRE] breaks ground with white-knuckled, nail-biting build-ups, ground leveling drops, mind-bending and intricate drum work, and melodies with driving exhilaration."
In those 2 sentences, you have told them exactly who you are, what you are pitching, what genre to expect and sparked some curiosity about your music.
When sending an email, this is what gets Colin's attention, "most emails I decide whether or not I’m going to read them off subject line alone. I’d suggest that you personalize each pitch. There’s nothing worse than when an artist blasts out a bcc’d email with a generic press release. Nothing says I don’t actually care about getting on your platform more than this. Some of the best cold submissions I received were from people genuinely praising our platform, citing articles they’ve enjoyed and then providing us their music saying since you liked xyz, I think you’ll like this. A little flattery never hurts as long as it’s true and genuine.
It also depends on who sends them. There is something cool about an artist reaching out directly but I also have a lot of good relationships with publicists and labels who I trust and at the very least will listen to everything they send me”.
Again, if the site has a form, use it. If they do have an email address you may want to send an EPK, Electronic Press Kit. EPK’s are where the press can find the information they need about you in order to conduct research to include in an article, a review, or interview.
The format should be in the form of a link. Sending a PDF is archaic and most phones don’t display them well. You can get a free website and you don’t need any high tech skills to build it.
For Yola click HERE
For Wix click HERE
For Weebly click HERE
A link to a streaming audio track is the best way to go. Sending a link to your website doesn’t instruct the person where to go or what to do. You want to make it is easy as possible for them. Sending an Mp3 attachment will also likely get you turned away. Remember 500 submissions, no one wants there mailbox junked up with downloads.
What you should include in your EPK
- High-Resolution Picture
- Artist Name
- Real Name
- Embedded streaming audio player
- Short Bio (with link to full bio)
- Free mp3
- Artwork(album cover, tour poster)
- Contact information (direct email to you, your manager, your label)
- Tour rider (if pitching to a venue)
Below you will find a template, and then the template filled in. No flash, no frills, just quick and easily accessible information.
If you would like to put what you’ve learned to the test, head on over to FUXWITHIT by clicking HERE.
Give some props and say hi to Colin.
The bottom line your music will speak for itself, however the wrong kind of introduction could damage your name. When your music is ready, research who you want to submit to, make some contacts, and prepare your pitch and EPK.
In the next article we will focus on engaging your fans and how they can be the best advertisers for your music.