Celebrating victories, big or small, is as important as planning them. Yes, releasing a musical project is giving birth to a work of art! It’s months of hard work, debates with your team and fights with yourself, touch-ups, unexpected events, surprises, planning and strategizing your communication on social networks… So when you offer it to the public, you have to close this cycle, celebrate and promote the release of your musical project. It doesn’t matter if you are a party person or not: there is always a way to mark the occasion. And besides, you’re lucky enough to be in a business where celebrating is working…
Do you see where I’m going with this? To promote the release of your musical project (EP, album, mixtape) in an efficient way, you absolutely have to organize an event! Psychologically, it’s important for you, but moreover, it’s an opportunity to gather people around your music and to create excitement among them. This way, you ensure a success in terms of your reputation: word of mouth, meeting professionals, visibility…
I’m Theodore, editor in chief of NewTone media, I accompany artists in their development and you can also use Groover to contact me. Based on personal experiences and examples I have lived, I will give you 3 techniques to celebrate and promote the release of your musical project.
1. The release party
Celebrating the release of a mainstream or pop musical project: a big feature
The release party to celebrate the release of a musical project is the most obvious. Some artists, like SCH for his album Rooftop or Jok’Air for Jok’Travolta, even go as far as to mediatize their release party. Events, VIP guests, 3 star catering, butlers, decoration… When the label has the means, it can go very far. So far that it may seem inaccessible to you, as an independent artist. However, if you think about it, this staging fulfills very basic objectives. It’s about inviting media and industry professionals to join, support and promote the release of your musical project. They will leave with memories that they will recount, privately in their lives or publicly in their media’s forums, that will make the image of the celebrated artist.
Celebrating the release of an indie music project: what a bonus!
Adapted to your scale, the objective is to reinforce the link with your community and to encourage the media to promote the release of your musical project. And this is within your reach! For an artist who would have 1000 followers on Instagram, there are 30 to 50 who will be ready to come to your release party. That alone, is 30 to 50 stories in which you will be mentioned during the evening, creating visibility on your Instagram account. Even better: the next day, at work, in class or at the local bar, these people will tell others about the evening they shared with you. Their friends’ first instinct? Subscribe to you on Instagram or Spotify. Digital communication techniques are effective when they are mastered, but nothing replaces spoken word, the face-to-face communication, the spontaneity and effectively of word-of-mouth.
At this release party, it’s important that you invite a few pros. With a bit of luck, you have journalists in your network, or people who work in recording studios, concert halls, bars, for festivals, etc. So use your contacts to get them to come! Who knows, maybe this is a chance for them to really discover your music and offer you an opportunity? If you think you know anyone who is involved in music, then find people who are approachable and might be interested in this type of event and music! Journalists and founders of niche media, emerging beatmakers or engineers, young managers or music industry students… After an evening of listening to your musical project and witnessing the excitement of your community, chances are they will want to work with you! And then, you’ll make those months spent in the studio worthwhile.
Celebrating the release of an independent musical project: how do you do it?
You’re probably wondering how you’re going to organize this? It’s simple, and not necessarily expensive. Go to your favorite bar, or one that you think is suitable. Often, you can privatize the room for a fee. This is an option if you have a little budget and it will be more profitable than Google Ads. But be smart: choose a weekday and find a bar that doesn’t have too much traffic… That way, you’ll be in a good position to negotiate: you’ll bring in 30 to 40 people who will consume on a night where the bar would have few customers! All you need to ask of them is to choose the music that plays that night and the right to make a speech thanking everyone and presenting your musical project. Besides, why privatize? Let the by-standers be attracted by the crowd and come to discover your music by chance!
I’ve accidentally been to many parties like these and almost all the time, they convinced me to talk about the artist and their musical release on NewTone media, which I manage.
Does this seem attainable to you now? I hope so, but if this type of event isn’t for you, don’t worry! There are other techniques.
2. Listening party in the studio with industry pros
Have people discover your music in the best way possible
The best way to discover an album is to listen to it in the studio. Quality speakers, a very musical atmosphere, a tension in the room with each sound. And above all, the best conditions to listen to an album: from the first to the last track, without interruption, without doing the dishes, without the smell of the subway, without reading your emails at the same time.
The objective is similar to the one sought with the release party: invite professionals and members of your community to provoke a strong connection to your project. Obviously, a studio is smaller: you will have to make a precise selection of guests. For the pros, be relevant in your invitations: propose the listening session to media and labels that work on music really similar to yours. For your community you can, for example, make a contest to win 2 tickets. Trust me, your listeners will thank you.
In terms of organization, nothing could be easier. Either you already have your habits in a studio which can be appropriate for a listening party or you are in a home studio and you will have to rent a studio. For a 2 hour session, it will cost you between 50 and 150 euros depending on the studio you choose. Plan some drinks and snacks to make your guests feel good!
Personally, I tend to prefer this setup than the release party. It is more intimate and you are closer to the music. You can really discuss with the artist, in depth about their musical project, ask them specific questions and get answers. It’s useful to organize a media relay afterwards. On the other hand, you can bring fewer people… It’s up to you if you want to create deep links or if you want to celebrate!
Some artists even go as far as doing their listening session live on networks like Instagram, YouTube or Twitch. This is what Damso had done by inviting Konbini to relay the event. This interesting and efficient device brings me to the 3rd technique!
3. A first listen with influencers
Use an influencer to promote the release of your musical project
This technique is to make an event on social networks to communicate on the release of your musical project in collaboration with an influencer. Attention: when I say “influencer”, I’m really talking about anyone who has a little more influence than you. This person can very well be an artist featured on your musical project, and whose community is slightly more developed than yours. Whatever the scale, the idea is to be visible by your guest’s community, in order to convince them to listen to your musical project and to follow you on social media.
The advantage of this technique is that you can do it without leaving your home! You can even combine it with one of the previous techniques. For example, you can invite an influencer to your release party and ask them to do a live recording on their Instagram account at the time of the listening! With the internet, the possibilities are endless.
Choose the right influencer to promote the release of your musical project
So don’t close any doors. Scour YouTube and Instagram for influencers who talk about rap if you rap, rock if you rock. Invite someone whose community is really likely to like your work! Obviously, on a small scale, don’t aim at Squeezie, Gota or Inox… Start slowly and tell yourself that an influencer with 5K or 10K is already excellent if you have 10 times less! Also, don’t make the mistake of thinking that it’s unattainable. Influencers are entertainers: it’s not uncommon for them to love the music business. Maybe they will be delighted by your invitation and you will start a long-lasting relationship! Finally, don’t forget that their influence is also their work tool: there is nothing shocking to pay for their performance or attendance. Just be careful to work with someone serious who hasn’t bought their subscribers and who will bring a real added value to your event.
A live : how do you manage it?
What to do when you are going live ? It’s simple: each person has their role! You are the artist: you play each track and you can introduce them to explain how you created them, talk about your inspirations or give the theme of the text. They are the entertainer: they will have to react to each sound, make jokes, ask questions, give an opinion… Believe me, you will quickly reach one hour of live performance, even for a 25 minutes EP!
Recently, I saw an artist going live on Twitch where they were listening to their project and commenting on it, while playing their favorite video game. This platform is perfectly suited to promote the release of your music project! Moreover, it arouses curiosity and brings back the gaming community who is passionate about this game: all good things!
Honestly, it’s not my favorite method because I’m more into physical meetings and in-person interaction. That said, the social impact of this kind of event is much more important and allows you to get closer to your community. If you’re good at streaming, don’t hesitate for a second!
The main lesson is that every musical project is a milestone in your career. It should be celebrated, but also used as an opportunity to meet people and strengthen the bonds with your audience. It would be a shame to miss this opportunity to connect with people, beyond Instagram posts announcing the release of your project. By implementing one of these three techniques at a lower cost, you ensure the evolution of your career and the profitability of your music project! Moreover, it’s the best way to understand how your music makes people feel and which songs are the most effective. Indeed, they are in front of you and you can see their reactions live!
So for your next project, I’m waiting for your invitation!
To go further:> How to prepare the release of a new single and increase your visibility > Releasing music in 2022: 6 promotion strategies that work right now > The complete guide to release music the best way
– Translated by Betty Gonzalez Gray –