Shed Records/Publishing is a small independent devoted to the discovery and success of talented young artists in the pop and commercial dance fields.
Established in 2004, we are passionate about finding the very best.
Our main featured artist is Natisse www.natisse.com
To do everything you need to do these days to stand out, you need help! Ask friends, family and fans for this help. No one is good at everything and you need to accept that no matter how precious you are about your music/act.
A successful campaign is one that covers radio, press, TV etc all at the same time. You need be everywhere at once. This is because as a general rule, a song needs to be heard 3 times (in close succession) before it sticks in a persons head and they like it. So the more opportunities for them to check out your new single the better. Example: On the way to work, they hear you on the radio (1st listen) then at the gym later that day or the next they see your track on a video whilst working out (2nd listen) then some time shortly after that they read something that makes them want to check you out and as a result they stream your song (3rd listen- and you are there, or not if you are simply not good enough lol lol lol). So whatever resources/money you have, use them wisely and plan!!!!. It’s called the music business for a reason- unfortunately you have to treat it like a business and you have to work at it. So if you can’t do this yourself, try to get a manager (this could be a friend or keen fan if you can’t convince someone with industry experience to take you on) to do this for you. Once the money has been spent, it’s gone (again, stating the bleeding obvious Sherlock).
So we are back to your fan base. They will buy songs, merchandise and tickets to your live shows…. and if you ask them, a lot more to help. The bigger your fan base the more this will raise to spend on your campaign to prove to Radio, TV, Press etc that the balls they don’t actually have, are not on the chopping block.
SHED Records have and are still battling with many of the above as you could proabably tell by the frustration in the writing lol. We have had our artist featured on the BBC and Radio 1 (news), have had successful national/regional radio campaigns achieving radio support on A, B, C, playlists, Specialist and spot plays. We have achieved more than 500,000 hits on one version of a dub step mix we released on YouTube alone (plus many other remixes and releases of singles) We have achieved 5 Top 20 Commercial Dance Chart results and one Top 10. Despite this and much more I could tell you about, we are still trying to convince radio, TV, press…etc. to grow a pair. I tell you this so you know when I say you have to work at it; you get an idea of what is needed- or just be incredibly lucky. If you think about it, even X factor acts that have had millions of people watching them for weeks often don’t make it. Yes this is a mountain to climb, but the view from the top is amazing (they tell me) and if you don’t gear up and try to climb it, you will never know.
Good luck- you will need some of this too. Never give up!
1. Top three (or more) tips for new and emerging talent to stay afloat and last long term.
I’m often asked to give tips to new and emerging artists and nothing gives me great pleasure. But to give the definitive ‘top 3’ is always difficult because it depends on the artist, genre and stage of development.
Also, being brutally honest, we often do not follow our own advice- mainly due to time, but if you are serious about success, then you have to make time for what I am about to recommend to you. After some 8 + years in the industry and speaking to many successful acts, labels and artist management, these things matter and they work.
Whilst we have a label website, it is rarely kept up to date – which is pretty bad and definitely one thing we would encourage you to do the opposite. “So do as we say, not as we do lol”.
In this modern age of instant information, your fans will want to know what is going on and feel part of your success (even small steps forward). If you don’t keep them up dated and interested, you will lose them- it’s as simple as that. Try to keep the information you put up on all your social media relevant and interesting and try not to make it all about sales of your music- genuine fans will want to support you and buy your music anyway….. if every other message is “buy this” and “buy that”, you will switch them off.
SHED was one of the first 100 companies selected by YouTube to work with them direct to improve the results of our channel. Here are a few of the tips they gave us:
- Always have a landing page video, which auto plays. This should be you the artist speaking to the fans, welcoming them and telling them what to expect. Make sure in this video that you actually ask the viewer to hit the ‘Like’ button (very important). This will be the ‘first impression’ new visitors to your channel will get, so make it count
- Don’t just put up music videos. Try things like recording you talking about the lyrics of a song and their meaning to you as the artist.
- Try to put up a new video at least twice a week- even if you simply film yourself on your mobile shopping for a new stage outfit or something
- Try to involve them. You might ask for feedback on cover artwork or even run a competition to design it….. anything that will encourage them to come back to your sites and feel part of what you are trying to achieve with your music.
Generally, use links to your various social media sites/website on everything you do: e-mail, posters/flyers, physical singles/CD’s, business cards…….. and make sure everything links to everything else. Unfortunately, people today are lazy with their internet (that’s us/you too by the way) and if it takes more than 2 ‘clicks’ to get to what they are looking for, they are likely to give up- 2 seconds memory and interest of a goldfish doh.
This is the key to everything!!!!!! Now days (excuse the rant, but you need to understand this, to explain the importance of fan base). Major Records Labels, Radio Stations, TV, Press…. Have no balls at all. They do everything by committee, so if something goes wrong, no one person gets the blame and fired. It’s all about profit at the end of the day. Examples:
1. Commercial radio stations make their money from companies that advertise with them as a rule. The larger the radio stations audience, the more they can demand from advertisers- makes sense? So if they decide to play music too far away from what every other radio station out there is playing, they run the risk of you tuning into another station and maybe losing you as a regular listener for good. If enough people act the same way, audience numbers plummet and so does their advertising fees and profits as a result!!! So particularly with new un-known acts, this is a huge risks in their eyes based on what I have just explained and hence my comment that they do not have the balls for. Even Radio 1 which is funded by license fee money is the same. They have to justify the spending of this license fee and the way this is measured is based on total % of UK radio audience…. So they too play safe and follow the commercial stations to make sure they hit the required %- If everyone is pretty much playing the same thing, you might as well stay tuned to them- sad but true. So your fan base/on-line hits/views is the best way they can assess how safe playing your music is likely to be. If you have a huge fan base/on line success, there is a good chance people listening to them broadcast you over the radio will not tune to a different station i.e. if the numbers are large enough, “that many people cannot be wrong about your music”.
2. Record labels make their money from record sales (no shit Sherlock) and some take a cut of live and merchandise too. For a major to sign you, they have to figure on spending a lot of money on recording the record and promoting it. The days of signing up 10 acts and only needing one to make it to cover the costs of the 9 that didn’t (and still make good profits) have gone. This mainly due to people stealing digital content- don’t get me started on that. Before the internet revolution, we only had the music choice of what we could buy in the shops and this was controlled by the big labels- happy days for them. Now days profits mainly come from loyal fan bases and ‘live’ ticket sales and merchandise to those same fans…… So if you can already prove a track record of sales and fan base, they suddenly ‘grow a pair’ but not usually a big pair- but it’s a start. Without this, don’t expect them lining up outside your rehearsal studio- again they make these decisions by committee (usually held once a week- A&R bring to the meeting acts they like and the reasons/evidence why they believe the music will sell.)
3. News papers sell based on what the journalists write (again, no shit Sherlock). If the story isn’t interesting or juicy people don’t want to know and won’t buy the paper- so sadly even if you are the next big thing unless you have enough fans out there that want to read about you and buy their papers to do it, they won’t write about you.
I think you get the message based on the above. Pretty much, you have to do the work these days. Catch 22, you need these peoples help to get to find your new fans, but they won’t help unless you have the fans. So never miss an opportunity to capture a potential fan e-mail address/contact and work the social media as if your music career depended on it- because it does. At shows, make sure someone is actively working the crowd asking for contact information- only requires a pen and paper and the courage to ask. If they say no, then they are probably not going to be a fan and you don’t want their contact details anyway? Always use things like sign up for news letters to also capture this information.
I know it’s obvious, but make the song the best it can be-recording quality and song content. You normally only get one chance to convince a new fan they like your music. So don’t settle for the first version of the song you write or the first version recorded and mixed…… play with the song and be honest. If you don’t like the song or how it sounds quality wise they probably won’t either. If you put out to much ‘ok’ stuff, that’s what they will come to expect and won’t rush to listen to your latest release –SO ONLY LET THEM HEAR YOUR BEST WORK (no album fillers while you are starting out).