Wednesday, April 19, 2017

You need a story

This is one of the most common errors artists do. When it comes to release a new thing they always forget the story. The truth is that the music is actually no story at all.
I get so many press releases where they tell how the recorded the album in a cabin, their grandmothers kitchen, the most fancy studio in the world, even Abby Road. Do you know what? No one cares. The normal reader doesn’t care where the song is recorded, this is not a story. And it won’t get them to listen to the song.

We worked with this producer. This is also a common thing. Sure a good producer name is good. But doesn’t relay tickle the bloggers or the readers. I had really really big names that didn’t went anywhere. And to be honest the producer is not that of a story.

The song is about something that the artist cares about. Yes that is probably why you wrote the song. I at least hope so. Still it won’t get any press or any listeners.

So what is a story? It needs a conflict or dilemma. If you went into Abby road with Rick Rubin recording a great song and everyone was happy. It’s not the thing I would like to read about. It’s more, good for you and if I like your band I might listen to the song and see what Rick did to it. But then I need to be a fan and know your old songs.

Often artist thinks that the press doesn’t read your prerelease, well they do is just it doesn’t reach their attention. I send out at least 10 to 15 press releases a month. And 99% of them are not interesting. Mainly because it’s just about a band releasing a new song or album. You try to find a good angle. So I will you one of my best ones.

I work with Adée and she was going to SXSW witch is the biggest showcase festival in the world. Only around 10 acts from Sweden go every year. That is a good story? No it’s not , the local media in her hometown of Kalmar react on that, but the Swedish press didn’t care.

So we added that she where going to produce a song with a Grammy awarded producer in USA. Actually no one cared about that one, not even locally.

So we added to release a new single when she was on SXSW in Austin Texas. Dumb idea, making promotion things when you are handling the world’s largest showcase is never good.
All this is mainly the things people comes up as news for press releases. I did too. The reaction was kind of small.

Then her guitarist got bitten by a scorpion. It’s painful and we had some panic and got him to a doctor and so on. In the afternoon it was fine. Okay he was in pain but got some relief.  I was sitting by the pool and thought. We should do a press release on this. I can write it in my phone, access the send out, but only part of the mailing system.
Her friend Bosse asked me
- Should you not talk to Adée before if someone calls for a interview?
- Nahh. It’s 3 in the morning in Sweden and we meet her in 40 minutes I can tell her then, I replied. And I only gave my cellphone number in the press release.

Wrote a press release “Swedish Guitarist bitten by scorpion, Adées tour in danger”.

So here you have some components. The weird factor being bitten by scorpion. Nothing like that happens in Sweden every day. The conflict, since the guitarist was bitten he couldn’t play the last two gigs, so they had to do it with backtracks. In reality that was not an issue, still in the press it looked really bad for Adée to lose her guitarist like this. In the end I put in, new single out.

After 20 minutes Ida called me. Then the biggest newspaper in Sweden had picked it up found her number and called her. So I had to explain the whole thing. Then my phone started to ring. In the end this news was on over 100 different media outlets in Sweden.

This is what the PR departments on record labels was good at. I have seen so many crazy stunts that have pulled off just to have a weird crazy conflict. Even cutting the breaks on the artist tour bus to create a crash.

And it proves they read it because I was only sending to half my system and still got more out than any press release that. In the end it’s all about the story.

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