Tips for the DIY musician: music submission

In the few years I’ve been in the music industry I’ve had my foot in different areas: marketing & PR, licensing, artist management and, the latest, publishing.

As an artist manager I’ve dealt a lot with independent musicians with all kinds of experience and, now in publishing, I very often go through several submissions from bands, producers, songwriters and all kinds of artists seeking a deal. Or at least that’s what you’d think from seeing them contact a music publisher.

However, many of these emails come with little or no information like the basic: who are you and what do you want?

I meant to have written this a while ago after meeting one too many bands who needed guidance. A LOT of guidance! But there are so many of these articles around in more popular websites, that I thought I’d focus on other areas…looks like people haven’t been doing their homework though so I thought I’d offer a word of advice.

Based on a large number of artists I’ve come across in the past few years, here are some tips that are way overdue. Some seem pretty obvious, but you’d be surprised with what people think is an acceptable submission! (Ps: this is a HELPING guide! No offence intended.)
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Music business: artist comeback case study

How do you promote the new album from an artist who went M.I.A for about a decade?

Take the most famous song from their heyday and record it as a duet with one of today’s cool, hip singers, add an extra beat or so and use it as a single.

That’s when you get Patricia Marx feat Seu Jorge with “Espelhos d’Água”, which, at the time of its original solo release (circa 1998), climbed the charts the fastest way you can take in Brazil: featuring it in a soap opera (preferably but not essentially, at prime time).

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not diminishing her work…especially that song, I used to LOVE it!!

I am simply trying to give an example of music marketing + A&R + artist management.