Submitting Unsolicited Work

(The real reason you are struggling to get noticed by the right people.)

The life of a independent artist with no following is very hard to grasp for anyone who is not familiar with the entertainment business. You spend all this time and money producing quality music and doing everything right only to get a few streams, plays or views on your struggling music platforms.

Why are industry artist famous and you are struggling to get twenty of your closest friends to listen to your music? Assuming you have a viable sound, look and the ability to generate a buzz, it could be as simple as submitting unsolicited work.

Let’s start with social media, a haven for misinformation and new entertainers who assume this is the best way to get heard by the masses.

You post content on a regular basis and have a solid following of friends, family and co-workers. That stupid picture you posted of your dog got over 1,000 views and countless comments, so why wouldn’t your music get the same attention? How hard could it really be to get your music heard using social media?

Many of you know the answer, it’s very hard. Still, you keep pushing and double down on the things that don’t work. How many times this month did you drop a link on a tweet or post that had nothing to do with music. Your thinking was, the original tweet or post got a lot of engagement so by dropping my link a percent of people will click on my music link.

On the off chance this works for you, stick to what is getting your music attention and learn how to use the rest to amplify your reach. For most of you, the effort you spend dropping links will get you a lot less back. As a self promoting artist, you want to believe that you can get people to listen if you keep dropping links.

This is where artist go wrong. If you continue to show up where you don’t belong, that could be a huge red flag to entertainment professionals looking for talent to work with.

Learn early, FOLLOW DIRECTION. If you are told to fill out a form, fill it out. if you are told your music is not good enough for specific reasons, fix the issues mentioned. Adapt, adjust and understand that this is part of the business.

Think about it, your first day at a new school or job, are you trying to climb the ranks to CEO or valedictorian based off your potential? The answer is a clear NO. You work your way from the bottom to the top and you are happy to do so. The same goes for your music and how you get yourself heard by the right people.

The fact of the matter is that artist can be their greatest asset or liability depending on their ability to follow direction. Simply put, getting the contact information of a well known entertainment professional doesn’t mean your entitled to submit your work to that entertainment professional.

Thousands of emails with music links and other kinds of content including inflated social media links and platforms are submitted and ignored daily. A&R’s will submit content to the appropriate people because the A&R’s have a working relationship with the people they are submitting music to.

This is where things get funny, the A&R has the ability to turn this into a small side hustle and this is where many artist get caught up in bad situations. You pay someone to do something but that someone has no power, all they can do is send your music along with a few notes and that’s it. They can’t get you meetings and if they do, the people they introduce you to are not taking the meeting that serious.

Is there a chance those situations can blossom into something real? Of course. Not likely but there is ALWAYS a small chance. Like crashing your crashing into a brick wall and hitting the only soft spot on that wall. Get it?

For the sake of this article we will use A&R as the example but this translates to promoters, managers, booking agents, management companies, DJs, Radio Stations Etc. Basically, people in power who can help you get heard/seen by large audiences.

How to get yourself noticed by the RIGHT people?

You want to start by creating a PRESS KIT – the best advice we can give you is to google: What is a press kit? and create one using a simple Word Processing application. There are also websites like ReverbNation and Artist E Card that can help you create a press kit for free or for a low cost.

The press kit is a wonderful guide to help you figure out what you should do next based on the way the press kit is laid out. DO NOT WORRY ABOUT SPENDING THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS ON PROFESSIONAL PICTURES AND MUSIC VIDEOS IF YOU HAVE NO BUDGET.

Work with what you have but keep in mind you are building your resume and this is the FIRST THING entertainment professionals look at when dealing with new talent.

Connect with and network with artist and entertainment professionals like yourself. The best way to do this is by supporting and promoting the work they produce. You should include your own music in the promotion, but keep in mind, there is a bigger picture. You don’t want to make this a full time thing, this is a small part of building your reputation.

Document and promote your story and music on social media, blogs, interviews as well as creating behind the scenes content for your fans, this will be a part of your regular promotion and allow you to post relevant content on a consistent basis. The key here is creating and sticking to a routine.

In a pre-covid world we would say find events to perform at but we are not there yet. Performing is a HUGE part of helping indie artist get heard and seen by the right people. If you can find performances or create performance opportunities in a safe manner – do it. One of the best ways to get discovered is by doing what you do LIVE so never stop developing your performance.

Now, we can create a made up situation but let’s focus on blogs and interview opportunities. This is a low budget way to test your ability to follow directions and see if you can get people who don’t know you to help you get publicity.

Submit for opportunities with 10 platforms. See how many reply in a favorable way. Please Note: If they ask for money, that does not count as being ignored or rejected.

Some platforms do accept unsolicited work as long as their is a fee attached. *Everyone is entitled to their own business model. If you choose to ignore anything that involves a fee – do not count it as a negative thing – count it as something that doesn’t fit your business plan.

You want to get 1 response out of 10 applications. Once you get to the point where you are doing more interviews and getting more placement on blogs then you are requesting, it’s time to upgrade and focus on getting your music heard on internet and regular radio stations.

Remember, all your promotion should be directed to your followers. While promoting, look for opportunities and pay attention to the proper way to apply for those opportunities.

By following these steps, you will present yourself as a professional, increasing the chances of making the right impression to the right people. This includes upgrading your followers to actual fans.

The press kit is the guide to who you are as a musician. The content you promote on your social media, will show you have a understanding, when it comes to proper networking and promotion.

Once opportunities pop up on your time line, you will have a solid opening to present yourself. DO NOT FORGET TO CREATE A CAPTIVATING COVER LETTER TO GO WITH YOUR PRESS KIT.

In conclusion, stop submitting unsolicited word and focus on what works. Creating a press kit that compliments your music. Connecting with like minded individuals and artist, and getting yourself the right kind of publicity.

Written By Dutch Schultz of #StictlyBidness

Sixxpho

What kind of music do you make ? hip hop/rap

I make music with purpose. The art of storytelling is missing from the scene today, and my music brings that element back with gritty beats and word play. My influences stem from the likes of Scarface, Bun-B, T.I., Big K.R.I.T. and Outkast. The songwriting process starts with how I’m feeling at the moment and which life story can I put into motion with that feeling. I want the listeners to listen to one of my songs and instantly be able to relate to the lyrics, and let the production touch their soul.


How old are you? 44


How old were you when you started creating music? 26


What are your goals when it comes to your music career? My goal is to become a household name.


What do you want the reader to know about you and your music? My music represents me and my story. I feel like authenticity is most important when creating songs and has to be to establish that connection.

Twitter : @sixxpho_615


Instagram : @sixxpho_615

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/6CRWemdc0k6iZ5vw65ll3u?si=aUKeNZQYSjaAvjJAZXLmHw

Pepe and the Bandits

What is your artist name? Pepe and the Bandits

What kind of music do you make? I make music that is easy on the ears. Catchy acoustic guitar

Pepe is a singer/songwriter from the UK.

After helping a friend move he found a very beat up and old guitar in a skip with no strings on, he claimed this magical guitar, restored it, restrung it, got some lessons and the rest is history.

Pepe also plays Piano, he looked for many years in lots of different skips but to no avail, so he had to buy one.

Influenced by catchy songs that are easy on the ear, with good strong lyrics.

​My influences have been the Eels, The Flamming Lips, Edward Sharp and the magnetic Zeros and Mason Jennings


How old are you?  51


How old were you when you started creating music? I started playing guitar in my late 20s , had a few years of lessons.


What are your goals when it comes to your music career? I just enjoy making music that people want to listen to. I also want to concentrate on Sync Licensing I’m often told my music would sound TV and Film.


What do you want the reader to know about you and your music?  I once appeared in a PC World advert “Over 1200 titles” was my part

I used to get into all music venues in my youth as a good friend was also a good friend of Prodigy members, so we used to get on the guest list as Dancers and never queued, I have seen the Prodigy live dozens of times, can’t remember many of them though 😂

I’m working on a more upbeat single at the moment “Never going to let you Go” which is being mixed and mastered by Bret Sinclair a well respected sound Engineer.

Twitter: @Jozefthemad

Instagram: @Pepe_and_the_bandits

Website: www.pepeandthebandits.com

Song Whip: https://songwhip.com/pepeandthebandits

STG TANK

What kind of music do you make ? Hip hop/R&B and trap music

The music I make I make it so other people can take another perspective on life and see how someone else’s life is but through music

A couple influences would be my cousin DRAMAx2 also Sheff g, j cole, Tupac, mob deep, rio da young og, drego, lil beno, trippie redd and my brother Fularen Ty


How old are you? 20


How old were you when you started creating music? 17-18


What are your goals when it comes to your music career? I wanna be rich and help my family with the struggle they going through


What do you want the reader to know about you and your music?  That no it’s not sad music it’s more of drill/hip hop music with a lil bit of R&B


Instagram : @T.a.n.k.38

Soundcloud: https://m.soundcloud.com/stg-x-tank

Apollo Clone

What is your artist name? Apollo Clone

What kind of music do you make?  I describe the vibes I emanate as a compelling Alternative Rap sound infused with a spacey, emo twist, atop some live instrumentation. There is compassion behind every word said, and the listener will feel that.

My fans will generally be people who like good flow, profound lyrics and a captivating voice over lofi and ambient production. My choruses are catchy, verses are thought-provoking, and the beats will put the listener in a pleasant trance. Any fan of rap will become a fan of Apollo Clone.

As far as what sets me apart from others, at the risk of sounding arrogant, would be my versatility. I can do a slow, lofi or spacey song with more of a singing grace to it, and then maybe suddenly go into a conscious flow with sporadic cadence. I guess I pride myself on the dynamics of presence on the track. Sometimes someone will hear a track of mine and ask me who the feature was when there wasn’t one. It was still me. Just mixing it up. There’s just so much style to master with words and mood that I can’t limit myself to one. That goes for genre too. You might hear me do an alternative pop song, followed by a lofi emo track, and then spit fire over a conscious rap beat, finishing up with a melodic trap joint. Hell, I’ve probably done something with two or three of those in one. Why not? I don’t subscribe to a set of rules or parameters when it comes to making music. I’ve certainly blended some genres along the way.

I’ve loved music for as long as I can remember. When I was ten years old, I would fall asleep with the stereo radio blaring all night. This was Q101 in Chicagoland. I could legit tell you the name and artist/band of every single song that came on. And I was ten.

As far as writing music, that began in 2011. I was really depressed and lonely, being so far away from home (I went to college in Montana, kind of the middle of nowhere.) That’s when I started really getting into Rap & Hip Hop. It inspired me. I would get high and journal my feelings into creative rhymes because I’ve always excelled at writing. Writing quickly turned into freestyling, and shortly after, I bought Pro Tools and taught myself to compose.

Making music gave me the freedom to express myself, Carte Blanche and the more I learned, the more attached I became and passionate about turning it into something bigger than a hobby. I don’t remember the first song I made, but I’m sure it wasn’t good. I probably had bars and conscious lyrics, but the composition was amateur as hell. The flow was probably all over the place, and I was still finding my voice.

Kid Cudi would have to be the prototypical artist who inspired me to create. His stoner, loner persona brought a somber yet earnest motivation to me. And I had never heard production quite like it. It was music that an alternative rock or electronic band would make. And then he would be rapping over it. But it worked. The sound was unprecedented in Rap but just so refreshing and captivating. When I was getting into Hip Hop, Kid Cudi was playing in every single dorm room on campus. He was on everyone’s iPod lol. Around the same time, I was really getting into B.O.B. too. Aside from that, you can say Wiz Khalifa, Lil Wayne, and Kanye. I’m sure there are more, but this was a while ago, I don’t remember.

Then a few years later, I was OBSESSED with Childish Gambino. And now for the past year or so it’s been the sad-rap, lo-fi, emo stuff- namely Lil Peep. In the artists that inspire me as well as the music I create, it’s never been limited to one genre. I dropped out of college entering my third year to move to Los Angeles in pursuit of a career in the music/film industry. When no one took me or my sound seriously, I continued to write over the instrumentals I created. I enjoyed the freedom of being able to write about whatever thoughts were trapped in my head and portraying them onto my own compositions. My music became a journal. When I wasn’t working, I spent my time auditioning for film and television during the day and doing open mics at night. Even after a couple of good acting gigs, I was assured that music was more of a passion to me. I then moved to Atlanta to network and market my album “Pills Kill Genius.”

I’ve been at this for years now. In the beginning, it could have been a fad. It could have been a hobby. It could have been just something to try and soon abandon once the improbable reality of becoming an influential icon in the rap scene set in. I never stopped believing. This journey has been tantalizing. But it has taken me all over and showed me new people, experiences, and emotions. There has been lots of sadness. There have been many times when I asked if this was worth fighting so hard for. An insurmountable sum of blood, sweat, tears, time and money has been poured into this mission. Alas, all these trials and tribulations have been converted to stories and messages in my music… things to write about. If somebody feels like the world doesn’t believe in them, I have a song for that. If someone has lived out of their car while trying to make it in a new city, I have a song for that. If someone has turned to drugs and alcohol to cope with the loneliness, only to watch those artificial companions release more demons over time, I have a song for that. If there’s someone out there that would give up the security of living near family, or the compassion from a partner that loves them but doesn’t support their journey, or even the safety of a corporate, salary paying position… if there’s someone that would give up on all of that before giving up on their dreams… come hear my message.

One of my deepest desires is to relay my philosophy, to ’embrace the outcast’ to my audience. I want for them to cherish their differences and not try to fit in with everyone else. Keep an open mind. What if you’re right and they’re all wrong?


How old are you?  28


How old were you when you started creating music? 19. But I wasn’t professional about it until around 6 years after that.


What are your goals when it comes to your music career?  I want to be classified as one of the first prominent rappers- a pioneer- in my genre, with others recognizing my sound and adhering to the messages instilled within the music I create. Since I was a teenager, I dreamed of returning to my home city of Chicago and playing a set at Lollapalooza.

Ultimately, I yearn to create a legacy of inspiration for younger artists who feel lost amidst the chaos in their lives. I can give them a voice to follow and sooth their uneasiness. And of course I also wish to make a living off what I love doing: creating content, namely music.


What do you want the reader to know about you and your music?  One of the biggest mental struggles was getting over the notion that the world didn’t believe in me. If I could take back all of the time, I spent feeling sorry for myself, who knows how much further along the road I would be. Of course, living out of my car while trying to make it in Los Angeles has to be near the top of the list. I was just so unprepared. Turning to drugs and alcohol to cope with the loneliness, then watching those artificial companions release more demons over time, that was hell. But I know I wouldn’t be where I’m at, and have that substance to chronicle in my music if I didn’t go through all of that and emerge in one piece. I also gave up the security of living near family, and relationships with people who loved me but didn’t support my journey. I even neglected the safety net of a salary, corporate position in the pursuit of making it as a musician. I think when you go through all of that, there’s not much more that scares you. Now I have the knowledge that I won’t give up this crazy dream, despite the elements and harsh odds.

Twitter : @apollo_clone


Instagram : @apolloclon

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/6iD1omJ46ssXjwFeeyAgah?si=DLIFtobZRO-GlJTBAMOaRw

Soundcoud: soundcloud.com/apolloclone

JaDaya Koray

What is your artist name? JaDaya Koray

What kind of music do you make?  I make rnb, rnb that gives you a good feel. That feel you felt when you heard music in the late 90’s/ early 2000’s . With a flair to keep up with today’s musics Trap trends. It’s the best of both worlds, blended effortlessly and organically.

Growing up I listened to a lot different, I grew up in a music household. With a recording studio in the bottom floor of my house. My father was CONSTANTLY recording. As for any outside influences. I grew up listening to a lot of usher, Destiny’s Child, Keisha Cole, Monica, Charlie Wilson, avant, just to name a few. As I started to branch off on my own to find that sound that resonated with me that time I started to pull from people like jhene Aiko Chris brown, Rihanna, Drake, Trey Songz, and first and mostly Beyoncè. In a sense you can say I love Beyoncé like she loves Tina Tuner. I’ve always had my own creative flair because again music as been apart of my life since before grade school. I want people to pull emotion and be able to relate to my music or when that song comes on I want you to FEEL the music AND the words. In a way that you can’t help but tap your foot hum a melody or get up and dance.


How old are you? 20


How old were you when you started creating music? I could hum before I could talk. And I started recording music when I was 9years old.


What are your goals when it comes to your music career? I want to be a legend. To be the best living performer of my time.


What do you want the reader to know about you and your music? All of my music comes from a very genuine place. So I want my listeners to feel the same way I did when I made the song. There are some people on this earth that were MAKE for this. Not chasing clout not a backup plan, not a joy ride to live lavishly and have no REAL passion for music. But Next in the run for long gevity in music


Twitter : @_jadayakoray


Instagram : @Jadayakoray

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/user-330923729

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/3ITYTWPte2CszFKeUpeMnt

Ceo Cloutboi

What is your artist name? Ceo Cloutboi

What kind of music do you make ? New school rap/hip-hop


I once started under the influence of xxxtentacion, also trying to imitate his style, talking facts, my lyrics are hardly ever meaningless because with every verse I tell literally something about what it’s happening in that moment of my life


How old are you?  17


How old were you when you started creating music? 15


What are your goals when it comes to your music career?  I hope to change something about music industry and make really great thing with the notoriety which I’m trying to do even now


What do you want the reader to know about you and your music? I’m really trying to develop a style of mine, something no one ever heard

Soundcloud: https://m.soundcloud.com/user-405473044

Youtube: https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCqG-jKtBJVQXYMBpM7B3O7g#

MiSTR

What is your artist name? MiSTR

What kind of music do you make? I make soul rap music

I make a variety of music, bouncing from emotion to emotion, from love to pain to pride etc..
I am influenced by an array of artists, the likes of Kendrick Lamar, J.Cole, Bryson Tiller, Drake, Stormzy, Lil Wayne, Nasty C, the list is endless. I believe everyone I encounter impacts my style.
My process depends on the circumstances, when I am being featured, I feed off of the creativity of the artist who’s putting me on while when I am working on solos, I start writing to an instrumental off-the-bat and then, according to what I come up with, conceptualize.
I would like a listener to take what they take from my songs because expression is viewed from different perspectives.


How old are you? 23


How old were you when you started creating music?  20


What are your goals when it comes to your music career? I want to communicate my truth – I want to monetize my craft


What do you want the reader to know about you and your music?  My music is my journal.

Twitter : @mistrfromugand


Instagram : @mistrfromuganda

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VriViiF3BKI&feature=youtu.be&autoplay=1&mute=0

L.P

What is your artist name?  L.P

What kind of music do you make?  I make music for people can relate too real life situation. I also make music for the ladies as well and some club bangers for fans to get a view of me as a artist also a songwriter as well and wrote for some up and coming artist. Im a different kind of artist with that old school new school flow mix all together in one ball.

I make music where my fans can relate to the music I’m making maybe they can understand the situation of the track I release maybe that fan went threw that situation and I bring light to that fan eyes to make them what to check out my music and me as a artist even more.


How old are you? 30


How old were you when you started creating music?  I started writtng my first ever song at age 15 when I was starting high school. I started out writing poverty poems on a regular and I just turn mostly all them poems I use to write into songs.


What are your goals when it comes to your music career?  My goal is to have a good career in music independent hopefully start my own record label or company where I can help over artist aswell including myself and we can come together to start a brand and hopefully make a change and impact in the music industry.


What do you want the reader to know about you and your music? I want the readers to know that my music is good for radio play as well I even have music for all ages can listen to young and old and that I take my music real serious and I will be just be thankful if you’ll check my music out and tell me what you’ll think of me as a artist and my Music.


Twitter : @wavelp

Instagram : @lpnewwave11

Youtube: https://youtu.be/SoNmXa8_qxU

AudioMack: https://audiomack.com/lp-newwave/favorites

Tha Faction

What is your artist name? Tha Faction

What kind of music do you make? We make hiphop music


I feel we make universal hiphop. We just dont cater to one specific rrgion or area. We deal with producers from all over the world , so our sound isn’t one in the same.


How old are you?  We are in our 40’s


How old were you when you started creating music ? Together we started in 2017. We became a group in 2019


What are your goals when it comes to your music career? To do this as a full time job , but independently.


What do you want the reader to know about you and your music? We love everything we do. If you dont love whag you’re doing it isn’t going to feel good.

Twitter : @shorty1supreme

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/5aVo33JYRoGqpukdZmYRn7?si=WU0iJftoRYOfJ7xfcizukA

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/thafaction/grin-and-bare-it

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