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6 Dirty Secrets About Music Journalists

Can you keep a secret? (Photo by Kim Boek via Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0)Music journalists: we’re a unique bunch. We’ll take entire weekends to debate the best alt-pop songs of the ‘90s, consider the jeans that didn’t get alcohol spilled on them the previous night our “good” pants, and have no idea why some people think it’s weird to be out until 2:00 a.m. on a Wednesday.

While those are things you may have already known about us, they really only scratch the surface. Want to know more? Here are six dirty secrets about music journalists you might not be aware of.

9 Things All Music Journalists Hate to See in Pitch Emails More Than Anything

Comparing your band to legends like Jimi Hendrix isn’t doing you any favors. (Image via Wikimedia Commons)

Although some may like to claim otherwise, music journalists and publicists need each other. Without publicists, a lot of great music would go unheard, and without journalists, publicists would be shouting about their clients into a great void.

That said, while we welcome the pitches of publicists, sometimes those pitches can be more harmful than helpful. Pitch emails that contain any of these nine things make all music journalists grit their teeth – and quickly hit delete.

The Art of Making Acoustic Versions of Your Songs That Don't Suck: Advice From Lights

For synth-pop artist Lights, going acoustic is about creating something new. (Image via Warner Brothers Records; used with permission)

Have you ever wanted to give your songs new life by stripping them down and reworking them as acoustic pieces? For Canadian synth-pop artist Lights, this has become one of her specialties. Lights recently released her third acoustic project, Midnight Machines, which features eight songs – six of which are stripped down, reworked versions of songs that appeared on her 2015 Juno Award-winning album Little Machines.

We caught up with Lights to find out about her process for turning her synth-pop songs into radically different acoustic pieces, how she decides which songs should be given the acoustic treatment, and how these projects have expanded her fanbase. Lights also gave some helpful advice for musicians looking to strip down their music. There's a lot more involved than simply picking up an acoustic guitar.

These Are the Real Struggles That Foreign Artists Face in the US (And How to Overcome Them)

Having to change her name was just one of obstacles Fjer dealt with when she came to the US. (Image courtesy of Fjer)

Many consider America to be a land of opportunity, but for international artists, opportunity comes with some pretty big strings attached. The dream is to be able to pick a city, hop on a flight, and continue your musical career in the US. As an artist, however, moving to or touring America is a lot more complicated than that.

How to Break Your Music Into Foreign Markets: Tips From 9 Indie Artists

M-TRI & DJ Leecy T connected with overseas artists through music videos and collaborations, but building an international fanbase still takes time. (Photo courtesy of M-TRI & DJ Leecy T)

Performing in front of hometown crowds always makes for a great night, but why limit yourself to just being a local hero? There’s an entire world out there, and there’s no reason you can’t be performing in front of international crowds.

One of the great bonuses of being an artist is having the opportunity to see the world. You may think you need a huge record deal and an international marketing team to make that happen, but in actuality, a plethora of indie artists have developed followings overseas all on their own. I spoke with nine indie artists who have international fanbases to find out how they’ve gone about attracting fans from overseas, and the steps they’ve taken to foster the continued growth of those fanbases while at home in the States.