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Expert Music Career Advice For DIY Musicians
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The Number One Mistake Bands Make Right After Booking a Gig
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How Winning Indie Week Europe Led Pop Duo Victoria+Jean to a Record Deal

Photo by Olivier Donnet

Every year, Indie Week Europe holds a music festival in Manchester, England. Emerging artists perform in front of over a thousand guests, including industry professionals who work in A&R, booking, legal, management, press, and production. Last year, Swedish-Belgian pop duo Victoria+Jean went on to win the coveted "best of the fest" grand prize, which pushed their career into a whole new territory of success and opportunity. As a result of the win, they were invited to perform in Canada for the first time at Indie Week Canada and signed a very promising record deal with Cadence Music, which also boasts artists such as Alabama Shakes, Allen Stone, Cold War Kids, Phish, and Radiohead on its roster.

We caught up with the duo to get all the details on their Indie Week experience: what stood out, what surprised them, and how they were able to make it to the top of the judges' lists.

[Apply for a slot at Indie Week Europe 2016 by June 30!]

How to Get Creative With Your Music Promotion: Advice From the Semi-Supervillains

Image courtesy of the band

When musicians think of promotion, they often see it as putting up flyers for a show, posting on social media, sending music to radio stations – the usual. It's true that standard promotion strategies are integral to getting your music out there, but who doesn't love getting outside of the box?

Pittsburgh-based garage rock/power pop band the Semi-Supervillains have been incredibly proactive in looking for atypical ways to get their music to new fans. With a love for sports and some good networking, they landed an opportunity to write a theme song for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Not only is that a huge resume booster, but it keeps the band's music playing in their city to new listeners every game. Below, guitarist and vocalist Vinnie Longhi of the Semi-Supervillains gives his advice on how to be creative and imaginative with music promotion.

Is It Really Worth It to Hire a PR Company When You Release New Music? Advice From Indie Artist Lauren Marsh

Image courtesy of artist

Most musicians dream of one day being on the cover of Rolling Stone, or having Pitchfork dub their album "Best New Music." It's a prestigious salute to your hard work, and it helps with album sales and promotion. However, doing your own press often means facing a big learning curve (unless you're one of those musicians who majored in PR), hearing no after no, and potentially placing money in bad investments.

We spoke with Lauren Marsh, an award-winning, indie singer-songwriter from New Jersey, about her experience with DIY PR versus hiring a professional. Lauren led a strong campaign herself on her debut EP, but with her most recent release, she put the work in the hands of a pro. Artists are always wondering if they should hire a publicist, so we dug into Lauren's results to get some insight.

How to Land (And Crush) a Major Festival Gig: Advice From Sylvana Joyce

Photo by Dennis Pike (courtesy of the artist)

Most rising independent musicians dream of playing their music in front of huge audiences. We think if our music could just get heard, we would surely make it big. After all, writing good music doesn't guarantee success (as much as we wish it did). It takes marketing and promotion to find an audience. One of the best ways for a touring band to get in front of new listeners is to play festivals. Drama rock artist Sylvana Joyce landed a huge opportunity when she was accepted through Sonicbids to perform at Musikfest, the massive festival in Bethlehem, PA, that attracts over a million attendees each year. Not only does it look impressive on an EPK, but it put her in front of tons of new fans. Below, Joyce shares how she prepared for and made the most of her big-time festival set.

Can You Really Find Killer Bandmates Through Online Advertising? Advice From Liz Bills of Analog Heart

Image courtesy of the artist

Do you have great songs, great talent, and a dream of performing with a band? Perhaps you know a few musicians in your city, but they just don't blend with your vision. After singer Liz Bills had somewhat of an epiphany one night (which she describes in more detail below), she put up an online ad seeking bandmates the very next day, which ultimately led to the formation of Massachusetts-based rock outfit Analog Heart.

After a few wacky auditions (which you'll also get to read more about in the Q&A below), she started a strong, promising band that's gone on to accomplish some big things. We caught up with Bills to learn about what it was like finding potential band members online, and how she managed to choose the right musicians in the end.