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Tips of the Trade, News

May 14, 2013 06:19 AM

Eric Shea

How to Manage Your Promoter Account

Now that you've set up your gig listing on Sonicbids to begin accepting submissions from artists, we've created a handy series of video tutorials that will give you all of the info that you need to know about your promoter account. If you don't find all of the answers that you need here please contact our our support team at needhelp@sonicbids.com

What is Social Music Marketing?

Over the past few months, I have been asked more and more frequently to speak about social music marketing. I’ve had the pleasure of facilitating some really interesting (and fun) panels at a number of music industry events of late. Below is a video from a Canadian Music Week panel I moderated on the subject. There was a lively discussion around the topic that you might find valuable. Enjoy!


Panelists include:

Brennan Loh
Head of Business Development


Music on the Mountain Stage: Hear From Past Winners

The Mountain Stage NewSong Contest is in its 11th year and it’s the most exciting one yet. This year’s grand prize winner will have the opportunity to record a brand new album at the Echo Mountain Recording studio with producer Iestyn Polson (David Gray, Patti Smith, David Bowie). But, that’s not all.  The winner will also have an exclusive performance at Lincoln Center for Performing Arts in 2013 and will be featured in a live performance on National Public Radio’s highly acclaimed Mountain Stage show. And finally, the winning artist will also make an appearance at the 2013 Sundance/ASCAP Music Café in Park City, UT.  We caught up with Arthur Alligood and lead vocalist Ben Lubeck of Farewell Milwaukee, the two previous NewSong Contest winners, and we asked them about their experience participating in the contest. If you want to submit you can do so here, make sure to get your submission in before the Regional Deadline of July 31, 2012!

Arthur Alligood:

Sonicbids: What year did you win the contest?

Arthur Alligood: 2011

SB: Tell us about the song that you submitted, what's the story behind it?

AA: Well, I submitted three songs, all from my last record.  They were Gavel, Keep Your Head Up, and Turn It Over.

SB: Do you have any memories or milestones that stand out from your experience in the Mountain Stage NewSong contest?

AA: My favorite memories involved meeting all the other contestants and just hanging out.  It's always a blessing to be a part of something and come away with good friendships.

SB: How did winning NewSong help you as a songwriter? How did it help to advance your career?

AA: Winning the contest just gave me a little more confidence in my abilities as a songwriter.  As far as my career goes, it has helped to legitimize my artistry and given me a bigger platform to keep going. 

SB: What advice would you give to songwriters who are submitting to NewSong, or any song contest for that matter, this year?

AA: I would say simply, just be yourself.  Submit the songs you feel best represent you.  If you make it to the live contest don't change anything.  Trust in who you are and what you've done.  You can never go wrong with being true to yourself.  


Farewell Milwaukee:

Sonicbids: What year did you win the contest?

Ben Lubeck: I was a finalist in 2010

SB: Tell us about the song that you submitted, what's the story behind it?

BL:Find Some Grace For Me” - a song I wrote about finding solace in rock and roll and music in general when relationships/ life are a total drag. Music is a constant in our lives when everything else can be so rocky.

SB: Do you have any memories or milestones that stand out from your experience in the Mountain Stage NewSong contest?

BL: The entire experience of going to New York City and playing my songs in the same town that some of my idols played/lived in... is something I'll never forget. To submit a scratchy demo and have them with recognized by these incredibly talented and well respected judges is humbling..and then to play these tunes in the largest city in America for some of the top record producers is an incredible opportunity. For a dude like myself, who writes these tunes on his couch by a lake in Minnesota..it doesn't get much better than that. To see something you create, take on a life form of its own...and act as a vehicle that takes you to New York and share them for some of your idols...that's mind blowing...I try not to think too much about it.

SB: How did winning NewSong help you as a songwriter? How did it help to advance your career?

BL: I've learned a lot about songwriting through New Song. Also, learned a lot about the music business. Through relationships I've developed through the contest, and inspiration gained by participating and hearing the stories of the other contestants. A year after my new song experience, I was contacted by Gar and Lauren and they invited me to play a New Song Series at The Lincoln Center Atrium. Having that on my musical resume is something I would have never dreamed of happening when I submitted my application in my Long Lake, Minnesota living room.

SB: What advice would you give to songwriters who are submitting to NewSong, or any song Contest for that matter, this year?

BL: Be yourself, that's what is going to interest people the most. Everyone has an interesting story. Share it. Share the song you believe in most. 

The Mountain Stage NewSong Contest is still accepting submissions. The deadline to submit is September 15, 2012!

A Story Behind Music Placement with Respect Music and Anthony Salari

Here at Sonicbids, we’re a curious people. When we heard that Singer/Songwriter Anthony Salari got his song, “Stupid Pretty Girl”, on Jane By Design via Respect Music, we wanted to know more. Good thing that we’re also a sharing people – read on to see what we learned from Sharon Dean, Director of Respect Music and Salari himself!

Anthony, congrats! How’d you get involved in music placement?

Salari: I worked at it for many years! I really just tried to make unique, catchy music and basically looked for opportunities to get it into decision makers’ hands. Actually, the first recognition I ever received was through a Sonicbids songwriting contest. The first place prize was studio time at a place in Nashville. I won it with a totally green bedroom recording and it gave me some confidence to pursue other opportunities, which eventually lead to my Respect deal. 

Sharon, as a music publisher, how do you select music that you’ll eventually place?

Dean: We have a listening session every two weeks. One week before the session, all of the new music is given to four members of staff who spend time listening to the new submissions in their own time and without conferring to any anyone else in the team. Each member of staff brings the ones that they think are suitable to the final session. The best songs/compositions always shine through.

So what type of music typically works best for placement?

Dean: It depends what type of sync it is. Most genres can work, though jazz is difficult. The music submitted has to be broadcast quality. Upbeat positive music works for ads, for example. Anything with reference to drugs, cigarettes and alcohol is a no-no. So if there is a great song with these references then it is always good to have a “clean” version.

Anthony, why do you think your song “Stupid Pretty Girl” was a good fit for placement?

Salari: Honestly, I feel that through the spectrum of emotions television shows and movies need music to represent, there are places for all kinds of music.  With that said, most times the music needs to be super-catchy in some way. There needs to be something in it that makes people stop and notice: a cool lyric, different melody, anything that makes it stand apart. The music supervisors have told me there are sometimes hundreds of songs selected to choose from for a single show, and that’s after being funneled down from 2 or 3 other rounds of possible considerations. Competition is fierce; force others to love your music!

Sharon, you pitched Anthony Salari’s song to Jane By Design. How does a pitch like that work?

Dean: We submitted the song to the supervisor and she came back to us to say that she loved the song and was considering it for the show. The producer got to hear it and even set it as her personal ringtone. A few weeks later, we received and email from the supervisor saying that they wanted to use the song and we negotiated a sync fee. After that, it all happened very quickly. We cleared both sides for publishing and master within hours. 24/7 availability for clearance is imperative – that’s what we are good at. We then rush released the song “Stupid Pretty Girl” out on the Respect Music label and signed a worldwide digital distribution deal with Absolute.

That sounds like a crazy, but awesome time for everyone involved. What happened after that?

Dean: [Well,] the great thing was that Antony was also invited to the wrap show for Jane By Design. He met the cast and the crew. We believe this placement will lead in to many more opportunities for this truly talented artist.  His YouTube hits have tripled in a week. We have also monetized his YouTube channel. He is a truly exceptional songwriter and this song will work for many years. So go and buy it on iTunes.

Anthony, what’s the #1 thing an artist needs to know about working with music publishers and getting their music placed?

Salari: Have complete belief and confidence in your music - get it to the point where you are amazed by how frick’n cool it is. Love and appreciate the fact that you’re making music and doing what you’re passionate about. Others will be totally jealous of your coolness. Forget the haters.  Apply that level of dedication into getting other people to hear your work. To paraphrase a line in Jurassic Park, “Nature finds a way,” well, music will find a way, too.

4 Simple Things to Make Your Summer Tour Less Stressful

You’re ready to hit the road for a little summer touring with your band. Rad. But in your excitement while packing up all your music gear, don’t forget a few simple on-the-road essentials.

Get a Car Inspection.  Assuming your band isn’t quite at the private plane level of its career, you’re likely traveling around in a car or sketchy van for your tour. To avoid a Planes, Trains and Automobiles scenario, pay a visit to your local DMV and make sure your wheels are in working order.

Get a Costco Membership. Depending on where you’re traveling to, you might want to go for Sam’s Club. Either way, one of those mega discount stores might be fifty bucks investment up front, but if you’ll be on the road for more than two weeks and your van has some extra storage, you’d be surprised how much money you’d be able to save by buying bulk.

Get an EZ Pass. If you’re traveling through several different states, this could save you time while traveling, plus it will help you keep track of your total expenses while on the road.

Get a real map.  I know with your fancy iPhone or GPS, maps are a thing of the past. But the truth is, sometimes you lose signal or someone forgets their cell phone car charger. And the worst thing is wasting precious gas driving around aimlessly without a trusty source of direction. And hey, you can probably get one for cheap with your new Costco membership.

What other touring tips do you have to make the road less stressful? Sharing is caring!