What should your logo say about you?

by Anastasiya Pak

With so many new and growing artists and bands out there, it’s hard to keep your name recognized and remembered. Social media has become such a big part of how we communicate, and for artists, also a great way to reach out to a wider audience.

Having a unique logo is so important to keep your audience engaged and recognize you. Compare these two images, one having Metallica’s logo, and another one having their band name in plain text – which one grabs more attention?

It also helps you to have better affinity with your fans by having merchandise that they can wear, which also helps spreading the word about you.

Think of the times you’ve seen an artist’s logo on a passerby’s t-shirt and immediately thought of their song.

It’s important to have your logo and your brand be consistent in everything you do – album covers, merchandise, marketing materials, social media. A good logo can tell people who you are and what your music is, and convey a message. A logo for a hip-hop artist should have a different style to a metal band. A DJ’s logo will not look like a pop artist’s one.

When creating a logo, keep it simple and clear. It should be easily readable. You only have a split second to capture someone’s attention, and people are likely not going to spend a lot of time trying to read your name out of the intricate logo. Highly detailed logos don’t scale well when printed or viewed in smaller sizes, they only work when looked at close-up.

Your logo is what makes you stand out from other artists; it makes you memorable, and helps you be seen more professional.

Songwriting Tips

by Christian Martin aka Apple Crisp

I like to break the songwriting process down into 3 stages:

  1. Inspiration: from my experience, my best song lyrics have come as a written response to an emotional reaction from something I have experienced in my life. For example, when I wrote the song “Brother”, I wrote most of the words following a conversation I had with my brother about why we weren’t connecting. I left that conversation feeling really upset about how the conversation went and after further reflection, I found myself having more to say about it. This was the inspiration behind those song lyrics and I feel that when you are writing songs, you need to be able to pin point that inspiration and draw from it as you write.
  2. Song Structure: I’ve also found that it helps using other songs as references when you start the process of structuring your lyrics or finding the voice/instruments that you would like to go along with your lyrics. Maybe there is a song that you like the feeling of you’d like to match for your song or a verse/chorus structure you would like to follow. For my song “Dear Friend” I wanted the aggressive tone that Eminem brings out in his song “Way I Am”, so it was one of the tracks that I referenced in 
  3. Editing: I have never had my lyrics come out perfectly the first time. It’s important to go back over your lyrics to fine-tune them and get feedback from those that will provide honest feedback, so that you can improve your lyrics. An easy place to start is friends and family and others in your circle. For my track, “What’s Love”, I had originally written extremely long verses, but advice from my music producer and others was to cut the lyrics down to the core message of the song and be more potent with fewer words. It turned at 4+ minute song into a 3+ minute song, that in the end, I have to agree was better than what I had originally envisioned.

Listen to Apple Crisp’s original tracks at www.AppleCrispMusic.com.

Why is personal style important for an artist and what can you do about it?

by Inna Sky – @visualista_

What’s the difference between a good artist and an influential one? It’s the unique voice that shows through the music, performance and… style. Internet and social media changed the game for artists forever. It created an opportunity to speak to an audience easily and show who you are. And, an audience looks back 🙂 We want to SEE an artist, including what they are wearing and why. Even a daily look is a part of the show now. And come on guys, we all love those ‘before and after’ pictures because we like to see people shining, being themselves at their best.

If you need an example, check your favorite artist’s sound check video vs. live performance. It’s the same person, the same venue, the same music. The main difference is in the visuals, and it flips everything. When an artist feels confident about how they look, the audience feels it.

If the fashion world doesn’t seem very familiar to you, start with the basics and break your research into a few easy steps.

1. Find people whose style you admire. It’s essential to determine your fashion personality. It will help you to find a fashion direction and give you clarity in which direction to go.

2. Among people you think look great, pick those who have similar body complexion and features to you. What fits someone perfectly will not necessarily suit you. Check the body proportions, height, skin tone, hair, and eye color. Pick the best match and find some patterns in the way they dress.

3. Check if you can create something similar with a few creative sparks with what you have in your closet. Make a list of what you might want to buy to complete the look.

4. Google has everything. There is plenty of information about style. It might seem overwhelming, but even the top 3 links on the search result will open up some valuable information for you. Just type something like ‘styling tips” and go from there.

What social media sites do musicians need to be on?

by Dzintars Grinfelds – @dzintars_g

Whether you are a local artist just getting started on your musical journey, or an established name in the business, there are online sites where you should (dare we say, need) to have a presence. Whether these sites help you and your music get exposure, or help people find your next show, be sure to have a page on the places below so your fans can find you!

You can post everything here: full music videos, showcase past performances, behind-the-scenes clips, personal vlogs, or even host live conversations. The video platform is still host to the largest music community on the internet, a place where many music fans go to find music, and where artists have a chance to be discovered.

Instagram (& IGTV)
Just like YouTube, Instagram gives artists a variety of ways to connect with their audience. The only hinderance you may come across is the video time limit: don’t expect to post a full music video on the site (unless you post the preview and route people to the full clip on IGTV, more on that in the future). Instagram is all about the user’s ability to find new pictures and video related to the things they are interested in, and that includes your music!

Though YouTube and Instagram are great places to be found, Facebook is the absolute best place for anyone to start. Why? Because this is where you get your friends’ help! Set up your page, invite your friends, and start posting — they’ll support you and your talent. Plus, you’ll want to use features like Facebook Events as frequently as possible to promote your shows.

Easily one of the most dominant sites in the music world, Spotify allows anyone to get on and share their music. Plus, a majority of users on the platform are not there to listen to what they already hear on the radio, but rather find new music. Post all of your songs there and get it shared by the millions of users on Spotify through playlists.

Like Spotify, SoundCloud is another place people go to discover new tracks and artists. If you’re uploading your music to one site, you might as well upload to this one too!

Be heard AND get paid for your music! There are some challenges that come with the site, like not having full control of your page and music, but getting direct support from your fans is never a bad thing.

When you’re touring, you’ll want people at your shows, right? Besides promoting your stops to your fans through the other social sites, you’ll want to be on here so music fans looking for a local show can find you when you come through their town.

This is just the start! Check on back when we go in-depth on each social site to show you how to best use them.