Album artwork is often a listener’s first impression of a record, so how does an artist successfully represent their music visually? We brought together graphic designers and music people for a panel at Design Week Portland to discuss the creative and conceptual collaborations that go into designing a record. Hear insight from designers Adam R. Garcia (Instrument, The Pressure), Tawfiq Mardini, Lead Designer at Fresh Selects Records, and Joe Stewart (Work & Co.), who’s behind many of Xiu Xiu’s album covers. You’ll also get the perspective of label leaders Aaron Meola (Label Manager at Tender Loving Empire) and Jenny Logan (President of XRAY Records).
Social media has become a vital tool for artists to connect with their fans, but knowing where to invest your time, energy, and even money can be difficult. After all, you probably didn’t become a musician to spend hours on Facebook figuring out which markets to advertise to. On this episode, we gather concrete tips for musicians to efficiently and effectively use social media, playlists, and newsletters. We’re joined by Daniel Bozyk, a Social Content & Marketing Specialist who runs Bozyk Digital Media, Tracey Gill Miller, Global Marketing Manager at CD Baby, and musician Gil Assayas of Glasys.
Playlists have been a huge driver in the growth of streaming music, and platforms like Spotify are pushing their curated playlists more than ever. On this episode we hear from Garrison Snell, who built his company, Crosshair, around getting curators compensated. We’re also joined by journalist Cherie Hu, who has written about music curation models for Forbes. Walt Lilly, the curator behind the Apollo Playlist brand gives us an idea of what goes into a successful playlist.
People often say that if you make good music, the fans will follow. So does good music rise to the top? And what is the top? On this episode, we talk with Jes Skolnik, managing editor at Bandcamp. Through Bandcamp Daily, Jes makes a point to highlight lesser-known artists who might be overlooked by outlets like Pitchfork or Rolling Stone. We also hear from Public Display PR’s Sierra Haager, whose goal through her boutique PR agency is to get high-profile coverage for indie bands.
Making great music is only one part of the equation; equally important is making sure you reach an audience and cultivate them as fans. As more and more musicians release their own music, the onus is on the musician to also navigate the marketing process. Almost every musician has access to the same marketing resources….and knowing your options and utilizing them effectively can make the difference between making music your hobby or making music your career. And what does a successful career in music look like by today’s standards and by what metrics is this success measured? On this episode, Portia travels to Durham, NC for a live panel with Molly Neuman (Kickstarter Music), Simon Perry (ReverbNation), Hank Stockard (Redeye Distribution), Rich Dejong (Sound Exchange), Carrie Colliton (Record Store Day), and Brian Burns (WUNC).
How many “likes” did you get today, and does it even matter? On this episode, Portia leads an Upstream Summit keynote panel talking with Run The Jewels manager Amaechi Uzoigwe and RCA Records’ Tunji Balogun, two industry insiders who have effectively mined the vast quantities of data and analytics available. Artists, managers and labels have all begun using data to amplify albums, sell out shows, and launch careers; and at May’s Summit in Seattle, Portia and her panel of experts gave perspective on the types of data available and how best to harness it to reach your audience.