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How to set up a small tour

How to set up a small tour for your band or group

Is terrestrial radio still important to music?

Is terrestrial radio still important to music?

Are music blogs important to my career

How important are music blogs in marketing?

How to market your music using facebook

How to market your music using facebook

How to market music on twitter

How to market your music on twitter





Friday, January 17, 2014

Book Review: Independent Music Grind

Independent music grind

I've know the author Jesse Atkinson for many years. He is the founder of The Underground Music Awards and Urban Threshold. He has helped tons of indie artists get more exposure through events and publicity. This book is a great read because he gives artists real information. Indie artists tend to have a false sense of the music business and Jesse tells it like it is. Indie artists do need a budget, a team and more. In this book you will find creative ideas to take your career to the next level. There are even some unique ideas toward marketing. I definitely recommend this book and you can purchase it here.






SMS Audio STREET by 50

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Think about publicity before you even write a lyric


There are many artists that struggle to get the proper publicity for their brand because their music just doesn't connect. Macklemore has had no problem garnering attention with his positive lyrics on homosexuality and more. This is not something that happened by mistake. Macklemore thought about publicity before he even wrote any lyrics. Mac Miller named his most popular song "Donald Trump" because he is one of the biggest personalities in the world. These references to whats going on in the world were a play for big time publicity. Most artists are scared to tackle controversial topics in the world because they fear that there will be negative backlash. This is almost always never true. Any publicity is good publicity. When you sit down to write your lyrics, think about the incredible power you have as a writer. You can talk about anything you want. You can make an impact in a major way. Don't just write a song about anything. If you change the way you think, your lyrics will be more meaningful and you will garner the major publicity you are seeking. It also won't hurt to help make your community better by volunteering and just giving a fuck about someone other than yourself.



SMS Audio STREET by 50

Saturday, May 11, 2013

The reason why you don't need a record label


Written by Antoine King CEO of Spate Media

This is something an artist that is looking to get signed might not want to hear but you don't need a major label anymore. Major labels used to be the ones that had all the connections and they could get your music to the masses. Now you have social media and if used properly you can reach the masses on your own. Some people may argue that record labels have the money and they can lend you large sums in order to get projects done. If you are generating money by setting up events then you won't need their money. Artists tend to want a label to do the work for them but when they get signed they end up working harder than before. Here are a few reasons why some people want to get signed to major labels.

1- Get on MTV and BET- You don't need a record label to get on MTV and BET. You now have digital distribution services that will send your video to them for a very low cost.

2- Get national radio spins- You can get national radio spins on your own but you do need a radio team. Put a team of about 6 people together and tackle the over 400 independent, college and national radio stations.

3- Set up tours and shows- Record labels do a terrible job at setting up shows and tours. They usually partner with companies like Live Nation that own theaters and Halls. With the right website, publicity and social media promotion an artist can make the contacts to tour if there is a demand to see them perform. Setting up shows is as simple as putting together some artists renting a venue and selling tickets. Try to make your show unique.

4- Get nominated for awards like Grammys- If you go to the Grammy website you can get the information. You don't need to be on a major label to be considered.

5- Major labels invest a lot of money- This is not true at all. Most artists now if they are very popular may get 100,000 to 200,000 for an advance. This money is taxed and all involved have to be paid such as managers etc. Doesn't sound so great after all. Get a job and save your money.


These are the main reasons why some people think they need a label and obviously these reasons are false.






Saturday, April 27, 2013

Anatomy of a Hip Hop Hit in 2013


Written by Antoine King

Hip hop has changed so much over the years its amazing. When I sit down and analyze some of the hip hop hits of today, here is what I came up with. Artists like Lil Wayne, Rick Ross and Drake have mastered the english language and use it at their disposal. Here is a break down of what it takes to compete with the Drakes and Lil Waynes of hip hop.

1) Beat- The beat has to be amazing. Jahlil beats, DJ Premier and others have crafted some of hip hops classic music. Test your beats make sure they are hot before you record the song.

2) Hook- Mixtape songs don't have to have a hook, but commercial radio singles must be hook driven and catchy. Test your hook and make sure it works.

3) Lyrics- Your flow on the song should match the beat. Write your songs specifically to the track. This will avoid it sounding like your stumbling over your words. Make sure your flow has a strong creative rhythm.

4) Ad Lib- Ok ad libs made famous by Drake, Lil Wayne, Rick Ross. These can be sounds or words that you repeat so the listener knows that its you on the track.

5) Catch Phrase- It seems that songs these days may have a few catch phrases like YOLO or something like that yelled in the background somewhere.

6) Metaphors- Lil Wayne, Drake, Nicki Minaj, Rick Ross have mastered the metaphor and you can hear them comparing heads to mellons and grapes to blood. Make sure your hit has some great metaphors.

7) Similes- Again the top artists use like and as to compare some of the most creative things in hip hop. Using similes in a creative way is almost mandatory in hip hop today.

8) Target Audience- Understanding what your fans like is key to making a hit. Wiz Khalifa talks about weed in every song and his fans bring him weed to the shows. Rick Ross fans love to hear him talk about money. Drake fans love his love songs and music for the ladies. Lil Wayne fans love his outrageous lines. Understand what your audience likes and give them a lot of it in a creative way.

If you follow these guidelines I'm sure you can make the next big hip hop hit.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Are major labels still using indie promoters to get radio spins


Written by Antoine King CEO of Spate Media

Are record labels still using indie radio promoters to add songs to the playlist? Over the years record labels have paid millions to lawyers over claims of payola. This is where the record label pays the radio stations to play records. This is illegal for national radio. So in order to side step that law they use indie promoters to get songs played on the radio. The indie promoter approaches the radio stations about a particular song and they pay the station up to 100,000 per year in order to get songs added to the play list. Then the indie promoter charges the label a add fee usually about $1,000 per song. So getting songs added to a medium market can cost as much as 20,000 per month for a single song. In the end the label hopes to sell lots of music and concert tickets. Many believe that 60% of the music played on the radio is added by indie promoters.


So do the labels still use indie promoters? Even though this is still illegal using a middleman to add songs, many radio stations still practice this today.

Can a indie artist get national radio spins on the regular basis


Written by Antoine King CEO of Spate Media

Can a indie artist get national radio spins on the regular basis?

Ok, there are a lot of variables to this question. Are you friends with a big DJ? Do you have a budget of 15,000 or more a month? Are you friends with a huge entertainment personality? Well if any of these questions don't apply to you then you getting regular radio spins are probably not gonna happen. But you can get a few spins here and there. There are many DJ blasting companies that will tell you they can get you spins but that is up to the DJ and the radio directors. Radio directors have a list of records to play from major labels. These major labels usually partner or advertise on the radio stations. If you take a minute and go to the radio station website and look around a bit. There are no indie artists featured on the site. That's because indie artists are broke and they usually don't make much money. Radio stations partner with labels to do events like Summer Jam where they both can make money from selling tickets and sponsors.

So is getting national radio spins impossible? No, but if your an indie artist you don't have a lot of money in the first place so that money should be spent on setting up events. Don't focus on radio spins because they are for the big hitters. Start from the ground up and get your fan base in order before you even think about national radio. Get played on college radio and internet radio first. Become big on internet radio and college radio and then you might get some free spins on national radio but focus on getting big online first.


In conclusion, indie artist should work on internet radio and college radio before going into national radio. Also, focus on setting up events and shows where you can generate revenue to invest back into the business.


Written by Antoine King www.spatemedia.info

How to get a record deal and build a great career


How can I get a major record deal? I get this question all the time. I wanted to just take a minute and analyze all the successful artists that have reached that point in their career.

Rockie Fresh recently signed with Maybach Music and it touring worldwide with Ross now and the other members of the label. How did he secure a major contract with Maybach music? First Rockie Fresh started by releasing successful mixtapes and videos. Meaning he built some momentum with quality projects and built an audience. By going to events and performing he built connections in the industry but these connections only came into play after he developed the proper buzz.

Myth: Having connections will get you signed to a major label.

First of all, I'm sure Rick Ross knows thousands of rappers personally and none of them have record deal. Why? Because they are not worth investing in at the moment.

Rick Ross thought Rockie Fresh would be a good investment because of his buzz and the connections that he has developed over the past few years.

Understanding how this business works starts with how you plan to generate revenue.

1- Events and shows #1 source of revenue
2- Merchandising #2 source of revenue
3- Album and single sales #3 source of revenue


The first goal for an artist that is really trying to get signed is to land a major tour or set up your own major tour. The reason you create your buzz is so you can set up tours and make money. Getting on hip hop blogs and magazines is so you can set up future shows and sell you content. So you are basically setting up your business to produce revenue.


1- Many artists that get signed are generating revenue from their brand or music.
2- Many artists that get signed have developed great connections from networking.
3- Many artists that get signed have built and core audience and have performed in front of thousands of people.
4- Many artists that get signed have sold out shows using their own name and brand.
5- Many artists that get signed have developed relationships with other successful artists.


So lets make this really simple. I have created a checklist for artists that really want to get signed to a major label.

0- Make sure your music is hot, set up focus groups and get opinions
1- Create a logo and brand
2- Try to get placements on as many blogs and magazines as possible
3- Set up your own shows and events. Everything from concerts to benefits for
a cause you like.
4- Perform where ever you can, showcases, parties etc..
5- Connect with a few local artists that are buzzing and do shows with them.
6- Set up and website and take plenty of pictures and video for your site
7- Also use social networks to get the word out.
8- Save your money and do everything with a budget when selling your music or promoting a video. Its no good if no one hears your music. You should have a budget minimum for every project lets say $2,000 per single release and $2,000 per video this is promotion only.


If you do these things now you look like a profitable business that someone would want to finance. Then and only then will you get labels interested in you.