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By Meg Hansen
As someone who has looked through countless press packages and listened to hundreds of demos, my focus is very specific — I'm listening for great songs and I want to know a little bit about the artist and the songwriter(s).
Unfortunately, I don't have time to read a 20 page book of miscellaneous press clippings and scattered information, and that's often what unsigned artists send in. I listen to four songs on the demo, and look through the first few pages of info/clips in each press kit. That's it.
It seems amazing how many people put insignificant material in the front of the press kit, but if you page through to the end, you find out that this unsigned band opened for a major act last year for two legs of their tour, they pre-sell 200 tickets a show in their local area, their songs have been in five TV shows, their music is being played on 15 CMJ stations and two commercial alternative stations, they have press from local papers and music magazines, their e-mail database of fans is 5,000 and they've sold over 2,000 CDs on CDBaby.com, Amazon.com and more on the road. Don't hide this info at the back of your press kit!!!
Present yourself on ONE PAGE that you put in the front of your press kit — and just send your one sheet with your demo. What info do you want to include on this one sheet? Give me every reason I should sign you at a major label, or use your song in a film/tv show, or ask a major artist to cut your song, or whatever your goal is. Keep your marketing pitch targeted to the person you are trying to impress (Music Supervisor, A&R Exec, Artist, etc.) and get it all on one page. Let's get specific.
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If you have amazing songs (most important) and a story developing too, present yourself as the professional that you are so that A&R Executives and Music Supervisors will find you, at a glance. You've worked hard — you deserve to stand out from the rest of the pile!
And it's fine if you don't have a lot to put on your one sheet right now. Keep playing, keep writing and collaborating; and treat your career like it's a top priority. There's a certain energy that surrounds artists and songwriters who are inspired to be successful and work very hard at creating opportunities and making things happen for themselves. Become one of these people. These are the artists and songwriters everyone wants to work with. And as you create your success story, add the highlights to your one sheet.
Contact: Meg Hansen, Purple Dolphin Music, PO Box 2414, Malibu, CA 90265. 310-562-3563 or www.purpledolphinmusic.com