It's time for another tastemaker highlight from the MySphera roster!
We had the pleasure to pick the brain of the CEO & Founder of Independent Music Promotion, author of "Your Band Is A virus", Spotify playlist curator, music veteran and of course a MySphera Tastemaker , James Moore.
Now, without further ado, here what we talked about.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself? I'm a music lover, a musician and independent business owner. Nirvana gave me the music bug and I still listen to them pretty much every day to stay close to that inspiration.
What kind of music do you listen to and where do you discover music? I listen to everything from rock, punk and metal to ambient, IDM/electronica, jazz, instrumental, experimental, all over the map. I discover new music through independent record stores, online music specialty shops/vinyl stores, music blogs, communities like Bandcamp, Reddit, Spotify's similar artist function, Doom Charts, SputnikMusic, Album of the Year, PopMatters, my colleagues, my friend Matt, so many sources!
The music world keeps changing, and there are so many trends / buzzwords surfacing every day; where do you think the hype is real and where it's empty buzz? I'd like to see trending shift a bit more towards cool music discovery as opposed to gossip and clickbait. Everything has it's place. Threatin was a recent, much discussed artist who faced some empty buzz; definitely a unique story there.
What are the two things you care about most when you hear a new song? Well, I tend to love a lot of weird, dark or experimental music so I'm not so concerned about BPM or it having to be a certain genre. That's not to say I don't love pop and dance music because I do. I just listen with a clean slate each time just as a music lover/enthusiast and look to appreciate the artistry for what it is. Production is important but only as the vehicle to let all the elements shine. I listen for the groove. What's it's intent? Is it reckless? Is it compassionate? I also listen for the quality of the vocal as well as the emotional energy from the vocals and all the musical choices. I usually know within 30 seconds if I'm blown away. Sometimes 5!
How did you end up creating independent music promotions? Independent Music Promotions was conceived as a forward-thinking and practical, SEO-inspired approach to music marketing. I started I.M.P after 10 + years releasing/promoting my own music and promoting local artists freelance. Inspired by Tim Ferriss's "The 4 Hour Workweek" I decided to publish my findings on online music promotion in "Your Band Is A virus". That became the early foundation for I.M.P in 2011. Most musicians, bands & indie labels need the same types of things small businesses do. I.M.P is very much based on that 'grow from where you are' philosophy.
Your book, "YOUR BAND IS A VIRUS", sheds light on viral promotion strategies for independent musicians. In the age of Social Media dominance, on what should artists be focusing on trying to create viral content? I think that the best content is artists in the midst of being their original selves. Beyond that, it's largely about clearly communicating the who and the why. What's the main message or take-away? Why should anyone care? Good ad copy and strong visuals mixed with enthusiasm and properly tagged content makes for good progress. Savvy artists also create custom content for their socials such as branded visualizers or optimized stories with calls-to-action.
Continuing from the previous question, music keeps evolving, streaming became a differentiator for artists, live video streaming is gaining momentum and social media influencers are becoming heavy pillars in music campaigns, can you share a few platforms artists should quickly familiarize themselves with? I feel like artists should familiarize themselves with Submithub, MySphera, Droptrack, Musosoup, Feature FM and likely several others to submit your music for potential opportunities in radio, playlists, blogs, channels, etc. It's important to make new connections wherever you can and not just rely on one method. Social companies like SproutSocial and Hootsuite can be potent options for artists to streamline and optimize their socials. Others like WAVVE allow artists/labels to create custom visuals and control their social ads/online presence more.
Your service has a very unique approach to music promotion. Can you shed some light about your process? From handpicking the campaigns you take to matching the right music to the right journalists, etc It's really based on finding as many potential supporters of independent artists as possible, building a strong relationship, and ensuring we're only sending artists of potential interest to their niche. We get to know each artist's music very well and from there have a strong sense as to who may relate and be an ideal promotional match. Beyond that everything is very manual and practical. I use targeted advertising on sites like Pinterest, Reddit, etc to drive new listeners directly to our artists' music on Spotify, Youtube, etc. This is to help raise SEO long-term as well as boost presence short-term. I have an EPK plus news release created, reaching out to the music media along with a selection of indie radio and podcasts requesting mentions, news posts, reviews, interviews, shares, playlist adds, whatever type of support is most convenient for their format.To help support everything else, we hype, share, hashtag etc our artists throughout our socials during the campaign.
And last thing, What is the one thing you would change in the music world as it is today? I think that things are constantly improving for independent artists and many in the industry are meeting artists with forward-thinking promotional tools. There are a lot of positives. As far as incredible music, I'd change nothing. There's no shortage. That's it for this one. Follow James on twitter / Instagram / Spotify MySphera is the matchmaker between new music and tastemakers. If you make music, learn more about our services here.Or, if you want to join our tastemakers roster go here