NEW YORK (Hypebot) – In conjunction with US. independent music trade group A2IM (American Association Of Independent Music), we're asking indie professionals: In this fractured media landscape, what is working? What outlets and tools are helping your artists build an audience?
In this third installment Jaylaan Ahmad-Llewellyn, the founder of indie label bluhammock music (KaiserCartel, Cary Brothers, Swati, Val Emmich and more) responds:
"I think that this is an interesting question because it begs the question of what do you consider 'working.' There is building an audience that buys music, an audience that attends shows, and simply building awareness that you even exist as an artist.
We have found three great ways to build awareness. One is the compilation. An established compilation is a great way to raise awareness about an artist without having the full burden of carrying a CD alone. This is especially helpful when the compilation has a built in audience of its own and has pre-established distribution channels. We recently had KaiserCartel included on a Starbucks sampler and I cannot tell you how many people have mentioned they have seen them because of that.
Another avenue that we have found builds exposure is television. We have seen direct sales bumps from synch uses. I think that synchs also help place a song that is not a traditional "radio hit" into context for a listener. TV shows, commercials, and films have created an avenue for atmospheric music that would not exist otherwise. Some of these shows also have year-end compilations which brings you back to my statements above about compilations. Val Emmich is also on the label and has appeared on Ugly Betty. This has been amazing in terms of building awareness about Val but a problem that we often face is that people still do not necessarily know that Val is also a musician.
The third way we have found that works to build awareness is blogging (myspace, facebook, wordpress). This only really works if the artist themselves is truly committed to sharing their stories and to interacting with their audience on a fairly regular basis.
It also helps to have an over abundance of content to continually rotate on their preferred site of blogging. Stories from the road, thoughts on their days, things they just hate and how they feel in general as well as real answers to their fans questions, help build communities that will not only support them on the road but will also buy albums.
Blogging is also an incredible tool in terms of real time feedback from your audience about what they are looking for from you. This does not apply to professional bloggers. This is most useful in terms of comments on artist pages."