by Vinny Ribas
Any time you pitch your act to a booking agency, manager or record label, you are facing very stiff competition. The same goes with entering a songwriting contest or pitching a song to a publisher. Your job is to wow your reviewer immediately and so want to listen and watch more.
Now consider this. Every time you put your music in front of a potential fan, be it on Facebook, in a music video or at your live show, it is absolutely no different than submitting it to an industry professional. You face the exact same challenge because people are flooded with artists trying to get their attention!
To date over 3000 artists have submitted their ReverbNation EPK to win a feature page in Indie Connect magazine. So far I have reviewed over 400 of those submissions. Out of all 400 I have found 7 that stand out enough to warrant a full page spread. We are still searching for at least 20 more. I am looking for wither: 1) artists who are ready for the mass exposure and can take advantage of any opportunities that might come from it, or 2) find newer artists who deserve to be recognized for their exceptional talent regardless of how popular or successful they are right now. We’re not looking in any particular genre because a great artist will shine no matter what kind of music they are playing.
I thought it might be helpful to tell you what attracted me to the artists we’ve chosen so far, and why some other very talented artists were passed up.
The winning artists so far have these traits in common:
- Conformity: Took the time to read the description of what I was looking for from an artist and they fit the bill to a tee. For example, I asked for family-friendly acts but still received some rappers with very foul language. I asked for a decent video for the magazine as well as great music, but many either poor videos or none at all. In other words, the winners met the basic requirements.
- Packaging: They presented, or showed they had the potential to present the complete package – strong vocals, good production, above-average songwriting, a creative an attractive video and clean, crisp photos. Many artists had one or more of these, but very few had everything.
- Captivating: I started each review by listening to a song. They caught my attention immediately. With 3000+ submissions, I can give an artist 10-20 seconds max to make me want to hear and see more. The sooner the vocals came in the happier I was. If a song had a long musical intro, it had to keep my attention enough to want to hear the singer.
- Uniqueness: They had a ‘wow’ factor. Something about them dramatically stood out from the rest made me want to hear more and watch their videos. For some it was just their voice. For some it was their message. For others it was their unique production.
- Consistency: They were consistently good. If I liked one song, I listened to another and judged it to be just as strong. If I saw one good video I watched another and saw that to be just as captivating.
Use this as your checklist any time you reach out to an industry pro and you’ll have much greater success at getting a positive response.