For independent artists, pursuing your career and creating excellent music really is just the beginning of your journey towards success. In order to thrive in this industry, it’s vital to recognise the importance of building a strong and supportive independent artists team around you. Here at TULU, we understand the role a well-rounded team plays in guiding artists through the early stages of their career. This blog post is going to delve into the importance of growing your team and how it can drive you forward into becoming a successful, self-sufficient independent artist.
If you are thinking of growing your team that means you must be ready to take the leap from your music being “something you do on the side” into “this is my career and my primary source of income”. TULU Academy is our online, 11 module interactive business development course which takes you step by step through transforming your music, into your career.
Build a Team of Talented Individuals Who Share Your Vision and Goals:
As an independent artist, you will naturally possess a specific and unique set of skills and talents in order to make your music stand out against the rest. Quite often, you are expected to be your own booking agent, marketing team, financial team and everything in between which can be draining and eventually hinder your ability to excel in each area. Therefore, building a team of trusted individuals who each specialise in a specific aspect of the music industry means you can lean on them for their expertise and experience.
An example of this could be marketing and promotion – you may have been doing this all by yourself up until now, even to some level of success. However, by bringing in a team member who excels in this area can ensure that your music reaches a wider audience and helps you gain traction in the industry. Similarly, having a dedicated manager can handle the administrative tasks, negotiations, and strategic planning, allowing you to focus on creating music.
Ensure Longterm Success
To ensure long term success, building an independent artist team with individuals who share your vision and goals is imperative. When everyone on your team is aligned with your artistic direction all whilst striving towards the same aspirations, the synergy created creates a strong foundation for growth and development.
By communicating your vision clearly to your team members, you can work together to create a cohesive brand identity, develop a consistent artistic style, and build a loyal fan base. Only when your team is aligned will their passion and dedication shine through in every aspect of your career.
By delegating tasks that are not your expertise to team members who excel in those areas, you can optimise your time and energy.
For instance, if you spend hours on social media promotion or booking gigs, it takes away valuable time that could be spent composing new songs or perfecting your performance skills.
How to Expand Your Team Effectively:
What Do You Need?
Begin by taking a holistic view of your own skill set and take note of the areas in which you could benefit from additional support. Identify the different roles and responsibilities which if executed well would enhance your music career. For example, you might require a manager, booking agent, social media manager, graphic designer, music producer, or songwriter collaborator.
Referrals and Recommendations
Think about your current, existing network of musicians, fellow artists and industry professionals. For example, if you are reading this blog, you are aware of TULU and without blowing our own trumpet too hard, we are a great place to grow your industry network.
Reach out to your network of trusted individuals – specifically those who have experience in the areas you need assistance. Explain to them what you are looking to do and seek recommendations for others who have the right skills and expertise to join your independent artists team.
Music Industry Events
Go out and attend music industry events such as conferences, workshops, and networking sessions. These events provide opportunities to connect with potential team members, including managers, agents, producers, and collaborators. Be proactive in engaging with industry professionals and showcasing your talent. Exchange contact information and follow up with those who show interest in working with you.
Utilise Online Platforms:
Online platforms such as websites, forums, and social media platforms dedicated to musicians and music industry professionals can be valuable resources and a great place to expand your team – if used properly. Platforms like LinkedIn, TULU, and Music Gateway allow you to connect with professionals across various music-related disciplines. Create detailed profiles outlining your needs and preferences, and actively search for individuals who align with your vision.
Collaborate with Like-Minded Artists
Seek collaborations with other independent artists who complement your style and musical vision. Connecting with other artists who share similar goals can result in fruitful collaborations and the possibility of forming a mutually beneficial long-term partnership. Collaborations not only expand your creative network but also introduce you to potential team members who may be interested in joining your project. In and amongst the benefits for growing your team through collaborations, there is the undeniable benefit of expanding your fan base through cross pollination.
Use Your Existing Fan Base
You want your independent artists team to fully believe in your vision and without a shadow of a doubt be a fan of yours from the beginning of your relationship with them. Your existing fan base can be an excellent resource for finding team members for this exact reason! Engage with your fans through social media and live performances, and let them know that you are looking to expand your team. Often, passionate fans can offer valuable skills or connections, such as graphic design, photography, or marketing expertise. Reach out to those who demonstrate genuine interest and commitment. These people will want to see you grow and succeed and will therefore put their best foot forward when contributing in any way to your projects.
Interviews and Auditions
Just like any business hiring a new employee, once you have identified potential candidates for your team – in business terms “screened their CVs”, conduct interviews, and auditions to assess their skills, compatibility, and commitment. Discuss your vision, goals, and expectations to ensure alignment. For musicians, consider jamming or performing together to gauge chemistry and musical compatibility. Don’t necessarily shut down the idea of bringing on someone who is new to their field either – having a strong passion for seeing you grow with aligned objectives can be more important than having a huge portfolio.
Trust and Communication
Building a strong team undoubtedly requires trust and effective communication. Curate an environment where your chosen team members feel comfortable expressing their ideas and concerns. Upkeep regular communication and provide clear expectations and feedback – positive and (constructive) negative. Regular team meetings, whether in person or virtually, can help ensure everyone is on the same page. Using project management tools such as Trello or Monday can help keep everyone accountable and on track of where the project is going.
Remember, growing your independent artists team is a gradual process. Take the time to find the right individuals who believe in your music and share your vision. A strong and supportive team can empower you as an independent artist and propel your career to new heights. They can also provide guidance, open doors to opportunities, and free up your time to focus on your artistic development.
At TULU Presents, we believe in the power of teamwork and strive to guide independent artists through the early stages of their career until they become self-sufficient or decide to sign with a record label. Embrace the importance of assembling a strong team, and watch your music career soar to new heights.
I was speaking with an artist earlier today and they said something really interesting which sparked a world of thoughts which I – admittedly – hadn’t really put much thought into before it was mentioned. They said “sometimes I fear someone actually saying yes to my pitch or the thought that someday millions of people may hear my music”. They were still dead set on achieving these huge goals but rather – how would they cope when success comes their way? Introducing… the fear of success!
What is the Fear of Success?
In the competitive world of artistry, independent artists constantly strive for their big break. However, what happens when the long-awaited triumph finally arrives? Surprisingly, the fear of success can be just as daunting as the fear of failure.
Here, I will delve into the challenges independent artists may face when confronted with the anxiety of success and I will provide a few practical strategies to help anyone with this very fear to overcome it and thrive in their artistic journey.
Acknowledge and Understand Your Fear:
One of the main sources of fear is the fear of change. Success often brings about significant shifts in an artist’s life, both personally and professionally. The prospect of stepping into the unknown and leaving behind familiar routines can be really unsettling. Artists may worry about how their relationships, lifestyle, or creative process might be affected. However, understanding this fear and taking steps to prepare for these changes allows artists to anticipate and prepare for the adjustments that come with success.
Other fears may include an intensified expectation that the pressure to consistently deliver at a high level. Although this is likely true, the fear stems from not being able to meet or exceed the expectations of fans, critics, or industry professionals. Caveat this by creating from a place of authenticity rather than striving for external validation.
The pressure to maintain newfound success can be overwhelming – especially in this era of overnight viral moments and short lived trends. Artists may also worry about sustaining their achievements and the fear of being seen as a one-hit wonder. However, by identifying the sources of fear, such as the fear of change, increased expectations, and the pressure to maintain success, artists can develop strategies to navigate these challenges.
Reframe Your Perspective:
As opposed to viewing success as an overwhelming burden, reframe it as an opportunity for growth and self-discovery. Learn to embrace the idea that success is not a destination but a journey, and each milestone reached is a stepping stone towards further artistic development. By shifting your mindset, you can transform fear into motivation and enthusiasm.
A growth mindset is the belief that talents and abilities can be developed through dedication, hard work, and a willingness to learn. By embracing this mindset, artists can approach their fear of success with a sense of curiosity and a willingness to learn from their experiences.
By embracing self-reflection and a growth mindset, you can navigate the fear of success with resilience and adaptability. You can continually improve your skills, expand your creative horizons, and effectively navigate the challenges and responsibilities that come with achieving your goals.
We cover mindset preparation in the very early modules of TULU Academy – the right mindset is a cornerstone to any success story’s foundations.
Surround Yourself with a Supportive Network
In my opinion, this is the most important piece of advice I can give on this subject. The unknown becomes ten times more manageable when you have your trusted team around you. Building a strong support system is vital! Seek out mentors, fellow artists, and industry professionals who can provide guidance, encouragement, and reassurance. Sharing your fears and triumphs with like-minded individuals can alleviate anxiety and create a sense of belonging in the artistic community.
Mentors can provide guidance, share their own experiences, and offer advice on how to handle the newfound success. Their wisdom and insight can help you navigate the ups and downs of the artistic journey.
Building relationships with fellow artists who are on a similar path creates a sense of camaraderie and understanding, as fellow artists are likely to empathise with the unique challenges you face. Share the highs and lows with people who get your situation.
Industry professionals – like TULU – have extensive knowledge of the industry and can offer insights into navigating the complexities of success. This can also open doors to new opportunities, exposure, and collaborations that may help propel your career forward.
Set Realistic Goals and Celebrate Milestones:
Fear of success often stems from the pressure to maintain and surpass achievements. Combat this anxiety by setting realistic goals that align with your artistic vision and personal growth. Break down larger objectives into manageable steps, and remember to celebrate each milestone along the way. By focusing on progress rather than perfection, you can mitigate the fear of not living up to expectations.
Begin by clarifying your artistic vision and long-term aspirations. What do you hope to achieve? How do you envision your artistic journey unfolding? Once you have a clear vision, break down your larger objectives into smaller, actionable steps. This approach allows you to focus on the immediate tasks at hand, making them more attainable and less overwhelming
Make your goals SMART! (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound) – We cover this in great detail in module 2 of TULU Academy. This approach not only mitigates the fear of not living up to expectations but also cultivates a healthier and more sustainable mindset towards success.
Cultivate Self-Compassion and Practice Self-Care
Amidst the pursuit of success, it’s so important for independent artists to prioritise self-care and cultivate self-compassion. In the creative process, setbacks and challenges are inevitable. Embrace a mindset that views setbacks as learning opportunities and stepping stones towards growth. By accepting the ups and downs of the artistic path, artists can cultivate self-compassion and reduce self-judgement.
Remind yourself that it’s okay to make mistakes and that you’re doing the best you can. Cultivating self-compassion allows artists to navigate the fear of success with a sense of self-acceptance and self-encouragement.
Make self-care a priority in your daily routine by practising mindfulness or meditation, exercising or engaging in physical activities that you enjoy, spending quality time with loved ones, pursuing hobbies unrelated to your art, or simply taking moments of quiet solitude to recharge.
By recognising setbacks as part of the creative process, adopting self-compassionate language, engaging in regular self-care activities, setting boundaries, seeking support, and prioritising stress management, artists can cultivate resilience, enhance their overall well-being, and thrive in their artistic endeavours.
Taking care of yourself is not selfish.
Embrace Failure as a Learning Opportunity:
Embracing failure as a learning opportunity is a transformative mindset that can greatly benefit independent artists in their pursuit of success. By shifting the perception of failure, artists can unlock their full potential and foster a mindset of growth and resilience.
By embracing failure as a natural part of the creative process, artists can extract knowledge and use it to grow, refine their skills, and evolve as practitioners. Furthermore, resilience allows artists to bounce back from setbacks, and challenges with renewed determination and optimism. It enables them to persevere through difficulties and maintain their artistic integrity.
Embracing failure encourages artists to be authentic and true to themselves. When artists let go of the fear of failure, they are more likely to take risks, experiment with unconventional ideas, and create work that reflects their unique artistic voice.
By viewing failure as a stepping stone to success, artists can navigate the uncertainties of their creative journey with confidence, persistence, and a deep commitment to continuous improvement.
Final Thoughts on Navigating the Fear of Success
The fear of success is a common yet seldom discussed topic among independent artists. By acknowledging and addressing this anxiety, artists can take proactive steps towards overcoming their fears and embracing the success they yearn for. Remember, success is not just about external recognition but also about personal fulfilment and artistic growth. By reframing your perspective, cultivating a supportive network, setting realistic goals, practising self-care, and embracing failure, you can navigate the fear of success and embark on a fulfilling artistic journey.
New York native rapper High Nelson continues to make contributions to the alternative hip hop scene. The up and coming rapper is set unveil his awaited new set of visuals for his latest single “Moodshift” produced by Ransom Beatz, on 14th of February, 2023 available on all platforms.
Feeling moody lately? Mood swings or shifts in mood are most times seen as going from a positive to a negative state of emotional being. When a person goes from feeling sad to being happy it’s often just seen as “feeling better” or being in a “better mood”. Rarely is the transition to happy from sad seen as a mood swing or a mood shift, possibly because reaching a state of happiness doesn’t necessarily align with the negative connotation that a “mood shift” carries. High Nelson’s chill but jiggy single, ‘Moodshift’ looks to play on this juxtaposition.
As the final single to be released from Nelson’s recent EP, ‘Hello’, the visuals were shot in Barbados by Barabdian cinemotographer Stay Shooting. The visuals high light the idea of airing dirty laundry, severing ties and new endeavors through Nelson’s interaction with what seems to be a new love interest.
Nelson’s ‘Moodshift’ brings to the life the concept of “feeling like yourself again”. Whether it be a break up or severing ties with a friend we often go through the a period of not feeling like ourselves. Whether it be finding a new love interest, finding new friends, or simply pouring your favorite drink on the rocks we all go through the motions of trying to feel like ourselves again. “Moodshift” puts these motions into a nutshell sonically.
Leamington is notorious for its summer schedule which is filled with a host of amazing live outdoor events, featuring the best of local music, food, art and culture. TULU presents have teamed up with some of Warwick University’s best and brightest student-led music and events organizations, Koan Record, Season SZN Settings and Mayhem to host the newest festival to join this summer’s programming, The Backyard. Alongside the initial partnerships TULU then recruited the best local events brands Tallawah Sound System and Saturn brands to ensure the best representation of Leamington’s music culture and best music on the day. The Backyard is the only festival in Leamington to showcase DJs, Bands, Acoustic, Rap, reggae, dub, house, funk, soul, rock, R&B, House, UKG and more!
The day festival at Mill Gardens is followed by an afterparty in the heart of Leamington Spa where we will see the multifaceted DJ Bklava who has been a recognised name across the festival scene in 2021 and 2022 take to the decks. Baklava drew huge crowds to her sets at BBC R1’s Big Weekender, Parklife and AVA due to her ever growing popularity within the dance music scene.
The Backyard is a young, diverse music festival focusing on niche underground genres of music that don’t usually get the spotlight at outdoors events. CBO Vince said “We are so fortunate to get to be involved with this summer’s programming for live music events in Leamington with a difference. We are very lucky to have the support of more well established brands like Slate Events, who believed in our vision and helped us to bring this idea to life.”
TULU serves independent artists in the underground music scene, championing entrepreneurial and forward-thinking creatives in the underground music scene. So this event felt like a good fit to showcase some of the incredible acts they have worked with from across the UK and to give the students a platform.
The student music scene adds a lot of culture and diversity to Leamington’s existing music scene and TULU Presents by nature is a disruptive music industry brand that loves to push boundaries and create new experiences. TULU is prime placed to support those genres which fall outside of the usual scene. This will not only be a celebration of the vibrant youth culture in the area but showcase some of the most exciting emerging talent from across the UK.
Acts like Feux, Call Me Unique, Wynter Black, Tidez and Capital J to name a few will grace one one of three stages in the gardens. The Official afterparty will host a variety of global and local names, from Bklava and High Nelson to student collective Mayhem and a Tallawah, a fan favourite of Leamington Spa. With food and drink provided by local vendors, 8 Track Rum, Bedford Street, Tea Society, Sukanya, 8Track Spiced Rum, and support from Big Drop Brewery, UNLTD and CanO Water.
These two female bosses, Gee and Vince, have created a space for Independent artists to connect, create and collaborate with music industry professionals, creatives and brands all under one roof. TULU Presents has the online digital services and physical creative hub, so two parts to this cool and funky company.
How did the opportunity come about? I (Francetta, Director of Dats Muzik) wrote a music review for their artist, Blue Eyes, then a few months later they suggested another artist. Later they absolutely loved what I was doing and wanted to support more female led platforms. So we got talking and voila, here we are.
So, as an award finalist Afrobeat & Amapiano ‘Best Music Blog’ 2021, here comes Dats Muzik Creative Copywriting, where I write website copy, content, do proofreading and editing + more for creative diverse, unrepresented and black-led businesses. This blog post incorporates the two and we’ll be discussing the importance of web copy and press coverage in the music industry.
The first thing is… Why have your own website and how is this the best path for press coverage?
It enables you to build a direct connection with your audience by growing your mailing list.
Too many artists still pin all of their hopes on social media, and invest a lot of time in growing their audiences there. But the sad reality is, that these audiences are still connected with a platform that YOU have no control over. So if that platform falls out of favour, or closes down, you’ve lost those hundreds, thousands, or in some cases, millions of followers, with no way of keeping in touch with them. Just recently Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp were down for 5 hours and they lost millions from advertising.
This now proved why having an email list and your own space on the internet is vital. Your website is one of the main places that you can gather email addresses, so you can keep in touch with your audience by sending out regular newsletters, have your music their and gain press coverage.
You have to see yourself as a brand. You’re not just an artist or DJ that produces or writes and sings the songs. For your audience to connect with you and become loyal fans, you have to tell your story and show your uniqueness to the world. Where can you do that and express yourself and your brand? Show us who you or your band truly are? On your own website!
With your own website, you have more control over how you present yourself, which will allow you to make the strongest first impression possible. You’re not as restricted to the template Facebook wants us to use, for example – you can be as visual or as minimal and mysterious as you like. Plus, there are less distractions since people aren’t being pulled away by various ads and notifications.
It helps you gain more press coverage than without, but having a website just elevates you once more, as not many artists or DJs have their own site. You have to see yourself as a brand first then an artist.
What is the purpose of web copy and how much should you add?
Your website is the shop window to your world and products. Each page is where you’re walking and taking your visitors on a journey through your world, music and each section of your brand. Every word written is you talking to your potential audience and customers, who will download your songs, purchase a product (hoodie, vinyl etc) and go to your gigs or concerts.
As an emerging artist, musician, band or DJ, have you ever thought of words like this? Have you ever thought of copywriting and content writing like this? It makes you think, doesn’t it? You have to decide how much you want to talk to your customers (audience)….
1 website page will make visitors seem blah, like “Is that all? That’s a bit dry”.
4 or more pages gets your visitors excited. Get’s them wondering what’s next to come like ‘Mary Poppins’ famous bag. You want to give them just enough. Leave the conversation at the sweet spot, where they’ll buy and come back for more.
With an EPK, usually it’s 2 pages or less and is focused on a specific song or album. As with your web copy you can be more conversational and in depth with your audience, whilst getting radio hosts, journalists, podcast hosts and others fascinated with you. Impressed by your talent and they can connect with you personally via email.
Always have an EPK, as it’s essential, but have the best web copy for your website will add an extra layer to your already impressive music. This is for all genres, even though I focus on Afrobeat, Amapiano and Reggaetton.”
When a catastrophic technical fault turns into an eclectic quadruple project release, you can’t help but be intrigued…
Due to an unfortunate malfunction of Espielle’s hard drive rendering it completely useless and taking his goldmine of sessions down with it; this incredibly versatile producer is treating us to an explosion of new releases. This quadruple EP release project, aptly named “i” – “iv” will be heading our way over the coming months to perfectly represent the diversity of talent Espielle unwaveringly displays.
These tracks were all part of individual projects which Espielle was working on but due to the unfortunate hard-drive incident he is unable to finish the tracks to his normal release standard. Therefore, he has made the decision to throw caution to the wind and simply release the top 15 tracks which were closest to, or ready for completion.
Oxfordshire based Espielle has been surrounded by music his whole life so his broad spectrum of music theory knowledge helps him create high quality and multifaceted projects.
The first EP, “i”, released on the 23rd July is a collection of commercial style instrumentals which would not be out of place on advertisement and marketing content in a wide array of different industries. Our top tracks from this EP are On Foot and Cavalry.
EP number two; “ii”, released on the 31st July takes you on a trip around the world in just three tracks keeping you hooked throughout. Drawing inspiration from West Africa, Spain and the Middle East, this EP takes you from the beginning through to the end in a brief but wholly engulfing manner. Our top track from this EP is End.
The third EP… “iii”, the most recent release which graced our ears on the 13th August is where Espielle really flexes his song writing and construction skills. On “Spilled” we even get a flavour of Espielle’s own voice as he delivers the beautifully emotive track.
And finally, EP “iv” takes you out of this world with two impeccably written classical pieces which would not be far out of place on sci-fi and other fantasy type TV shows. It is the perfect grand finale for this quadruple EP special and gives the listener a complete end to end experience from commercial instrumentals to complete songs. “iv” is set to be released in the coming weeks.
Click on Espielle’s profile to find out more about this versatile producer from Oxfordshire and to discover how you can collaborate with him on your next project.
Espielle is also one half of production duo Harlem Ralph; born from over 10 years of making music together, Patrick Foley and Espielle have been working under the collective name Harlem Ralph to bring a vast aray of producstion services including song writing, instrumental, beat creation, recording and vocal coaching. Find out more about their services here. Harlem Ralph are based at The Unit as one half of our in house producers.
Music is so often the backdrop to our memories and moments in our lives that get beautifully captured in lyrics and beats. If the summer of freedom doesn’t need a soundtrack then we don’t know what does, and we also have yet to hear a more suited track than ‘Now I Need You’.
This catchy summer banger is nostalgic, carefree and retrospective. Lyrically the track is raw and honest and talks of the retrospective feeling of needing someone after convincing yourself you would be fine on your own. It is honest and earnest which is a contrast to the high energy and upbeat production from Harlem Ralph.
The result of this beautiful juxtaposition is a high energy, catchy and infectious electro-pop summer bop that is perfect for the car, club or house party. We expect this to be added to the repertoire of DJ’s across the country as clubs begin re-opening for a guaranteed floor filler.
Visuals for this track are deliberately not literal and show the carefree fun element of the song rather than reflecting the sentiment of the lyrics. The video gives us serious flashbacks of when times were different and house parties were of the norm. We certainly have been missing these kinds of vibes and the ‘Now I Need You’ visual gives us hope for the future as we move out of restrictions and start meeting up.