We don’t want to get all Tony Robbins on you but there are a few things that need to be said. The primary goal of SquidHat Records is to market and promote the music and artists that we believe in. We want all of our artists to be successful and we will do everything we can to facilitate that success, but we can’t do it alone. This is, after all, a partnership, and there are certain things we expect from you.
NO ONE SHOULD CARE MORE ABOUT YOUR MUSIC THAN YOU
It’s really that simple. Not us. Not your friends. Not your mom and dad. At the end of the day the art belongs to you and, ultimately, your success will depend on the passion and commitment that you put into making and marketing yourself. Yes, we are your label, and we love what you do. But, if we end up caring more about your future than you do then neither of us will have much success.
Make Amazing & ORIGINAL Music
Continually write and record new songs. Get better. Nod to your influences but don’t become them. The world doesn’t need another Bad Religion … it has one. We can help with songwriting, production and a lot of other things but ultimately THE GREAT SONG comes from you.
Promote Your Music At Every Turn
As an artist, you are always “working.” Every person you meet every place you go and every cup of coffee you buy is an opportunity. You’ve created something amazing that you think the world needs to hear, so make sure that they get the chance. Use social media, email lists, flyers, open mics, smoke signals, word-of-mouth, gig-sharing and other outlets to get your band in front of new people. Yes, we will be doing many of these things as well, but better to have more than less promotion. Talk up your website and promote your shows. Your enthusiasm will get them interested … hopefully interested enough to want to learn more … then your music will get them hooked.
Radio Sells Downloads – Touring Sells Albums
Writing, recording and releasing an album is not enough. Yes, the internet gives us a great advantage but it is also very, very crowded. Artist development is dead. Every person with an iPad and a $30 guitar can release a song or video and it just puts more and more static between the consumer and you. Internet radio and all the social media hype in the world will only get you so far. It’s getting out there, booking shows, playing live, connecting with your fans and making new ones that will make the difference between who succeeds and who ends up in a dive bar saying “I used to be in a band.”
Play out. Play out again. Then, play out again. Then play twice in one day, just to do it. Get out of town. Go on a mini-tour. Go on a maxi-tour. Get in front of new fans. Yes, we will be helping out by working to create live show/tour opportunities, but the more the merrier. If you book it, we can help promote it through radio, social media and PR. Play live as often and as far reaching as you can. And make yourself available after your shows. Bands at a merch table will sell a lot more stuff than your friend who comes out to stand behind the table for you. Remember why you’re there; to make a living playing music.
Put On An Amazing Live Show
This includes rehearsing enough that you are tight and consistent in your performances, and putting all your energy into every show. If it’s 4 people or 4,000 you will still make your fans one at a time. AND, they will not understand that you had “an off night.” They will just think you always sound that way. Make sure that your live product … that’s YOU … is polished to perfection and consistently amazing every single time. You are asking people to spend money on your dream. Deliver the goods.
Opportunities are going to come up, sometimes out of nowhere, and with little notice. The more opportunities you are ready to take advantage of, the more successful you will be. Be well rehearsed, have your gear in top condition, and stay healthy. Also, be prepared to make hard decisions about how you spend your time. You may not be able to go on vacation (or may have to change some plans) in order to take advantage of the right opportunity for your band. That’s not to say you have to cancel everything else in your life that isn’t band related, but acknowledge and prepare for the fact that your success will require sacrifice.
We Can’t Make You Famous
Only you and the discerning tastes of a million strangers can determine that. What we can do is make sure that they hear about you, see your picture, find you online and ultimately have the chance to purchase your products. You are your first and hopefully biggest fan. Start there and help it grow.
Live It Every Day
Let us reiterate: No one can, will, or should care more about your music than you. Not even us. We love your band, which is why we are talking to you, and we want to help you realize your dream. BUT, it’s YOUR dream, and the person with the most control over whether or not it happens is YOU.