(Photo of Nicey Most Likely)
Being an indie artist has its up’s and down’s when it comes to the music industry. On the positive side you don’t have to worry about a label influencing your art, having you create something you’re not passionate about. On the negative side all of the costs come out of your own pocket: studio time, production, marketing, photo shoots, etc. You work a day job to pay for all of these things and hope that it helps in making your brand become noticed.
I know a lot of artists can’t afford to pay for studio time or production so they record at home and make their own beats. I also know the majority of artists can’t afford the steep price of paying a PR person to help get their music to the taste makers that need to hear it. I see plenty of emails sent from artists daily. Some of them are creative and well thought out, providing all of the information needed to craft a post. Others don’t understand the best way to get their music heard and only send a link (I did a post on writing a great email here).
Philadelphia, PA artist Corey Lee is making a name for himself and getting noticed by some big platforms. His music has been featured on Vibe magazine’s website recently, he’s been a mainstay with my friends at Dinner Land, and he’s set to perform on the next Hot 97 “Who’s Next?” showcase. He’s done all of this on his own: no PR agency, no marketing director, nothing. This means he not only creates his music but he’s responsible for submitting to every website he’s been featured on, marketing to other platforms, and more. I spoke with Corey about being a one person show when it comes to marketing and creating music.
Joe Hova: I’ve been posting your music since last year. To see where you were to what you’re doing now is amazing. You’re also a one man show. Talk about the difficulties of being your own public relations and marketing team.
Corey Lee: It’s difficult being your own marketing team but I can’t lie & say I’m all by myself. I have some of the best friends & family that support me in what I do. I just come up with a plan & I’m blessed to have people that believe in me to just run with it.
“Blessing to be able to contact some of these higher ups without going through a publicist is special.”
JH: You’ve been featured on some high profile sites, such as Vibe, and are performing on the Hot 97 “Who’s Next?” showcase at the end of the month. Would you say this is the talent finally getting noticed, having good connections, or a mixture of both?
CL: Honestly I would say it’s a good mixture about both. I wouldn’t say I have the craziest connections. I built relationships with people who believe & see the vision in a similar way that I do. Having good music is definitely apart of it though. So they go hand in hand & the timing is just right at the moment.
JH: How difficult is it to create music and then also have to send it out to every connection you have with a platform or writer? Do you have scheduled times where you only focus on the PR and marketing process?
CL: It’s very difficult but this is what you ask for when you want it. You have to go above and beyond to get the things you want. It’s timely & tedious but it’s well worth it. Blessing to be able to contact some of these higher ups without going through a publicist is special. It’s really no specific time. I just have set times when I release & try to work off that.
JH: A lot of your songs are current in regards to lyrical content (such as “The Process”). Does this help in the marketing scheme for you?
CL: Yes of course. You have to keep up with the times & give the listeners fresh content. In my case it makes your music easier to market as well as push. It’s so relevant to what’s going on the music can almost promote itself.
I have to thank Corey once again for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions regarding this subject. Thank you for reading this post! I’ll be posting these Artist Advice articles every Monday so make sure you’re following on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to keep up with upcoming posts. You can also watch Periscope chats on related topics while you wait for the next article. If you have a topic you want me to address, feel free to contact me and I’ll be more than happy to write about it. Email questions/topics to: JoeHovasMF@gmail.com with “Indie Artist Advice” in the subject line.