Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Websites for THE ARTIST

The number of free websites open to the independent artist are many and manifold.


They generally promise the same things.


You get to design your own profile.


Whoopee! You cut and paste the usual yap that you’ve put on all the other websites that promised so much but gave so little. The usual collection of badly lit jpegs showing the variety of haircuts and dodgy fashion choices you’ve made over the years.


Get your music heard!


I think I’ve covered that haven’t I?



Tell us about all your live shows.


To be honest this CAN be quite useful as one can see where one might go to get gigs for oneself, can’t one?


I am a member of so many of these sites, the only way I know is that I receive emails from them daily. None of them, except one that I’ll get to in a minute, actually DO anything. I joined one recently after being encouraged to by a friend that works for the site. I had a heady 2 weeks of “so and so wants to be your friend” “So and so made a comment about your song” comments from other hapless fools like myself congratulating me on a “great sound” or a “kicking track” as I believe our American cousins put it. Then nothing…….honestly nothing! I had taken my own advice and had gone and listened to around 20 of the 300 or so people. To be frank, tragic. Not all in their defence but pretty much.


So is there a site that DOES do me some good? Well, yes there is and thanks for asking. It’s called Reverbnation.com and it is the dog’s balls. There are a few good artists there as well as some tragic covers duos that are worth a listen for the comedy value alone. They also have widgets, fantastic little devices that you can paste into other website and/or emails that will play your efforts in a nice little player. Widgets that folk can submit their email addresses to become part of ones fanbase. The best thing of all is that you can keep tabs on these tecky little bastards and see how many people have played them.


The sharp eyed amongst you will have spotted that there are a couple on this very page.

If you haven't already, give em a click.


I’d be interested if any of you (please let there be more than one of you dear god) have had any joy and by joy I mean this “Someone who you don’t know has listen to one of the tunes you have on your profile (and this is important) more than once?”



I have experienced this joy and it is a joy unconfined!


So, what have we learned?


Oh just click on a widget………….

Friday, 4 April 2008

If you don't how can you expect.....

So how many independent artists do YOU listen to?

So you’ve got your myspace page, Facebook profile, Ilike perhaps even your own website. You have pictures of your beautiful self, mp3s of your songs, news of where and when you are playing.

Then what do you do?

You email all your friends, then you email people that aren’t your friends, then you email everyone that’s left telling them how wonderful your music is and how great you are and how much you’re looking forward to seeing them at your gigs.

After the initial traffic has dies down, you make a few changes. Some new pictures, MP3s and a few new gigs. Email the world once again. Then wait…….wait …..

Then you learn about Meta tags. These are those little keywords you can attach so that when people do searches, your site will appear.
Now you want to choose something that applies to you yes?

“Original” yes original’s good, what else?

“Independent” OBVIOUSLY

“Funky” “Eclectic” “Indy” I could go on, there are thousands.
You apply all these to your site and then wait.
Nothing happens, honest. You may get a few stray “robots” (whatever they are!) but other than that it’s pretty much Heartbreak Hotel.

So the big question is (here comes the point!) what do YOU use when you search for independent artists? What key words do YOU use when you search for other artists in the same boat as you?

You don’t do you? You don’t look for other artists just like you. So if YOU don’t then you can’t realistically expect anyone else to either can you?

It was only when I started to think about this whole “tag” thing I realised that I didn’t search out any independent talent either.

Do it, I did. There are some gems out there, all fresh and shiny and they haven’t had the corners knocked off yet. They’re still willing to experiment, yes sometimes it doesn’t work but then that’s all part of it. There are a plethora of websites that they (and me) are on and you can search for whatever genre (don’t get me started!) you fancy. There are some horrors but even they can be entertaining in a “car crash” kind of way. I have found some great artists this way and it has made me more optimistic about the music scene as whole.
There are a few nighmares, but that goes with the territory and can even be entertaining in a car crash sort of way.

If you are one of this band of “Indies” you must must must go and search for other artists.
If you are a regular punter then go get out there and discover your own pet band, you can adopt them, buy their music, go and see them and if you do, tell them that you found them on the internet because you did a search and they came up. You listened; you liked and then either went to see them or bought/downloaded their music. I guarantee you will make their day!

Wednesday, 2 April 2008



I am often referred to as an “unsigned artist”.
I blame no one, I do it myself. Nick Tann, unsigned artist. I have always hated the tag, it sounds as though I am lacking in a way.

“Are you signed Nick?”

“No” I say, blushing at my shame “I am unsigned”

When putting any of my yap on the web, tags have to be applied to documents to help all those poor folk out there find what they want. “Original” “12 String guitar” “songwriter” etc are all positive then “unsigned”. It should have one of those glum emoticons after it and a big apology “Sorry I’m not signed”

BUT, now I am making a change. I am now going to call myself an “independent artist” This is a better reflection of what I am and a damn sight less glum and apologetic. It’s something to be proud of. I may make myself a badge proclaiming myself an INDEPENDENT ARTIST. You wouldn’t want to walk around wearing an “Unsigned” badge now would you?

This is, however, not without risks when it comes to the getting found by people who are looking for unsigned people. If you Google “unsigned artists” you will get 867,000 pages whereas if you Google “independent artists” 157,000 hits you will find. Nevertheless, it may be better to be part of a smaller, prouder group.

Lets hope it catches on…..