Categories

March 1, 2017

How to get the most out of your artist profile

More articles
how-to-edit-connect-profile

How to manage your artist profile on Apple Music

We get a lot of people writing in to our support team asking if we can swap their picture on their Apple Music page, or edit something on their Spotify profile. While we would love to help, this is actually something you can do yourselves!

To make it all a bit easier, we’ve put together some tips on how to manage your Apple Music artist profile. We’ll be posting similar articles relating to all our digital partners, like Spotify, Deezer, Amazon and more so stay tuned!

What is Apple Music Connect?

Apple Music Connect is essentially your artist page on Apple Music, but it is also a platform that allows artists to share their own content! This could range from behind the scenes photos, song lyrics, messages to fans, videos and more.

Fans can then like, comment and share through iMessage, Facebook, Twitter, or email. This is open to all artists on Apple Music, not just the global superstars, so make the most of it! All you need is to log in to your Apple Music Profile, and share anything you like from an iOS device.

apple-music-connect-profile

 

Unlike other music services that allow you to edit your artist profile, Connect allows you to take control of how you market yourself as an artist and connect with your fans (no pun intended!)

How do I access my Connect account?

To get started you first need to have your music already on Apple Music. Next step to claiming your artist profile is to request access to connect by signing in here with your Apple ID and password.

Once you have signed in click the + button in the top left corner of the screen.

Connect1

On the next screen click the + button next to ‘Artists’.

 

Connect2

Search for your band or artist name which will come up in a drop down menu and select the correct one and click the Add button.

Connect3

You can then choose the role you have in the band or artist’s career, either band or group member, solo artist, artist manager, or label representative. Choose the option that fits you best, fill in your details and hit the submit button up the top when done.

Connect4

Apple will then review your request and send you an email to notify you when you can access your Connect account.

How do I edit and share to my Connect Account?

In Apple Music or iTunes hit the New Post button and choose which artist or band profile you want to post to. Write a message or add a link, then tap the + button to add things like photo and video to your post.

connect uploadKeep in mind you can only share up to 90 minutes of audio, videos that are max 8 minutes long, JPEG or PNG images. If you’re sharing content you’ve filmed on your phone or iPad you can upload it all direct to your Connect account straight from your device in the Apple Music app.

When someone searches for you in Apple Music and lands on your page, they will see your music and a ‘From The Artist’ section where the content you choose to share will be shown. Remember you must own the rights to this content and it is not monetised, you will only earn via sales and streams on your actual music on Apple Music and iTunes.

Read Apple Music’s guide to uploading content to your Apple Music Connect page here. You can then share all of this to your Facebook and Twitter accounts to increase the fans you reach!

Read more
same_artist_name

The importance of having a unique artist name

We know how hard each and every artist out there works on their music. Writing lyrics, composing melodies, tightening the production, getting tracks mixed and mastered, sorting distribution – there are so many steps that are taken before your music actually makes its way out into the world. So how much would it suck to go find your tracks online, only to find it’s been put on someone else’s Spotify or Apple Music page?

Unfortunately this happens all the time on music streaming and download services when too many artists have the same name. It’s no one’s fault, with the sheer volume of music being created and released there are bound to be double ups on artist names.

Stores often mix-up content when a product (your music) is delivered with the same artist/band name. This is because they handle their content administration automatically so it’s frequent that artists with a very similar or the same name are allocated under the very same artist page. It’s not easy for computers to be able to tell the difference between DJ Cool from Tokyo and DJ Cool from Timbuktu!

This is why it is so important to come up with a unique artist or band name, and research it before you release anything.

When you start your musical career using the same name as an existing band or performer you make life difficult for yourself because:
  • You may end up with your music appearing on someone else’s Spotify, Apple Music, or other store profile
  • It will be harder for people (think A&Rs, managers, promoters, and FANS) to find you online
  • You might not be able to register a website or social media profiles under the name you want
  • You risk infringing on someone’s trademark, which can be very serious

For example, Tahlia Barnett performs under the stage name FKA Twigs, you may have heard of her… The FKA, which means ‘formerly knows as’, was only added to her stage name in 2014 because a Brooklyn-based duo called The Twigs tried to sue her for infringing on their copyright. No matter how successful you are – no one has the time and money to waste of a lawsuit like that!

There are lots of ways to come up with a unique stage or band name, but here are a few to get you started:
  • Use your real name – sounds obvious but a lot of artists want something ‘different’ or ‘cool’ but there’s nothing wrong with keeping it simple
  • Combine your real first name and a made up last name, have some fun with it!
  • Deliberately misspell a word, take out the vowels, or use an acronym à la Desiigner, WSTRN or U2
  • Flick through a book or the dictionary, close your eyes and point on a word. Don’t laugh, it worked for Destiny’s Child!

For more ideas to find your band name, read 5 ways of coming up with a great band name.

Once you’ve come up with your name, check as thoroughly as you can to see if it’s already being used. A few ways you can do this are:
Choose_your_Stage_name
  • Search for it online – type it into Google, or enter www.the-artist-name-youve-chosen.com and see if the URL has been taken
  • Type the name into music services like Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, Soundcloud and any others you can think of to see if anyone is using the name
  • Search for social media accounts that use that name. If they’re not on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or YouTube it’s unlikely you’ll find anyone with the same name on any other social media sites
  • Check if there is a trademark registered under that name. Here are a few databases you can check

This is all well and good for new artists starting out who haven’t settled on a name yet, but what if you’ve already got a problem with duplicate names?

It’s not the end of the world!

For starters names can always be changed, a lot of famous bands have done this in the past and if you’re releasing music under the name ‘Dave’ you might want to think about making it a bit more unique now rather than later.

If you have released music through Spinnup and your tracks are appearing on someone else’s store page, there are a few things you can do. When it’s happening on Spotify, you can apply for a Verified Artist Page if you have 250 followers or more. For more info on that, head to Spotify Artists.

But if that’s not possible for you, please contact our support team and tell them you have a Separation Request. They will then get in touch with Spotify, Apple Music, TIDAL or any of our other retail partners to request your music be separated.

Read more
how-to-make-your-profile-look-great

How to get the most out of your artist profile

Did you know that as soon as you’ve signed up to Spinnup you can create your artist profile and connect your socials before you even make a release?

Part of what we do here at Spinnup is give artists some of the best tools to make the most of their career, and access to social stats and the artist profile are just two of them. They’re both really important as connecting your social accounts in will give you up to date graphs and statistics will allow you to track your fanbase, and your artist profile will make you visible to the Scouts and A&Rs.

The artist profile is a great mini-website style profile that you can use to send to Scouts, A&Rs, promoters, producers or managers. The way we like to think of the Spinnup artist profile is like your audience’s one-stop shop to being able to get to know you or your band, find your music and social media accounts, and contact you (but only if you allow them to!)

And while setting everything up is pretty straightforward, we thought we’d run through how to make the most of it with a few tips and tricks.

Spinnup_connect_your_socialsOnce you have created your free account or logged in, hit Settings in the left-hand menu and scroll down to Social Accounts. You will see options for Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud and Youtube.

Simply hit the connect button and a window will pop up for you to sign in to that account, that’s all it takes!

 

create_your_Spinnup_profileNow, onto your profile – just click on Artist Profile in the menu to get to your edit page.

Artist Information

Here you enter in your artist name and create your unique profile URL. We recommend making this as close toy your artist name as possible, and use a ‘-‘ for any space in your name, e.g. Lady Blah Blah would be written ‘lady-blah-blah’ and the link would look like this: https://artist.spinnup.com/lady-bah-blah.

Remember you are not allowed any special characters, letters and numbers only!

Artist Bio & Videos

Next is probably the most important part – your artist bio. This is where you get to introduce yourself to the world, describe your musical background and style or any achievements you may want to boast about. We say the more the better (within reason, of course) as it never looks very good when all a profile says is, “John from Johannesburg”

Here are a few ideas of things you can write about in your artist profile if you get stuck:
  • Where you are from/grew up
  • How you got started in music
  • What instruments or other musical skills you have, e.g. songwriting, producing, mixing
  • Any musical influences you might have
  • Notable gigs, venues or festivals you have played in
  • Any radio stations or Spotify playlists that have featured your music
  • Other artists or producers you have worked with
  • What your plans are for the future, e.g. working on an EP, finalising the next single

Write in a way that is natural to you as you want to reflect your personality, but remember to also keep it professional. Some people choose to write their profiles in the third person to make it seem more official, but that’s totally up to you. Just so we’re all on the same page, writing in the third person means to refer to yourself or your band as ‘they’ or ‘he/she’. For example instead of writing, “I recently played at The Empire where I debuted music from my new EP,” you would write “Lady Blah Blah recently played at The Empire, where she debut music from her upcoming EP.”

my_Spinnup_profileOnce you’ve got the words down, you can add video ! Simply find the YouTube videos of yours that you want to embed into your profile, and copy and paste the URL, not the embed code, into the text of your bio wherever you want it to sit, and viola!

(Psst…look left to see what we mean)

 

Artist Image

Next drop a hi-res image of you or your band into the Artist Image box, which will feature at the top of your artist profile. If you hit ‘View Profile’ on the right hand side you can preview all changes to get it looking how you want. The perfect sized image is 1200px wide and 600px high (although you can use other sizes) and must be a JPEG or PNG file.

Links & Social Accounts

This is another really important step and can often be the trickiest. By connecting your social media accounts you are allowing the Scouts and A&Rs to easily find you online. We highly recommend this as it will help you track your fans and followers, but could also play a role in you being discovered by the Scouts and A&Rs at Universal Music. Once you have connected your social accounts

When linking your accounts, make sure to enter the last part of your social media URL only in the box. This is where a lot of artists go wrong and leads to broken links, and no one likes broken links!

Check out the GIF below to see how to properly insert your social links so they a) work and b) are nice and neat.

Spinnup-artist-profile

Underneath your social accounts, you can choose to leave a contact email address and phone number. This is entirely up to you, but we recommend leaving at least your email address so that people easily can get in contact with you.

The last, and newest, feature of the artist profile is the music player! As soon as your first release is live in stores, an extra ‘Music’ tab will appear at the top of your profile which will have a Spotify player for each release you have made on Spinnup. You can see how it works on UK band King No One‘s profile in the GIF below.

Spinnup_Profile_Spotify_Player

So what are you waiting for?

Create or log in to your artist account, connect your socials, pimp your artist profile and start sharing it with the world!

Read more
how_is_discover_weekly_made

How does Spotify make your ‘Discover Weekly’ Playlist?

If you’re a Spotify user you’ll probably be well acquainted with the sorcery that is the Discover Weekly playlist.

Each and every Friday you’re served up with a brand new playlist of seemingly random tunes that are *almost* always perfectly suited to your weird and wonderful music tastes.

Okay, so we know this isn’t exactly magic but some complex system of algorithms that us mere mortals will never understand. That is, until now.

Thanks to the guys behind The Science Of Everything YouTube channel, who brought us such educational videos as why gymnasts are so small, or how you’re related to Kevin Bacon, have broken down the mystery behind the infamous playlist.

Basically, it’s a combination of your listening habits + the thousands (millions? who knows) of playlists out in the wide Spotify world that select the artists and the tracks it thinks you will like. Okay that’s not a great explanation, so watch the video below

Read more
musician-press-kit

The importance of a musician’s press kit

It is universally acknowledged that knowing where to begin when marketing yourself as a musician can be enough to make your brain explode. With so many choices looming left right and centre, it can seem impossible to prioritize. Should you focus on your social media channels or should you be making flyers? What about networking events, do they matter? Read more

Read more
computer white

The importance of an artist website – taking your music to the next level

So you’ve recently made a release with Spinnup and are confused as to what to do next. In the eyes of many musicians, there is only one way to craft your way to the top – by forging an online presence on free social sites including Facebook, Twitter & Instagram. But whatever happened to building a personal website? Are they still important in the musical sphere?  Are they worth investing in?

The answer to these questions is YES – in a world where first impressions are key, running a slick, well designed website is imperative to you as a musician. With fans waiting for you to dazzle them and competition flying around, social networking just isn’t enough to promote yourself and your journey anymore. A website separates you from the rest; it is convenient, helps you engage with new fans and connect with old ones but also allows your followers to get to grips with who you are.

Having your own website also makes you look super professional and serious about your career – there really is no better way to increase your credibility and get people hitting play. Building a customized website is also not as expensive as people think. Platforms such as WordPress offer some awesome free templates meaning all you need to spend money on is your domain name and your website hosting. Furthermore, one of the best things about having your own corner of the internet is the freedom and control. Unlike social platforms, you can set up mailing lists but keep all contact information from them too. WordPress offers detailed website insights along with Google Analytics – the perfect way to keep an eye on your traffic and improve your site all the time. Score!

To summarise, running a website allows you to invest in yourself, create great content, use your social networking accounts to direct traffic to your website and get people coming back for more!

Let us know your thoughts in the comments on having a website and if you do, which platform you use!

Read more
crowd-1

5 Rules For A New Band To Live By

It can be hard starting out, often new bands struggle with a lack of funds, connections and name recognition but while it can be disheartening, if you work hard and follow these simple rules, the rewards can be incredible.

1. Don’t Gig Too Soon

You love gigging! Of course you do! Why else would you be in a band?! But it’s crucial that you wait until you are ready. You want the first time people see your band to be the best time to see your band – when you have a seriously, well rehearsed set of thoroughly thought out new songs. Those hours spent in a damp rehearsal studio may be tedious but they’re totally worth it.

2. Don’t Break The Bank

While it may be tempting to get the fanciest new equipment and film a high-budget blockbuster of a music video for your new track that you recorded in an incredibly high-end studio, it will all be for nothing if you haven’t got the songs yet – spend that hard earned cash on rehearsal time and a road-worthy van and get your first EP recorded on the cheap. Your new fans will love being part of the journey with you as you go from low-fi indie darlings to stadium gods.

3. Be Good To Each Other

A band is a family and we all know that families aren’t always easy. Take the time to hang out away from the practice room and firmly establish your relationships with your band mates. Figure out what you like and don’t like about them and work on getting used to both. The long hours spent bunking up a tour bus together will be a lot smoother if you do.

4. Keep Your Set Concise

There’s a reason there are so many great artists with catalogues of unreleased material… for every Blowin’ In The Wind you write, you’re going to write four other songs that won’t be blowin’ anyone anywhere. You don’t need to be playing an album length set every time you play a show. Choose your six or seven best songs and practice them religiously, the time you’ll save by not trying to cram every song you’ve ever written in will give you plenty of opportunity to get them sounding incredible.

 5. Always Leave Them Wanting More…

When you come to start putting your music online for public consumption try not to show the world too much, all at once. Leave some time between releases for people to really get in to your new track and start anticipating the next one. Your play counts will increase and the buzz around you will grow.

 

Read more
mastering2-1024x598-1

5 Great Cover Versions

Doing a great cover version can make a career, crossing over fanbase with the covered artist or appealing to a group that otherwise wouldn’t have been predisposed to your sound. Taking something people know and giving to them in a way that lets them know your sound is a great way to get yourself known.

1. Bon Iver – I Can’t Make You Love Me / Nick of Time

This song was originally recorded by country musician Bonnie Raitt  for her 11th album Luck Of The Draw. Written by Mike Reid and Allen Shamblin the song received massive critical acclaim, was named 8th on MOJO magazine’s 100 greatest songs of all time and has been covered numerous times by various different artists. In 2011 as a b-side to his release single Calgary; Bon Iver released   a stripped back version of the song. A haunting piano reverberates as his beautiful falsetto sings somewhere between pleading and submission. An original twist on the cover is his incorporation of another Bonnie Raitt song, the title track of her 1989 album ‘Nick Of Time’. It serves to create something of a happy ending from a sad song, and completes a wonderful homage to the seminal country artist.

 

2. Jimmy Hendrix – All Along the Watchtower

Originally a Bob Dylan song it was covered in 1968 on the Jimi Hendrix album Electric Ladyland. An explosion of energy, musicianship and forward moment. One of the biggest fans of the Hendrix version of this song was Dylan himself saying, “It overwhelmed me, really. He had such talent, he could find things inside a song and vigorously develop them. He found things that other people wouldn’t think of finding in there… Ever since he died I’ve been doing it that way… Strange how when I sing it, I always feel it’s a tribute to him in some kind of way.”

 

 

3. Sinead O’connor – Nothing Compares 2 U

It’s little known that this song was written by Prince for his side project The Family in the mid eighties. It was made famous though by Sinead O’Connor in early 1990 who released as a single on her album I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got. Almost more famous than the song released was the accompanying video in which O’Connor highly emotional and personal performance made the song  a worldwide hit.

 

 

4. Patti Smith / Bruce Springsteen – Because the Night

When recording the long awaited follow up to the classic album Born To Run, Bruce Springsteen recorded over 70 songs including Because The Night, though he was not happy with it and decided it would not make the album Darkness On The Edge Of Town. Meanwhile in the studio next door Patti Smith was working on her album Easter and with Jimmy Iovine working on both albums he gave a tape of the disregarded track to Smith who re-wrote, re-cut it and put it on her album. It is to this day her biggest selling single. Though it also appears on Bruce Springsteen’s live album 1975 – 1985 in which he performs the song with Patti Smith’s lyrics and lists her as a co-writer in the sleeve notes. So I will leave it up to you to decide who has covered who. Maybe it’s not a cover at all. But it’s my list so it’s here.

 

5. James Blake – Limit to Your Love

Originally an album track on the Feist album The Reminder James Blake burst onto the scene with this song his first offering and shocked the music world with his unique emotive yet modern sound. He took this little known track having the musical ear to hear the potential in it, released it and has never looked back. This has everything a great cover should be. An interesting and unique take on the original, sustaining a respect for it and if you can surprise people with the choice of song you cover all the better.

Read more
crowd-1

5 Things For a Successful single / EP / Album Launch

Launching the release you’ve been working so hard on is an incredibly nervous time. Will it sell? How’s the mix? Am I good? We can’t alleviate the natural self doubt that everyone will feel and we can’t write the songs for you, but here are some nuggets of wisdom that may help a little when it comes to hosting a launch for your single, EP or album.

1. Venue Size

Our advice would be that it’s so much more preferable to have a room be too small than too big. You will perhaps be inviting press, agents, labels and managers depending on what you require and what you already have in your team. A common tactic for a successful launch is to gauge interest and make your venue slightly too small to get everyone in, make sure all your friends get in and create a buzzing and packed event. This looks so much more appealing and impressive to the music industry than a sparse gathering in a venue that could hold more.

 

2.Location

Nowadays there is quite could software as part of your website mailing list that you may have that gives you an idea of where in the world your highest density of fans is. That would be where to house your event. You will want good transport links obviously. Also it might be a good idea to look at where in your city the music industry is populated, they tend to put their offices in one part of a city so it may be wise to think about this as a clever part of town. Though any A&R worth anything will always travel, you’d just be making it easier for them, so it’s not worth sacrificing a great venue maybe further away.

 

3.When?

Well, really it depends what you want from the evening. Obviously the weekend is better regarding your friends, family and fans but people in the music industry are more likely to come out on a weekday. Venue rental will also be cheaper on a weekday so really it makes most sense for this to be your choice. Don’t make your show too early or too late in the day. Too early and people will miss it, too late and everyone will be knackered and want to go home to get up for work. About 9pm is optimum.

 

4.Support 

Having a support act can be a great way to bring in a few extra bodies to the event. A great way to warm up the crowd and build excitement for you; the main event! It ensures that you don’t go on to a cold audience. Though do be aware if you are trying to cut costs you should really be paying them.

 

5. Merch

This is one of the most over-looked parts of a young bands to-do list. You must have a merch stand at all of your gigs but even more essentially at a launch. It looks professional, you will make money and if somebody takes something away that has your or your bands name on it that far increases the chance of them remembering you. This is an absolute no brainer. Have a merch table. You’ll make money and fans. Can you tell we like merch tables yet?

Read more
photo-22-1024x650-1

5 Things (People) You Will Need In The Future

‘Marathon not a sprint’ is a cliche that can be applied to too many things for it to mean anything anymore, though if it’s over-used, it’s probably over-used for a reason. When you’re thinking about your music career it’s very easy to want it all now, ‘I have to have my album out by Monday, be famous by Tuesday and then be on the cover of Rolling Stone by Thursday’. It all takes time. There are lots of steps to take and, don’t forget, a crack team to assemble.

1. Manager

The manager is the silent member of the band. They should fill the role of friend, boss, employee and Mother, it’s a role that should be malleable to each situation. The three main attributes that you want to look for in a manager are proactivity, organisation and enthusiasm for you and your music. A creative sounding board of you need it, a shoulder to cry on, someone to deal with the ‘suits’ and book the flights.

 

2. Agent

An agent will oversee you as a live act. Once you have a manager you can take meetings with different live bookers (you can do this alone but you may want a manager to book the meetings and keep an eye on everything) and see who is right for you. You can discuss strategy, possible support tours that are available, and setting up a solo tour when you are ready. It’ll become apparent pretty soon who is the right fit for you.

 

3. Label

If you are lucky enough to have an approach from a label, or maybe more than one label the various factors at play are: How big is the advance? How long / how many albums is the deal? What territory is it for? What is the marketing budget? Who gets to keep the masters? Different labels will offer different things. If you haven’t realised by now the most important thing is, that they are enthusiastic about you and you like them.

 

4. PR

Your publicist will suggest you for features in newspapers and magazines, ask TV and radio shows for interviews. They will deal with your media presence, try to raise your profile and the profile of your music as much as they can in the lead up to your release.

 

5. Lawyer

Your relationship with your lawyer will be more active, personal and important than you would think. You lawyer will go through your contracts with every single one of these people, making sure all the correct money flows into all the correct areas and to make sure everyone is being fair to everyone else. Advising you on the splits with your manager, agent and label will be a crucial part of the role. There is a high level of trust here

Read more

SIGN UP FOR FREE

Get Started