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Getting featured on digital services

So Spinnup gets your music onto all the key digital stores but how can you secure “prime shelf space” in today’s online equivalents of the record shop? Here are some tips on how to improve your chances of getting noticed and featured on the sites of digital retailers.

Starting with the basics: have you been scouted yet on Spinnup? Did you know that you can ‘push’ your music to a Spinnup scout up to 3 times a month once it’s released? If you’ve got a new release coming up and a story to tell, then let your scout know or contact the Spinnup team directly about writing about your act in an upcoming feature. Plan ahead and give yourself enough lead-time before the actual release date (3 weeks or so) to promote your recording. Some sites, including streaming service WiMP, source their artist bios from Last.fm, so make sure you have an active account – it’s free! – with Last.fm’s Music Manager feature to create an up-to-date artist page and make the most of the site’s many social features and scrobbling statistics. (We’ll take it as read that you’ve recorded an awesome EP/album, the release information is spelt correctly and the cover art has been uploaded in the right format!)

Conquering the blogosphere. Hype Machine (hypem.com) is a site, which indexes and aggregates the results of influential music blogs worldwide (currently 857 “kickass” music blogs) in the name of new music discovery. They provide some practical advice on how to target blog sites that are likely to feature your music, and we all know that third party recommendations carry more weight. “Search for some bands that are similar to your band on the Hype Machine, then click through to the blogs that are writing about them. Bloggers really appreciate when you look into their taste first and send them something they will actually enjoy,” the site advises, and the blogs are also helpfully categorised by country and genre.

Familiarising yourself with the feature opportunities provided by each service is a plus. The iTunes store has its “New & Noteworthy” releases or “Best of 2013 so Far” under certain music genres and also has a much coveted free “Single of the Week” download feature. However, as their website clearly spells out: “Editorial placement is solely at the discretion of the iTunes editorial staff and is not guaranteed.” Streaming service WiMP has local editorial teams in each of the countries where the service is currently available (Sweden, Norway, Germany, Denmark and Poland), offering daily recommendations so they need a constant feed of new music to write about. Amazon’s site rates music according to user reviews, so encourage your fan base to review your releases and give their (preferably 5) star ratings! While not a feature opportunity as such, Spotify’s integration with Facebook makes it easy to share your music via a comment or status update. This, alongside other social features such as fans becoming ‘followers’, helps your fans promote your music.

Finally, bear in mind that the music industry is, and always has been, a people industry, and personal relationships remain as important as ever. One experienced artist manager makes the following observation: “The best way to influence the likes of iTunes et al is by building a positive business relationship with an established and powerful aggregator.” These days that aggregator can be a traditional label or distributor, or one of their online equivalents, who will have the personal contacts and can lobby on your behalf.

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Vote for your favorite!

Com Hem goes Spinnup!
Together with Com Hem we now have a competition up and running where some of our scouted artists have the opportunity to perform as an opening act for Zara Larsson! Make your choice through this link:

Get to know the artists

K-House
Film Death
Zackarias
Georgian Waters
DAPZ
Sarah Ariete
Valskrik
F!l!p

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The Spinnup-event: a success!

Thursday’s event is truly a day we won’t forget! We want to give a big thanks once again to those who made it possible which are the Hudikkalaset-team and our spinnup artists!

With great music from all types of genres – Flo., DAPZ, Great Until You, Zackarias, Georgian Waters, The Amplified Mojos, Hängslena Brinner and My Remorse set the bar very high with their performances!

The Amplified Mojos – the local winners of the Hudikkalaset’s competition delivered a spectaculaur show where their fans was screaming for more. Hope to see the blues band soon on Spinnup!

/Team Spinnup

(Photo: Georgian Waters)

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Preparing for a gig

Whether it’s your first gig or you’ve performed live dozens of times, certain basics remain the same. Here’s a checklist of the key things to remember.

1.Practice makes perfect.

Rehearse with your band and make sure you all know the songs you’re going to perform. Decide which songs work best in which order and construct a set-list that flows. Try videoing your rehearsals and make yourself watch the recordings – it’s a good way to review what works and what needs working on. And get feedback after your performances from people who can provide constructive criticism.

2.Planning and preparation will help calm your nerves.

Decide in advance what you’re going to wear and how you want to look. Plan your opening lines, think of some dialogue for linking songs, and decide when you’re going to introduce the band to the audience. You don’t have to stick to your ‘script’ doggedly, and by all means improvise (and you may have to if there are any temporary hitches), but it’s one less thing to worry about.

Check your equipment thoroughly in advance and tune your instruments beforehand to minimise time spent fiddling around on stage. If you don’t know the venue and there’s time, take a look around or spend an evening there. Otherwise you can usually get a feel for a place between the sound check and performance.

3.Pay attention to timekeeping.

Make sure you’re punctual and don’t keep people waiting around. You’ll know how long you have to perform so make sure your set-list is timed accordingly.

4.Know your audience.

Literally know at least some of them by promoting your show beforehand and rustling up as many of your existing fans as possible. Your fans will thank you for letting them know and you’ll get a huge boost from people clearly enjoying themselves right in front of the stage.

Then also have some understanding for who’s likely to be in the audience for the headline, assuming you’re the support band. Aim to be that surprise (in a good way!) support act that earns you some new fans – and let them know who you are with name-checks at the beginning and end of your set.

And while you’re remembering all of the above, don’t forget to enjoy yourself. Nerves aren’t necessarily a bad thing, they make you prepare and can raise your game as long as you learn to control them. But if performing live just isn’t for you then find another route to get your music heard.

In summary: Plan and prepare. Be professional (polite and punctual). Promote your show. Have a blast!

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Practise your songwriting

It’s all about the song and connecting emotionally with your listeners. While Elton John crafts his songs around the lyrics of his songwriting partner, Bernie Taupin, as an unsigned artist you’re likely to be writing both lyrics and melody. Everyone has their own approach to songwriting, so here are just a few tips you may find helpful.

Write as much as you can, as often as you can. In the same way as practising an instrument will help you improve, your songwriting skills will benefit from constant writing. And it’s highly unlikely that your first song will be a hit record – otherwise the charts would be 99% filled with break-up songs!

Get honest feedback from people whose opinion you value. You shouldn’t only rely on friends and family, but also someone who can be objective and can give constructive criticism. And don’t follow the example of the singer-songwriter who shut himself away in his studio for weeks to record an albums-worth of material, only to realise he’d produced a stinker when he unveiled it to his manager and record label executives.

Collaborate and experiment. Why not find a co-writer and write a couple of songs together – it’s a great way to stay motivated and explore different approaches. If you’re not in a band, you could gather some musician friends for a jamming session and just have some fun. It may help you relax and become more creative.

Feed your mind and your imagination. Listen a lot, learn from classic songs and analyse the elements that make them work. Dabble with different genres. If you’ve been writing pop songs, why not try listening exclusively to jazz for a while. This way you can end up bringing different elements into your music.

Although their manager, Andrew Loog Oldham, apparently locked Mick Jagger and Keith Richards in a room until they’d written their first songs for the Rolling Stones, this approach won’t work for everyone. If you get stuck, take a break or go out for a walk to take your mind off working on the same song for hours.

Last but not least, make sure you can record snippets of a song wherever you are – your mobile phone should have a record function and always carry a pen and paper – because you never know when inspiration will strike.

Good luck and we hope to hear your material soon on Spinnup! Don’t hesitate to email us at info@spinnup.com” if you’d like to share your experiences or advice on songwriting.

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Spinnup event at Hudikkalaset 25/7!

6 of our scouted artists are performing at the Hudikkalaset festival July 25th! On stage you’ll see flo., Dapz, Georgian Waters, Hängslena Brinner, Great Until You and Zackarias. Also, two local bands will have the opportunity to perform on this stage, through a contest on their page.

THE EVENT

Check out the bands
flo.
Dapz
Georgian Waters
Hängslena Brinner
Great Until You
Zackarias
My Remorse
The Amplified Mojos

About >Hudikkalaset
Hudikkalaset had been an annual festival in Hudiksvall since 2008. This year, between the 25-27th of July, they have a line up with artists such as Petter, Oskar Linnros, Zara Larsson, Graveyard, Bo Kastpers Orkester, Ulrik Munther and many more.

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A&R Talent Scouts mit eigener Musik erreichen

Dapz is ready to party

“My album will be filled with dope collaborations with other artists, well-crafted lyrics and a big focus on strong hooks. The songs contain a mixture of personal and social themes – and of course some great party tunes!” promises Dapz of his forthcoming album due for release on Spinnup in the beginning of 2014.

Voted MC of the Year by Metropol radio in 2008, Dapz first started writing and rapping at the age of 14.  Initially appearing on several mixtapes, he has worked with a number of hip-hop names and released a string of demos and singles: “Table Scraps”, “Go Blaow” which achieved international radio airplay, “Two Steps” and “ASAP”.

Dapz first came to the attention of Swedish hip-hop magazine, Kingsize, in 2009 when he performed on the remix of rap group Medina’s “Hip Patriot”. On the track “U Know What” Dapz was joined by American rap artist, Copywrite, and the recording was subsequently released on “The Vendor” EP.

“My songs are inspired by live events, people and emotions, and there’s often an ironic twist to the lyrics,” explains Dapz.

Aside from being active in the Swedish hip-hop scene, Dapz isn’t averse to trying something new. In 2012 he was invited to perform with hardcore punk group Hang ‘em High on five tracks, which were released on the EP “RESPECT”. Now he’s back again with his new EP “The Writer’s Guild” featuring Izza Kizza (signed to Timbaland’s Mosley Music Group) on one of the tracks.

Check out “The Writer’s Guild”, distributed by Spinnup on all major digital channels, and get ready to party with Dapz this summer!

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Spinnup featured in Music Ally

Music Ally wrote a great article about Spinnup in their latest issue!

Music Ally is a music business consultancy group covering digital music marketing and strategy. They put out a digital marketing publication on a regular basis, called Sandbox, read by over two thousand paying subscribers in the music industry. In issue #86, Spinnup was featured in a great article, which explained the service in detail and how it differentiates itself from other services by having a team of talent Scouts scouring the site for new talent (and thus, provides a great opportunity for Universal Music to discover new talent).

Read the article above, and while you’re at it, make sure to pick up other Sandbox issues here.

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