January 30, 2018

Guide to UK Festival Applications 2018

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WB

Introducing: Waltzburg

Without a doubt one of the best things about working for Spinnup is discovering artists and bands from all over the world who provide something fun and fresh to listen to. In January we came across a band from The Netherands who did just that – Introducing: Waltzburg.

The six-piece band from Nijmegen (we had to Google map it too), formerly known as Wolves Dressed As Sheep, released their debut track, ‘So Long See Ya‘ last year, but it wasn’t until they dropped their first track on Spinnup, ‘Ghost‘ that they burst onto our radar. From the opening chords and cowbell (more cowbell!) right to the finish, Waltzburg builds a track that is both moody and fun, with gritty, jangly guitars, whimsical backing vocals and quirky melody lines reminiscent of early 2000’s indie, but with a modern uniqueness.

After wrapping up a domestic tour late last year, we’ve heard along the grapevine that the band has been working on new material and have an album in the works for release this year!

‘Ghost’ is without a doubt one of the most  infectiously head-nodding releases we’ve come across in a while so it’s safe to say it’ll be spinning in the office for a while to come!

Follow Waltzburg on SpotifyFacebook and Instagram or head to their website for more info.

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The fun of music data

We’ve been talking about data a lot lately. Earlier this month we introduced you to the new data features in the artist account, and Decoded data for independent artists, explaining how to make your data work harder for you. If you haven’t checked up on either of those posts, we suggest you hit those next – there’s lots of really great information that could help you steer your career as an artist in the right direction.

Even the word ‘data’ implies things that are analytical, black and white, non-creative and – let’s be honest – a bit boring. So we asked, can you take music and artist data and make it fun? Absolutely!

The Pudding

The Kings and Queens of making data fun are the good people over at The Pudding, who visualise data and talking topics in ways only they can imagine.

Want to know who has the largest vocabulary in hip hop? Or see if pop lyrics are getting more repetitive over time? These guys have got you covered. One of our favourite data deep dives The Pudding has done is a look at Outkast’s history through the lens of data, or determine which words are the most “hip hop”. The Pudding are clearly hip hop heads, as am I, so I might be slightly biased, but seriously if you think the numbers in your artist account don’t mean anything, or can’t be analysed from a more creative angle, think again.
A look at Outkast’s history through the lens of data

The language of hip hop 

Who has the largest vocabulary in hip hop?

Are pop lyrics getting more repetitive?

How music taste has evolved

How long does it take to make it big

How music is remembered from the 90’s

fun_music_data

 

Nielsen

Nielsen are without a doubt the authority on music data. Each year they put out in depth reports summarising the previous year’s music data and trends, which the whole music industry tune into intently! They look at everything from how likely people are to pay for music, which Lady Gaga fans spend more money on carbonated drinks, and most relevant to independent artists, what day of the week people listen to music more, and how streaming playlisting is on the rise.

How we listen to music is changing

The GRAMMY effect

How technology is driving music consumption

Playlisting: the 21st century mixtape

Going Gaga on the gridiron

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Spotify

Your favourite Swedish streaming giant Spotify is not only one of the best places to release and discover new music, but a great source of interesting, and sometimes random, music data analyses. Spotify look at things like which countries are the most Christmassy, how the US followed a recent solar eclipse with (you guessed it) ‘Total Eclipse of The Heart’, and why reggaeton exploded in popularity from 2014.

The most Christmassy songs & countries on Spotify

Listening diversity increases nearly 40% on Spotify

‘Total Eclipse of The Heart’ follows the eclipse

How Reggaeton became a global phenomenon on Spotify

How different genres use different scales

 

 

Spotify-data-reggaeton

Now hopefully you’ll think of data a little differently next time you check out your stats in the Trends section of your artist account. Who knows – someday we might be doing an in-depth study into your songwriting vocabulary!

Make sure read our posts below to get to grips with your data and how to make it work harder for you.

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M3

Introducing: Mezzanine

There are many great things in this life, but discovering new acts, especially on Spinnup (we’re very honest about being biased), is up there with one of the greatest. About two weeks ago we were cruising Spotify and had some gorgeous artwork catch our eye. Yes, good artwork gets attention, just read this post.

Mezzanine

We clicked play on French band Mezzanine‘s debut release, a self-titled two track single, and they did not disappoint. ‘Above The Sun‘ is a gorgeous track drenched in sunny guitar chords and relaxed vocals – the kind of sound that makes you think of summer no matter how cold and wet the corner of London is that you’re writing this article from. But I digress…

Mezzanine2

The band have released a trippy colour-fuelled video to accompany the track, shot in a retro style that reminds you of VHS home movies of your holidays from the 90s. If you’re reading this and were born after 1995 you won’t know what I’m referring to.

As I write this ‘Above The Sun’ has already accumulated over 18,000 streams on Spotify – not bad for a debut release! We can’t wait to see what the band will put out next, but in the meantime we’ll be playing this on repeat and sitting under a heat lamp while we wait for summer.

Follow Mezzanine on InstagramFacebook, and on Spotify to stay up to date with their latest releases .

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Teaser_Decoded_Data_Spinnup

Decoded: Data for independent artists

Making the most of your data as an unsigned artist; the complete guide for 2018

As a fledgling artist in today’s music industry you have a lot on your plate. Booking gigs, building a fanbase, liaising with the press, making sure your drummer turns up to rehearsals, and the small matter of crafting drop-dead-gorgeous tracks that stun the world into awed reverie. You probably think that adding ‘data-management’ to that list is a little unreasonable.

We do sympathise, but if you want to forge a music career today, whether as an independent artist or by signing a record deal with a label, it’s vital to have a good handle on your data.

To help you get to grips with this most un-artistic of topics, we’ve created this detailed guide to the state-of-play in 2018.

It covers everything that’s happening in the music businesses with regards to your data, how it’s being used to influence major decisions, and what you can be doing – right now – to ‘own’ your data and make it work harder for you.

Regardless of where you are now in your career, the more you understand your data and how to use it your advantage, the bigger and better things can become in the months and years ahead.

How your data is being used in 2018

Like it or not, data is now a key part of who you are as an artist. It influences how you are perceived by your peers, can open and close doors and windows of opportunity, and could ultimately hold the key to all your hopes and dreams around your career.

No biggie then!

The mountain of data produced by streaming services, like Spotify, Apple Music and Deezer, combined with social media mentions and YouTube views, has created an avalanche of information.

It’s being used every day to make important business decisions, from which tracks get released and where artists tour, down to simple design and merch ideas like which lyrics get printed on a t-shirt.

2016/17 – a watershed moment for the music industry

One of the biggest changes in recent years has been the explosion of streaming.

After years of struggling sales and fretting about the disruptive influence of digital technology, the music industry posted double digit growth for the first time in over a decade, and this is almost entirely down to streaming’s exponential growth.

Streaming now accounts for more than 50% of all UK music consumption. Meanwhile, in one day alone, more music is streamed in the US than downloaded in an entire year.

Although Spotify has been around a while now – it launched in 2008, followed by Deezer in 2009 and Apple Music in 2015 – something happened recently that’s tipped streaming over the edge.

This means that your streaming data, more than social media and YouTube, is probably the biggest indicator for any record company, artist management, tour organiser or venue promoter of your perceived value as an artist.

It’s so important we recently overhauled our entire Stats & Activity page to include a brand-new trends graphs to show our artists more streaming data than ever.

Whereas we used to show your Spotify streams a few days after the first stream of your track, we now show streaming data from Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer and Google Play AND download stats from iTunes and Amazon all in the one place.

We also tripled the amount of historical data available, showing three months’ worth of figures rather than one.

modern-music-problems-1078x516

Generation Z; why ‘Young Millennials’ love Spotify and why you should care

One of the big drivers behind streaming has been the coming of age of the ‘Young Millennials’.

Unlike their more piratically-minded older siblings, the latest crop of 16-19-year olds are overwhelmingly positive about paying for music and have made Spotify their platform of choice.

A recent survey found that 67% of them think music is worth paying for, compared to 56% of music lovers overall.

It also found that this age group are overwhelmingly found on Spotify. 53% of 16-19-year olds regularly use Spotify to listen to music, compared to 47% who use YouTube.

If you suspect that 16-19-year olds are going to be your biggest fans, you need to be thinking of Spotify as your main platform for of choice.

Think about boosting your presence by pushing fans there from your social media platforms. It might go without saying, but you should also keep optimising your Spotify Artists Page.

Keep your bio regularly updated, keep posting playlists and make sure you select the right ‘artists pick’ track. We’ve got a great Spotify For Artists Guide that tells you how to manage all of that.

If you are focussing on a record deal, it also means that it makes sense to focus the bulk of your efforts on nurturing your streaming platforms rather than selling digital downloads.

Does this mean that Scouts only care about streaming numbers?

A&R Scouts stake their reputation on an artist when they get behind them. Although your data stats are going to have an influence on how you are perceived across the industry, scouts are still going to make a gut-based decision about you as an artist, and your music.

Although they can bring you to people’s attention they are not the be-all-and-end-all. However, you should be should be nurturing them like a new-born baby.

“Data is invaluable to independent artists who want to create a career from their music, enabling strategic and well developed artistic and financial decisions to be made,” says Spinnup UK Scout Trenton. “At the heart of this however is the actual music, which is without a doubt the most important thing for scouts. Yes, data is useful for driving and maximising independent music, but there is still a huge importance on great artists and the creation of great music in the industry.”

computer group

What about independent artists?

The good news is that big data isn’t just useful to music business executives.

It’s never been easier to build a fanbase, and artists who make an independent living are expected to grow massively over the coming years.

The real value of your data lies in getting a sense of the types of content that resonate with your audience.

Do some platforms work better for you than others? Do some tracks resonate differently on YouTube than, say, Soundcloud?

Understanding this data allows artists to make better strategic decisions and waste less time and effort trying to second guess what will or won’t work.

It also allows you to manage multiple touchpoints with your fans more effectively, especially as you get busier over time.

At Spinnup we’ve included huge amounts of social media stats, so you can track the number of fans and followers you have multiple platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, SoundCloud and YouTube.

We’ve also added Plays and Views from SoundCloud and YouTube as well as downloads from iTunes and Amazon.

Good data allows you to connect all the dots and makes sure you are making the most of your key channels; those platforms where new fans are waiting to discover your music.

Computer google analytics

Action Plan; 5 things you need to be doing with your data right now

1: Own it!

If you don’t know you can’t act. You need to commit to taking ownership. Don’t rely on someone else to do it for you, especially in the early stages of your career.

2: Use a data management tool

Keeping on top of your data can be time consuming, particularly if you have to log-in to multiple platforms to get it. Make sure you pick a tool that covers the ‘4 Vs’:

  • Volume – it can handle an explosion of data
  • Variety – it can pull in data from multiple sources
  • Velocity – it can keep you updated in real time
  • Veracity – it provides a picture you can trust

Added to that should be accessibility. Having your data at your fingertips, while you’re out gigging or recording, will help you make real time decisions while you’re on the move.

3: Book tours and gigs in the right places; break new ground

Now you know where you’re popular, you can start booking gigs where it matters. We’re creating a new feature right now that will break down your streams by geography – so you could soon be booking that tour of Serbia!

4: Build partnerships

Smart artists are looking to partner with others, so they can swap support slots where they are not so popular and cross-pollinate audiences.

EDM artists have been doing this for years when releasing tracks. Partnering with artists with big followings in different territories gives them a platform and lets them piggy-back on their partner’s popularity. It’s why you see so many tracks FEAT. multiple artists.

5: Boost your channels where it makes sense to do so

If you see a sudden boost in popularity on a certain platform, use your social media presence to push your fans to that channel.

Conversely, don’t waste limited resources promoting yourself on channels where there’s little or no movement.

Remember, this is about creating and nurturing multiple touch points with your fans. It’s a great opportunity that artists from previous generations could have only dreamed of.

Yes, it’s another thing on your endless to-do-list but do it well and you’ll be well-ahead of the game.

Good luck and remember to keep checking back with our blog for more advice and tips on how to do keep working on your music career!

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BA3

Introducing: Bethany Ann

This week we’re hopping over the pond to introduce you to an American singer-songwriter who has been keeping us entertained with a series of releases over the past year. The 19 year old Nashville-based Bethany Ann joined Spinnup to release her debut single ‘What I Wish I’d Done‘, a gorgeous piano-led power ballad with vocals that pack a punch. Needless to say we were paying attention!

Two more singles and an EP later and we have Vicennial, Bethany’s brand new EP that she released in early January to start 2018 with a bang. The pastel and candy colours of Vicennial‘s artwork are matched by the opening track ‘Birthday‘, a fun and energetic track to celebrate Bethany’s entry to her 20’s. Each of the six tracks on the EP bring their own distinct style to the table, switching from bubbly pop beats to more mature and sophisticated melodies, but always coming back to the overarching themes of growth and exploration that Bethany has curated from start to finish.

BA

For us the superstar of Vicennial has to be ‘Nobody Loves Me When They’re Sober‘, an honest but fun piece of songwriting that sees minimalist electronic-tinged production sit perfectly Bethany’s intimate vocal, drawing the listener in from the delicate opening right through to the powerful bridge at the end

Follow Bethany Ann on Facebook and Instagram, and on Spotify to make sure you don’t miss any new music!

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DJ club yellow light

What happened in: January

The internet is a wide and wonderful(and weird) place, but let’s face it sometimes with the sheer amount of information, music, memes and cat videos, it’s just too hard to keep up with everything that’s going on. In an effort to combat that we are starting a wrap up of everything that went down in the world of Spinnup, music, and beyond at the end of each month. If you come across anything for next month you think we should include, shoot us an email at blog@spinnup.com 

The best of the blog 

  • If you think you’re ready for the summer festival circuit, read our guide to the best UK music festivals for up and coming musicians in 2018, including how to apply and application deadlines.
  • Do you have a great release ready to upload? Make sure you give it an A+ package with good cover art, we’ve got some tips on how to get it done.
  • Plus we introduced you to some of our favourite new acts, Scottish electro-pop duo Chuchoter (that’s French for ‘whisper’ ooh la la), German act To Be We who are releasing one single a week(!), and up and coming Swedish rapper taking Spotify by storm, Saimon Kay.

Music industry news 

  • Good news hip-hop artists (and fans!) – A recent Nielsen Music study has found that hip-hop surpassed rock as 2017’s biggest genre! Read more
  • Spotify recently git 70 million paying subscribers, which means as a Spinnup artist you have 70 million potential fans to reach with your releases! Read more
  • Remember what we said above about album artwork? This could be getting even better with Spotify testing a new feature that replaces static artwork with GIF-like loop videos. Read more
  • Mental Health is a serious issue in the music industry, and Help Musicians UK are doing all they can to help musicians (it’s in the name really) by launching a new operation in Scotland. Read more
  • Facebook is making some big changes to the newsfeed, which could have an adverse effect on how your fans see your artist page. Read more
  • Native Instruments launches Sounds.com, a new samples library for you to use in your music production. Read more
  • Amazon Music Unlimited is coming to Australia and New Zealand next month, which means your music could reach more ears down under! Read more

 

Our favourite January Spinnup releases 

Mezzanine, the self-titled double track single from a new French act to join Spinnup

 Vicennial, the new EP from Texan singer-songwriter Bethany Ann

The latest release from German artist Ahzumjot, ‘Baccup‘, which after just one week is already sitting at over 20,000 streams on Spotify.

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Festival trio

Guide to UK Festival Applications 2018

Here at Spinnup we are all about getting new artists and bands discovered, and while Spinnup is a great way to get your music heard it’s not the only way! Music festivals are a great opportunity to play to large audiences and get discovered by a whole new category of fans. Plus you’ll gain more fans whilst having heaps of fun.

Below we have put together a list of some great festivals across the UK and further afield that you may be interested in applying for. The best part is that you don’t even have to spend hours searching how to apply – we’ve done all the hard work for you!

But before we jump in, here are some things to consider before/when applying to a festival. Good luck!

Can you play those dates?

It seems obvious, but it’s the most important of them all! You will save a lot of hassle knowing way in advance if you and your band mates are actually available to play that particular date.

Consider travel.

How are you going to get there? If a particular festival is that little bit further away you may want to consider potential travel costs. It’s great if you’re offered a slot, but what’s the point if you can’t get there?

Will your music suit this festival?

For example, would your hip-hop vibes suit a heavy rock festival? Be realistic and don’t waste your time or theirs by applying to a festival you’re music isn’t appropriate for.

Let the music do the talking.

Make sure you send your best tracks in the application! Choose quality over quantity (bot send more than 1 track, obvs)

Demonstrate your best achievements.

Show best achievements to date – maybe you’ve supported a well-known band, you’ve had radio play or even been given a fantastic review. Showing a good history live performances will also demonstrate that you are able to deliver in a live setting.

Make yourself easy to find

When you apply, make sure to include all relevant links to your website, social media, artist profiles (for example, your Spotify artist page). You can even use your Spinnup artist profile, where you can combine all of these!

Make sure everything is up to date with current photos, the latest info on your releases and/or live shows so the festival can get the best picture of where you’re at.

What do you need to include?

Carefully check what the application requires from you and make sure you don’t miss any important information!

Here are some important pointers if you land a coveted slot.

– Rehearse rehearse rehearse! You’re going to want to be really tight for this so make sure you get plenty of prep in beforehand.

– Put together an awesome setlist; remember you’re probably playing to a more varied bunch than usual, so be sure to play some of your best crowd-pleasers.

– Be sure to make a good impression – you don’t know who could be at this festival – scouts, press, promoters for example, so don’t be late to your slot and it’s probably not a good idea to get too drunk beforehand]!

– Get equipment ready – imagine, your set is going amazingly, the crowd is ever expanding and you’re having the time of your lives and then one of your leads blows. Make sure that you have spares and backup gear, either supplied by yourselves or the festival, checking everything works beforehand!

– Bring lots of merch – t-shirts, free stickers, free download links, it’s the perfect opportunity to promote yourself even more and get some extra cash too!

festival shoulders

FESTIVALS

MAY

Big Love – 4th – 6th May

Big Love is a small, independent three-day festival set in and around a big country mansion near Hay-on-Wye (on the Wales/England border). The festival boasts a DIY attitude, promising a weekend of live music, parties, discos and great street food, all around a natural environment!

Apply here ASAP

The Great Escape – 17th – 19th May

The Great Escape takes place in Brighton and Hove, showcasing over 400 up and coming artists of a variety of genres from all over the world, as well as hosting three days of industry talks and conferences. This is THE festival for artists wanting to get discovered by fans and the industry

Apply here by Monday 12th February 2018.

Live at Leeds – Saturday 5th May

Live at Leeds is an award-winning metropolitan festival held across various venues in Leeds with an aim to showcase the best new music alongside established artists from around the world.

Apply here ASAP

Leestock – 26th – 27th May

LeeStock is a non-profit Music Festival based in Suffolk, held in memory of musician Lee Dunford with all proceeds donated to the Willow Foundation.

Apply here ASAP

JUNE

Camden Rocks – Saturday 2nd June

Camden Rocks takes place in across 20+ different venues in Camden Town, London. It is London’s biggest rock’n’roll all-dayer.

Apply here ASAP

Sweden Rock – 6th – 9th June

Okay we may not be geographers but we are well aware this one isn’t exactly in the UK, but it’s a great one nonetheless! Sweden Rock Festival takes place outside Sölvesborg in Blekinge, offering the best mix of rock genres from classic rock to blues.

Apply here ASAP

Isle Of Wight Festival – 21st – 24th June

The world-famous festival takes place in Newport, Isle of Wight and its stages have been graced by various acts over the years such as Fleetwood Mac and The Prodigy.

Apply here ASAP

JULY

2000 Trees – 6th – 8th July

2000 Trees is a multi-award winning independent music festival, bringing together the best new and underground British music in the stunning backdrop of the Cotswold Hills.

Apply here ASAP

Latitude – 12th – 15th July

Latitude is a festival packed with the very best from Music and the Arts, including theatre, comedy, poetry, dance and literature. It is set in Henham Park, Suffolk, but said to be more similar to European Festivals.

Apply here ASAP (see under ‘Performer Enquiries)

Nozstock – 20th – 22nd July

Nozstock is hosted at Rowden Paddocks Farm near Bromyard, Herefordshire. It is an independent arts and music festival with of a variety of stages including a hip-hop stage, a spoken word and circus tent and a psytrance stage.

Apply here ASAP

Kendall Calling – 26th – 29th July

Kendal Calling is an independent music festival born from a group of music lovers and held at Lowther Deer Park in the idyllic Lake District.

Apply here ASAP

Standon Calling – 26th – 29th July

Standon Calling is a small themed boutique festival held in the grounds of private residence Standon Lordship in Hertfordshire. Great for families, big acts and late-night partying!

Apply here ASAP

AUGUST

Victorious Festival – 24th – 26th August

Victorious Festival is a three-day music festival held in the Castle Field and Southsea Common areas of Southsea, Portsmouth.

Apply here by Friday 30th March

End Of The Road – 30th August – 2nd September

End of The Road Festival is an independent music festival focusing on rock and folk music hosted at the Larmer Tree Gardens, bordering north Dorset and Wiltshire.

Apply here by Monday 19th February

Electric Fields 31st August – 1st September

Electric Fields takes place in an intimate and unique setting, deep within the forests of Dumfries and Galloway.

Apply here ASAP

Now what are you waiting for?? Go ahead and get applying! And if you happen to land a slot we’d love to hear about it! drop us a line at blog@spinnup.com

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Saimon K

Introducing: Saimon Kay

For this week’s Spinnup Introducing we’re heading back to our homeland of Sweden to introduce you to one of our favourite new emcees on the scene, Saimon Kay.

The 22 year old from Upplands Väsby was first discovered by a member of our Swedish team after the release of Saimon’s debut single ‘Hon Vet‘ featuring fellow Spinnup artist Karim Alger. Check out our December Spinnup Introducing piece featuring Karim.

Saimon Kay

‘Hon Vet’ has been live in stores for barely a month and has already earned over 80,000 streams on Spotify alone, with the accompanying video sitting at close to 15,000 views on YouTube. All this within a month and with zero marketing – just goes to show how much traction an independent artist can gain

In its first week of release ‘Hon Vet’ was added to Spotify Sweden’s Ord Och Inga Visor playlist for local hip-hop, and the video featured on the Kingsize site.

We’ve been told that there’s more music on the way, so make sure to follow Saimon Kay on Spotify and Instagram to be the first to know when his new music is out.

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