Indie Week 2019

Indie Week is sought out to be the offline discovery playlist on Spotify. The 5 day festival and conference features artists of many levels and genres to ensure industry and music mavens can discover the legends of tomorrow. 

Social Media 101 for independent artists was hosted by Sub Culture Media that took the audience through many important aspects of branding. Curating your identity and targeting your fan base around ‘snackable’ content seemed to be the main theme of the panel. A few points include:

  • Turn your profiles (particularly Instagram) into a business page 
  • If you have a favourite company that you wish to partner with such as Levis, it’s important to keep this in mind when translating your aesthetic and what may be eye pleasing to them as well. Ask yourself questions such as “Does this work with my campaign (album release, tour etc)?” 
  • Keep your usernames consistent through all platforms as well your header and profile pictures 
  • Yes,  definitely use Facebook as it’s still important to keep active. Do not use the same content for every social media account you have. The point is to have your fans follow you wherever you go on the web. Give value! Work with Facebook badges as well for your top engagers
  • Keep your posts and site desktop and mobile friendly to ensure any executives and those you are trying to reach have an easy time navigating
  • Even if you do not have a current release, it’s still important to showcase a ‘call to action’ in your bio with a workable link. Use platforms such as Bitly 

If you are still having a tough time with social media management, there are sites such as Hootsuite that can help plan out content. Also use tools in house such as on Instagram where you are able to see your most popular posting days and when your followers are most active. 

Do you still find radio important in this digital age? Darryl Spring from 101.7 Rebel Radio conducted interesting dialogue regarding the debatable relevance leaving you with food for thought. The panel featured artists such as Leon Harris from The Lazy’s, Producer Mike Langford, and Brock Tinsley from Double Experience that brought diverse observations with the clash of the industry and streaming services. Harris believes genres such as Rock n Roll cater to individuals who use old school methods like vinyl versus worrying about Shazam(ing). However, Mike Langford who also notes via social media that he is a Twitch streamer and Cliff Menzies from Cevilian fancies platforms like Apple Music and complimented the importance of multiple avenues no matter what genre you play, especially when you are an unsigned artist and often can receive profit.

The group mutually agreed that in order to actually book venues, radio does play a massive role to spread the word much faster, considering if the station supports undiscovered artists and local talent. Spring stated 101.7 Rebel Radio has to make the quote of 40%, which means even if you happen to get discouraged by those particularly playing The Rolling Stones 24/7, there are one’s out there like Rebel Radio that welcome the idea of unearthing you first.

For our main course at Indie Week we were privileged to attend a heart to heart with Doug Elliot from 94.9 The Rock and Steve Stewart who is the former manager of Stone Temple Pilots and CEO of VEZT. Stewart took us on a brief journey of how he assisted the band to become one of the most well known American rockers. He also touched on mental health and substance abuse. Scott Weiland, who was best known as the lead singer, passed away from an accidental drug overdose on his tour bus in Minnesota at the age of 48. You could see the emotion in Steve Stewart’s eyes as if it was still raw and no matter what he would do anything to keep his artists healthy. While mental health is a frequent topic in lyrics, it still is not enough outside of each tune and as fans we must learn to encourage our favourite artists in recovery when executives do not feel like family to them or those who are not as compassionate as Steve Stewart. 

As we were filled with great insight, we were totally craving live performances which was held at The Cameron House. The set featured angelic vocals from Alesia Lani and throwback vibes from Evan Charles, Pocket Sounds, and V3CO (photographed in the header.) We felt as if were in the legendary Bluebird Cafe listening to hit makers in the making. In terms of the crowd, The Cameron House definitely attracts good people, which is the perfect spot to launch a new fan base.

Indie Week overall is too unique to miss, which is one of the reasons why you should keep up with them on social media for future insider endeavors.

Leave a Reply