As Hip-Hop continues to break into the mainstream, it’s becoming an increasingly competitive market and getting your music featured in the right places can be a struggle. But, the rise of Hip-Hop has triggered an influx in platforms to get your music placed. This blog post will help direct you to the right areas for your Hip-Hop PR campaign.
WHAT YOU WILL NEED FOR YOUR PR CAMPAIGN
It’s important that you have all your ducks in a row before you start pushing out your music. To achieve a successful PR campaign, you’ll need strong images, eye catching artwork and a catchy press release to leave journalists and producers wanting more.
Hip-Hop is a highly image orientated genre, so making sure you have a catalogue of high-resolution images that are going to make you stand out from the hundreds of other artists out there is really important. It is also important that the images are true to your style and portray the image you want to get across to your audience. The same applies for your artwork. It must represent the music you’re about to release as it’ll be used on all digital platforms, as well as any online coverage.
When it comes to writing your press release, you want to make sure you’re including all the vital information about the project you’re releasing. Although it can be difficult to talk about yourself, this is where you need to excite the reader about your music and yourself as an artist. By breaking it down into bullet points, you’ll find the rest flows naturally.
5 key points to include in your press release:
- Who you are
- What you’re releasing
- Musical history
- Career highlights
- What’s next
The headline of your press release is pretty much make or break. On average, 8 out of 10 people will read the headline, but only 2 out of 10 will read the body of the email, so it’s vital that you hook them in with a catchy headline. For example, “After Supporting Kojo Funds and Performing a COLORS Session, JD Cliffe Returns with ‘Neon Jungle’ EP”.
The first paragraph of your press release is vital to hooking the reader in. You can do this by dropping in names of artists you’ve previously worked with, publications who have supported you, sessions you’ve performed etc. For example, “North London’s JD Cliffe has been causing quite a scene in the UK rap game over the past year. Having shared the stage with Kojo Funds and Smoke Boyz, JD’s also received support from the likes of BBC Radio1 Xtra, EARMILK, Spotify and Colors Sessions. Now, the vibrant rapper returns with his eight track EP ‘Neon Jungle’.”
Not all artists will have the credentials to use as your hook, but you can still make it exciting, using previous press, inspirations, statistics and support slots.
You want to keep the press release short and sweet, keeping to a maximum of one side of A4.
When pitching to radio it’s important that your track is no longer than 4 minutes long. You’ll want the track to be around 3:30 minutes with absolutely no swear words as the radio will definitely not play it.
Although Hip-Hop has made huge strides over the years, not all radio station will support the genre. When looking for stations to pitch to, go to their schedule and find the specific show and producer who will support your track.
You’ll want to start local. Using your regional links will help build your portfolio and can later be used to build your press release. Alongside local community stations you can also pitch to university radio shows. This is a really strong area to pitch to for a Hip-Hop artist as the producers are likely to be your target demographic. For example, if you’re from London there’s KCL, Blast Radio and Rare FM.
Once you’ve done this, you need to upload the track to BBC Introducing. You’ll receive an email if the track is selected for airplay, so you can listen live. BBC1 and BBC 1Xtra are fed information from local introducing shows so uploading your track can be a stepping stone to national radio play.
5 stations you should be pitching your track to:
- Rinse FM
- The Sound Lab
- BBC Introducing
Online press is going to be the easiest area you’re pitching to. Platforms such as SubmitHub and Hype Machine allow you to filter out publications that won’t be interested in featuring your genre, so you can focus on pitching to the right areas. SubmitHubis a really useful tool to use as you’re guaranteed feedback on the track you’ve submitted without having a relationship with the publication/ journalist already.
Similarly, to radio you should consider getting in touch with your local press for features or reviews. This way your local fan base can grow with you and show support at any upcoming shows. It’s also worth getting in touch with regional press if you plan on touring.This will not only get your name out there within each location but will increase ticket sales.
Another way of finding the right blogs is searching for similar artists and seeing what online coverage they have secured. For example, if you have been compared to Yxng Banebefore, simply Google ‘Yxng Bane’ and filter the search to the past year. Here you’ll be able to see what blogs are supporting him but, more importantly what specific journalists. If they like ‘Yxng Bane’ then they are likely to enjoy your music too.
5 blogs you should be pitching your track to:
- Lost Culture
- Trench Magazine
- Dummy Mag
Spotify have stated how important it is to submit as much information as you can, whilst keeping within the word limited! You can use parts of your press release to explain your genre, influences and the previous press you’ve achieved.
Not only will your track get listened to by Spotify’s editors for a potential playlist placement, but the song will automatically be added to all of your followers’ Release Radar playlists.