In today’s world it seems that everyone wants to be a singer, rapper, producer, etc., the list goes on and on, but it hasn’t always been something that could be achieved for the masses due to restrictions such as finding a label that signs you, and once you find a label, getting a contract that allows the artist to have the creative control you want. However, for some time now the music industry has begun to evolve, making what was impossible before possible and reduced to two key things, the lifting of the independent label and the birth of the web 2.0, is now possible for all musicians or record label owners.
Now it is no longer necessary for aspiring musicians to be signed by a record label, be it an indie or a major. With the birth of Web 2.0, it is possible for artists to be visible within their market with the use of online tools to plot some form of public relations strategy. We no longer limit ourselves to listening to new artists through the radio and new artist sections of the record store. In today’s society, everyone is in line with their own individual online presence that allows them to interact with the masses through the use of social media, which includes social networks, websites and applications. This means that as an artist you have a maximum reach audience as there are no limits on your distribution.
A couple of artists from the UK that we can see using online public relations a lot within the urban scene include people like Wiley, Skepta, JME, Lethal Bizzle and the list goes on. These artists use social media, including Twitter, Facebook and official websites to interact with fans and keep them up to date on new releases, tours, contests, availability of merchandise and also to show the world that they are human through interaction and normal conversation with their fan base.
Lethal Bizzle is a UK artist and entrepreneur who is a great example of how online PR should be used by all artists and record labels to give them more visibility in their market and generate revenue. Bizzle 30, from Walthamstow, London, has been on the urban scene since 2002, but managed to remain underground until 2004, when it launched POW, which entered the UK Singles Chart at number 11 in its first week on the list in 2005, and which reached number one in the UK Dance Chart.
However, he disappeared from the commercial scene until 2011, when he re-edited POW (2011) and started using a lot of social media to interact with his fans. its official website staydench.com and the Stay Dench application as public relations tools that help him promote his music, brand (Stay Dench), merchandise and, last but not least, communicate with his consumers. The use of these tools has enabled Bizzle to reach a market that goes beyond those listening to urban and dance music from the UK.
Online PR practices allow people who would not necessarily be part of a primary audience of artists to see what they are doing and what it’s all about, in many cases this often leads to that individual wanting to know more about that artist, which over time can leave them being a new fan/consumer.
The urban and EDM industries are the ones that don’t always see many artists succeed commercially but see their artists remain in the underground world. This no longer has to be the case, and it’s because we now have access to online public relations.
Online music PR is a service that Urban and EDM artists should exploit. As mentioned earlier, online PR allows musicians to reach a much larger audience than if they only used traditional offline PR methods, which often only target the media with which that particular artist’s primary audience interacts. Online PR is what I like to call proactivity, it allows you to go out and make the artist’s music or product be seen by whoever your audience is, directly. Once you have high visibility online, this will open up artists to a host of opportunities that will benefit their wearer. In addition, online public relations eliminates the wait that normally occurs in offline public relations, which involves sending press releases to journalists and bloggers who may or may not respond to you.