When Is Mother’s Day 2014? A date that artists and music marketing professionals should have on their calendars. Why? Mother’s Day is a huge opportunity for selling music to those looking for gifts. Most record companies target holidays but many independent artists don’t think about the holiday marketing opportunities outside of Christmas. Music is now one of the easiest and cheaper gifts that consumers can give. Gifting digital music from iTunes can be now be done with the click of a button and in a matter of seconds to a friend or loved one 1000 miles away. My post a few years back Introducing The iTunes Green Cardexplains how gifting a song is cheaper than sending a card. Why not exploit that and remind your followers and fans?
Planning releases around holidays is also a wise idea as it allows you to take advantage of heavier consumer traffic. Most artists remember that Christmas is a great time for music gifting but they tend to forget the other holiday opportunities throughout the year. Easter is the 2nd biggest holiday for selling Christian music with Mother’s Day close behind.
Valentine’s Day is this week. Anyone taking advantage of that?
Key Holidays For Music Gifting & Buying
When Is Valentine’s Day 2014? – Friday, February 14
NASHVILLE, Tenn.—“Through My Father’s Eyes,” the latest single from acclaimed singer/songwriter Holly Starr, is rapidly climbing radio charts as the song’s official music video is set to premier next week. Featured on Starr’s 2012 critically-praised Focus,“Through My Father’s Eyes” was penned by the artist along with Chuck Butler (Royal Tailor, Group 1 Crew) and Juan Otero (Newsboys, Audio Adrenaline), while the video was directed by Stephen Byrum of Fearless Productions.
Landing at #22 on Billboard’s Christian Hot AC chart this week, “Through My Father’s Eyes” can be heard on Minneapolis’ KTIS; KFIS in Portland; KLJC in Kansas City, Missouri; WVBM in Tampa, Florida; Columbia, South Carolina’s WMHK;
and New Life Media, among other key radio outlets. Resonating with women around the world, the song’s theme—which is reflected in the video—emphasizes the importance of embracing God’s love and acceptance instead of unrealistic and critical cultural standards.
“I wrote ‘Through My Father’s Eyes’ after struggling with my own self-image for about five years,” Starr explains. “I became so fearful of people’s opinions of me and what I saw in the mirror every morning, that no matter what I did to try and escape it, I felt trapped. I cried out to the only One I knew was Healer, and the slow process of that healing began through Christ renewing and changing my mind.”
“I hope both the song and video show people a tangible picture of the Hope they have through Christ, and how faith is so beautiful and worth the fight of perseverance,” Starr says. ”Our God is the God of Hope. There is nowhere we can be where He cannot reach. At the cross God showed us this Truth—how much more should we believe it in everyday struggles? His love shows how He can make the impossible possible.”
This month Starr is slated to perform “Through My Father’s Eyes” at Hungry For Hope, the premier Christian conference for eating disorders and body image issues. The Franklin, Tennessee, event will also feature such presenters and performers as Mandisa, Constance Rhodes and Teasi Cannon. In addition, Starr will appear this summer at Creation Northeast and Northwest, as well as Rock The Coast, Lifest and Fish Fest.
A 21-year-old Quincy, Washington, native, Starr’s Artist Garden Entertainment (Save The City Records/Provident Distribution) recordings include Embraced (2008), Tapestry (2010) and last year’s Focus, a noteworthy collection of vibrant pop songs reflecting her artistic maturity and heart for worship. She has collaborated with such lauded writers and producers as Chris Stevens, Ian Eskelin, David Garcia, Chuck Butler and Rusty Varenkamp, among others. Known for a loyal online fanbase instrumental in launching her career, Starr’s 2012 single, “Don’t Have Love,” is approaching nearly 500,000 views on YouTube.
Artist Garden Entertainment announces the recent signing of Ryan Corn to an exclusive recording agreement with Curb Records. We are thrilled to be working with Curb Records, the label that broke and established the careers of Leanne Rimes,Tim McGraw, The Judds, Hank Williams Jr, Wynonna, Lee Brice Natalie Grant, Selah and MIKESCHAIR.
Ryan Corn is Cape Girardeau, Missouri’s best kept secret. His infectious pop songs have won contests from Vegas to St Louis landing him on national stages. Ryan holds the title for Artist Garden Entertainment’s fastest signed artist as we had a record deal on the table within three months of signing Ryan to a management deal. Look for new music from Ryan in 2013.
I spent this past weekend in Mineral City, OH attending the Alive Festival. One of the artists we manage, Byron “Mr Talkbox” Chambers, was hosting the event this year so it made for a great reason to make the trip to Ohio.
The beautiful drive to the festival site leads down a small two lane road that meanders through several small towns and hills eventually landing in the middle of the woods on a beautiful lake. Even though the festival experienced some rain this year, attendance was still in the 15k range. I was extremely impressed by the smoothness of the festival. Bill Graening, the festival director, does a great job of putting the right people in place to ensure a great show with a low stress level. Alive presented a great line-up of artists this year including Switchfoot, Skillet, Third Day, Newsboys, Tobymac, Tenth Avenue North, Byron “Mr Talkbox” Chambers, Hillsong United, Chris August, Britt Nicole and others.
I’m a little partial but I thought Byron “Mr Talkbox” Chambers did an incredible job hosting. He kept the crowd fired up in spite of the rain. Byron rocked the crowd with his own show on Friday evening just before Skillet and the Newsboys took the stage. The Newsboys brought hydraulic lifts including the hydraulic spinning drum riser that made one wonder if they are sponsored by Six Flags. Not to be one-upped, Skillet brought their pyrotechnic show which caused me to be a bit nervous as I watched the flames get extremely close to flammable parts of the stage.
The Alive Festival is celebrating their 24th anniversary this year! I’m so thankful for folks like Bill & Kathy Graening who put their heart and soul into creating such a great family weekend destination built around music.
I am so thrilled to announce that the Music Gardener’sPick of The Month for April is Brandon Bee! This week Brandon is celebrating the release of his sophomore record, Inside These Walls. The record is being released on Save The City Records and distributed through Sony/Provident. I had the privilege of experiencing this record from it’s infant stages. One of the songs was even birthed in our home on our piano while Brandon was visiting Nashville. This record shows the depth of Brandon as a songwriter and showcases his creative innovative production. I truly believe that Inside These Walls has the potential to be a Grammy contender. Do yourself a favor and buy this record. You won’t be disappointed! Please visit the Pick Of The Month page to here more about Brandon and sample some of the music.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I am the President of Artist Garden Entertainment, an artist management and marketing company that manages this artist. Regardless of that fact, I only recommend music that I personally believe is exceptional and would be enjoyed by my readers. I am not compensated directly for reviewing this record or for the “Pick of The Month” with the exception of receiving free music for review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Today is an extremely exciting day for this artist manager as the new song from Byron “Mr Talkbox” Chambers “Everything Works Together” releases digitally. The Save The City Records release is a duet with the lovely Beckah Shae and was produced by Grammy Award winning Bryan Lenox.
There of course has to be some fun marketing festivities to celebrate such an exciting release so we decided to give away some Apple TVs! Click HERE to find out how you can win an Apple TV.
For those of you who follow The Music Gardener blog, you should be well of aware of Circleslide and their recent release “Echoes of The Light”. This past year, Circleslide began a relationship with Mercy Ministries, a non-profit organization that helps young women dealing with abuse, teen pregnancies, addictions and eating disorders. MercyMinistries put together a choir with women currently in the program. The women went in the studio and recorded background vocals on a special mix of Circleslide’s current single “Looking Up” This special Mercy Ministries mix is now available oniTunes with 100% of the proceeds going to Mercy Ministries.
I would like to personally ask you to consider spending 99 cents to purchase “Looking Up”. Your purchase will help continue the Mercy Ministries mission of helping young women.
Two years ago this week, the Music Gardener blog was birthed as an outlet to share ideas on marketing music, artist management and new music with the world. While never really claiming to be a writer in the past, I must say it has been a great experience for me. I vividly remember the lunch at Mere Bulles in Brentwood, TN where my good friend Spence Smith shared his excitement over blogging with me. He invited me toLifework 2.0, a seminar he and Randy Elrod launched to introduce people to blogging. Little did I know my life was about to change significantly! Now two years later, blogging has become the foundation for most of the marketing I do. The Music Gardener blog was recently named in the Nashville Scene’s “Best Of” Awards and I have subscribers from all over the world who read the blog daily. I am thankful to Spence and Randy for encouraging me to take the step. This week Spence and Randy are hosting a Lifework 2.0seminar in Franklin, TN which is where I got my start. I would encourage everyone to attend. Your mind will be opened to the new frontier of communication & marketing!
My favorite part of music marketing and in particular Christian music marketing, is the creative process. In the previous posts of our marketing series, we defined Circleslide’s target consumer, we covered the basics at radio and publicity and we established our branding concept. The next step is to find one or two creative Big Ideas to center your plan around. I find the best way to approach this is to first of all spend time listening to the record.
As I listened to the new Circleslide record, one of the songs “You Are Everything” put the imagery of a painting in my mind. Wouldn’t it be cool if we married music and art in a way that had never been done? Through a cursory search of painters, one person in particular came to mind. A friend of mine named Randy Elrod spends his life creating culture through music and art. Randy is a painter himself so I sent him the song along with the idea of having him paint the song. Fortunately, Randy immediately fell in love with the song. We commissioned Randy to paint the song and had him video tape the actual process. Once the painting was complete, we sped up the video using time lapse and created a music video. iTunes sells video singles called vingles so I decided to name our idea the Art Vingle. The Art Vingle marries art and music allowing the consumer to own living breathing art. We scheduled the release of the Art Vingle on iTunes for one week prior to the record in hopes of creating a buzz building up to street week. Randy Elrod has one of the top blogs in the world and is followed by many worship leaders in the top culture influencing churches across the country. He agreed to blog about the Art Vingle upon release. We will be implementing a viral plan with the video on Youtube. Our plan also includes working press for both music and art publications around the Art Vingle.
The Art Vingle is our first Big Idea and it will be available on iTunes September 28. Next week we will introduce another Big Idea for the Circleslide release.