Posts Tagged ‘ Trevor ’

Making Moves – Building a local following

Building a local fan base has been tough because I didn’t grow up in New York, so I’m kind of starting fresh. Figuring out where to begin has been difficult. I’ve realized though that I have been thinking too big picture. It’s better to focus on smaller fish in the beginning, find exposure to different circles and try to bring people from those circles together.

I recently spit a few bars at a cypher during Barrelhouse Bklyn’s Yo Barrelhouse Raps BBQ. It felt great to introduce myself to such a tight knit group of people. Barrelhouse has, over the past few years, successfully harnessed a Brooklyn based movement of talented rappers, and true hip hop fans, with a lot of positive energy. Here’s a video from the event. I was the lone whitey in attendance, ha…

I’m grateful to have linked up with Barrelhouse and am looking forward to teaming up with them in the future. I’m still working out the details but, if all goes well, Chi Guy will be hosting its first NY shows with Barrelhouse promoting. The first show will be before the end of August.

Like I said in the beginning of the post, I am trying to bring a few different circles together with these concerts to build a solid core of Chi Guy followers. So far the concerts look like me performing (either solo or with a band behind me, The Classical Movement), Scienze and Kris Kasanova (two rappers who I was introduced to by my peoples at Barrelhouse who perform with live instruments behind them), and two electronic/dance DJ sets TBD. The hope is that the hip hop crowd will mix with the DJ crowd well. And who doesn’t like to see hip hop with live instruments?


Promotional Campaign for The Classical Movement Mixtape

This is a promotional campaign idea that I have been developing over the last few weeks and it’s almost time to start making some of the material for it. I will be putting out a mixtape in about a month and a full album sometime after that. I have finished 3 songs for the mixtape, which will have 11 songs. As I release some of this material it would look very professional to organize everything around a cohesive theme, a movement if you will.

The idea in a nutshell:

Now that my rap name is Trevor the Trash Man I was thinking that I should run for Trash Man of Brooklyn in a fake political campaign. All the material could be designed around voting for me for Trash Man, what my stances are (mostly nonsensical stuff like eliminating wackness, scraping scoundrels and other way better stuff I haven’t thought of yet, ha) and I could even be running against a fake opponent and have a debate against him in the form of a rap battle or something.

These are all loose ideas that will be solidified but the point is that I now have a campaign theme that is highly adaptable, that can include photos and videos and banners and that can build awareness and organize people around a movement. Flexibility and appeal are two important features of any effective promotional campaign.

5 Ways to Reach New Fans Using

This is an article from CD Baby’s DIY Musician blog. CD Baby is a leading online distributor for independent musicians. More on CD Baby in the future. Here’s a link to the story. is a music website where bands reach new fans by trading recommendations. From big budget major label acts like Travie McCoy and One Republic to indie musicians gigging in DIY venues, bands of every conceivable genre are using to reach new fans. Since launched in February of 2009, over 26,000 bands and artists have registered for the service. Why have bands flocked to Headliner? Headliner’s service is unique. Many sites offer bands opportunities to upload their music and slowly gain fans, but only Headliner offers users the ability to reach the fans of thousands of other bands in real-time.

Check out the TOP FIVE WAYS TO Reach new fans on Twitter, Facebook and MySpace using

1) Reach new fans: Bands and Artists with accounts on have a combined fan base of over 88 million music fans. Every day more than 3 million music fans are reached by messages via Get started by signing up for Headliner and creating promotions. Send your promotions to bands on Headliner whose fans you think will like your music. Those bands will see your promotion and, if they like it, send it on to their fans via Twitter, Facebook and Myspace as a recommendation to their fans.

2) Build a list of Artists who like your music: As you use Headliner, you’ll start to connect with artists who like your music and who are comfortable recommending your music to their fans. Keep a list of these artists, so you can run promotions with high acceptance rates and reach fans who will like your music. With a pro account on Headliner, you can rerun successful promotions with a single click, so doubling up on successful campaigns is just a button away

3)Create A Contest: Running contests is a great way for small bands to make big waves. Fans love contests, and is a great platform to set them up. Choose a small to midsized prize, perhaps a t-shirt or poster, and send out a message that gives fans an opportunity to win that prize by promoting your music. Something simple like: “Retweet this to win a t-shirt signed by (your band’s name)”. Then insert a link to your music in the message, and send it out. A pro account on Headliner will let you keep track of how many retweets your promotion has received.

4) Promote a video: Social media isn’t about selling; it’s about communicating. Promoting a video through is a great way to communicate with new fans online and to build awareness about your music. Nationally touring acts like Travie McCoy and fun. have used Headliner to drive thousands of viewers to their Youtube pages, and you can do the same with a small effort. Just set up a simple promotion; insert a link to your newest video, and send it out to some bands. Headliner will keep track of the results, so you know exactly how many fans you have reached.
5)Earn Band Bucks: Band Bucks are the virtual currency that powers’s economy. When you create a promotion on, it has a cost in Band Bucks. Creating promotions on Headliner can burn through your Band Buck supply, but luckily there a few easy ways to get them back. You can earn Band Bucks by accepting promotions. Everytime you recommend another artist to your fans through, you will receive a share of Band Bucks based on the number of fans you have. You can also earn Band Bucks by inviting other bands to join Everytime a band you invite to the system joins, you’ll earn 10 Band Bucks for every fan they have.

Headliner sounds tight I’m definitely going to check it out. I’ll let you know how it is…

40 General Tips to Help You!

Here is a summary of all the gems of wisdom dropped at CMJ in NY this past week. There are 40 tips in all including touring, general direct to fan, entrepreneurial/business, artist branding, music supervision and publishing. Some of the touring tips have been covered in earlier posts, but there is a more expansive list here.

These tips were organized by Digital Music News.


(1) Reach out to the promoter well in advance. They want to make money and fill the club just like you, and if you prioritize the promoter, the favor is likely to get returned  (credit: various panelists).

(2) Ticketing links, venue directions and dates should be clearly posted on the artist page. Make it brainless for fans (Marc Schapiro, Branch Marketing Collective).

(3) Syndicate tour dates across many sites and services. Create once, publish several times. (Ian Hogarth,

(4) Shows are actually a great place to win new followers.  The average person buys 2.5 tickets to a show, and many are along for the ride (Hogarth).

(5) Opening bands should create and distribute mash-ups with the headliner to create more buzz (Brian Pacris, The Syndicate).

(6) Use SplitGigs to join forces with other bands and collectively book shows (Pacris).

(7) Create positive relationships with other bands to increase the likelihood of getting future shows (various).

(8) When posting your event on Facebook, make the promoter an admin to grow the potential number of attendees (Jaison John, 5B Artist Management).

(9) Get a laptop, start a Google mailing list or open an Excel spreadsheet, and collect emails right at the show (Schapiro).

(10) After the show, the time to connect with fans is the next day – not a week later (Hogarth).

(11) At the show, take a picture of the crowd, then post it on Facebook and ask attendees to tag themselves. Then, give a prize to one of the taggers (various).

(12) When to start a real team?  If you’re spending more than half your day on logistics, you need to get outside help. You need more than just your college roommate (John).

(13) Target fan emails by zip code to create awareness about local shows (various).

(14) Before hitting a city, build the buzz with the media, local outlets and the venue. Everyone wants to help break a band and then brag about it (Schapiro).

(15) Bands should tell fans that they will be signing stuff at the merch table after the show. That will draw more fans with their wallets, and help to convert offline fans to online fans (Tommy Brunett).

(16) Don’t complain about the sound. It’s so cliche and unoriginal (Jeffrey Rabhan, Trifecta Consulting)

General Direct-to-Fan

(17) Assume your fans are really lazy (because they are).  Make it incredibly easy for them to get information, get to shows, and participate (various).

(18) Give away a download, but get something in return – like an email address (various).

(19) Pitch your tiny band to major outlets like the Village Voice. The odds are better than you think, simply because they seem big and intimidating to competing bands.  It’s like the hot girl at the bar – everyone’s afraid to approach her (various).

(20) Respond to every Twitter and Facebook fan message (various).

(21) Don’t Twitter too much. Don’t clog the channel too much or it will be hard to get important messages through (Schapiro).

(22) The amount that you Twitter depends on the relationship between the artist and audience.  Some artists Twitter all day, and their fans love it (Dick Huey, Toolshed).

(23) Pitch to major radio stations. Commercial radio stations often have local shows, with deejays that want to break local acts (Schapiro).

(24) Don’t be afraid to be yourself and take a stand on things. Not everyone is going to like you (Ariel Hyatt, Cyber PR).

(25) It takes about 7 years to get a substantial amount of traction. “It takes forever.” (Hyatt)

(26) Not all criticism is bad. Negativity can often spur positive counter-responses, and create a positive snowball (Elizabeth Leahy, Section 101).

(27) Fans want access, perceived or otherwise. Appreciation is important, and artists can no longer “just come out for the flashbulbs.” (Jeffrey Rabhan, Trifecta Consulting)

(28) Bands using Facebook, MySpace, or something like ReverbNation for their homepages are generally making less money. The artists that have a website they control – ie, – are typically making more, though they also have that site interconnected into pages on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and others (Ariel Hyatt).


Entrepreneurial, Business

(29) There’s still a market for recordings, if presented and packaged properly to the audience (Cliff Chenfeld, Razor & Tie).

(30) If you’re starting a label today, you’d better do something that no one else has thought of. Or, smartly spread across a number of non-recording areas like publishing and touring (Mark Kates, Fenway Recordings and various).

(31) There’s more value in super-serving a specific niche or scene. That goes for the broader, hit-driven approaches of old.  “If you’re a generalist, you’ll have a tougher time.” (Chenfeld)


Artist Branding

(32) Be aware of your image. Your clothes, your actions, and the way you talk all represent your brand (Jon Ostrow, MicControl).

(33) If you’re going to create a persona, then you need to own it. Otherwise, they’ll know it’s a sham – so be yourself, be your persona, but don’t waffle in between. (Jeffrey Rabhan, Trifecta Consulting)


Music Supervision

(34) Music supervisors are really in a service position; they have to handle the requests and demands of lots of different people.  “It’s not that different from being a bartender.” (Barry Cole, SPOT music)

(35) Managing expectations is critical in music supervision, though having relationships with content owners is also critically important. Producers often have big concepts and small budgets – you figure out the rest  (Jonathan McHugh, Island Def Jam Music Group).

(36) Both creative and organizational skills are critical to survive. “Publishing, masters and syncs, cue sheets, and all of the things that make it so a producer or director doesn’t come down on you for something…” (G. Marq Roswell, 35Sound)

(37) Controlling your copyright – or at least having it easy to license in one place – is a good thing. Music supervisors love to clear something in one step – it makes your music more attractive to them (Jake Ottmann, EMI Music Publishing).



(38) You absolutely need the best team to make it – manager, publicist, label, etc. – and a publisher is part of that (Justin Shukat, Primary Wave).

(39) If you can write a hit, you can still get rich (Ron Perry, Songs Music Publishing).

(40) If you’re working with a major label, remember that they want a hit. And they will go through endless versions until they feel that they have that hit. (Perry)

Making Moves Week 1 (10/21-10/24)

This is the first “Making Moves” post for the Chi Guy Entertainment Blog. In this section I will try to document everything I do on a week by week by week basis to expand my fan base and start making money as an artist. I will include all of the products and services I use, which equipment I use and track how much money I spend along the way. I aim to blaze a path to hip hop success and leave breadcrumbs along the trail for others to follow. Eventually I hope to get others to document their paths and create a rich resource that can be used by others who are in the same boat as I was for a long time: clueless about what to do with their music.

This week involved a lot of registrations, media uploads and typing.

I first set up a separate email account on gmail to keep all of my music related stuff in one place so that I can start to build an address book of fans to send music and other info to.

Over my solo career (the past 4 years) I have kept only a Myspace page at Yeah, I know. It’s embarrassing considering the tools that have been available to me over that time, but everything was happening so fast with advancements in social media and, honestly, I was just being lazy. But it feels great to be attacking all the social media with a fresh approach.

Since 9/18/2006 (when I started my myspace page) I have racked up a whopping 3911 profile views, 265 friends, and 5192 total plays. Chump change baby. That’s enough of an audience that I don’t want to say goodbye to them when I start a new page. But at the same time it’s not a big enough audience that it will hold me back from having a fresh start. And I have a feeling that most of these plays came from a smaller group of core fans (than the 265 friends) that will follow my music wherever it goes.

Myspace is undergoing a major overhaul of its music site by adding a number of tools for artists, acquiring companies and becoming more open and interconnected with the rest of the web. But I really don’t know if I have time to update a Myspace full time and do all the rest of my social media. I am also a bit spiteful after years of artist neglect from Myspace, and the confusing layouts and all that. I’ve decided that I will keep a Myspace, but devote a lot less time to it. I can do this by updating it automatically through other sites like Reverbnation, Youtube and Twitter. This is my new Myspace page:

My base of operations will be my Reverbnation page, and I will use a YouTube channel, Twitter and a Facebook artist page for most of my promotion. I also have plans to use Ustream, street teams, and am looking into paid advertisements on fb or Twitter.

I chose Reverbnation because I feel that it offers the most complete package. The amount of customization that I can do on my page with all the different widgets available is crazy. I can set up a personalized store for my music, post an interactive calendar, update my status to Twitter, Facebook, and Myspace, and view all kinds of stats about who my fans are and where they come from. They just recently added a service that places your music on a whole slew of online retailers like iTunes, Spotify, Amazon MP3 Store, etc. for only $34.95/year! I’m not sure if that makes more sense than CDbaby but it sounds pretty damn affordable.

Twitter was a no-brainer. It will allow me to maintain an ongoing interaction with fans. It is easy to set up. Here is a link to my Twitter.

I have a lot of friends from my college and high school years that are already on my Facebook. Having that solid base will make it easier to get an initial following for my artist page. To set up a facebook artist page, sign out of your Facebook account. Then at the bottom of the page when you try to sign back in there will be an option to “create a page” for a celebrity, band or business. Facebook then takes you through the steps of starting your fan page, uploading material and suggesting the page to people. One of the last steps is an option to connect to Twitter which I did. Here is my Facebook artist page.

These were some very basic, yet very necessary moves to make as a beginning artist. More complex moves to come.

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