independent music

Ready for Take Off..

WOW. I can't believe how far I've come.

October marks a one year anniversary of when I felt like God gave me a picture of me walking in the desert toward a downpour of rain. I felt like He was showing me that the outpouring and abundance was coming and as I walked toward it, to prepare on the way. I started practicing writing and getting ready for whatever that meant.

Later I got a word about being like a seed bursting open ready to grow and bloom.

Then, I got a dream in my heart to make a 3 song EP, had NO BUDGET, but felt like it was time and to step out in faith. I contacted Jeremy Edwardson at Sound House Studios in Redding, started recording with Jeffrey Kunde (amazing guitarist with Jesus Culture) and paid the Studio IN FULL from a miracle money provision situation. It was such an encouragement to be able to do that!

I made 2 music videos and got TONS of cool photos and promo video material.

It's definitely been a soul searching journey and I feel like I've grown a ton. I'm leaving behind not feeling good enough, feeling embarrassed about what I have to give, fear and doubt! I've tried to doubt so many times and God LITERALLY sends me someone I don't know that tells me "I feel like God told me you have a creative gifting, specifically music and He wants you to go after it." WOW.


-I submitted all my music files and artwork to get the hard copies of the EP to sell, and they should be coming to my doorstep on October 4th!
-I submitted all of my music to iTunes, Spotify, Amazon and more.
-I've been working hard to send my Electronic Press Kit to over 70 music bloggers, 50+ local media, my Columbus contacts and more.

-I'm working on unique merchandise items that I think people beyond my music are even going to love!

-I'm working on getting everything ready for the EP Release Party at Fig Tree Coffee on October 27th from flyers, to band practice (I'm gonna have a 4 piece band!), to marketing the show and making it super special..

It's exciting times, but it's a ton of work and takes COURAGE to put yourself out there like that. I have a lot of things in the works and it's hard to keep it all straight sometimes! I even made a little dry erase calendar to help me schedule out my social media posts!

 I've wrestled through my fair share of fear, but I'm pressing through and not letting it stop me!

I'm going to be reaching out to my amazing community to help me get the word about The Life EP out there, mostly through sharing the Music Videos on Social Media and I'll also be running some AD's to get some new listeners! I'm also hoping to land a few songs in some TV shows and indie films. I'm really going full steam ahead and will need all the support I can get.

Thank you to everyone who has been with me cheering me on on this journey. I am REALLY grateful for your voice of encouragement in my life and has kept me moving forward. Now, I think I'm ready for take off and I can't wait to see what happens!

How to Independently Release an Album

I'm about ready to start recording an EP & I wrote a little "step by step" of "how to independently release an album" a while back that I've been referencing I thought I'd share!!

You see, I'm a singer/songwriter & I've released 4 Albums independently! I've had some cool successes from each of those releases. I've had songs featured on MTV's Laguna Beach, Nickelodeon's teen channel Noggin, an independent film, Radio play & lots of local press! All of this doesn't come easy, it takes lots of emails, phone calls, connecting and more! Here are a few things I've done over the years when releasing albums. Hope it helps you get a better game plan for your release! 

How to Independently Release an Album

- It starts with an idea, that turns into a song, that turns into a group of songs that carry a specific theme or message you want to convey. That plus A TON of work, planning, scheduling & practicing happen in between all of that. You have to keep a timeline & have a plan to have a successful Album Release!


-It starts with a song. Whether you get a melody & hum it into your iphone, or get some powerful lyrics that you scribble into your journal & piece it together later, or co-write with a fellow singer-songwriter, an album starts with songwriting.

-Everyone’s songwriting process is different, but going into making an album, I like to have all of my songs finished. Yes, you might get some ideas on the spot in the studio, but you don’t want to waste precious studio time trying to finish a song! That can get expensive because a lot of studios charge by the hour!


-Many times the songs you choose for your Album have a specific theme or message you want to convey. It’s great to have a theme or message as a jumping off point for photo shoots & music videos that help with promotions!

I released an album called “Out of the Woods” & I did a photo shoot & music video in the woods & most of the songs on the album talk about coming out of the “woods” of anxiety, depression & finding out who I was outside of all of that. It was a powerful message & I was able to convey that concept & message through not only the music but the art & promotional materials! It was cohesive & powerful.


-Once you’ve chosen your songs, POLISH THEM by playing them over & over, make demos of them to listen to & memorize them, & show them to trusted friends. When you show them to friends, be sure to GLEAN from what they say, but don’t let other people’s opinions sway you from your heart about the project & songs.


-Whether you raise the money yourself or do a Go Fund Me or Kickstarter Campaign, make sure you have ALL of your funds raised before you start recording! Give at least 2-3 months for the process.


-Choose a producer that GETS your sound!

-Really do your research of studios & producers. It’ll make all the difference! You don’t want to get stuck with a producer who doesn’t get your sound. You’ll end up getting frustrated instead of feeling inspired & excited about the project. I suggest sitting down for coffee with potential producers & interviewing them first to see if you mesh! Check their past work, ask friends, & go with someone who loves your music too.


-Once you find the producer that will represent your music well, see if they know musicians or find musicians in your circle that will play your music the way you want to hear it. If you don’t know of any, throw it out there and audition a few!

I had a crew of musicians I could count on that knew my style & music.


-Practice with your band like crazy until you have the feel & sound you want for each song.

A lot of times I’d have different musician friends or back up vocalists featured on different songs. So even if you don’t have a full band to practice with, shoot the artists the demos you worked on in the beginning to practice with then get together with them & make sure they have all the parts worked out.

Rely on your producer to help if you’re unsure of certain specifics in a song like interludes, lead guitar parts, vocal effects & more. That’s where your producer shines! As long as you have the base of the song, the producer can help you add the layers & flare.


-Get together with your producer & make a plan for tracking your songs in the studio.

A lot of times I start with acoustic guitar & scratch vocals to a click track as a jumping off point. Then start adding the other instruments like Drums, Bass, rhythm electric guitar, lead electric guitar, keys or synth, strings.. whatever elements you want in that specific song.

-Get all your musicians scheduled & crank it out. The tracking process can be as quick as a week, or as long as 3 months, depending on your producer & your work schedule.

-After tracking, leave plenty of time for MIXING. It’s important to get all of your levels just right.


-After tracking and mixing the next step is to Master your album! Mastering makes your music “Radio Quality’, evens out the volumes & transitions from track to track. My friend has a quick turn over rate for mastering (2-3 days) but many times mastering can be a 2 week or more process from listening, to any changes, to the final product.


-While you are mixing & mastering your songs, send your mixed songs to the Library of Congress to be copyrighted. Also, register your songs to a performing rights organization like ASCAP or BMI so that you can get royalties if your song is played on the radio, used in a TV show or Movie.


-While you’re getting your songs mastered, do a photo shoot for your Album cover & promotional photos. Make sure you keep with the theme of your album.

-Hire an artist to design your Album, promotional materials like a Bio with a picture, Facebook Banners, posters, T Shirts & maybe something unique like a plushie with a download card!

-Maybe even have your designer help make your website design more cohesive.

-Also, choose a company to duplicate your CD’s to get a template for your designer to design the front, inside & back of your CD. I go through Discmakers or CDbaby.

*DO NOT schedule a CD Release Show until you are in the final stages of this process! Sometimes things don’t go to the plan & you may not have your duplicated CD in time for the release show!


-Once you have your Mastered songs back, think about making a semi-professional music video! It’s a great way to introduce your album to the world & have your friends SHARE, SHARE, SHARE!

-KNOW YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE. Know your marketing campaign towards for your audience.

-Another way to create a buzz is to take a bunch of fun video & photos of the studio process & share them on youtube, Facebook & Instagram. Make sure you use HASHTAGS! Also, following people with similar interests will most likely get you followed back! 

-When you know your Album Release Date, send a Digital Press Kit with your songs, Bio & Promo photo to Local News Stations, College Radio Stations, Local Bloggers, College Newspapers, Local Newspapers, Local Magazines, alllllll the internet radio stations & more. I did this not expecting much, but I had a TON of Press before my release! It was awesome!

-Offer freebies! Free Song, free song art, get creative!


-Once you get your Masters & Album artwork approved, get your album on the internet! I went through CD BABY to get my music on all of the Internet download & streaming sites! I think you could do it one at a time, but it would be a lot. I think it took about a week to get everything through. CD BABY tracks all of your sales & sends you money via Paypal when someone buys your music, it’s great for the indie artist!


-After you’ve finished steps 1-12, you’re ready to release your album! Have friends & family help you spread the word on social media & hashtag like crazy! You’d be amazed at the amount of unique visits you’ll get to your videos & photos just from a hashtag!

-Plan an Album Release Party! Make the release special, get some local press on “the list”, invite all of your friends, family & everyone who helped you make the album. Have a table with behind the scenes pictures & video. Design the stage extra special. I used vintage looking lights, it set the vibe I wanted & made for cool photos. Also, invite local musicians to open with 3 songs to make it a music community event/celebration! Highlight the musicians you appreciate!

-Make your merch table EPIC. Display your Albums in a unique way. Find a Vintage Suitcase to display your CD’s in or get some cool lighting to display your music in a unique way. Draw people’s attention!