indie artist

The Highs & The Lows.

The Highs & The Lows.jpg

These last few months have been a rollercoaster, full of high highs and low lows.

I released my 3 song EP called "The Life EP" on October 27th and it took sooo much to get everything in order to make it happen! This is the 4th project I've released on my own and I really went for it this time (and still going after it for that matter!)

Here's some of the High's:

- With the help of my friends Sara Castro, My husband Brett and my friend Elizabeth Hosford, I've been able to make custom merchandise pieces that I LOVE like coffee mugs, Coloring Pages, T-shirts and Water color Hand Lettered Lyric Art!

-I've played many awesome paying gigs and have made some really great connections and friends through them! The paying gigs have paid for things like my Coffee + Jesus Owl Mugs and T-shirts and a recording of a new song that has a LOT of promise!

-At those shows I sold out of physical Copies of Out of the Woods and Songs for Healing! I'm hoping to get more printed of those 2 CD's soon! The songs on those CD's are some of the "musical meat" that I usually play in my live shows.

-I signed with an awesome Music Licensing company that finds music for TV and Film with a possible Commercial spot in Europe for Mom Life in the works!!

-I released 2 Music Videos: Mom Life, which went semi-viral with 340 shares and over 38.4k views and a bunch of comments about how people are resonating with the song! Let me tell you, THAT MEANS EVERYTHING TO ME to know people are resonating with something I have written! Especially something as honest as Mom Life.

I also released The Good Life on Thanksgiving day and it turned out SO beautiful. The scenery and imagery captured the song really well and I felt super happy to be able to release it on Thanksgiving.

-I wrote an amazing follow up song to Mom Life, Called "Thrive" recorded it & made a "day in the life" video of it. Still finishing that one up and it should be released in January! I think this is one of my favorite songs that I've ever written and it's really raw and captures an emotional snapshot of where I am in my mom life right now. I'm really trying to find the balance between Surviving and THRIVING. It's not easy most days, but I'm figuring out it's just a season and I can make it!

-I emailed at least 1000+ music contacts and mom bloggers and got a few emails back! I heard back instantly from a few bigger Mom Bloggers and some smaller ones that Featured the Mom Life Music Video. I heard back from 2-3 music bloggers. It's hard to break in to the music blogging scene because they hear from so many people in a day, so to hear anything back is a miracle!

-I won the opportunity to play Mom Life for a professional songwriter and Music Publisher in Nashville and they loved it! The feedback from that session, REALLY got me thinking about the way I write and how I want to move forward in this business.

-I've bumped into people literally in the grocery store, on Instagram, at church or just friends who have told me how my music has resonated with them and it reminds me why I'm doing this.

-I recently met a guy working at Guitar Center that is a Recording Student and offered to give me a 4 hour session in the studio FOR FREE! It happens to be near San Fransisco and I scheduled it for a time when we are going to be in San Fransisco for a family trip anyways! Such a Devine moment because I've been wanting to record a specific song and get a more professional vocal on Thrive, the new song I'm working on!

The Lows seem dumb compared to all the good happening, but I think they are worth sharing.

As a creative it's SO EASY to be a perfectionist and get upset when things don't happen just the way we planned them. SO many things did not go as planned with this project, but in a strange way I think it was good for me! I had to Trust God in a way I never would have if things just worked perfectly.

I had little to no budget to work with on this EP and the fact that it was fully funded along the way is a MIRACLE. I couldn't have made that happen, in fact I tried to make it happen on my own so many times and FAILED MISERABLY. Yet these seemingly random opportunities would present themselves RIGHT at the moment I had need of them. I KNOW that isn't an accident! Just because all that breakthrough happened, doesn't mean it was easy to walk through though. I cried A LOT. I prayed A LOT. I questioned A LOT.

I currently find myself in the place of "What's next?". I released everything, now what? I don't want the buzz from this project to die off. I still want to make a music video for 20 Years From Now. I feel like there are more opportunities, but I don't know what door to knock on...

I just heard Eric Johnson say this quote at my church that I thought was perfect for where I find myself..

"When God closes one door He opens another, but it can be Hell in the hallway."

I am in the hallway, knocking on doors. I'm not where I'm supposed to be yet and it gets discouraging knocking on doors with no answer, but I've gotta keep trying.

I get choked up every. single. time. I sing a line in my new song Thrive that says:

"These dreams in my head, they seem too big, but I cannot give up on them yet.."

I can't give up. I want to give up. The discouragement swallows me up sometimes.. But I know these songs aren't just for me to sing to myself, but that they were given to me to give out, to encourage others where they are at.

So I combat the voices that tell me to quit. It's not easy, but it's so good. My faith is growing everyday and songs swell up in my heart in these moments and I know all the pain and wrestling isn't the end of the story.

The thing I'm realizing right now is how much God is working behind the scenes on my behalf. I wasn't aware of it for a long time and I think it sort of made me stressed out and made me think I had to make it all happen on my own. I'm realizing I don't have to be SO STRESSED OUT because I'm working hard, praying harder and HE'S working it all out behind the scenes. I can't even tell you how many times I've been on the other side of an impossible situation and thinking, "WOW. HOW DID I GET HERE AND HOW DID THAT EVEN HAPPEN?!?!" 

SO I'll TRUST even when I can't see. I won't let fear lead me, but FAITH. I'll Trust Him in the Highs and the Lows.

The Life EP Release Show 10/27/17

I wanted to write a little recap of The Life EP Release Show that happened on my Birthday October 27th!

The day of the show was a WHIRLWIND.

I prepped like crazy ahead of time to make sure everything was ready. From the order of the Show, to Set Lists (I played 3 mini sets!), to the photo booth props, to making sure the video stuff ran well (projector, screen, videos from directors and more), to merch set up, to marketing on social media, to printing flyers, printing business cards and the cute little coloring pages for the kids! And SO much more.





It was QUITE the undertaking, on top of doing mom life and just LIFE in general! The day of the show I felt that sick, tingling feeling in my nose and I was like "REALLY?! TODAY OF ALL DAYS?!" I persisted and took cold meds, nose spray, tea and tried to take it easy on my voice. Me and Jesse ran through our set lists that afternoon and I felt like, "hey I can do this!" I got my makeup on, dressed up in my Lularoe dress from The Good Life music video and Brett packed up 2 cars full of sound equipment, merchandise and decorations.

I felt that nervous feeling building in my stomach like "Can I pull this off to the extent that I planned?! Will people even come?!?!" I REALLY wanted it to go how I envisioned it, but it's never guaranteed with an event like this, so I just kept moving, and pushed the thought away.

 I tell you all of this to REALLY show the behind the scenes of something like this! The show is just the tip of the iceberg. It takes a ton of prep and planning to make a show like this run "Successfully"! 

Here was my order for the Show. My Mom hosted which was really fun to bring someone else in (instead of just me) to guide the show. My mom also ran the merch table, Brett did the video stuff, Marco ran sound and my sister Amy watched my kiddos! It was a team effort for sure. 

***Order of Show***
*Heather Introduce Kevin*
-Kevin Schlereth
-VIDEO (Story about The Life EP)
-Heather plays 3 songs
-MOM LIFE MUSIC VIDEO
-Q&A VIDEO with Pete
-BAND plays The Life EP
-THE GOOD LIFE MUSIC VIDEO
***ANNOUNCE WINNERS OF RAFFLE***
-Introduce Heather and Jesse
-Heather and Jesse Play
 (LOOP VIDEO’S at the end or Photos..)

We Set up The Fig Tree for the show. We hung vintage lights behind us, set up a photo booth area, set up a really fun merch area, rearranged chairs and even set up a coloring area for the kids! I did all I could do to make the show awesome and I prayed people would come. I felt like the night wasn't going to just be about me (I kind of hate things being about me anyways!), but for someone else who had dreams in their heart that they didn't know how they were going to do it and I'd be able to speak into that dream and help it grow through my story. I was really expectant of what was going to happen!


As it got closer to show time, the Cafe started filling up with all of the faces of people who had spoken into my dream and the people I'd met along the way! My fear turned quickly to JOY and Gratefulness seeing their faces!





My Touring Friend Kevin Schlereth along with his back up singer Jay and Kevin's family were also in town and opened the show! It was THE BEST having him there. He has been really encouraging to me over the years with my music journey and is also an incredible performer!


Then Me and Jesse played 3 songs, that sort of took me off guard on how emotional I felt singing those old songs! I think because they were songs that LED to where I am today. I wrote them coming "out of the woods" of depression during a really rough season after losing our 1st baby, then also after having a nightmare pregnancy, delivery and recovery with Trust. I felt like I'd never be well enough to play music again and these songs came out of that time. 

I played the Wall 1st with Jesse on Drums and Hayane on Violin, and it says "You come tell me 'have faith in what you can't see', when I'm too focused on the things that try to break me, and you come sweetly, and I'm so humbled, oh God you love me, you bring life back to these Eyes..."


Then I played Awaken Me, a song that literally WOKE me up from the season of Depression I was in after losing our first baby. I added a part at the end that says "It's time to live, it's time to dream, it's time to lift up your weary head, time to lift up your weary head.." and as I sang it, I felt like there were people sitting in the room who had dreams in their heart that this song was for! Like God was waking them up! I sort of spoke out to those people I felt like it was for in the moment and felt VERY moved emotionally as I flowed into the song Ordinary that says "She thinks she's ordinary but I think she could change the world, change the world." Not only did that line move me again, I saw it moving others as well! I looked out and met eyes with specific people I felt like the song was for and KNEW it wasn't just a song for me, but a call for others too!
THIS is why I LOVE doing music. I get so insecure preparing for something, but at the end of the day, it's NOT ABOUT ME. It's really about making those heart connections with people through the music. When I just SING and let go of all my control, fear and doubt, that's when the breakthrough comes!

Next, we did the Premiere of the Mom Life Music Video and it was a blast to see everyones reactions! From laughing, to nodding in agreement with the video, to happy crying at the ending! I'm so glad I was able to share it with my close friends and family first! Pete King my buddy who directed it even sent a little Q and A video we showed after the music video too. Here's the Mom Life music video if you haven't seen it yet:


Next I played with a mini band the songs on The Life EP! Aaron was on Bass, Jesse was on the Drums, Hayane was on the Violin and of course I sang and played Acoustic Guitar. IT WAS SOOOOO FUN playing with a band! It definitely gave the songs a fuller sound and we had a lot of fun practicing for the show as well. Grateful they agreed to play with me! My favorite part of the band set was when everyone sang along at the end of The Good Life!! "This is our life, this is our life, we're living the good life.."
After the band section of the night, we Premiered The Good Life music video! It'll Officially be released in the coming weeks, so be on the lookout for it!

My Mom did a great job hosting the night and we had a fun raffle for some merch! She also ran my Merch Table and made it pretty :)

Me and Jesse Finished out the night with some songs that were a blast from the past like "The Driving Song", "Over You" and some new songs about turning 30, "This is my Time" and "Be Patient with Me" 

I felt so LOVED that night! I'm so grateful for each person that came and all the people that encouraged me along this journey! I know that this release is only the beginning and I can't wait to see what happens next!! 

Be sure to follow along on all my social media to see what I'm up to and check out The Life EP on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon and more!!


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.

Now, THE LIFE EP IS DONE.

-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!

The Good Life - Behind the Scenes and Wrapping up The Life EP



We had so much fun shooting The Good Life music video with our friend Sergio Perez and his family! They have 3 girls that our kids love. They showed us their cute little chickens and we shared marshmallow's with them after we were done shooting the video. :)

Sergio took us to a REALLY gorgeous secret spot on his property that ended up being part of the scenery for the video. There is a big pond & I played my guitar out on the water on a really pretty white paddle boat. I was a little nervous that I would fall in the water with my guitar, but I did it gracefully without any typical "Heather moments". Haha!









We also made a little campfire and got some shots of Me and my husband and the kids eating marshmallows and snuggling in a quilt my great grandmother made.




A few days later we went to a creek and I made little origami boats that we raced and of course we got into a splash fight! We played for a while in the creek with Sergio's family and on a nearby playground! I love that they have become some of our good friends through this.




Me and my amazing husband also went back to the magical spot where we shot The Good Life music video to get some promo photos and also some Story Behind the Songs video. I'll be releasing those one at a time to hopefully keep some interest up!

Here's some sneak peeks of some of those photos:




I also got all the MASTER TRACKS for The Life EP from Jeremy Edwardson at Sound House Studios!!! It's been such a crazy, fun, hard, exciting journey!! I can't believe that it's almost done!!!


The next steps for The Life EP is:

-wrap up artwork for the EP (I've been sort of indecisive about it, but I think I've finally landed on my idea!)

-order physical copies of The Life EP

-Get it distributed online to iTunes, Spotify, Amazon & more

-Plan the EP Release show on October 27th (My Birthday!) at Fig Tree Coffee in Roseville, CA

-Get merchandise that is really unique and cool (I'm so excited about this!!)

-sending The Life EP out to all the media

-create a buzz (with the help of my amazing friends & fam!)

-create a timeline on how to release the videos, lyric posts, story behind the songs videos and more!

-Enjoy the process, because it's finally HERE!


I know there are SO many more things but these are the main things to do for now.

You should see me smiling right now. I'M LIVING THE DREAM I NEVER THOUGHT I'D GET TO DO.

I'm not saying it's been easy, but it feels so good to be on the other side of all of the doubt. I'm sure I'll doubt some more along the way, but I'm more sure now than when I first started! :)

Not to go too deep here but what is holding you back from your dream? No time? Kids? Fear? Doubt? Lack of self-confidence? Not feeling good enough? --- Can I just reassure you, you can do it DESPITE all of those things, I know this because I did. It might mean early mornings, late nights, LOTS of coffee, frustration, plans that don't go the way YOU plan, interruptions, doubting yourself 500 times, crying (lots of crying in my case), smiling in videos where you feel like everything is going wrong because your kids don't want to be in your video (OH that's just me haha), BUT it's worth the blood, sweat, broken plans, fake smiles & tears. You'll be stronger because of that grueling process and by the time you're supposed to do something bigger, you'll already be prepared for it. So don't let anything hold you back. Don't let your fears stop you because actually, they'll only make you better when you face them head on.






Behind the Scenes of the Mom Life Music Video & The Good Life Music Video

Behind the Scenes of the Mom Life Music Video & The Good Life Music Video

I Wrote "Mom Life" in a VERY hard mom season. Story was maybe 8 months old, not sleeping through the night, teething, very clingy, whiny and I was having a tough time with nursing and Trust was feeling like I wasn't giving him as much attention as Story and was majorly acting out. I was feeling very overwhelmed.

I felt like the only way I could get through some days was lots of Coffee and LOTS of "breath prayers" that were more like distress signals, saying "Jesus, HELP." I counted down the seconds until my husband got home so I could take a 10 minute break and decompress or just be by myself for 2 seconds, only to find a little kid in the doorway telling me about some deep theology about lego mini figures.

I snuck away one night and sat on the bed in my room with my guitar and the song "Mom Life" came out all in one moment! I honestly think it's one of the most clever songs I've ever written and it literally just flowed out of all the situations I currently found myself in.


About 2 years ago, after I had written the song, I had a dream about making "Mom Life" into a funny, heartwarming Music Video, to encourage other mom's walking through similar seasons. Something moms could relate to, find comfort from, laugh at and cry with..

SO, WE DID IT. I made that tiny dream into a reality with the help of Pete King, Joseph and Adam!

Here's a behind the scenes video of the day of shooting!


It wasn't all roses and butterflies. In proper Mom Life fashion, the kids were whiny, didn't want to do the scenes and I felt a little disheartened, wondering if it was going to work. Pete, Adam and Joseph hung in there with us and by the afternoon, things started to get better for me. I think I sort of let go at a certain point and was like "Well, it'll be an honest video about Mom Life!" haha!

I had a lot of fun getting to "act" in the video! I felt like it was something that I really enjoyed doing.

At about 4pm we shot some band shots with some friends from my church's kids worship team: Emily on bass, Paul on Electric, and my brother in law Jesse on the drums and Sister Amy on the Keys!

 I changed my look from PJ's to glam, dressed in a Lularoe outfit styled by my friend Ali Gattison! Check her out on FB: https://www.facebook.com/lularoealigattison She did such a great job finding something in my color palette!

My husband Brett did a GREAT job being extra support for the kids AND shooting behind the scenes footage on video and with his fancy camera! He's amazing! Here's some of the photos he captured:





The Life EP is being mixed and mastered as we speak! I am humbled that I got to work some music all-stars like Jeffrey Kunde, Andrew Jackson and Jeremy Edwardson at SoundHouse in Redding! I am chomping at the bit waiting to hear the final versions of the songs... Then the Mom Life Music Video can be edited by Pete, then released when the EP is officially out, HOPEFULLY at the end of October.

I am also about ready to shoot a video for "The Good Life" next week with my friend Sergio Perez! It'll be really simple and heartwarming with lots of shots of our family at sunset and around a campfire! I love that it's been my friends that have been the ones to help make these videos. It makes it much more special for sure.

I also got some REALLY COOL hand scripted lyrics from my friend Elizabeth Hosford to sell at my Merch Table! Check out her creations on Instagram at: http://www.instagram.com/choicearrowcreations

I'm working really hard to come up with some really fantastic, one of a kind Merch items and Bundles, I can't wait for you to see!!

LAST BUT NOT LEAST, Join the Email Newsletter BELOW! I have 2 people that have subscribed so far haha! Lets add some more! You'll get all sorts of fun info and freebies, so make sure you're not missing out!







Stay in Touch! Find me on social media:
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WEBSITE: www.heatherevansmusic.com
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Noisetrade, The "Mom Life" Music Video & Conquering Fears.

I am ALL about being open and honest about my "process" as a musician, mom & person. If you follow me on social media, you know that to be true. :) I hope that my transparency helps someone else in their process & helps you to know you're not alone!

So here's my process these last few weeks..

Last week I started a mini Fundraiser on www.noisetrade.com/heatherevansmusic to help raise some money to market "The Life EP". I'm selling "Songs for Healing" for $6 or donation of people's choice, to hopefully make the extra money I need to get "The Life EP where it needs to go.

Up to this point I had been self sufficient, paying for recording & a music video on my own, but I realized I needed some help! I didn't have a dime to actually make copies of the EP, merch & all the ways you need to pay for ADs on social media to widen your reach as an artist &so many other little things. If you're an indie musician, you know how quickly the costs can mount! I also want to make another music video for "20 Years From Now", a song that always hits people's hearts when I play it live. One of my goals with music is to have the music fund the music, & to never draw from our personal money, because we don't have a lot of extra.

In my heart of hearts, I REALLY want to do this EP right. In the past I've released albums, but I've never had a real marketing plan behind them. They each had mini successes, but it had nothing to do with marketing, just random luck really. This time around, I have a solid marketing plan, know what I want, & I know it's going to go places!! I'm dreaming BIG &it's exciting AND extremely SCARY at the same time!

So, I felt sort of embarrassed & discouraged when no one responded to the post about the Noisetrade Fundraiser at first. Fear rose up in my heart, "is this going to work? What if no one likes my music? Who am I to think I could do what I'm planning to do?" I even broke down  cried on a FB Live when I expressed my heart for this project & just longing for someone to believe in me.



I prayed, cried and God got to work. Right after I prayed, I got an Email from Noisetrade asking if I wanted to be featured in the "New & Noteable" section of their website & featured in their newsletter. They have a reach of 1.7 million listeners! What a PERFECT opportunity to build my reach right before "The Life EP" release! The Noisetrade Feature is happening on August 14th and my husband Brett captured some stunning promo photos for it! Can't wait to see what happens when the Feature runs!

Later that night I checked my Noisetrade Fundraiser status & I'd raised $100 in ONE DAY! Not only that but people were texting me & messaging me about how they were connecting to the "Songs for Healing" EP.

Talk about a humbling experience! I hate that I let fear corner me sometimes. I KNOW I'm supposed to dream big for this project, but I let fear tell me otherwise! I forget what The Lord has spoken to me so quick!

To ensure I wouldn't forget anymore, I made a DREAM WALL. My dream wall is there so that in moments of fear and doubt, I can look at what my community says about me, inspirational quotes, song lyrics, pictures, the words I feel like I've gotten from God about this project, My hopes, and my dreams for it. It's amazing to see everyday & gives me courage!


This weekend, Pete King is helping me shoot the "Mom Life" Music Video! I'm hustling this week getting my house cleaned, because we are filming it at my house! It will be a pretty realistic depiction of a "day in the life" of being a momma! I'm so stoked about that. My worlds of being a mom to 2 kiddies and being a musician are colliding!

My friend Ali Gattison, did an amazing job "styling" me in some Lularoe outfits for the Music Video! I had a blast trying everything on & I love how mix & match everything was. Here's a little peek at what she picked out for me, but you'll have to wait to see which one I chose! :)

ONE LAST THING! I'm diving into the world of Email newsletters! I plan on sharing fun life updates and EXCLUSIVE songs & videos with just my "Adventures with Heather newsletter" subscribers! The Journey is about to get exciting, so now is the perfect time to join! If you'd like to join, sign up below!

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!

 Step 1: SONGWRITING.

-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!

Step 2: CHOOSE YOUR SONGS. SET A THEME.

-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.

Step 3. POLISH YOUR SONGS.

-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.

Step 4. START FUNDRAISING.

-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.

 Step 5. CHOOSE A PRODUCER.

-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.

 Step 6. FIND QUALITY MUSICIANS TO HELP YOU RECORD.

-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.

Step 7. PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!

-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.

Step 8. MAKE A PLAN FOR TRACKING & MIXING YOUR SONGS.

-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.

Step 9. MASTERING.

-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.

Step 10. COPYRIGHT & REGISTER YOUR SONGS TO A PERFORMING RIGHTS ORGANIZATION.

-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.

Step 11. PHOTOSHOOT & ALBUM COVER DESIGN.

-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!

Step 11. CREATE A BUZZ.

-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!

Step 12. GET YOUR MUSIC ON THE INTERNET. (ITUNES, SPOTIFY, AMAZON & MORE)

-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!

Step 13. RELEASE YOUR ALBUM!!!!!

-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!