It’s every musician’s dream to see their name on the cover (or at least somewhere inside) of Rolling Stone, but it’s probably not in the cards for most of you. Don’t be too disheartened! It’s not all about the publications at the top of the food chain, but if those are in your sights, you’re going to have to start at the bottom and work your way up.
I’m here to tell you when you’re just starting out, no outlet is too small for you, whether you’ve heard of them or not. If you’re still in the early stages of your musical career, or even if you’re not but you’re willing to take anything and everything you can get (an attitude that will take you places), always seek out and do what you can to get your name mentioned or your music covered by every blog, magazine, podcast…you name it, no matter how small their reach may be.
I have spoken to plenty of artists or Managers who think it’s not worth their time to reach out to tiny publications or to accommodate them when it comes to sending music or granting concert tickets, but this is a dangerous strategy and one where everybody loses out.
Smaller websites and magazines are usually the ones hungriest for new music and previously undiscovered artists, and they often have the freedom to feature lesser-known names. Even if you become best friends with the editor-in-chief of Rolling Stone and they think you’re the next big thing, that’s still not going to get you on the cover, and it might not even mean there’s a space for your name in print. It’s that tough.
Those writers at smaller outlets will be more inclined to stick to an act they love and ride the wave of success with them. If you’re good to them, they’ll be excellent to you, and they’ll remember your name and your art if they should end up going to larger publications.
Also, it’s worth noting many Bloggers and Journalists at larger outlets still read smaller ones, where many of them learn of artists about to break. Tastemaking blogs are usually smaller, less famous brands, but they are powerful in their own way and sometimes they have an influential audience. While their email inboxes are overflowing, and Publicists are calling them day in and day out, top-tier writers are scanning their favorite smaller blogs for brand new talent, and this could be you if you’re smart (and good, of course).