written by: Shawntel White
Atlanta is known for being a music city. Five out of the 10 people you will meet will be doing something in the music industry whether they are a rapper, singer, producer, publicist, or promoter.
With a city so filled with musicians trying to make it, you’ll find that many of them are “do it yourselfers.” They will produce their own beats, write their own lyrics, engineer their own tracks, select their own street team, and promote themselves. Some artists have gotten away with doing this well, having a one man self promotional team…at least in the beginning, but for the rest of them education is very important.
Patchwerk Recording Studios in Atlanta, GA was born out of Patchwerk founder and former CEO, Bob Whitfielf of the Atlanta Falcons and former husband of Real Housewives of Atlanta star Sheree Whitfield. Patchwerk has worked with artists such at Outkast, Beyonce, Young Jeezy, Whitney Houston, Sting, and T.I. to name a few.
Continuing with their hopes of providing quality services to up and coming artists in Atlanta and beyond, Patchwerk Studios began hosting their werkshops geared towards different segments of the music industry. Saturday, July 19, Patchwerk hosted its first installment of their werkshop with Public Relations in Music Werkshop featuring Tamiko Hope.
Tamiko Hope is a heavy hitter in the music industry. Getting her start as an intern at LaFace Records here in Atlanta, GA. She went on to work with Usher and Goodie Mob before launching her own PR and editorial firm Word Ink. Tamiko has spearheaded national PR campaigns for Grammy award winning artists, producers, and DJs. She helped to build such artists as OutKast, Rocko, Shawty Lo, Zaytoven, and Sonny Digital. Tamiko has learned and gained a lot being behind the scenes of the music industry to which she has recently launched her first book, Indie Insider: 10 Key Facts from Music Industry Insiders, available now on Amazon.
During the intimate workshop, Tamiko shared with us a wealth of knowledge that even the most discerning “do it yourself” artists could follow and incorporate into their campaign. Some of the gems Tamiko shared with us included:
What is public relations?
PR is all about selling. You have to figure out what makes you (or your client’s) story so special and sell that element
On networking and building relationships:
Research the people/ companies/ brands you want to work with and set out to meet them. It’s kind of hard to get to know a person AFTER they’ve blown up. You want to get to know them as they are on the come up. Wherever you are, be nice to people. In this industry people get to a certain level (and change). You really want to be nice to people and meet all the people you can and let them know what you wan to do. You never know who can help you. Connect yourself with people who are moving and doing. Keep connected with people who are doing things.
Misconceptions about PR:
The biggest misconception about PR, really high expectations. People believe PR is easy, it’s a constant lifestyle. Public relations is a part of a well oiled machine. It’s a team effort. A publicist job is to create opportunities
How can an artist grow into a larger market?
An artist should develop in their own city before trying to break into a bigger market. The one thing that is unbeatable is to be consistent. Be consistent with your message and be consistent with your image. Study other people’s campaigns and figure out how you can tailor it to your movement. Find the people that relate to your music and make good music.
How should you prepare for your opportunities?
When something happens you have to be ready and prepared for the next opportunity. Many artists want the stardom, but many of them aren’t prepared. While you (the artist) have downtime, prepare yourself. Practice! Practice interviewing, stage performance, and perfecting your craft.
What people should an artist have on their team?
An artist should have a manager to help mange the artist and book gigs; a publicist to help build awareness; a DJ who can break the artist into a new market; and a record promoter who can get the artist’s music on to the radio.
You are your brand. How you walk, talk, and carry yourself is your personal brand. Make sure you’re representing yourself to the fullest. You have to be able to sell yourself to people because that’s what they buy into. Make sure you know your authentic voice and who you are.
Where should people in the music industry get more knowledge?
Reading is fundamental. There’s so many ways to be creative. Ideas are important. You shouldn’t just read things in your industry (magazines, blogs, reviews), you should also read things not in your industry but can help you generate ideas. Some of the books I recommend:
Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger
The ONE Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
How to build your career:
When it comes to building your career, it’s important to have a solid foundation. You don’t want your career to be built on sand. You have to give in order to receive. Sometimes you have to give some thins away to grow, but have a limit. Be strategic in who you give (yourself, product, music, beats) to for free. Ask yourself if that person will help you and your career. You can’t get around hard work. Make sure you are doing something every single day towards your goals.
When it comes to social media:
Think long term. You don’t want to be using social media reckless in the short term and find out that it has hurt you in the long run. Large brands and companies will research you and your social media before they even bother to work with you. You don’t want to miss an opportunity because of reckless tweets.
Final words of advice:
Develop your skills. Take advantage of all the opportunities in your face. The more skills you have and develop, the more opportunities will present them self to you. Diversify yourself so you can create numerous streams of income.
The next Patchwerk Studios Werkshop will be on August 9th and dedicated to vocalists and building great vocals. For more information on this upcoming werkshop and other educational seminars, check out the Patchwerk Studios events calendar and follow WhyCauseICan on Instagram for opportunities to gain free entry into this and other events.
Find out more about Tamiko Hope at word-ink.com and purchase her book, Indie Insider: 10 Key Facts about the Music Industry from Music Insiders, on Amazon.
Checkout a few pictures from the event below:
- New Music: Twista “Friend Of Me” Feat. Chief Keef & Stunt Taylor
- New Music: Childish Major “Childish” Feat. Curtis Williams
- New Video: Hopsin “Ill Mind 7″
- Events: “The Standard” Presents Pretty Ken, RaRa, Money Makin Nique, L Bee – TONIGHT!
- Event Pictures: @ThaCoolClub Hold #TheFanBase Hosted By @FortKnoxLive