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Self-Signed Artist

Turning your artist project or band into a sustainable business is no small task, but the music industry is evolving rapidly. It’s a better time than ever to start thinking about your music career like an entrepreneur and building your brand. The goal of the Self-Signed Artist podcast is to help independent musicians do just that. Through their work with numerous artists in the studio, Koby and Jake have witnessed (or made) nearly every mistake in the book. Now they bring that experience to you with Self-Signed Artist so that you can avoid those mistakes and find success in the music business.Website: selfsignedartist.comEmail: podcast@selfsignedartist.comIG: @selfsignedartist

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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Turning your artist project or band into a sustainable business is no small task, but the music industry is evolving rapidly. It’s a better time than ever to start thinking about your music career like an entrepreneur and building your brand. The goal of the Self-Signed Artist podcast is to help independent musicians do just that. Through their work with numerous artists in the studio, Koby and Jake have witnessed (or made) nearly every mistake in the book. Now they bring that experience to you with Self-Signed Artist so that you can avoid those mistakes and find success in the music business.Website: selfsignedartist.comEmail: podcast@selfsignedartist.comIG: @selfsignedartist

Ep. 52: Putting It All Together - Refocusing on the Biggest Needle-Movers

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One full year of Self-Signed Artist! In this episode, we talk about picking and choosing from all of the information we've covered on this podcast, and refocusing your energy on one to three needle-movers.

May 05 2021

31mins

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Ep. 51: The Three Paths for Getting a Music Education and How to Choose

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Education is a hot topic. Some people will pressure you to go to college, other people will pressure you to NOT go to college. Some people are successful in educating themselves, and others are successful just by figuring things out through trial and error.

In this episode, we talk about the three different paths you can take in your music education. You'll hear our personal (and very different) experiences with education, how to choose what is right for you, how to make the most of whatever you choose, and how to continue with education through your career.

Apr 28 2021

39mins

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Ep. 50: Real Talk - Musicians, Burnout, and Mental Health

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We're switching things up for episode 50. In this unplanned, unscripted episode, we talk about burnout and mental health. You'll hear about our own personal experiences and some maybe surprising, maybe not-so-surprising statistics about mental health and independent musicians.

Apr 21 2021

24mins

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Ep. 49: Why Most Artists Are Missing Out on Merch Revenue

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Do you sell merch for your band or artist brand? Do merch sales make up a significant part of your income? In this episode, we talk about strategies you can use to maximize the power of your merch sales.

You'll hear what most people get wrong with their merch table, why high-school-Jake bought a shirt that was two sizes too small, why anybody buys merch in the first place, how merch can connect to your music/lyrics/videos/performances, the psychology of a tiered price structure, and how to drive up demand with limited supply.

Apr 14 2021

39mins

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Ep. 48: You Want to Know HOW to Be Successful? You're Asking the Wrong Question

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If you're listening to a podcast like this one, you are probably obsessed with the question HOW. HOW do I reach more fans? HOW do I get more streams? HOW do I build a successful career with my music? But HOW is the wrong question.

In this episode, we talk about why WHO is a better question than HOW. We cover specific examples of when asking WHO leads to a better solution to a problem. You'll hear the two types of WHO to consider, the traps that HOW can lead you into, and why the question WHO is the reason this podcast exists at all.

Apr 07 2021

40mins

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Ep. 47: Your Mind Is Playing Tricks on You and Your Music Career

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We all like to think that we have perfect judgment and we know what the best option is in every situation. But the truth is, there's a lot going on behind the scenes in our minds that can trip us up. These are our cognitive biases.

In this episode, we talk about 6 common forms of cognitive bias and how they make the process of creating music and running your brand more difficult. You'll hear why it's so easy to make excuses for your failures, why some artists write the same thing over and over, why Jake forgets how to walk in public, and why you should listen to your songs as few times as possible while making them. 

Mar 31 2021

49mins

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Ep. 46: What Are NFTs and What Do They Mean for Music?

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Have you been hearing about artists and bands making millions of dollars selling NFTs, but aren't really sure what it's all about? Well, we were (are) right there with you. Buckle up, because this is a confusing topic.

In this episode, we discuss what all the hype is about. What are NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens)? Why they are so confusing? How are artists and bands are using them? What does it mean for the music industry? How might it affect you and your music career (or not)? And will NFTs change the way we and our audiences consume music?

Mar 24 2021

30mins

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Ep. 45: Creative Slumps - Why They Happen and How to Get Out of Them

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Have you ever felt like the things that normally come easily and naturally to you, are suddenly really difficult? Then maybe you've experienced the dreaded creative slump.

In this episode, we talk about three things that can cause a slump or a plateau in your music career, a three-step process for getting out of one, Steve Martin's secret for creative success, a strategy musicians can steal from aspiring chess-masters, and finally we work on a slump-smashing plan for Jake as an example.

Mar 17 2021

37mins

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Ep. 44: Evolving Your Sound and Your Artist Brand - w/ Jack Riley (Niamh)

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As an artist, it can be scary to make a big change in your sound or your branding. How will your current fans react? However, evolution and growth over the course of your career are things you should embrace.

In this episode, we talk to Jack Riley (Niamh, formerly Pleasuremad, Art School Girls, The Nimble and Quick) about evolving their sound, and by extension, artist/band name over time. We cover what artist/band names represent, when a name change makes sense, whether or not you should worry about how your audience will react, using creative boundaries in your writing, how to evolve by pushing those boundaries, and the role side projects can play in evolution.

Mar 10 2021

48mins

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Ep. 43: The Word "Free" Is Killing Your Career and Ruining Your Life

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Nobody likes spending money, but is an aversion to spending actually slowing down your career and making you miserable at the same time?

In this episode, we talk about investing in your artist career. Topics covered include: two ways you could be hurting yourself by avoiding spending money, investments we have made that paid off, how to assess whether an investment is worth it, a "pyramid test" to make assessing investments easy, why time is also an investment worth considering, and how to balance time investments vs. money investments.

Mar 03 2021

36mins

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Ep. 42: Should You Audition for a Music Competition TV Show?

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Aspiring artists everywhere flock to the open auditions for TV shows like The Voice, American Idol, Songland, or America's Got Talent. It seems like an easy enough decision, try your luck. There's a ton to gain, and not much to lose. But is that really true? In this episode, we discuss the pros and cons of auditioning for music competition shows, like what you really stand to gain, and the catch that goes along with it. We also cover some ways to maximize the benefit of auditioning and minimize the potential downfalls.

Feb 24 2021

39mins

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Ep. 41: Leveraging TikTok for Music Promotion - w/ Brian Hayes

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If there's one social media platform with the most potential for artists and bands right now, it's TikTok. Whether you're creating original content or hopping on the trends, it's well worth having an active account.

In this episode, we talk to Brian Hayes (Coach Hayes) about his work with TikTok for artists like Johnny 2 Phones and sports organizations. We talk about what types of content work best on the app, the unimportance of production value, how to be authentic and still strategic, repurposing your content for TikTok, and choosing TikTok influencers to work with.

Feb 17 2021

45mins

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Ep. 40: How to Get Attention-Grabbing Artist Photos - w/ Kiki Vassilakis

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Your photography might be the first thing that a potential fan encounters, even before your music! It's important to make a good first impression and tell them how to feel when they see your photos.

In this episode, we talk to talented music photographer Kiki Vassilakis about how she creates stunning artist portraits and captures epic moments at live shows. We cover her creative process, brainstorming concepts, choosing a feeling for an image, the power of eye contact, posed vs. candid shots, getting comfortable with your photographer, and the benefits of working with a professional music photographer, among many other topics.

Feb 10 2021

1hr

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Ep. 39: Making High-Quality Music Videos - w/ Kamrin Pester & Wes Ellis

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What's the first thing every artist pictures when they've just written their best song yet? The music video. Kamrin Pester and Wes Ellis are part of a team that takes artists' inspiration and brings it to life on the screen. Their most recent project with artist Malik is a unique and creative take on the whole concept of what a music video can be.

In this episode, we talk about Malik's new video for his entire album "Spectrum," choosing a concept and aesthetic, challenges and compromises while making a video, budgeting for a project, finding a team, how to prepare for a shoot, and how to get eyeballs on your video when it's finished.

Feb 03 2021

1hr 6mins

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Ep. 38: Long-Distance Collabs: Two Perspectives - w/ 3dm. and Shiggy

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When the right artist finds the right producer, a 5-hour drive once a month (both ways) seems like nothing. 3dm (artist) and Shiggy (producer), manage to consistently make it work and come out with great music even though they only have very limited windows of time to do it.

In this episode, we talk about the influence of home communities, finding and clearing samples, the pressure of limited session time, preparing for when creativity dries up, acknowledging but avoiding trends, and the future of completely remote collaboration.

Jan 27 2021

51mins

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Ep. 37: Finding YOUR Sound - w/ Richie Wicander (Fire From The Gods)

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Everybody wants to know the secret to making it big as an artist. Well here it is: it's a slow process of developing. Richie Wicander knows that process very well from his time in Fire From The Gods (Rise Records), working in A&R for BMG, and developing bands and pop artists.

In this episode, we talk to Richie about where Fire From The Gods' unique sound comes from, what artist development looks like, how touring is really networking in disguise, how pop and hip hop influences lead to better rock music, and how the end of the pandemic may re-launch band culture.

Jan 20 2021

1hr 3mins

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Ep. 36: Forming a Cohesive Band Image - w/ Alex Magnan (Young Culture)

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A band is a sum of its parts. At the same time, it has to be both a single, cohesive unit, and also a collection of unique individuals with their own personalities. How do you tackle that from a branding perspective?

In this episode, we talk to Alex Magnan of Young Culture about how each member of the band is both a part of the whole and also their own artist. We cover collecting influences, what K-pop is doing right, creating a cohesive look on social media, live video performances, and live-streamed gatherings for fans on Twitch.

Jan 13 2021

48mins

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Ep. 35: How Being an Athlete Makes You a Better Artist - w/ Johnny 2 Phones

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What does playing basketball have in common with releasing a hit song? In Johnny 2 Phones' mind, a lot. So much that he made "athletic background" a requirement in his search to hire an intern.

In this episode we talk to Johnny about how a sports background has influenced his artist career, making music that is happy-sad, TikTok strategy for making your music viral, what to do when you feel like giving up, and the important distinction between being confident and being cocky.

Jan 06 2021

54mins

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Ep. 34: How to Achieve Your Goals and Make 2021 Your Best Year Yet

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2020 is over! Goodbye and good riddance! Now it's time to make your plan for the coming year, but don't fall into the age-old routine of making New Years resolutions and giving up by February 1st.

When it comes to setting big goals for yourself, it can be all too easy to let things slip over the course of a whole year. In this episode, we give you tips to make sure that you achieve your goals for 2021. We cover the benefit of setting different tiers of goals, whether you should broadcast your goals publicly, how to keep yourself accountable without excessive stress, and much more.

Dec 30 2020

43mins

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Ep. 33: Beat-Producer Business Models - w/ Hunter Galvin (Hunna G)

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As if being a great producer wasn't hard enough, turning it into a sustainable business comes with its own unique challenges. 

In this episode, we talk to Hunna G about building his producing career and different several business models that you can use to do the same thing for yourself. We also cover his work with Johnny 2 Phones, finding artists to work with, protecting your music, and always being prepared for when opportunities arrive.

Dec 23 2020

44mins

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iTunes Ratings

40 Ratings
Average Ratings
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Wonderful!

By Ethanhg - May 31 2020
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These guys have interesting, fresh ideas and are great to listen to!

10/10 would recommend

By NotKobyNelson - May 30 2020
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Just here for Jake's DEEP voice.