For the past 6 months, I have been working as a music writer at EARMILK as well as running my own blogs. Prior to this, I had little knowledge on how music media actually worked, and my newfound experience in writing has been truly eye-opening. Long before I worked as a writer, I was an artist crafting my own songs, trying to reach out to blogs and magazines hoping to gain exposure. Little did I know, there were a lot of things that could have helped me early on as an artist trying to reach out to writers, so I’ve decided to share some of the knowledge I’ve gained from an insider perspective to hopefully provide some guidance.
When pitching, emphasize what makes you unique
When pitching to writers, try to keep their perspective in mind. Many music writers receive dozens of pitches a day if not more, so they naturally see a lot of repetition. It is important to think outside the box when pitching, as to grab their attention and excite them about an artist’s work. Brainstorm creative ways to express your mission and persona as an artist, as to stick in the writer’s mind.
Don’t be too dry, try to emotionally connect
Try to connect on an emotional level if possible by making your pitch more personal. When writing about your song, touch on the emotions it is trying to convey, and try to emphasize the elements of it that are relatable on a human level. This helps you stand out from the heaps of dry, statistical pitches a writer receives. Overall, if the pitch can emotionally express the artist’s viewpoint clearly, this can make all the difference.
Tell a story
If you can tell a story about your song or album that is interesting and unique, this can help your pitch immensely. Try to think of a story that stands out from the typical narrative the music industry is trying to sell these days. I recommend trying to dig into your life in order to present something emotionally authentic. It does not have to be an overly complicated story, in fact simplicity can often work to your advantage. However, authenticity remains the key factor here.
Avoid relying (too heavily) on streaming statistics
If a pitch is centred primarily around statistical analysis, I am personally much less likely to accept it. That is not to say that you should never include statistics when pitching to writers, but simply that I don’t think that one should lean too heavily on them. I feel that this method has become over-saturated and I find myself glossing over pitches of this nature. I would prefer to write on an artist with no numbers and an intriguing, compelling story, than vice versa.
Overall, there is no “best way” to pitch to music writers, and it is not a black-and-white process. There are many ways that one can approach pitching in their own unique way that can be highly effective. I simply feel that these general guidelines can help an artist’s pitch stand out from the piles of them that a writer receives. As a baseline, I think it is important to be yourself, put effort into thinking outside the box, and to be personal as to connect emotionally.
Written by Jacob Saltzberg
Contributing writer at EARMILK
Running Roundhouse Music Co.