In the music industry, artists don’t usually get a second chance to make a first impressions. Record labels, talent buyers, publicists and critics are inundated with inquiries from bands every day so you better bring your A-game if you want to stand out. This is where the EPK (Electronic Press Kit) comes in to play.
What is an electronic press kit? Think of it as your sales presentation, your two-minute elevator speech. Basically, the kit should introduce yourself and your music in an engaging, concise way while also piquing the intended audience’s interest so they want to learn more about you as an artist. By combining video, audio and photography, you can create a high-impact impression of who you are and what your music is all about. Click through to see what Big Bang TV, Breaking Laces and Kate Tucker & The Sons of Sweden all have in common and get expert advice on everything you need to build your own knockout EPK:
• Video of a killer live performance. Make sure you’re showing an enthusiastic, attentive audience in a good venue because no one wants to see a performance shot in your parent’s basement.
• High quality photography. In other words, no self-portraits taken with your iPhone. If you want people to think you’re a rock star, look the part.
• Amazing audio tracks. You want a professional, polished sound to your music so just say “no” to live recordings and lo-fi. Remember, this is not the place for you to play your album from start to finish. Pick your two or three of your strongest tracks because want to leave your audience a little hungry.
• Bio. You can do this one of two ways: either start typing or sit down in a comfortable setting and talk to a video camera. What got you into music? Was there an experience or influence that stands out? What are you trying to communicate through your music? Talk about specific songs and the events that inspired them. Don’t be afraid to get deep but also keep it short because you’re not writing a novel or filming a biopic.
• Quotes from any credible industry figure who can validate your talents. Press quotes are the most common, but quotes from producers, radio personalities and established artists are good too. The idea is to get reliable players to give you props.
• Tour dates. No rocket science here: Keep people informed about when and where you’re playing if you want them to come to your shows.
• Contact information. Always, always, always give people the information they need to take the next step. URLs for your Website and social networking profiles, a legitimate looking email address—preferably your manager’s if you have one—and phone number.
Now that you have an idea of what to include, you’re probably wondering how to pull it all together. OurStage.com offers a unique feature for members that will automatically create an EPK from any media files an artist uploads. As long as you have up-to-date tour dates, press coverage and bio details on your profile page, your EPK will automatically reflect the most current information in an easy-to-use format. Even better, you can email your EPK to anyone you want.
These days talent isn’t always enough. An artist needs a compelling story, too. So take the time to make sure to make yours is good. Your EPK should feel both personal and informative.
Now go show ‘em what you’ve got! Class dismissed.
For more information on creating an EPK on OurStage.com, click here.