Storytelling For Musicians: Using Stories To Explain And Sell Your Music

So far in this series we’ve looked at how stories engage and hold people’s interest. We’ve had a look at how a ‘backstory’ can be used to give a more compelling description of a career. Today, we’ll have a look at how storytelling can be used to help market the music you are making.

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Whether they be music fans or the music press, convincing people, to pay attention to your music is hard. There’s so much music out there people can need a lot of convincing. By highlighting the stories around a full album release, or around a particular song may help you in your quest. Here are a couple of examples.

You as an artist writing and recording an album is not a newsworthy event in and of itself. When you combine it with a story, you can be onto a winner. Bon Iver located himself in a remote cabin in the woods of Northwestern Wisconsin at the onset of winter to record an album to lament the breakup from his girlfriend. That’s a great story which wants to make you listen to the music to hear what the end result was. The story was embellished somewhat as he himself admits, but the job was done!

The Killers’ last album contained a song called ‘Some Kind Of Love’ which Brandon Flowers wrote for his wife who was suffering from PTSD. Knowing the reason why that song was created and hearing his children sing ‘I can’t do this alone/We need you at home/There’s so much to see/And we know that you’re strong’ really makes the song hit home. Knowing the story behind it gives the song more meaning.

In both these cases, the stories help put the music in question into context, we can understand WHY they were written. The use of stories helps us understand the circumstances around the creation of the art. We appreciate the music more. We realise that these are created as a reaction to moments in people’s lives, the types of moments that we experience ourselves.

There are lots of ways you can share the stories surrounding the creation of your music. You can write blog articles on your website. You might make videos talking about the inspirations behind your song writing, you might make annotations to the music on YouTube using captions.

Telling the stories behind your music will make that music connect more.



Got any questions about this post or how you can better market yourself?

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