Top 10 things to avoid when pitching your music to curators

Pitching your music to curators is exciting. It could mean your tracks reach a whole new audience. However, there are some things that are just a big no-no and might even put them off working with you.

Lots of musical instruments piled into the right-hand corner of the frame.

It can be really rewarding pitching your music to curators. You have the possibility to reach new audiences when they share your content to various outlets. If they take on your song, you’ll have correspondence with them and be able to see exactly where your music ends up. You could see your music reaching TV adverts and other exciting large platforms.

Even if your music doesn’t reach huge destinations immediately, you will still receive feedback from the curators themselves. This can positively impact your work. Both current and future work. If a curator decides not to move forward with your music, they will inform you as to why, and you can use this as constructive criticism for future creations.

However, there are some things you can avoid if you want to increase your chances of a curator accepting your work. Below are 10 tips of things to avoid when pitching:

1. Not checking the curators genres

Curators will work within certain genres. Many will have more than one genre in their library, but they won’t cover everything. They can’t. A curator needs to know each piece inside and out, they need to specialise in their chosen areas. Pitching your rock music to a classical curator won’t do you any favours.

It’s a guarantee that your music won’t be accepted before they’ve even heard it. Typically, curators will view your genre and music metadata before they decide to listen. If it doesn’t fit with what they’re looking for then they won’t give it their time. Think about it, they have so many submissions to review, they aren’t going to focus on genres outside their own.

2. Submitting too many songs at once

Pitching your music to curators is fun, but try not to get too carried away. While the process is exciting, you can face putting curators off working with you if you overload them with work. Many curators will have a turnaround time. This refers to the time they aim to reply to each artist. If you give them too much to work with, it could delay this and they won’t thank you for it.

Also, you want to keep them wanting more. That’s what all artists aim for. If they like one of your songs, they might ask you for others which is great. Try giving them tracks piece by piece. Submit one and then wait a month or so and then submit another. It will keep your artist name in their mind too because they’re regularly receiving pieces from you.

3. Leaving out important information

A curator will want to know about your music. It’s important that you include all the relevant metadata within your pitch to them. Otherwise, they won’t have the details they need. Many curators will want to know a story behind your work too. This will help them when pitching or reviewing your tracks.

By leaving out information about your song, you’re underselling them. Every piece of music has its own story, a reason why you wrote the lyrics or decided on the tempo etc. It’s important to share this when sharing your music. It will help the curator have a better idea of you as an artist.

4. Pushing your work too hard

All artists are passionate about their music, and that’s a great thing. You should be your own biggest fan in many ways. Having belief in your sound isn’t wrong, it would be wrong not to have any faith in your sound because if that’s the case, why are you creating music? However, there is a line that you need to be careful not to cross.

For example, some artists when pitching might come across aggressive or as though they’re begging for their music to be accepted. Remember, just because one curator doesn’t accept your work, doesn’t mean no one will. Telling a curator they have to accept you because of x, y and z will make them more likely to not want to work with you at all.

5. Changing your genre to be reviewed

Be honest with your genre. You might really want to work with a certain curator, be featured on a particular blog, or get your music played on a certain platform. There’s nothing wrong with working towards these goals, however, you have to remain truthful throughout. Remember, curators know what they’re talking about.

They’ll be able to tell straight away if your music isn’t the genre stated. They’re trained in listening to tracks, that’s what they do every day. So, saying your music falls into their preferred genre in the hopes they’ll listen and sign your work isn’t going to help you. It will put them off working with you.

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6. Not researching the curator

You don’t need to know where they went to school, what their favourite colour is or their shoe size. However, knowing about their professional career is key. If you want to work with a particular curator, surely you would know about their previous work. Doing some research into who they’ve worked with or what they’ve worked on is recommended.

Have they worked with other artists similar to you? Where will they share your music? Do they have a blog, or website that they use to promote tracks? It’s important to learn what that curator can do for you as well as thinking about what you can do for them. Knowing who they are will show them you care about their work.

7. Not providing social links

You need to show who you are as an artist, and one great way to do that is by sharing your promotional material. Having an online presence is key to success for any musician these days. Share that with the curator you want to work with so they can see your current target audience and get an idea of how they can best work with you.

They’ll want to learn what you have to offer them as well as what they can help you with. An artist who doesn’t take their promotional materials like social media seriously might not stand out to them as someone who wants to succeed. Make sure you provide your social media channels when you’re pitching to any curator.

8. Having no artwork

Any release should come with artwork. You can’t send it to streaming stores without artwork so why would you pitch it to a curator without artwork. Album images are designed with your track in mind, they work together – that’s the idea. It’s important you send this with your music when pitching a track.

Artwork should tell a story, just like lyrics can. It will show your artist style through how you’ve decided you want your image to look. It shows your release as a complete piece rather than just the music. Yes, a curator’s job is to review your sound, but the artwork will compliment this and hopefully help you stand out.

9. Not providing artist information

How can a curator pitch about you as a musician if they don’t know anything about you? Often artists think they’re sharing their music, but it’s more than that. You have to share you as an artist. It’s important for the curator to like you as a creator, not just your music. After all, if they like your work, and what you stand for, they might be more likely to work with you again.

What made you want to be a musician? How long have you been creating music? What inspires you to create music? It doesn’t have to be too long, a few sentences might do. However, it’s quite important to get the curator onside before they hear your tracks for the first time. It might help them see your vision.

10. Trying to reach every curator

This one almost covers every point mentioned. There are many ways artists do this, but it’s something you should try to avoid doing. Some artists will try and fit into all curators brackets, and it’s just not possible. It’s ok to want to reach out to multiple in the hopes of having someone agree to take on your track, but don’t try to reach everyone.

Your music won’t cover various genres, have multiple meanings and be able to bend to fit 20 different curators. Try to focus on a few curators who you’ve researched into and feel could benefit your work. If you aren’t successful the first time, it doesn’t mean you never will be. Keep going and remember to have fun with it!

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