Pyro Villas, the Irish group known for their synth-heavy textures, are back with a new genre-shifted single titled 'Once or Twice Before'. This track showcases a shift in their sound, embracing soulful guitar-driven rhythms and exploring new territory while still honing their craft with live instruments.

The trio, consisting of Stefano Lupo, Killian Dowling, and Cian Guinee, have been steadily expanding their indie-pop sound, and 'Once or Twice Before' is no exception. The track was written, arranged, and mixed by Stefano, Killian and Hugh O'Neill with mastering done by Fergal Davis, who has worked with renowned acts such as Muse, Republic of Loose, and Sinéad O'Connor.

Fans of Pyro Villas can look forward to the release of 'Once or Twice Before' on streaming services on Friday, July 21st. However, for an exclusive listen to the track before its official release, you can find it below.

Exclusive listen to 'Once or Twice Before'

Hot Press Magazine

‘One of the country’s most hotly tipped pop prospects’

Sarina Belissimo, Spin1038

‘What an exciting new band to come out of Ireland.

Such a fab sound and vibe - with the confidence of a well-established band.’


This year I had the opportunity to observe an independent artist's ability to find gigs in Ireland. Over the years I had heard that touring in Ireland was impossible to do and that the journey of the new and upcoming artists was very bleak indeed.

Before the summer i had an Australian Musician Mick Daley contact me and he was looking for help with his planned 3 month tour of Ireland. At that time i had just started back with improving my website after a long absence and hadn't really any information for him. All i could offer was a bed if he was stuck during his travels and maybe one or two contacts. To be honest, I was concerned that he would be disappointed with the lack of gigs and the possibility of him having to go home earlier than planned. As we all know Ireland is extremely expensive and the thought of having to find accommodation over the coming three months was an almost impossible task. 

Mick arrived up to me on the train in Sligo and we both went to work immediately as we walked around the town calling into pubs and looking for a few gigs. In fairness the majority of management & staff were very nice and interested in Mick's upcoming tour of Ireland but the dreaded Covid did have an effect on their business and music was one of the areas that were very much compromised as a result. We carried on regardless, went for a coffee and then left for bundoran where i live.  We went out for a few pints that night and attempted the same as we did in sligo and tried to get at least one gig there. We were unsuccessful in a few pubs that night and decided to do the rest later on another occasion. 

What surprised me about Mick was he was extremely organised and had already secured 14 gigs before he even arrived in Ireland. I was impressed and also knew that once he was here, he would have a very good chance of getting many more to add to his tour. 

I suppose the main reason i am writing this is the question i had for quite some time on can any musician create a tour in Ireland? with new music and the answer is a resounding yes. It is also important to take into account the need to have a set that includes plenty of cover songs mixed in with original tracks so the venue owner and customers are entertained with known music and open to hearing the original tracks during the performance. I would suggest music that relates / sounds like your own so the whole gig blends in perfectly. In Mick's case, he is a folk singer that has stories to them and he had some Irish folk tunes to blend in. As a previous venue manager and owner, this is exactly what i would expect so i could justify to my customers why i have given a particular artist a gig at my premises. Artists must consider that the venue Manager / Owner is in the middle of all this and is trying to please both sides so make sure when you are approaching a Pub or Venue that you inform them of your current cover material also. This will be the difference in getting the gigs you need to sustain a short or long tour.  

Mick Daley has been in Ireland for over a month now and I can verify that he has secured many more additional gigs. We also managed to get one for him in Bundoran where i live. The Kicking Donkey was recently taken over and the owners are very open to new and upcoming music which is great. I went to see him perform and they loved him there and have asked him for another gig before he returns to Australia. He also had the pleasure of playing in a venue i once managed , the Quays Galway. 

There are gigs out there guys. You just have to get out there by email and go in physically. If an artist can come over here from Australia for three months and get dozens of gigs all over Ireland then an Irish Artist can also. The secret here is your own willingness to just go out and create your own tour by emailing every possible Venue and also going in and speaking to the person in charge. The worst answer you can get is no sorry. You will never know who is giving these gigging opportunities unless you get out there and do it for yourselves.

Finally, do not listen to any negativity about gigging here in Ireland. Everyone has their own personal experiences / opinions / perceptions of course but you need to form your own conclusions from what you have experienced after you have genuinely got out there with boots on the ground. Mick doesn't have a home to go to in Ireland where he can escape too if all goes wrong. He has set himself a challenge for three months and failure is not an option. I think this attitude is what is needed if an artist wants to succeed in this industry. Firstly you need the talent, the songs that resonate and the attitude to succeed. All that is left after that is the desire to get out there and talk to people who can assist you with your own epic Journey. 

Singer-songwriter, fiction writer, journalist Mick Daley contacted me in April of this year and asked for any help as he was preparing for a three month visit and touring Ireland. Mick is from Australia and like many Australians has a lot of Irish ancestry. To be honest I thought the man was crazy to attempt a three month tour but also very interested in how he would get on with trying to find accommodation and paid gigs to sustain himself throughout his stay. 

I suggested he use my gaffe as one of his bases so he could save money as much as possible and also help plan his trip. For years, I used to hear original artists tell me that they could not find any gigs and I was very surprised that Mick had got so many before he even arrived on our shores. He was relentless at contacting anyone he could to find those impossible gigs. I went around with him in Sligo Town and also Bundoran to help find him a gig or two and we found one place in Bundoran thankfully. He had also secured a gig in sligo from Australia which was very impressive. These are all paid gigs Guys by the way which also impressed me. 

He is staying with me for a few days to have a rest as he has traveled all along the west coast performing and sourcing a few more gigs. What impressed me the most was he got a gig in the Quays in Galway and it was upstairs. I know the quays very well as I was the venue manager there in 2005 & 2006 and I know it's not easy to get in there as they book mostly cover acts. He was put on before the main act which I used to do back then. I was very happy to see that seamus was continuing on what i started all those years ago and giving original acts a chance to perform on a larger stage. 

Proposed Book On Touring Ireland by Mick Daley

I suppose the moral of the story here is if Mick Daley from Australia can tour Ireland then there is no excuse for any Irish artist to do the very same. Mick has slept in tents, car parks and in a car when he can afford to rent one. He is not worried about tomorrow but carries on regardless of circumstance. I think there is much to be learned with an attitude like this. Nothing is impossible if you are driven enough. This man is a similar age to myself too which also tells me that age is not a problem either when it comes to getting gigs. All that is required is to simply ask and be polite. The worst thing that can happen is No and you move on the next and the next until you get to your destination.

I've advised Mick to write a book about his travels as this is quite inspiring for any artists out there. I hope he does and especially in the current climate when everything is so expensive here. There is always a way I say.                   

Anyway guys here is a little clip of Mick performing on the Quays stage..                            

Mick Daley's Website

Mick Daley: Music
Mick Daley. Sydney, Australia. Best known as frontman for The Re-Mains, Mick Daley's solo output, for better or for worse, is here available in its entirety ...

THE ENIGMA DIVISION a Irish Progressive Metal band and formed in 2019. Their debut album has finally arrived and it features eight songs that blend eclectic elements such as film score, Synthwave, and Progressive Metal. The album begins with "1977," a song that starts with a slow build-up before unleashing heavy riffs, drum fills, and Symphonic elements. "The Escapist" is a catchy and threatening song that features heavy and aggressive rhythm guitars, harmonies, and keyboards. "Echoes in The Deep" combines electronic elements, edgy riffs, and vocal harmonies with outstanding guitar leads and smooth hooks.

"Afterglow" is one of the catchiest songs on the album, melding music and vocals into a cohesive and goosebump-inducing song. "The Age of Discovery" showcases the band's Progressive elements while maintaining its melody and innocence. "Kaleidoscope" is a smooth and mellow song that provides catchy melodies and a guitar solo that will light a fire under your ass. "Clarity" is a mesmerizing song that starts with piano notes that lure you in and gradually takes you on a journey filled with gentle and charming qualities.

Photography Credits - Dave Keegan Photography

The album closes with the epic "1977 - Ad Infinitum," an existential journey through the stars and into the heavens. The song takes you on a rollercoaster ride of choppy accents, prophetic spoken words, and chunky and aggressive sounds that will leave you chilled. The album, with its impeccable musicianship, catchy and deep songs, and elements that can be enjoyed by fans of Progressive Metal and beyond, is one of the best debut albums to come out in a while. We can't wait to see where THE ENIGMA DIVISION takes us next.

Listen To Full Album


Irish singer-songwriter Olivia Burke is gearing up to release her alternative pop single ‘Graves’ on March 24th, 2023. With an eclectic sound inspired by the world around her, Olivia's music tackles the human experience and its ability to unite. A graduate of BIMM Dublin's songwriting program, Olivia's youthful approach and raw talent make her a force to be reckoned with in the music industry.

‘Graves’ is a stirring ballad that explores themes of love, loss, and destruction, reminiscent of influences like Amy Winehouse, Lana del Rey, and Billie Eilish. Produced by Irish synth-pop artist Viscose and mastered by Simon Gibson of Abbey Road Studios, the track delivers a fresh, dark, and hard-hitting alternative pop sound that is both unique and familiar. Olivia is set to release more music throughout 2023, and we can't wait to see what she has in store. Stay tuned!

Instagram >>

Facebook >>

Apple >>

Pre-save >>

Olivia Burke Music · Anybody Else

Musibiz will become a Social Network in 2023 for a whole range of reasons. When I first started out with my Music campaign I launched Livemicsworld as a Social Network but it didn't have the tools I needed to assist the Artist and I closed it down two years later. Better private Social networks are available now with new tools that I believe will be very helpful to musicians here in Ireland and indeed anywhere throughout the world.

My aim from the very beginning was to provide a place where the Musician / Band could use a platform that had a community that was dedicated to promoting each artist. At the same time having a platform that provided opportunities to those that were using the services within the platform to better themselves. In otherwards, both working together to advance New and Independent Music. 

This was not possible at the very beginning and led me down other avenues including launching Musibiz and opening a new music venue in Sligo in 2015. I quickly realised that although these two were parts of the overall plan, there were many pieces missing and that was mostly community and the missing tools i spoke of earlier. As the saying goes. " you learn with experience " and during those experiences, I picked up a lot of knowledge of what was going on in the music community and why it wasn't progressing.  

I took a break for a number of years as I was tired of all the brick walls and needed a break from this project and my unstable career at the time. Over the past few years I had to readjust my life completely to fit in with what I really wanted to do and that was coaching people to find their true purpose. I now work as a Life coach and entrepreneur that involves improving lives and keeping an eye on my own so I don't get distracted like I did previously.  I also reconnected with an old friend I had living in California. John Hartmann had worked as a manager in the industry for over 50 years and was retired. I remember him telling me about his desire to educate musicians on how the industry worked so they would have a better idea about the industry and how to navigate it. We both decided to bring that idea to the public and the Holodigm Academy was born.    

So I am coming back to my old project again that was shelved for a while. I left the website live as there were a few articles up there that were useful to Artists and I wanted it available to them when they searched online for information. I believe it is now time to continue with my own desire and finish what I intended to do and that is to bring new music out and the musicians that create it. I believe that this has been stunted long enough and a new formula is necessary for this artistic expression. 

I would like to create an Independent community who are willing to find new ways to have their music heard and also a sustainable future for them. It saddens me listening to so many talented artists going unnoticed and also having to scrape a living at something they love and I feel called to help out at this time. 

I have to also say that I cannot do this on my own as I have done in the past. It must be a community effort as I provide the platform. Without the community it will not have the spark needed  to progress this project. Commitment is the Key to everything and Ideas from others will help this move along with a better flow.

So I have a few suggestions for the Independent Community of artists in Ireland. As you will be the very first country forging the new path for the rest of the world, I would like your suggestions as to what you need from such a platform if it was available to you? What missing pieces are you seeing or experiencing that I could possibly help you with? 

I will keep my own Ideas a secret for now as there are many out there that are more than happy with me providing ideas for them.  I have learnt over the years to keep things close to my chest or the original idea gets distorted in ways that do not serve the artist. There are also very good people out there that I know will assist me and hopefully the Artist community will get behind this and allow it to grow along with them. 

Anyway guys, those of you who managed to get the whole way down this blog, i salute you and would like for you to make any suggestions in the comment section. I take everything on board and will answer each comment.   

Ive known Donal Coghlan since 2013 and he has become a loyal friend ever since. I asked Donal to write a little blog about what he thought about the Independent Music Community today and also make some suggestions on how the industry could be improved from his point of view.

Independent Music Community

Donal's Feedback

I started out as a singer of covers mostly in my teens. I gave up music altogether then for 40 odd years having had my fingers burnt several times already financially I decided enough was enough . Off I went towards office work and due diligence and all that stuff. During those forty odd years in office life I learnt a lot about business and logistics. During this time working I worked for other people many times and also started and ran two separate businesses. Eventually redundancy and life in general came to me being 58 years of age and no job and no idea what to do next. Not known for sitting on my laurels I went back to college and became a sound engineer. When I turned 59, I wrote my first song, this was a major step for me. It took me out of my comfort zone. I found out very early in this process that standing in front of a crowd playing your own music is much harder than singing covers. It bares the soul in ways I never imagined possible.

So now I am talking to you as a singer songwriter and also someone with extensive business experience. I decided I wanted to give singer songwriters a place they could perform their own material . I set about doing this in a café setting as experience has taught me that where drink is involved people don’t listen to music. It plays in the background so they can talk over it mostly.

I came across two problems which stick to me every day so far, they are many ill-mannered and totally selfish musicians who do not seem to know how to behave and network with other musicians.  Secondly a public that is totally unaware and oblivious to what new music is. My thoughts around this are, they are not interested because they expect to be listening to Music known to them by cover Artists. 

Let me expand on this subject, I started and ran two separate singer songwriter nights in Ireland. One was calling the Café Sessions located in a quaint little café in Clonmellon co. Westmeath. The second one was called the Kells Indie Sessions and was located in Kells Co Meath. Firstly, I want to speak about the general public's attitude to new music. It's non-existent.  The example I would give is that when I mention I write songs that I am what’s called a singer songwriter they look bemused and say and then say something like is it country and western?

I mean in general the public only want to hear songs that they have heard before , and mostly like to sing along with the bits they know. Now the question I have for all of them is how do you think the songs they write became known, somebody had to write them and play them in little cafes and bars to get heard before. But this doesn’t seem to occur to them. 

The second problem I encountered was the musicians themselves, some totally centred on themselves and their own performance with little or no regard for anything else happening around them. No regard or care for the person who made the night happen and all the work that had to happen to make this occur. Some not all I must state hadn’t even the manners to say thank you for the invitation which shocked me.

Also, I noticed a lot of them having a total disregard for the performer actually playing at the time which means they were centred on themselves alone. Singer songwriters must appreciate each other rather than compete with each other. Above all people should appreciate the problems facing another singer songwriter. They must support each other in every endeavour possible. The world does not revolve around each individual, they are important because they were creative and wrote songs, but so also did other singer songwriters

So, to me the answers are obvious, each musician needs to learn to support other musicians firstly by 

taking the time to listen when they play, secondly in any project they may need help in. 

I would suggest in the first instance a group or society of singer songwriters, dedicated people who are prepared to help each other, after all in the old age adage if we group together, we are stronger. No Room for time wasters here me thinks.

So the more dedicated people we can gather the stronger we become . 

Now for the major gripe singer songwriters have which is airplay on the national radio stations. 

So basically, if we can’t get on the radio stations- let’s start our own. 

In my view there is no point in complaining about lack of airplay if you aren’t prepared to do something about it.

So, let’s get this off the ground, instead of sitting around complaining, let’s see some action.

I think to summarize all of this is the need for a committed community of Musicians that can encourage, assist and share one another's work so the general public has a better chance of hearing new music. To complement this, the creation of a popular radio station for both the Artist and general public. I know this is possible but it's totally in the Artist's hands as it is them that will need to change things up and change the way new music is presented here in Ireland. 

Donal Coghlan - Singer Songwriter kells

Back In 2006 , I had a calling to assist the Independent Music Community In Ireland and attempt to Build an Independent artist network. For decades I had watched great musicians not having the opportunity to progress any further than the local pub or music venue. At that time I was a Pub / Venue manager and was always scratching my head about the reasons for this obvious lack of opportunity in the music industry. 


My first venture was called Livemicsworld and I attempted to create an Independent Music Network of like minded individuals that could help one another progress more. I quickly realised that the industry was seriously fragmented with disgruntled artists who had a very negative impression of the state of the industry and their chances of success. They had almost given up before they even started. 

MusiBiz & MusiBar

After gaining a little more knowledge about how the industry worked, I began another project called Musibiz and at the same time a Music Venue named Musibar. The idea behind this was to have a venue that nurtured Artists and Management in the venue and also showcase them online with the help of the Independent Music network website.

I wanted artists from all over Ireland playing there and also connect with local artists and create our own unique Independent network. 

At times I would invite dozens of artists and bands to attend a charity event called the Simon Gigs to help with the network I was attempting to build and at the same time, provide funds for the homeless. Poor Finances, Location and various other blocks put an end to that idea after 15 months. The sad thing about this was it was actually working towards the end and walking away for that was extremely difficult for me.

Irish Indie Chart

Irish Indie Chart 2017

Orestis Mammis

orestisguitar · Prometheus K2 The Bond Has Been Broken

New Careers

For the next couple of years I ventured into new careers and I became a Life coach / Business coach along with setting up a Web agency along with my good friend and Greek Musician / Web developer Orestis Mammis. These two new businesses might seem unrelated but both were helping aids that I could provide for people on a personal level and also in business.

It was about a year ago when I started to think about my previous Music Projects and I felt that I was in a better place to start yet another one.  I'm sure others who have had projects that failed, will have both fear but also better knowledge of what not to do the next time around. Some will either leave this idea for good or give it one last go with all this new knowledge. My decision was to give this another go.

So I contacted an old friend and Agent / Manager John Hartmann in the US. I asked him about an old project he was working on around the same time that I had started my first project. Like me, John had attempted this but it never really reached its full potential for various reasons. 

Back in 2009 I came across John Hartmann's website while looking to learn more about the Music industry. By then, John had been working in the industry for over 50 years and was attempting to provide a Music Management Course for Artists and Managers to understand and compete in the industry along with providing an Independent Music Network.

John felt that in order to be successful in the music industry, you needed to know the basics In Music Management along with all the other professions related to progressing the Potential Artist's or Band's. Like me, John also knew the importance of having a network of professionals around a particular act but also an Independent Community so the artists could connect with Nationally and Globally if necessary.  

In 2009, Physical Distribution was on the decline and Digital was replacing it quickly with a new music renaissance emerging. Although Digital has moved on dramatically from 2009, that same Music Business Knowledge that John was teaching was still very much relevant.

What had changed was the massive decline in Music Managers and Labels due to this massive decrease in physical sales and most of that old knowledge was lost. This had a devastating effect on the artists as the vast majority of them had no clue how the Music business worked. Social media came along and again so many artists got lost in the promise that these platforms would help them with their own promotion.

So myself and John have come up with our own solution. To teach Artists and potential managers the Business of Music by way of a Music management course and also attempt to build an Independent Music Community So Artists / Bands had support and guidance that was seriously lacking. 

Music Management Course

I am happy to announce that Musibiz and Holodigm Academy will work together this year.  Holodigm will be providing Music Management Training for artists and managers to help them understand the music industry and Musibiz will provide an Independent Music Community where they can progress. Students of the holodigm who complete the course will be given a certificate in Music management by the Holodigm Academy.

Musibiz would love to build a global Independent Music community where artists and managers will have the ability to connect with Professionals from all over the world on their quest for a greater outreach. 

Holodigm are coming to the end of creating Our Management Course and are looking for beta testers to help us improve this course. Feedback will be critical from the beta testers and for all those who assist us and complete the training will be given a certificate in music management and be the first members of our digital network.  

Please contact us if you are interested In taking the course of have a suggestion about what you would like to see and be supported in within our New Independent Music Community.                                  

Independent Music Community

More Reading

Digital Marketing for the independent artist is something I have wanted to write about for quite a while now. I have being using it over the years without really understanding it. This year I decided to take on a professional qualification in Digital Marketing so I can further understand the process and relay this information to you the Independent artist.

I would like to start with where I have come from in regards to Music and its promotion at this present time. It has definitely been a long process reaching this far but those years have taught me the roots of Marketing.

I starting working in Bars from an very early age and my first Job was working for my parents in a country Pub  "The Uisneach Inn"  outside Mullingar. Music was a huge part of Pub life in the early 80s and anyone who was anybody showcased themselves in this traditional way. I understood from that early age that Music, Song and verse were deeply intertwined into our society.

Since then I have worked on and off in Pubs and venues for over 30 years. Over those years I noticed a change occurring around the end of the 80s. Music was not as prevalent as Pubs struggled with emigration and recession. You could see a definite change as most of our young had gone in search of work elsewhere. The family dynamic had changed dramatically and the once meeting place " the Pub "  had taken a turn for the worst. That communal feel of the meeting place had disappeared almost.

I remember as a young man being passionate and almost obsessive about bringing that sense of community back to life wherever I worked. It wasn't an easy task but I did manage to have that kind of feel to a pub or venue I ran back then. As publicans were seen long ago, I adapted to their mentality and became the key networker, the protector of order, the organiser, the host and all the other things that go with this responsibility.

It was a massive responsibility to take on and anyone in the trade will know this very well . Traditional Marketing was the way back then . Word of mouth was the single most important part of the marketing process .

So what has any of this got to do with Music ? Everything in my opinion. My success in Bars and venues was down to building a community and word of mouth was a huge part of that. Communication and satisfying a need was the key. It wasn't about the best pint or the match on TV or even the Music that was being played on the weekends but a community of people who were a part of something. A recognition from others, a place of belonging, excepted, loved, respected etc.

I write this because I want to give you the foundations of what marketing is and where it comes from my own eyes  . You understand this and you understand everything about what to do when marketing yourselves . You need to understand what marketing is . Marketing is community .

I wrote an article last year on the approach to Gigs for Independent artists Called " Reality check for the artist " . Its very practical and is inline with what i'm saying here this process is also part of the overall digital strategy for Artists. My advice is to have a read of this first before going any further with this article.

It is an in depth look at the ways the Pub or Venue works and how they must be approached and worked with to build a community ( fanBase ). The article was written from my perspective with booking artists for over 30 years plus investigating the Music industry and working with artists directly for a decade..

There are so many areas within the Digital marketing spectrum but for artists I believe that a handful of them is all that is required for optimum effect. I will take it that you have read the article mentioned and continued with my analysis .

To begin your community you need a place to call home and no it's not facebook Guys . Its a website !! Having a website is the first critical step in the process. Its your base of operation and everyone needs one in business. On Reading " Reality Check for the Artist" you will also realise that the Venue is your second home.

If you are an independent artist you need to realise that you are in business. You are a Songwriter and your product is Music. You need to understand this clearly. If you are starting out and do not have a product then you still build that website to prepare for that product.

Websites should be minimal with clear tabs and call to actions on the front page . You should have a contact page where you can be contacted and also your telephone number and email address available. You should have an about page with an up to date bio with any reviews. You should have a media page with any video and music widgets available to watch and listen to your material.

You should have a blog page for any updates you want to write about. Google search engines love to see blogs coming from websites. You should have an events Page, where you have played and are playing.  You need to have an email registration form so people can sign up and join your community. 

Have all you social links available so people can view you on the social networks. Facebook, twitter are essential and Instagram is now the most popular with teenagers today. Linkedin is another one that could be considered . It is full of Music professionals and labels. Google plus is another one that isn't very popular but don't be fooled by this. Shared blogs to this platform gets ranked by google search engine as it is a google product. Definity share any blogs with this platform for more impact. Make sure all of these networks are connected to your website .

There is no excuse for not having a website. Personally I don't  take anyone seriously if they have not got their own website. There are lots of free website platforms that provide you with a server for as little as 100 to 150 euros a year. less than 3 quid a week .

Now that you have the website up and everything connected , Including a secure venue you are now ready to be taken seriously. You are plugged in to everything and everything reverts back to home which is your website, Your workstation and your headquarters.

If you have implemented my advice on reality check for the artists along with building the website and connecting everything then congratulations. You have just done what so many others have not and are on the right road to building a community. By this stage you will be feeling motivated, excited, hopeful and empowered to move on quickly.

Email marketing is your next challenge. This is where most people fail . I cant tell you how many artists have argued that this is not required, WRONG WRONG WRONG. Email marketing is the most powerful way to communicate with your community. It is estimated that 90 % of all email delivered will be opened. That blows any social network out of the water in term of successfully connecting with your community.

I have befriended quite a few Music Managers and everyone of them have confirmed that email marketing is the single most important way to communicate with your fan base. In fact they went onto say and i quote " Facebook and twitter mean jack shit to labels, they look for obvious talent, relevance to the current climate and your email fan list ". Your list is gold to them and you. It is a direct link to your Fan and a possibility of a real sale in the future . There are ESP ( email marketing platforms ) available for free.

Most of them allow up to 2000 emails for free and a small fee after that. If an artist actually got to 2000 fans they are a serious contender for much bigger things. You see labels cannot afford to do this donkey work for you anymore. Having this done for them is a huge message for any label to take a closer eye on what you are doing. By then you may not want them involved at all or at the very least you have a serious negotiating tool to use when needed.

There are so any figures out there as to the worth of an email address to a company but a safe figure would be between 50c to 1 euro per promotion. So at 2000 email addresses @50c to 1 euro with lets say 12 promotions a year could fetch you 12,000 euros to 24,000 euros a year in sales. That's the way the industry looks at this and that's the way you should too. Your Business has value. I use Mailchimp myself. There are lots of them but I personally like this platform. I suggest you look around and see which one suits you.

In my opinion Social media Marketing has little effect for artists .In the beginning they seemed to be more reaching but that has drastically changed over the years. Facebook and twitter seemed to have optimized it for sales. The problem for artists is they need to build brand, a community and eventually a need for their music. Those platforma do not support this type of marketing in my opinion. Social Media should only be used to post updates like upcoming gigs, events and Video.

They also have a livestreaming facility and i see Artists using this quite skillfully . It's a very good idea to GO LIVE and update your Social Fans with your latest material. It's a fantastic way to drive fans to your website, email sign up form and selling your Music. In my opinion it is a very powerful way to connect, Communicate and Build a following. It's also free so use it. Live is the way to go.

NB: I've added this point as it has being brought up from a fellow professional in the business after I launched this blog. He was concerned that i was Disagreeing that Facebook etc was not a good way to communicate and build a fanbase. It absolutely is and i agree with him but using it as your headquarters is not the way to go in my opinion. Social media is part of the overall marketing process but treat it like just that " Just one part of the process ".

See what parts work for you on it and what part don't. If you are getting a poor response rate then reassess and try something different. The point i was making is everything should revert to the Main console which is your website ...

Another thing I forgot about was mentioning google analytics. This tool is a must from all website owners. It has the ability to tell you where you traffic is coming from on you website . Whether its social media, search, referral etc. It can tell you what device they are viewing your site from, what interests they have, what country they come from, age, How many viewers you have. Its a fantastic tool and its free and easy to link with you website. 

Imagine having that power to see everything and the impact of any promotion or blog you post ? Incredible tool and one that should be studied back to front as you move forward with you business.

As I said before being an artist is a business but the structure around this is different in many ways. You have to build basically before the product and drum up support by painstakingly collecting one fan at a time in the hope of a sale and support down the line. Its based on the particular Genre of Music, the skill of the band or artist, the likeability factor and the regular interactions with the community.

It's a very difficult task and is not for the weak minded. This can be an excruciating process for so many artists out there but if it is done right, you will enjoy the process. Like I said be ready from the beginning and gradually Build.   .

I will finish this with a bit of a recap. Read my blog " Reality Check for the Irish Artist " from last last year, follow the steps outlined in this blog, Build your fan base. Use social media for you and not for social media. Write blogs, Send your fans an email once a month and update them with how things are going.

If you have no updates then email them a blog, keep in contact !! Don't be afraid to tell them how it really is sometimes, be honest. If you are having a bad day then say it, you will be very surprised how people respond to someone who is down. It happens a lot in Music. They are your community and many of them will support you and also guild you as best they can.

I've seen some wonderful fans coming to see their band or artist play. They not only care about the music but the Artist or Band too. Like i said in the very beginning, It all boils down to a sense of community and mutual admiration. We don't have to pretend  to be someone else in this musical Journey. Be yourself, love what you do, Build friendships and stay in touch is all that is required. The rest will come when you understand this.

I sincerely hope that this resonates with some of you reading it and gives you encouragement moving forward.

God bless and thank you for reading.

Michael Kiernan

Creator / Promoter of Musibiz

Reality Check for the Irish Artist 

I decided to write this post about Booking a Music Gig In Ireland. I have seen mass confusion in the Music community in Ireland and especially when it comes to getting gigs in Ireland. This post is targeted at those independent and original acts who want to have a career in the Music Industry and are finding it difficult to find ways to succeed. I've Titled It, " Reality Check for the Irish Artist ", Simply because Many artists are not applying some of the basics.

My Background

First of all, I am no Marketing professional but I have been in Business for over 30 years and spent most of that time working in Pubs and Music Venues. I was lucky enough to manage many of them and one of my main focuses was dealing with all kinds of artists and Bands.

I have booked countless acts over the years and have decided to tell you what is required from a Venue or Bar when looking for a gig.  The approach is a little more complicated for the original artist than it is for the Cover artist so I am giving you a full insight into what is required from a Bar/Venue Managers standpoint.

I feel that this is of Vital importance to the Artist as the Venue, in my opinion, is the life force of the Music Industry. As a previous Venue Owner myself I feel it my responsibility to share my knowledge so both the artist and Venue can reconnect to improve the Music Industry in Ireland

Venue/Bar Manager's standpoint, this is what is expected from original Acts.

First of all, most venue managers or pub Managers are dealing with dozens of artists every week and do not have an awful lot of time to spend with you. You need to come in and ask for the Manager or the person who is booking Music. If that person is not there, Do not leave your CD or whatever you have with the staff.  In most instances that CD or Material will not be listened too or looked at. Face to face meeting is the only way forward.

If you are not a local act and are touring or looking for gigs outside your areas then you have a few things to consider before you look outside your area. Have you a following locally? how big is it and how many will travel? Can you organize a bus to this outside event?

If you haven't the following then the venue will look on you as a high risk and your chances of getting a gig are very poor. If they do offer you a slot it will either be you taking the door if there is a cover charge or offering you practically nothing to play. It's just not economic sense for you or the venue.

There are many acts out there that have no problem playing for very little, just to play somewhere else and spread themselves around the country. Not all of us have that comfort so it is important to know what way you want to approach the Pub or venue outside your locality.  Whatever route you decide to take, make sure you use that experience to optimum effect.

Be Prepared 

Have CDs for sale and speak to anyone who may like your music. I can't say this enough  ( Ask people for their email address ) so you can maintain that connection and it will serve you well the next time you play at this venue in the future. It's all about making that connection with the venue and Venue manager on the night.

Too often I have seen artists come and go without so much as a phone number or any follow-up. In a few weeks, you will be forgotten about. Keep that connection as these connections are your lifeline for the future.  As a Venue manager myself, nothing impressed me more than an act that knew what they were about. There are very few acts like this about today, unfortunately.

My advice on this is, build locally and have a strong presence there. Invite Acts to perform with you from outside your area and help them spread their music. Only invite acts that have the same attitude as you and are prepared to bring people or a busload down to support both you and them on the night. You, in turn, do the same for them and this is how the touring business works my friends. Venues will love you and want you to play.

That's what Bands did years ago, Connected and toured together. Do your homework guys. Check out the biggest acts in the towns next to you and connect. Play with the best, Watch your own performance improve and your fan base grow. This is the only way to go !!

What are you costing the Venue?

If you are a local act, you must be able to demonstrate a good following or else you are no good to the Venue. For every 100 euros paid to a band, the Venue needs to put 300 to 400 into the till to cover that cost. This is not including overheads or staff employed on the night. All Artists must keep that in mind when negotiating a fee which is fair to everyone.

Some venues will have a budget for music on certain nights and are simply looking for Cover Bands that play what the customer wants to hear. They will only consider acts that have a following and are top class. If that act can play some covers then that's a big plus as the local customers might consider listening to both the covers and original songs. Some original artists refuse to play covers and that's fine but don't expect too many paid gigs. It's just not going to happen.

Be Prepared

In today's digital age there is no excuse not having all of these tools at your disposal.  Have an online press pack ready to show. Bring in your laptop or tablet and have the Manager actually see and hear you perform. Bring some headphones if necessary and have the manager listen in stereo of your best track. I have designed Pages on my website for this purpose. The page tells your story in very quick fashion as you do not have much time to impress the Venue Manager and secure that vital gig.

Distribute your music online with MusicDiffusion®!

It is no good anymore to have big elaborate press packs to give out, It will not be read. Even the online press pack is too much nowadays. A quick glimpse of what you look like on stage, your best track and a small bit about you is the best introduction. If People want to look more closely after that then fine.

Have a decent set. Two hours is the norm for cover bands so original acts should have the same set in mind. An hour is no good to the pub or venue . 10 to close is the usual starting and finishing time. If you don't have enough material to play for two hours then consider bringing another act with you to fill up that time. You are giving the other act the opportunity to play and they will bring more followers in. Its all about money in the till at the end of the night so do your best to come up with other ways to bring more Punters. Remember you want to be called back for a later gig so make sure you give the venue a good first impression.

Setting Up

Nothing more annoying to a venue than an artist being late. It happens more than you might think. Be early and set up early. Don't have a long laborious soundcheck either. Too many times I have heard amps screeching for long periods and customers leaving before the gig even starts. You need to know your equipment !! Soundcheck should be no more than 10 minutes. When you are doing the sound check make sure you play one of your best tunes. Get the audience interested from the start.

Another thing is when you are finished with the sound check, tell the audience that you will be starting at whatever time, Seen this time and time again, artists finishing their soundcheck and just walking off the stage. Make an impression from the moment you step onto that stage.

Live Performance

Be polite and respectful on stage. I've seen too many great Artists ruin their performance and credibility by using terrible language during their gig. Absolutely no need for it and this is a definite NO NO. I know this point will be argued by some and I can tell you that as a manager of many years, I got to hear what is said after each gig. Just one example: I had one fabulous artist on one night and blew away the crowd with an unbelievable performance. After the show, all people could talk about with the Bad language and the performance was lost.

Don't be greedy if the night was poor for you.  Give some money back if you did not live up to the venues expectations. Ask yourself, Did I get out posters or enough posters? Did I do enough social media and create events?. Was the music good enough?, Did the people like the performance?. Do I need to improve? Ask yourself all the possible questions and don't go blaming anyone else, especially the Venue.

Get Feedback after the show

After the gig, mingle with the crowd and get feedback. Again Don't just say," you can find us on facebook and twitter"? The number of times I have heard that with Zero effect. Most people won't remember or care. Connect with them directly !!. Ask those interested in your music and performance for their email address so you can let them know when you are performing again. The venue is where you build relationships. Again I have seen too many artists have a great show. pack up and leave? What was the point in ever being there?

I have seen the best of Bands and singer-songwriters having no proper marketing plan employed whatsoever. It's a very sad thing to see especially when all the tools are there to use and are free. So many opportunities lost and from right under their noses. Do they realize that other Bands come to see them play and might want to connect? Connect Connect Connect is the name of the game people. Nothing else is good enough.

Build relationships

Form a good relationship with all the venues you play in. Definitely, have their email addresses and send them updates so you are fresh on their minds. I know from experience that I will read an email much quicker than look for an update on facebook. Be smart and also let the venues know of other artists that are out there and are looking to play. They will see you as an asset and someone in the know.

You might even get to make a few quid for promoting some other artists to a venue that you know. Be enterprising and imaginative. Always be on the lookout for opportunities and collect up all your contacts by email guys. These contacts are worth their weight in Gold if treated correctly.

Further thoughts

After writing this post I went to bed and could not sleep because of something I left out so I am including it now... Probably the most vital information I could give you is about launching your Ep or album and it must be included in this post. Launching your music is the most satisfying thing any artist will do. After all the hard slog and money spent, You have now in your hands, your very own creation. There is no greater feeling than someone else appreciating your work and paying you for your CD.

For those of you who are seriously thinking of having a career in the Music Industry, you have no business launching any EP or Album unless you have all the steps in place that I mentioned above. Too many times I have seen artist after artist launching without the proper groundwork in place. Your Music must be given the greatest opportunity possible with a detailed plan many months or even years before considering a music Launch.

You need to know who your fan base is and not rely on a wing and a prayer. Realistically an artist should be building or have built a fan base way before considering any Ep or Album launch. You should have a strong following in your local area and also have a strong following in all the surrounding towns or counties. I have explained all of this in the steps above. It's no good launching in your local area and has nothing outside of that.

It's never too late to start again

For some reading, this information will be refreshing but for the more established artists, It may be quite depressing as they realize that everything they have done, has been done incorrectly. This is one of the main reasons I write this final point to this post. This is especially for those artists who are banging their heads of brick walls year after year. I have seen first hand some of the greatest Acts to come out of Ireland, having no real plan, no marketing, no real fan base and producing some of the best music you will ever hear. This is a sad fact guys and you may be one of them reading this Post.

I write this for you and realize all you have done and feel your pain. You got caught up in all the bull or doing things the old way. Producing great music, relying on the manager and looking for that major label to see your potential. It's not going to happen guys, without the basics mentioned above.

Some of you will realize from this, that you will have to go back to the very beginning and start again. Some of you will not be prepared to do this and will carry on being disappointed in this vicious circle you can't seem to get out off.  You might feel that you have no choice and you can't go back as you have traveled too far to go back and start again. These decisions are entirely up to you.

Final Advice

All I can advise is if you really think your Music is good enough and you really want to succeed then you will have to do whatever is necessary to achieve this. If it's going back, then so be it. You can look at it as an advantage as you will have the experience, Equipment, Talent and stage performance to launch yourselves again quite quickly. All that is needed is some clever marketing after each gig and connecting with Really good acts outside your area.

This could be realistically done in a year and will have the required effect you look for..  Venues will work with you when you have all these steps in place. They want success just as much as you and are willing to help in anyway way so they too can survive and provide a place for you to perform. At the end of the day, it's all about economics and sustainability for everybody concerned.

Booking A Music Gig In Ireland

You can do it

That's its guys really. I wanted to share this with you so you know exactly what to do and how to do it. It is not easy out there but make things easier on yourselves by applying these few points. If you apply some of these, I guarantee, you will definitely have much more success booking a gig In Ireland and will be on your way to having a career in the music industry. If you have any questions please feel free to ask me here by leaving a comment or leave a comment on my facebook.  Many thanks for reading my post and I sincerely hope it answers some of those questions you are looking for. I have another Part to this If you want to know more.

I have another blog the I wrote recently to upgrade this post a little. A little more advice along with some new developments about the ability to launch an album at your Venue and having all Cd sales registered towards the Irish Charts.  How to manage your own Music Career.

Training In Music Management

Also if you are interested in learning more about Music Business, there is a wonderful Course in Music Management Create by the Holodigm Academy. Over the years I have seen that many Artists and Managers do not have enough knowledge to navigate this industry and find themselves going around in circles. Having the proper training is critical, needed to move forward.

The course is Created by John Hartmann who have spent 6 decades in the business. The Holodigm Academy also has a Private community to all those certified In Music Management so Professionals can connect and build their own Unique network and resource that will be used to enhance their careers.

I am personally involved in the creation of The Holodigm Academy and can answer any questions Readers here may have.

Thanks Again Guys.