Hey there! I’m Brooke Segarra. I’ve been the Campaigns Director here at Cyber PR since October. I’m always looking for new ways to help artists expand their audience and reach. Since I’ve started this position I’ve read a pretty copious amount of artist interviews, and I’ve noticed a few things. In this article, I’ve put my observations into tips on how you, as an artist, can make the most of interview opps.
So a blogger of the blogosphere has asked you to do an email interview (condensed way of saying he or she will email you interview questions and you will email them back the answers), cool. Whether you have a professional publicist, a friend behaving as your publicist, or you are taking the DIY approach does not matter- this article is for you.
Now, as I said, the blogger said they want to interview you, and that’s great, but I am willing to bet that a little part of you was hoping it’d be a review. So …
TIP 1: EMBRACE IT
Understand that this is a tremendous opportunity and not a blogger passing you questions because it’s significantly less effort to type 42 words than it is to type 350.
You’re participating in a PR campaign because you want to get the word out about you and your project, right? This is your chance to define who are, on your terms, to everyone aimlessly scrolling through Tumblr at 11 at night looking for the next thing to stream and the next scene. You want to put your best foot forward. You want YOU to say what you’re about.
TIP 2: ELABORATE, ELABORATE, ELABORATE
Not only is an email interview your opportunity to convey who are and what you are about, it’s also one of your best opportunities to build your brand and give people a reason to hit play on that embedded Soundcloud.
Here are some ways to elaborate in an interview:
1. Never list (unless it’s to be ironic or funny, of course)
For instance, if you are asked who your influences are I wouldn’t suggest typing The Beatles [comma] Eric Clapton [comma] Bob Dylan [comma] etc.
This tells blog readers nothing except that you have the same influences as 75% of people in your musical genre.
Bring to light what makes you unique. In other words, write a sentence or two about why or how these artists are influential to you. When you do this your readers will have a much better understanding of what to expect from your sound as well as some insight into your personality.
2. You can expand on the question.
You aren’t being graded on how directly you answer what you’re being asked. The directions are not answer in 150 characters or less and be specific. Thank goodness.
People want to know you. So show them you.
For instance, in an interview with Complex Magazine last year punk pop femme Charli XCX said, “Periods are really punk. I want to have tampons as merch that say ‘PERIODS ARE PUNK’”. Now Charli was not explicitly asked about menstrual cycles or merch, but she wanted to say it, and she did, and it falls perfectly in suit with her girl fundom image and made it to the list of Spin’s top quotes of the 2014.
You might be thinking to yourself, “Not every band does this.” And you’re right, they don’t. Some interviews are quite dull. But keep in mind a generation of teens are not making out for the first time to “your In Rainbows” yet. Yet. You have to get yourself out there.
TIP 3: CHECK YOUR EGO
There are two great ways to go about this!
1. Be conscious (better yet, be wary) of how many times you use the pronoun “I”.
You may very well have single-handedly done everything up until this point by yourself, and if so, that is extremely interesting! However, using the pronoun “I” to start every sentence is not.
The best way to avoid starting a sentence with “I” is to invert the sentence.
Not Inverted: I eat a bag of Cheez-Its every time I record.
Inverted: When recording song lyrics, I always eat a bag of Cheez-Its.
2. Do some name dropping
One of the best ways to shine a light on yourself is to shine a light on others.
So, when you’re asked to give some musical comparisons, mention some local bands that you dig or groups who are within your reach to tour with.
Go the extra mile and hyperlink to these band’s websites. You never know what might happen!
TIP 4: HAVE SOMEONE CLOSE TO YOU READ IT
It can be very hard to talk about yourself. Especially, when you’re consciously wanting to leave an impression and second-guessing everything you type.
Easy solution: Have someone else read it over before you send it!
Not your Tinder date, but someone who is close to you and knows the good stuff. The person who would be no fun to play Truth or Dare with because they already know all there is to know.
Show this person the final draft of your interview and ask if there they think you forgot or should add.
You don’t have to add everything or anything that they say, but it might help you think of something that you didn’t.
TIP 5: SHARE IT ON YOUR SOCIALS
People can’t read it if they don’t see it.
Not every publication tweets every article that appears on their blog, so a lot of the interview’s visibility may depend on you.
Keep in mind that you can always repost an article to your socials months after it happens.
TIP 6: THANK THE PERSON PUTTING YOUR INTERVIEW INTO HTML FORMAT
Thanking the blogger may sounds simple enough, but many people don’t do this.
This is something you should do even if you have a publicist. Write a little note to the blogger at the end of the interview and include it in the text that you send to your publicist.
You may want to put your note in a unique color or font to be sure the blogger can differentiate from your note and the text of the interview.
Written by Brooke Segarra