featured interview

Praverb & The 4 P's: 'Focus on your fans and they will extend your career.' Patrick McNease is a rapper too. But the fact that Praverb The Wyse struggled to market his albums, turned him into a marketing consultant for rap artists first and foremost. Of course there's lots of info about marketing. But when it comes down to -rap- music marketing, he's the man to go to. 'Fans are more interested in an artist than in his albums. Remember that.'

So did you study marketing?

I studied Business Administration during my post graduate degree. While studying Business Administration I started researching a lot of business blogs and it made sense. Plus @UrbanThreshold shares a lot of useful information on Twitter. He's inspirational.

Marketing, that now already has 9 p's instead of 4, is always evolving...

I learned about the 9 P's in school but to be honest I don't know if it really is applicable to artists marketing there material to the masses. All that marketing jargon confuses them. I try to keep it simple. Focus on your fans and they will extend your career.


There are so many opportunities to market your album nowadays. Name three of the most important steps you should take when you're about to release a record...

1) Define your target audience
2) Build anticipation
3) Be transparent

From your experiences, do independent artists, with no label, put a lot of time in it?

A lot of artists put a lot of time in recording the music and marketing the album up until the album's release date. The issue is that all the energy that goes into marketing an album, fizzles out after the release date. I try to empower artists to focus on extending the exposure for their album by spreading out the release of content. Artists have to remember that when your album is released a lot of people will hear your music. Interviews, visual content, merchandise, contests, etc. help you extend the exposure of your album.

Do a lot of independent labels have a marketing plan?

Honestly, I don't know how much independent labels invest into marketing. I would say it depends on the artist. I believe that independent labels have marketing plans and some of them are very successful: Duck Down Records, Mello Music Group, Stones Throw, Rhymesayers, etc. They do a great job advertising on the internet and utilizing YouTube.

We get all kinds of music submissions. The most annoying ones are the ones without BCC. The best submissions are those with a personal touch/where they begin a dialogue...

I think it really does make a difference because of the influx of content. The subject headline plays a big role in whether an e-mail will be open or deleted. I think more artists should work on writing interesting headlines that stand out. I tried this technique earlier this year and it worked. You have to focus on the person you are submitting to. Focus on their needs. Your submission should show that you are an avid reader of the blog. You can talk about a recent post or a Facebook or Twitter message that you identify with. The key is showing that you actually read the blog.

It's a good thing to do promo, but what's the best way to analyse your actions?

Well the best way to monitor or analyse your promotional campaign is to set up Google Alerts. You can also set up an Excel sheet to track who posted your material. Artists should also leave comments on every blog that posts their material. This builds trust. I call this relationship building.


Another phenomenon of relationship building that's becoming popular, is crowdfunding (cf. the success of Kickstarter). A good idea for a starting artist?

I think it is a great idea for artists who have built up a following. Beginning artists that have not established an audience may not achieve their goals.

For their next album, CunninLynguists have interacted with fans through the internet, to find ideas for songs, features,... for their new album. Crowdsourcing. A good idea?

Yes, an excellent idea. The CunninLynguists have built a massive following. This tactic gives fans a chance to 'be a part' of something. Belonging is something that Abraham Maslow presented in his 'Hierarchy of Needs'. I believe that people yearn to be a part of something. That is why people gravitate towards gangs, religious groups, fan clubs, sports teams etc because they can identify with the beliefs of that group.


Would you advice artists to still sell their music in mom-and-pop shops?

Nope...mom-and-pop shops are awesome but your audience may not frequent that shop. The response to this question is based on your audience.

So where should I release my music: Bandcamp or iTunes?

Whatever platform is easiest for your fans. I would say release it on both Bandcamp and iTunes. That way you present more options for your fans.


What's your take on releasing free music?

I do not have an issue with it. I believe that we, artists, have programmed the audience to expect free music. You can't release free music your whole career and then expect your fans to pay one day.

I think nowadays artists have to package their music with something such as merchandise to really drive sales. Your videos are key. Create content that builds trust. Create content that shows a bit of your personality. Your fans are interested in you more than your album. Remember that.

You're an artist yourself. To what extend have you been able to 'sell' yourself better?

I haven't released an album since 2011. I took that time to learn. I know more now than I knew back in 2011. I have presented myself as a human being and not as a recording artist 24/7. Having a son helps (laughs)

What's your next music?

Haven't decided when I will start writing and recording again. Just know that it will be a surprise (laughs)

But you'll make a marketing plan for it right?

Honestly I have an idea of how I want to present it this time but I will keep it under wraps.

Ok, it's a wrap.

Note: sadly, Praverb passed away on September 17, 2014. We celebrate his memory till this day.


POSTED 01|21|2014
conducted by cpf

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