The hard working crew at SelfMade are back with their second event this year. This time, zoning in on the building blocks of a DIY music project. MNÁSOME was lucky enough to interview some of the artists involved in last February’s event, but this time the artists are taking the reins…
Hello! My name is LAOISE. I’m an electropop artist from Galway and I’m 21-years-old. I’ve been writing and recording music for about five years now and I released my first single in November 2016, all DIY. Since then, I’ve learned from some of the little blips I’ve run into. Some of the things I’ve learned, I’ll probably use for the rest of my career. Let me tell you about some…
The biggest thing I’ve learned since my first release is that there is so much value in working with others to promote your own project. I used to think that when I wrote a song, it was only mine and that I couldn’t really share the experience of creating it with others; I sort of believed too much in the Y in DIY. But with my latest release, ‘Bother’, I worked with many people to get it to its campaign, and it’s been my favourite song to write, record and release so far. This included working with a PR company, two producers, a sound engineer and two photographers, so instantly there were at least six additional people working with me from the get go!
Working with a group of talented people is so worthwhile, but sometimes being DIY means you have to be a little smarter when it comes to budgets, or lack there of. Because of this, I’ve been messing around with Photoshop and Final Cut Pro for the past year, and I really enjoy making online content myself. I wouldn’t really call myself a wiz or anything, but I guess because I’m creating things for myself, it’s helped me to establish more of a clear, concise brand. I mostly like to draw from a single’s artwork, helping a campaign look consistent and familiar. With ‘Bother’ I worked with the incredible photographer Ethan Hart, where we would both spew out thoughts and ideas we had in relation to the song’s lyrics, and we came up with the blue and pink artwork then. The song itself had a new, more confident sound in comparison to my previous releases, so the idea of the pink balls ties in with that, and the blue represents the change. I was able to use this colour palette in cover pictures, lyric videos, teasers, tour posters and so on.
Although I loved working this campaign, it was easy to lose track of time and get lost working on something that maybe wasn’t completely necessary – like making a really complicated social post over replying to an email. So my advice for someone planning a campaign is to list what you really want to get out of it, and figure out what you need to do to get there. A well-branded Instagram for instance can be important, but making sure that the right press and people get to know you and hear from you can ensure people actually see your Instagram!
I’ve found my career has developed greatly because I’ve been able to reach out to other professionals, which a lot of the time has flourished into great friendships, and I’ve been privileged learn from them. For me, being DIY doesn’t mean you have to do everything yourself, it just means you get to make the right choices for you and your project, to grow with it, and to allow others to see that.
If you’d like to hear more about all of this, do come along to SelfMade on June 9th in the Workman’s Club, Dublin, where I’ll be sharing the stage with a fantastic panel talking about what DIY is for us, and how we can navigate today’s music industry.