KEXP Presents: Mastering The Hustle: Promoting Your Music & Shows 11/12


Promoting your own music can be difficult. There’s the logistical side of knowing how to do it and there’s an internal struggle with artists on not wanting to lose authenticity. But not promoting because of these issues is only going to cause you more problems further down the road. Knowing how to promote your music and your upcoming shows is a key part of succeeding as a musician.

Join us this Saturday, Nov. 11 as Upstream Music Festival + Summit, KEXP, and MoPOP  and the Recording Academy Pacific Northwest Chapter present the sixth installment of the Mastering the Hustle series. In this workshop you’ll learn how to overcome these obstacles and start promoting your work like a pro from actual pros. KEXP DJ Greg Vandy will moderate a panel featuring local artist SassyblackSub Pop Records’ Social Media Strategy and Content Manger Rachel White, Do206 and BuildStrong Music’s Austin Santiago, and SoungGig founder C.J. Frederick. This event is FREE, but suggested that you RSVP prior to ensure your spot. Find out more information about the speakers below. We’ve also asked a few of the panelists some questions about their first shows, how they found out about them, and common mistakes they other artists make with promotion.



IMG_6676SassyBlack is a space aged singer, songwriter and producer. This Goddess of “electronic psychedelic soul” & “hologram funk” explores the concepts of sound through deep compositions. With roots in classical & jazz, her voice is often compared to Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Erykah Badu and Georgia Anne Muldrow. She has gained attention from Okayplayer, Afropunk, The Fader, Pitchfork and more.

What was the first show you ever went to? Do you remember how you found out about it?

The first show I ever went to was to see the Spice Girls when I was 10. It was freaking amazing and I’m pretty sure I heard about it on the radio.

What’s one of the most common mistakes you see artists make when promoting their music and shows?

Most often flyers or posters for shows are missing key facts like time, date or location. These are important to bringing people into your show. In terms of music promotion, it’s hard to read album titles or artist names. Whether the font is too small or has a poor contrast to the album artwork, it can all take away from the project.

Rachel White

Rachel WhiteRachel White is the Social Media Strategy + Content Manager in Sub Pop Records‘ Digital Communications department, where she develops and executes social media campaigns. She also works closely with Sub Pop Artists to counsel them in social media best practices. Rachel is an Associate Governor of the Pacific NW Chapter of the Recording Academy (The Grammys), an award winning photographer who also volunteers on KEXP’s photography team, and prior to Sub Pop she spent eight years managing the Music side of the City of Seattle’s Office of Film + Music.

What was the first show you ever went to? Do you remember how you found out about it?
I’ll never forget my first show. I was a sophomore in high school in the early nineties, so grunge was everything. When my guy friends (who were seniors) found out I’d never been to a show, they took me to the OK Hotel and I was beyond stoked. We saw Alcohol Funnycar, I got trampled in the mosh pit all the way down to those crusty old wooden floorboards, then unceremoniously plucked from aforementioned floorboards by a kind young gentleman covered in tattoos and twice my size, completely blew my curfew, got grounded… and the rest is history! I’ve been obsessed with live music ever since.

Austin Santiago

austin santiagoAustin Santiago is the General Manager for Do206. His experience includes seven years as national talent buyer and marketing manager at the Wild Buffalo House Of Music, three years as a talent buyer and marketing manager for the Summer Meltdown Music Festival, and a decade of independent event and band management experience as the creative director for the BuildStrong Music Group. He currently manages a roster of five acts including Manatee Commune, Moorea Masa, Cuff Lynx, Chong the Nomad, & Ca$h Bandicoot.

What was the first show you ever went to? Do you remember how you found out about it?

The first show I remember going to was Garth Brooks in Casper Wyoming. He was a consummate performer and at one point rose out of a piano.

What’s one of the most common mistakes you see artists make when promoting their music and shows?

I think a lot of people focus more on promoting their music than they do on making sure the music is actually good. At the end of the day with the connectivity of our world, if you make art that people can relate to, listeners will find it.

C.J. Frederick

C.J. FrederickC.J. Frederick is a musician and local music promoter who has lived in Seattle since 2012. Having toured North America extensively he is no stranger to DIY culture and what it takes to get things done on your own. Growing up in New Jersey, he started renting out local VFW halls to host music for his bands and his friends’ bands at age 15. Now at 35, he’s essentially doing the same thing through SoundGig Presents (formerly DASWASUPGIG) on opposite coasts. For all the talk of change in the industry, he believes that the core of what needs to be done has been the same for decades. Secure the venue, book the bands, advertise the event, promote art and create your own culture.

Greg Vandy

vandyGreg Vandy has been host and sole proprietor of The Roadhouse since 2000, just prior to the station’s transition from KCMU to KEXP. Greg is an avid supporter of community radio and has been involved with many aspects of radio programming and music production over the years.

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