How Hip Hop Artists Should Promote Their Music
Over the years, we have had the opportunity to create promotional content for the likes of Johnny Slash, Rasheed Chappell, Jamol Gasol and Reckonize Real.
The trend these days on social media for album promos has opened up the door for a new wave of Creative Designers to collaborate with notable artists and producers, exploring innovative ways of combining visuals and audio to create promotional content for albums, products and apparel.
Here are just a few collaborative projects from the team at BTBD.
As you can see, the composition takes the viewer on a visual journey.
It’s also worth mentioning that an artist should network with Creative Designers and video editors, whose style and skillset can produce the desired result you are seeking for your next album promo.
Here is another example from our latest promo video we created for @bersurke for his latest album Disturbances. This project consisted of repurposing B-roll footage from his last music video.
The highlight of this project was the communication between the artist and creative.
Bersurke reached out to our creative team to whip up a simple video with these clear and straightforward instructions, which made it easier for us to create a composition around the content he provided.
So you can see the advantage of having an experienced Creative Designer on stand by.
Repurposing Album Artwork
As an artist creating your own promotional content, you might have missed some design elements from your album artwork which could be repurposed as a motif throughout your promotional campaign.
Motifs sets a “mood” or “atmosphere” visually without taking up too much attention. An example of this can be seen in the Oops! All Bangers Project for Johnny Slash.
We repurposed the blue gradient background layer of his album cover and created lower thirds for his performance videos.
Their music videos are adored online by millions of subscribers of their YouTube channel.
Chillhop Music collaborates with many illustrators and motion designers to create their trademark music videos. Their vector-based illustrators are consistent with all their album releases.
If you are interested in this style of animation, I recommend watching this tutorial on How to Create a Loopable Ambient Scene.
This video should give you an idea of how vector illustrations can be animated within After Effects. Artists should educate themselves on the process of applying motion to their artwork, as this could spark some new ideas for future projects.
“Don’t get caught up thinking you have to learn After Effects. Work smarter, not harder and outsource your project.”
These two styles of repurposing album artwork to create promotional content should get your creative juices flowing.
Next, I want to touch on the subject of DIY design platforms.
DIY Design Platforms
All social media platforms provide Hip Hop artists with an excellent opportunity to promote their music but fall short when the content is not strategically designed.
Anyone these days can whip up promotional content online from such platforms like Canva, Easil and stencil. Still, these DIY platforms leave a lot of missed opportunities to maximise engagement to stand out on social media.
When creating promotional content from these DIY platforms, remember every other artist has access to their templates, animation presets and pre-made designs. So the odds of looking generic are high.
“Consistency in design is so important when creating promotional content.”
This helps distinguish between your promotional content from your everyday posts. It’s now time to think outside the box and get creative.
This may seem harsh but as an artist, you need to hear this, let go!
An artist is too emotionally invested with the finished product for them to wear the hat of a Marketer/Designer when it comes time to promote their album.
As a creative agency, we find ourselves in the same situation when it comes time to find music for promotional campaigns. There is an unlimited amount of royalty-free music to purchase online from such sites like Soundstripe, Epidemic Sound and Audio jungle, so why would we waste our time making music.
By purchasing music from these websites, we’re supporting other fellow creatives.
When you do hire someone to create content for you, remember they’re human. So the lines of communication are always open to discuss your ideas before starting a project. Using a DIY platform can be daunting with no knowledge of design or creative direction. The final result is most likely a hot mess!
Building a strong relationship with a creative agency/Creative Designer can be a valuable asset. We have been creating promotional content for Johnny Slash for over two years now and he too, can see the convenience in having a Creative Designer look after his promotional campaigns.
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