A conversation with Joseph Lynch who’s an editor at Billboard Magazine gives us the inside scoop about Billboard’s pivot during the pandemic to covering more industry news, music technology, and the types of stories he’s looking for when covering smaller artists.
We also talk about misconceptions about the industry, the myth of the overnight success, and why musicians should just suck it up and get on TikTok.
Rachel: [00:00:00] Hello everyone. I’m Rachel Hurley from Sweetheart Pub and this week on Music Rookie is a conversation with Joseph Lynch who’s an editor at Billboard Magazine. I’ve been pitching Joe for a few years now and so I thought it would be interesting to get the inside scoop from him about Billboard’s pivot during the pandemic to covering more industry news, music technology, and the types of stories he’s looking for when covering smaller artists.
We also talk about misconceptions about the industry, the myth of the overnight success, and why musicians should just suck it up and get on TikTok. Let’s get started.
Rachel: [00:00:00] So, Hey, Joe, can I call you Joe?
Joe Lynch: [00:00:02] You can. Yes, for sure.
Rachel: [00:00:04] Great. Why don’t you just start off by telling me how you got involved in the music business. When you started off writing, did you want to write about music? Did you just end up in music journalism? Was that the goal? Give me your little two minute pitch.
Joe Lynch: [00:00:19] Yeah. I got really lucky.
I had wanted to write about music that was sort of my pie in the sky thing. I studied journalism in college at the university of Wisconsin, Madison and knew I wanted to work in journalism. And the, the back of my mind that music journalism was really that sort of like, you know, like, oh, if I could really choose, that’ll be the one I do.
And I just didn’t, you know, like anyone I’d know if it was really going to happen. And I, I mean, you know, there’s a lot of without, I guess, trying to make it as quick as possible. It was a lot of, one thing leads to another. It was I moved to New York when the recession happened. So, you know, my first New York job was about a year and a time square Starbucks.
So not the journalism gig I was hoping for at the time. But nevertheless, a gig is a gig. Eventually I ended up transcribing interviews. For money for a woman who’s working on a non-fiction book. She, you know, through that connection, I ended up getting an internship at Entertainment Weekly. And from that, they kind of kept me on in a permalance capacity of like, doing working as a fact checker or, you know, doing some TV recaps for a variety of years.
And then I, you know, that sort of spiraled off into you, meet someone there and they go to Vulture. And so then you’re writing for Vulture or they go to Yahoo and then you’re writing for Yahoo or, you know, a number of small blogs or big blogs, like OMG Yahoo! I used to write for that, that no longer exists. So it’s a lot of random stuff.
And eventually ended up at Billboard, you know, once again, through one of those connections, you know, it was people who had worked at EW, but I didn’t work with at Entertainment Weekly, ended up at Billboard and just knew my work through the connection. Even though we weren’t colleagues at Entertainment Weekly and brought me on board and that was 2014.
So it’s been a while and I’ve been through, you know, a number of leadership changes and different owners owning Billboard. And so, you know, a lot has changed and grown and it’s, it’s been mostly pretty great though. I would say so, but yeah, like I said, I’m so lucky that I got to ultimately do what I want it to do.
Rachel: [00:02:21] Right. And that’s a great lesson that I’m constantly trying to give my clients and other musicians that I work with in any capacity is that some people look at things like it’s all about who you know, Right? They’re like, oh, it’s just all about who, you know? And like, if you don’t know anybody, then you can’t really push forward in this business, but it is to a certain extent about who you know, but it is also about the work that you have done in the past to get to know those people.
So it’s not like you’re dropped in the middle of someplace and you happen to know everybody and you get a bunch of done. It’s like over years and years and years, you built up your network.
Joe Lynch: [00:03:03] Yeah. I mean, that’s exactly it. And that’s what, what I was so worried about when I first arrived here. Cause I didn’t.
Here meaning in New York, I’m still in New York. You know, I didn’t know anyone. I mean, that’s not true. I literally knew a couple of people from college, but in terms of like the industry, I didn’t know anyone. I don’t come from like a family background where there’s any connection to that stuff. So it was, yeah, it was very organic and I don’t consider myself the best at like meeting new people, but it’s just that thing of, you know, putting yourself out there and taking odd jobs and one thing sort of leads to another.
And before you know, it, like you’re getting jobs because you know someone, but a year ago you felt like you didn’t know anyone.
Rachel: [00:03:39] Well, I mean, it’s just the classic example of just being really good at what you do. And eventually your name will get out there.
People will recommend you, people will say, oh, you’re looking for this type person. I know this type of person. And I haven’t gotten a lot of jobs that I applied for. You know, I got, I’ve gotten mostly jobs that people reached out to me and said, “Oh, there’s this opportunity. I think it would be good for you.”
And that’s just comes from, you know, working really hard and meeting a lot of people and being nice to people. And they remember you.
Joe Lynch: [00:04:13] Yeah, absolutely.
Rachel: [00:04:15] I also moved to New York in 99 and did not know one person there. Just got on a plane and flew up there. I actually met my roommate online, which in 99, that was kind of scary.
But anyway, so yeah, so working at Billboard is a huge deal. It’s a huge publication and you guys cover a lot of different stuff and, you know I’m often telling my clients, oh, you should make sure that you’re reading the outlets that you want to be covered in and reading the business news and reading about all facets of the music business, not just like the profile on the artists that you like.
So as someone that works at Billboard and kind of knowing the ins and outs of it for a long time, what do you think are some of the features or stories or sections that newer artists can get the most out of? What should they be paying attention to?
Joe Lynch: [00:05:08] That is a very good question. it’s sort of tough cause yeah, we, we publish a lot, obviously a big publication.
And so it’s tough to just kind of say, well, read Billboard because you know, however many dozens of articles come out of the website each day. You know, I think. I think it’s good to kind of look at, if you just go to the homepage, this is, you know, we might design the home page in three months and maybe this’ll be wrong.
But right now we have like an editor’s pick section where we’ll kind spotlight some of the deeper reported stuff we’ve done. There’s also a featured stories section if you scroll down long enough. And those kind of show more like the media reporting.
That we’ve done the kind of stuff. That’s not just a quick news update. But yeah, I mean, if you can get the physical issue, you know, that gives obviously a really strong sense of our business coverage and this stuff that we’re doing. But I think if I just had to pick random stuff
I think we’ve done a really great job in a lot is due to Tatiana Cirisano kind of staying on top of how TikTok is become a really important part of the industry. And I think even if you’re not the kind of artist who thinks that TikTok is going to help your career, I think this is going to be the model by which things moving forward happen.
And so I think it’s important to kind of just have a sense of what, how would that work and how things are moving these days. Cause social and like these little placements of five seconds of your song, are making such a huge difference in artists’ careers. And I think being in the know about that is going to be really important to moving into the next decade of music.
Rachel: [00:06:42] I am so happy that you talked about that. I didn’t know you’re gonna talk about that, but I’ve been trying to get a lot of my clients on TikTok for the last year. I’ve been on Tech-Talk for about a year and a half. Like the first six months I didn’t do anything. I just watched it and I thought, oh, I can’t do this.
I’m too old. You know,
I’m just like, ah, this isn’t for me. And then I came to the conclusion that because I have been on social media for a long time and I have had some, you know, medium followings, I wouldn’t say huge, but I have conquered some social media and I just thought to myself, well, I can’t really tell all of these clients to just jump on Tik TOK cause it’s easy and you should be doing it if I couldn’t do it myself.
I was scared and embarrassed and whatever, but I just made myself get on it. And I started making myself post regularly and I’ve grown my personal account, to almost 40,000 followers, which isn’t like, you know, blast off or anything. But, you know, it’s bigger than any of my other social media, profiles.
And the more that I did it, the more comfortable I got with it. And so that’s what I’m trying to tell people is like, you know, I know it feels awkward, but you will get so used to it so quickly and then it won’t even like phase you. And you’ll just be on there all the time, you know, trying to make content and the more content you make, the more people will notice you and follow you.
And, I think the big thing about Tik TOK is that you have to be more dynamic than just your standard Facebook or Instagram promo posts. Right? We’re kind of in like social media, 2.0, where we’re all tired of seeing you say, ” Listen to my song, watch my video” all that stuff.
We want to get a different view of who you are. See what else you’re into connect with you on a personal level. This is what I tell people that it’s almost like when I’m at a party or a networking event and someone walks up to me and says, “Hey, I’m an artist and I’m playing Friday night and you should come to my show.”
And I’m like, ” Well, I’m definitely not doing that.” But if you come up to me and you tell me something about you and like, we connect on something else, you know, we have something in common or whatever, and I get to know you. And then like two months down the line you happen to mentioned, “Oh yeah, I’m in a band.”
Then I’m going to be like, “Oh my God, you’re in a band? Oh, I totally want to hear what your band sounds like.”
Joe Lynch: [00:09:16] Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, no, I think that’s, that’s a great point. And to kind of jump off of what you were saying. I think the nice thing. And again, I came from it from the same being like, oh, I’m too old too.
There’s no way this makes sense for me. But you know, you do the kind of like what you did, you join you lurk for a little bit to see like how the rhythms of it. And then sort of when you get it, you you jump in. But the one thing I do really like about like the Instagram and the TikTok more than kind of like where you were saying with Facebook or YouTube is yeah.
It’s not like. Someone just filming the camera, you’re filming their face and being like new video, please check it out. It’s like you kind of get like, little snapshots of like what these people’s lives are like, and that kind of makes you like, like them, like you’re like, oh, I didn’t know. They like this type of coffee or watch these kinds of movies.
They’re just little things. Or, you know, have the same kind of dog I do or whatever, you know stuff like that, like humanizes people and you don’t need to be fake about it. It’s just, you’re sharing parts of your life.
Rachel: [00:10:15] Right. It’s making you a more dynamic person and it makes everything not about you.
That’s the, you know, when I see someone posts. What’s your favorite song on my record. I’m like, no, don’t do that. Don’t just make it about you. “Let’s talk about me!” Like you have to, at this point, there’s so many people to follow. You really have to show the audience. You have to give them value, right?
What value am I giving to you so that you feel like you can follow me or you should follow me or you want to follow me. And so I’m always talking to people about like, there’s gotta be something else about you. That’s interesting. And if there’s not, there’s thousands and thousands of musicians out there that are just as good as you, you know, it’s a level playing field and that’s great that we’ve made the playing field level, but we’ve also saturated the market.
Joe Lynch: [00:11:07] Yeah, absolutely. And I feel like I’m probably saying something that was going to be an answer to one of your later questions, but certainly as you know, as someone who gets a lot of pitches about music and musicians, and it’s tough, what you’re saying about how many good musicians there are in the level playing field, especially with the internet, because you’re absolutely right.
I mean, there’s just, there’s too many good artists and too many good songs. If there’s any way that we can cover all of them or even like a healthy portion of, you know, it’s just like, it’s like, I don’t know. And maybe I’m just coming up with excuses. I feel like there’s so much good stuff out there that for a, you know, a publication as big as Billboard, you know, we can’t hit that even for a publication, as big as this, we can’t hit everything.
And so it’s not enough when I get a pitch where it’s just like, “Hey, this is a great song.” It’s like, I need something more to go on. Like, I don’t know is it a timely song. Does it have a great story behind it? You know, is it a pivotal moment in this person’s life?
Or is there an interesting business perspective, you know, like, did this song come out and get a second life because of a sync in a TV show? Or, you know, like we’re saying like a social media thing, like there’s gotta be that extra little, like carrot to. So you get interested, but you know, and sometimes something does just break through, but you know, there’s like the weird algorithm I suppose, going on in all of our heads and it’s, it’s hard to untangle what that is.
Rachel: [00:12:33] Right. But I mean, that’s just the conversations that I have over and over with my clients as a publicist is. You know, I mean, I say this all the time, but you know, I work with a lot of Americana acts and I’m just like, you gotta let me know how we can frame this, that it’s something special and it’s something different and why should they listen to you versus this other band?
And how do we make it something that people want to stop and take a listen to. And even if some people do listen to it when I’m pitching it that doesn’t mean, even if they liked the song that it’s worth writing about. And you can probably talk about that.
Joe Lynch: [00:13:11] Yeah. No, that’s, that’s definitely true in, in sort of I don’t want to say like painful, but it’s, you know, it can be a kind of a sad thing because yeah. Sometimes we’ll have artists. Or songs it’d be like, yeah, you know what? I really like this. It’s just, there’s not a place for it. Or an angle, right.
Maybe there’s not an angle, but even then, like, it’s still like good. Cause usually then, you know, you’ve got the artists in the back of your head and maybe somewhere down the road, you know, then if the name comes up again, you’re going to give it that second look. But yeah, there’s sometimes there’s just not the angle.
Sometimes it’s just bad timing, you know? Like. There are certain, you know, we have limited bandwidth and there are certain days or even, you know, months where it’s like the news cycle is crazy because of whatever, you know, I guess a good example is like December, you know, like December we’re doing a ton of year-end stuff and holiday related stuff.
So we just have a lot less time to like, kind of look at those like lesser appreciated nuggets, you know, whereas like maybe during a dry week, but it’s hard to say when those times are, you know, obviously easy to say we’ll be busy during the month of December, but sometimes unexpected news hits
Rachel: [00:14:24] right. With billboard. You’re doing breaking news, right?
Joe Lynch: [00:14:29] Yeah, totally. Yeah. I mean, an unexpected acquisition or, or death or signing or whatever is, you know, bound to kind of like. Change, what we all had time that we thought we could get done that day. So so yeah, there’s, there’s that too.
Rachel: [00:14:44] And then also just because music has melded so much with tech news, it seems right. There’s so many tech companies that are music oriented and they’re constantly changing up. The kind of deals that they’re doing and being acquired and it’s so hard to keep up with all of the tech news and music.
And I know a lot of artists that I work with are kind of overwhelmed with that. They’re like, that makes sense for like, if you’re Madonna, but does that even matter to me and I have a hard time. Breaking it down, whether it does or not sometimes I’m like well, this is a new opportunity and it might not seem like a big thing right now, but getting on board with it early on, it might eventually turn into something that’s worth your while, but I don’t know.
Joe Lynch: [00:15:30] I mean, I also don’t know. I wish I had some, but yeah. I mean, that’s, that’s the tough thing. And why you know, it’s tough. Yeah. It’s a good to keep on top of everything and kind of aware. I always think this is, I think it’s good to be sort of aware of it, but yeah, I mean, you, you can’t hop on every one of these new opportunities and you don’t want to stretch yourself thin, but, but it’s good to be aware of stuff as it’s happening, just because, you know, you don’t want to be Johnny come lately on something, you know, picking up the scraps after other people have kind of.
You know, gotten the meat off the bone, I guess, to use that analogy,
Rachel: [00:16:07] it’s kind of like if you start a Tik TOK account, then do you need a Triller account too?
Joe Lynch: [00:16:12] Yeah, totally. And yeah, and I like, I mean, I get that, like, I think to an extent, like, no, you don’t want to hop on everything cause like you also don’t want to burn out too.
And there’s something to be said for that. So I guess it’s like a negotiation and, and I do feel, I feel for artists when they say, you know, either people who I’ve interviewed or people I’m friends with and when they’re just like, you know, I’m a musician and I just want to make music. I don’t want to deal with the other stuff.
And in, in a way I sympathize with that. Cause I mean, when I was a teenager you know, or even younger, I knew I wanted to be a writer and that, you know, in my head that was just, oh, a writer works with words and that’s what I will be doing ideally throughout my life. And journalism, like music has changed so much that that’s just not, not tenable anymore.
Like that’s just not how it works. Like sure words and working with my own words and other people’s words are what I care the most about. But at the end, at the same time, I have to be aware of all these other things. I have to be at least conversant in these technological changes and social media and video.
And, you know, and if not like, no, do I want that to be my, my only thing, but it’s, it’s just part of the way things are now. And you know, you have to accept that. Like, just like if a writer was like, well, I refuse to engage with any technology. They are limiting themselves. I think that goes. True with musicians.
Like if you want to just stick to the studio and the songwriting, great but you have to kind of acknowledge that. You’re probably turning yourself off to some opportunities by doing
Rachel: [00:17:45] Well, I mean, I have this conversation all the time where I talk about how. Okay. Being a musician is a talent or skill, talent skill, somewhere in the middle.
And then selling your music is a talent skill, right? And there are two different things and you can be a musician and just make music and that’s fine. But if you want to sell your music and make a living off of your music, then you’re going to have to develop those skills just as like, just like if I invented anything, you know, if I invented any product.
I can invent the product, but I still have to sell it to people. I still have to find someone to put it in their store. I still have to find, you know, it’s two different things. You can make music, but do you want to sell it? Well, you gotta learn how to sell it.
Joe Lynch: [00:18:34] Yeah. I mean, and it’s sometimes just one of those things where it’s like, well, you know, I’ve got to change hats and do this job for awhile.
And maybe it’s not my favorite part of the gig, but you know, it comes with it and it hopefully pays off in the end.
Rachel: [00:18:46] Yeah, but I mean, that’s the thing is like, you know, everybody, I’m sure you have parts of your job that you hate doing.
Joe Lynch: [00:18:54] Well, if any of my bosses are listening, of course, there’s no part of my job that I hate doing.
I mean, yeah, there’s definitely parts that can be, you know, the stuff where you’re just like, oh, am I really doing this? And you know, this is so silly and blah, blah, blah. But but yeah, I mean sort of like I was just saying earlier, you know, it’s, it’s stuff where, you know, I do understand why it’s necessary for the overall company, you know, to get.
And I’ve actually come to really appreciate too, that all these things that, you know, may seem either silly or just kind of, I don’t know, less inspiring to do ultimately are in service of like getting our work, you know, as journalists in front of people’s eyes, , because actually it’s really similar to what you’re saying with the music.
I’ve had this conversation with, with some people internally about the importance of, and this is very . Insider baseball, but like SEO for articles and people being like, you know what? I don’t care about that. And I’m like, well, you care about this article, don’t you, if you want, would you rather have one person read it or would you rather have 15 people read it?
And the answer is always well 15, and then it’s like, well, do this sort of unpleasant. Behind the scenes, you know, unpleasant is the wrong word, but you know, it’s just, it’s a part of your brain that you don’t love exercising, but you do that. And then you get more people to look at this.
Rachel: [00:20:12] So one thing I definitely wanted to talk to you about, because this is a podcast for musicians and they all want coverage at Billboard.
And obviously since the pandemic. Things have gotten a lot tighter and you don’t have as many people that are covering newer artists, but do you have any tips for younger, newer, mid tier artists that want to get coverage at Billboard? Is it based on like having a really great story angle or maybe having a money component to it?
That seems almost like a good reason.
Joe Lynch: [00:20:46] Yeah. I mean, as what you’re saying is right certainly lately and I, during the pandemic, we kind of pivoted even harder into the business coverage, which has always been a huge part of this brand. But you know, when the pandemic forced a lot of structural changes, it kind of also forces this question of what do we do?
And what do we focus on doing? And part of that was, this is an industry trade publication, even though of course it has a consumer, more like mainstream, you know, quote-unquote regular person, audience. That’s not in the industry, but regardless, I mean, yeah, we, we try to do a lot more focused on the business, the industry type stuff.
So yeah, if there’s an artist who has an angle. And that angle involves, , like a unique kind of way that they’re getting attention, or like, money in the sense of like, how is a working musician, leveraging a bunch of their fingers in different little puns to make their living.
And I think that’s, that is something we cover and we’d like to. You know, I think musicians, they don’t like talking about money, but it’s pretty interesting. And I think not icky to like talk about like, how does a non rich, famous musician, like make a living off of it. And that can mean a bunch of, you know, diversified income streams.
And, you know, that’s an interesting, biz story for us, for instance
Rachel: [00:22:07] Probably pulls more eyeballs to the site then check out so-and-so’s new song.
Joe Lynch: [00:22:14] Yeah. Yeah, no, it definitely does. It’s a more interesting piece to read too. But I mean, otherwise I think it’s just, you know, for the rising and mid-tier artists, I think it’s just good to like, look at what we do cover and how that stuff fits in.
And a lot of what we’ve been doing, I’ll Friday, roundups of new music. You know, we have a hip hop centric, one and LGBTQ space centric, one Mondays or Tuesdays, we do 10 cool pop songs of the week. So a lot of times that can be a great repository for us to cover those, those bands and artists that we just don’t have the bandwidth to do a full write-up on, but we do like, and respect and want to give a little bit of shine to and yeah, and, you know, just, I think.
It’s good to see what we do cover. And then, you know, it’s always nice to get the pitch where it’s like, I saw that you like this person, this is similar to this, you know, something that shows a little, little homework has been done.
Rachel: [00:23:11] And so do you take many pitches from artists directly or do you like favor publicists?
Joe Lynch: [00:23:18] I mean, I do favor publicists. I’ve I have taken certainly direct artist reach outs. That’s just a tough one. Cause it’s like, you know, it’s sort of a Pandora’s box and it’s all, you know, I like, I don’t know. I guess social media is of course part of our jobs too, but I don’t tend to look at it during my Workday.
So when I look at it, I’m not thinking time to put my work hat back on from, you know, a bunch of unrequested or, you know, what I’m unverified messages or whatever. Then I think about working with publicist is that you can maybe develop a relationship and they sort of have a sense of what the publication is favoring lately or what the particular editor or writer does.
And, you know, they can , hone things to you in a way, cause a lot of times that’s the thing with the unsolicited reach-outs and again, I actually have covered artists based on just totally unsolicited social media reach outs. But most of the time it’s just someone’s Googling who writes for Billboard and I get something and it’s not in my wheelhouse.
It’s not sometimes on the wheel, so what we’re going to recover. So it just feels like, oh, they’re like blanketing everyone. So like, it’s not like a targeted reach out that you would type.
Rachel: [00:24:34] And I always tell people do not reach out over social media because I personally hate that.
I have like an auto message in my Instagram or whatever. It’s like, I don’t check this email me here. But if someone emails you and they have all the correct information and they have, , a good reason why this is why I think this fits into what you’re doing right now, then, you know, that’s going to be more acceptable than trying to like tweet to you.
Joe Lynch: [00:25:02] Yeah. I mean the vast majority of those kinds of messages I get, I mean, there’s just simply like, you know, I mentioned earlier, there’s simply not time for everything and it’s already enough to manage, you know, my work email, which is my real job to look at.
So getting, you know, a Saturday night unsolicited request like maybe I’ll look at it, but you know, sometimes I like to turn my brain off from work too and not be looking, always looking for things. So there’s also that element of like, Just being a human being and like, you know, not gonna have the time to look at everything.
Rachel: [00:25:37] Yeah. And the thing is, is like, I think that it separates the people that have a little bit more experience and you can depend on to get you the correct information or it’s more legit or, or whatever you want to call it. If they take the time to send something to your work, email and respect your work hours.
, it’s like, if someone’s like sending you an IG message at 1:00 AM, that’s just someone that’s kind of newer to the game and there are a lot more issues that could come up with working on something with them. Right.
Joe Lynch: [00:26:12] Totally. Yeah, absolutely.
Rachel: [00:26:15] Are there meetings where you’re like, oh, we’re covering this type of music too much.
We need to like, spread it out.
Joe Lynch: [00:26:20] Yeah. I mean, yes. Is the answer. I mean, it came originally about just from very passionate internal people working in the company who were like, I would just love to see more of this being covered.
Yeah, we, we absolutely have those conversations internally in terms of like, you know, we’re not doing enough of covering this this genre or, you know, these types of artists and it’s I mean, there’s, there’s never a right.
You know, there’s never a point where you’re like, well, we got it. We’re set now. So it’s always a conversation and yeah, it’s something that, that definitely gets discussed and talked about.
Rachel: [00:26:55] And the interesting thing is like, it’s always kind of that catch 22 situation because They want to be out there and get more focus on them, but they don’t have a lot of focus on them already and they’re building their followers and their fan base and everything.
And they feel like, oh, well, if we get, you know, certain publications to cover us, we’ll get more followers. But also we’re not going to get covered until we get more followers.
Joe Lynch: [00:27:28] Yeah. That’s like a, like you said, catch 22 chicken in the egg. And I mean, I know the short answer. I don’t, I don’t really know what the answer to that. No, there’s no answer
Rachel: [00:27:38] to it. It’s just, I’m just stating the problem and you know, there’s no answer to it
Joe Lynch: [00:27:44] in a lot of it. Yeah. Cause that, that certainly factors into it.
I think sometimes, you know, it’s just a matter of, especially with what cause you know, billboard is, it’s a. It’s a big mainstream publication, you know, where, so yeah, I mean, so we tend to naturally have to cover the bigger names. And then that gives us less bandwidth for the really rising artists, because, you know, I mean the bread and butter is the hot 100 and the how 100 is you know, that’s the biggest artists on the planet.
But so yeah, it’s a lot of, with those kinds of names. It’s like, have we seen this name cropping up over and over in various capacities and that’s usually. People like you like publicists, you know, have, has this person been claiming the bell for this person for a while? What other outlets? Right. So, you know, if we see an artist’s name popping up on a bunch of taste-maker blogs then maybe we start thinking, okay, like, you know, they’re getting a little buzz time to maybe look into this or, you know, are they getting a little radio play on, you know, college radio, stuff like that.
So it’s, it’s usually like just one of those. Storms, you know, like enough, you get enough groundswell and some suddenly it’s it’s there. But yeah, you’re right. It’s absolutely, there is no answer, right?
Rachel: [00:28:56] There’s no answer. And to wrap it back up into the beginning it’s just that there used to be like five publications.
And so, you know, everybody read those five publications. And if you got covered in one of them, it would be like a huge boost to your career. And now there’s like hundreds of publications probably. And so you really have to take control yourself and create your own buzz via your own social media channels and your own videos and your own concerts.
And I mean, I’ve had this conversation before with Lauren Kasper, who’s the indie label manager at The Orchard. And she always says, you know, if there’s enough people talking about you, then you don’t have to pitch yourself anywhere.
They’ll reach out to you.
Joe Lynch: [00:29:48] No, that’s absolutely. That’s absolutely it.
And it’s kind of what we were just saying. It’s a lot of, a lot of small, it’s doing a lot of work in a lot of different fields and yeah. And it’s, I would imagine again, you know, I’m not an artist, but I would imagine there’s a lot, there’s frustration to that, you know, doing a lot of work. In different ways than you’d sound like you do this one thing and then boom, it all pays off.
It kind of, it’s all it’s having done work in five different areas and then it kind of pays off, you know, it’s
Rachel: [00:30:16] it’s a very long game and I, I often compare it to my clients as like, oh, you want to make the same amount of money as a lawyer or the same amount of money as a doctor.
And you look at all the schooling that they go through and all the money they paid into it and all of their investment and all of their sleepless nights. And, you know, it still takes a long time to make partner or to make it to be a doctor, you know, and not an intern or resident or all that stuff. You know, it’s, it’s a long, it’s a long road to making good money and any different business you’re in and people are sometimes.
Under the impression that people make it in two or three years. And when you go back and really look at any artist’s career, you can like say, oh, this actually took like 12 years.
Joe Lynch: [00:31:07] Yeah. Yeah. That’s always one thing that I think is interesting. And of course there’s the overnight success stories that are the exceptions that prove the rule.
But, but so many times, like if we’ll talk to someone and it’ll seem like, like, oh, suddenly you’re everywhere. They’re like, no, they’re like, I’ve been doing this for 12 years and you know, and maybe eight of those years, no one was, I don’t wanna say no one, but you know, there weren’t getting attention. And then suddenly the groundswell started to really pick up
Rachel: [00:31:39] Talk about like Phoebe Bridgers, you know, Like people think that, you know, she kind of was an overnight sensation and I’m like, well, you know, she had that EP with the one who must not be named. And then she put on her first record and then she did a record with Lucy Dacus and Julian Baker and then she did a record with Conor Oberst
it was like five records in five years with a lot of bigger names. And, you know, that was like a marketing genius way to do it but yeah, she didn’t just like end up on SNL over night.
Joe Lynch: [00:32:12] Totally. Yeah. And there’s just also been so many times where, like, I’m sure you’ve seen this, I’ll see someone be like, so-and-so releasing their debut album.
It’ll be like, wait, I have like four of their albums already, but I think there’s, there’s also this sense of like, You know, a lot of times people release music, put out stuff, and then once it really gets that kind of, sort of mainstream breakthrough, it’s like, okay. Now is when we’ve like, pretend like the real start of the career is
it’s like the Grammy thing for best, right?
Rachel: [00:32:43] Yeah. It’s always like someone that’s like been around for like seven years. Yeah. But, you know, it is what it is. Hey, anyway I’m going to let you go. I’m going to thank you very much for sitting down and talking to me. Good information. Really appreciate your
Joe Lynch: [00:33:00] But thank you for having me. It was really great to chat.
Rachel: [00:00:00] And there you have it. Thanks again to Joe for taking the time to chat with me. Be sure to check out Billboard for all the latest industry news, because things are changing quickly and they have some of the best coverage out there. Thanks for listening to the show this week. If you’re interested in more insider information, just like this
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