Single Release Checklist for Indie Artists

As an Indie artist, it is instinctive to rush through a new single release.  You are excited about the new song and want to get it out to your fans as soon as possible.  ‘Dropping a track’ and having a release strategy is the difference between artists who consider their music a hobby and those who treat it as a business.  Which are you?

As a musician, your songs are your product.  You need to treat them as such. Following these simple steps can help your new drop attract new fans, get playlisted, and alert blogs, concerts, and labels to your music talents.

  • Mix and Master: You can write and record the greatest song in the 21st If it is not mixed and mastered well, you are not going to get playlisted.  You are not going to be featured in blogs.  These days, many independent artists are learning the engineering arts to the point where they are self-sufficient in this area.  If you are not, it is vital that you recognize this, and outsource your mix/master to a professional.  There are many studios, companies and individuals who will clean up your vocals, add effects, and ensure levels are consistent.  If you are on a budget, use websites like Fiverr.  Soundcloud also offers a paid mastering tool.

  • Upload your single as a private Soundcloud link: Having your single available as a private Soundcloud link is the best option for sharing your music pre-release.  A link is almost always preferred by bloggers, playlisters, and industry heads you will be pitching to.  Make sure all the information about the single and your contact information is available on your Soundcloud page.  
  • Craft a press release: There are a plethora of press release templates for musicians available online. Again, if in doubt, hire a professional to craft your release.  Language should be simple and enticing.  All your artist links, achievements, and contact information should be readily available.  Release date, and cover art should be highlighted.  You should make one press release for blogs that includes a press photo, and one for playlisters that can go without.
  • Schedule release at least one month in advance through distributor: This allows you ample time to promote, submit to Spotify for Artists, and assess label/influencer interest in your track.
  • Submit your track for Spotify Curated Playlists: It is imperative that you play the lottery for free. Spotiy’s curated Playlist submissions are free to submit through Spotify for Artist. Landing on a Spotify curated list is a needle in a haystack, but inclusion can help get your single to millions of listeners quickly.  It’s best to submit at least three weeks before your track goes live.

  • Send your press release to appropriate blogs: Do your research. Do not send mass emails.  Address each blogger by name.  Compliment their previous work.  Do not act as if you are the hottest rapper on the planet.  Remember, the people who are the hottest rappers on the planet have Publicists who ensure their pitches remain complimentary and humble.  Blog pitching should take place 2-3 weeks before your release.
  • Announce your single via social media: Wait until within a week of the release. Make sure you’re using high quality content.  It’s great to include a snippet of the single.  Also, use this post as an opportunity to thank everybody who helped you with the track: producer, engineer, cover artist, etc.  You’d be surprised how much cross-promo that generates.
  • Pitch to Playlists: To be completed after the single has dropped. Don’t only focus on Spotify; Apple Music, SoundCloud, etc. can help you be heard with playlists.

Print out this list and follow it to a tee with your next single.  We guarantee you will have more success and expand your listening audience.

Stay tuned to as we will continue to outline strategies for independent artists to progress their careers, both technically and from a business perspective.   We are always looking for independent artists to feature.

One thought on “Single Release Checklist for Indie Artists

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *