Nadia Elkharadly: There’s a right way, and there’s a WRONG way.

Nadia LogoAs a music journalist/music lovin’ gal about town, I get a lot of music sent my way.  And I mean A LOT.  Between publicists asking me to review their latest client’s most amazing poppy, shoe-gazey (that term needs to die in a fire), metal, rock, whatever album, to people asking me to listen to their friends’ bands, to bands themselves asking me to give their latest single a listen or video a few, I’m inundated with music coming from every place you can imagine.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining.  I adore music and discovering new music is why I got into this non/low paying gig in the first place.  But there’s definitely a right way to ask someone in the music business to listen to your life’s work.  There’s also a wrong way.  Let’s start with the right way.

Before I dive into my do’s of inviting someone to like you or someone you know’s music, let me direct your attention to Jamie Vernon’s advice filled column from the weekend (a rerun from a couple of years previous but still extremely applicable).  Taking advice from a music veteran like Jamie can only help budding musicians.  Taking advice from a newbie like me may hurt…but at least I’ll deliver it gently, and with a smile.

A very key point in the mission of music spreading is using a personal touch.  I don’t mean ACTUALLY reaching out and touching someone ya pervs.  Utilizing an existing personal relationship, attempting to connect with someone on a personal level, or at the very least taking a polite and personable approach is extremely important not only in getting someone to give a minute fuck about what you’re trying to share (and really, to sell), but in making them give enough of a fuck to actually take the time to listen.  And if they give more of a fuck, that personal touch may even get your audience to share what you’re putting out there with others as well.  I’ll illustrate the right way to ask someone to listen to your music by giving a couple of examples of bands I’ve been recently turned onto.

The “check out my friend’s band” approach: The Mercenaries

IMG_4017This method is very much dependent a previously established personal relationship with your musical recipient.  When you’re asking someone to check out a band that you know, you should already have an idea of that person’s musical taste, or at least have enough confidence in the band you’re sharing to know they’ll wow that person even if they’re not to his or her taste.  Recently, the intrepid frontman of White Cowbell Oklahoma asked if I would check out his former bandmate’s new project, The Mercenaries.  Knowing my love of his own band’s music was his first checkmark.  His next was putting me in direct contact with his old buddy, along with providing me a musical sampling and some background info on the band, as well as where and when they’d be playing next.  I had a good idea that I would like them from the get go, and the only effort I had to make was to get my butt to the Dakota Tavern to check them out.  Indeed, I was not steered wrong; I loved the IMG_4038Mercernaries from the first groovy note they played.  The high energy, dance move inducing set was enough to convert me completely.  I’ll definitely be checking them out again, and I’m telling YOU to check them out this Saturday at Cadillac Lounge on Queen West.

The Email approach:  Flamingo Bay

flamingo bayMy inbox is littered with “listen to this/my/whatever” band requests.  Some of them amuse me, some of them bore me, and many of them actually annoy me.  If you want me to go beyond reading your email request to listen to your band, you’ve got to make that request short, snappy, and probably funny and different enough to actually grab my attention out of the masses.  Enter Flamingo Bay.  I received an extremely succinct and quirky email from them one summer day, and their ability to describe themselves, their style AND provide samplings of their music in just a few lines was impressive.  They didn’t waste my time or insult my intelligence with egotistical overtures, overwrought metaphors and incessant blathering.  The quick and snappy approach, and the descriptor “northern swamp rock” piqued my curiosity enough to make me click onto their bandcamp and take a listen.  The fact that they were clearly a band of strapping young men didn’t hurt matters either.  I made it out to one of their shows and definitely saw their potential, and consider that they’re actually some pretty cool dudes, I’ll definitely get out to see them again, and recommend that you out there do too.

The in person approach:  Secret Broadcast

IMG_0521When you go to as many shows as I do you get to know the players – literally.  Musicians not only play shows, but hang out at them, so I’m always running into musicians I’ve gotten to know in and out of various bands.  It’s always nice to catch up with or get to know someone I generally only see on stage.  It’s even better when this person has a new project or band that they’re excited about, and they share that excitement with me.  That’s how I learned about Secret Broadcast.  Queen west mainstay and all around adorable dude J.C. had come into my acquaintance when he had asked me to come see his previous band Savannah.  The band didn’t blow me away but J.C.’s professionalism and approachability definitely stuck with me.  He’s the type to always say hey whenever he sees you, and he’s always got a smile on his face that’s just contagious.  When Music of the Masses recently rolled into town not too long ago, J.C. made sure to tell me (on one of our many run ins at Cherry Cola’s) to check out the latest band he was playing in for the fest, which turned out to be none other than Secret Broadcast.  I’d heard of them before but hadn’t seen them live yet.  J.C. personal invite and new found position in the band cemented my attendance at their MFTM set.  Not only did the band rock my world (read all about it in my review here), their performance earned them a personal invite from none other than DBAWIS head honcho Bobert for his very special (and hopefully soon to be aired) Birthday Bobcast.  The band is now recording their latest album with an epic producer, and I can’t wait ot see what they come up with.  Thanks again to J.C. for making that connection, and for being his awesome self.

Editor’s note: The “Birthday Bobcast” has been online since the first week of September. Secret Broadcast brings it big time. Here it is:

Like I said at the beginning of this column; there’s a right way, and a wrong way to try to get people interested in your music.  Stay tuned for next week when I let my dear friend and fellow gal about town Emy Stantcheva tell you exactly how WRONG that wrong way can go.

Until next time,




Nadia’s column appears every Wednesday

Contact us at:

DBAWIS ButtonNadia Elkharadly is a Toronto based writer with a serious addiction to music. Corporate drone by day, renegade rocker by night, writing is her creative outlet.  Nadia writes for the Examiner (.com) on live music in Toronto and Indie Music in Canada.  She has never been in a band but plays an awesome air guitar and also the tambourine.  Check in every Tuesday for musings about music, love, life and whatever else that comes to mind.

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3 Responses to “Nadia Elkharadly: There’s a right way, and there’s a WRONG way.”

  1. Hi,
    Loved your article. If I send you a demo of my sons band ???….never mind. 🙂

  2. Just listened to the Bobcast enjoyed and will be back The band was great

  3. Frank Secich Says:

    The Deadbeat Poets new video “Johnny Sincere”

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