Donny Benét's 5 tips for impressing at BIGSOUND
For a young band trying to reach that next level in the music business, BIGSOUND can be both as daunting as it is important.
How do you make a lasting impression? How do you get in front of the right people? How do you keep a cool head when the pressure is high?
At times like this, up and coming artists could use a mentor. And we thought we'd lend a hand by getting in touch with one of the best in the business.
We reached out to acclaimed Australian entertainer Donny Benét, who plays Double J's showcase on Thursday night, for a few words of advice that he'd pass on to anyone who is rubbing shoulders with the bigwigs in Brisbane this week.
He very graciously accepted. Taking some time to fire this through on email while in the midst of promoting his sensational new single and video 'Konichiwa'.
Here's a note he attached with the advice:
I hope these rules help. Follow them and I can guarantee you at least D-grade celebrity status in the Australian music scene.
And check out my new song - I owe a lot of people a lot of money and the calls are starting.
I need this.
Read Donny Benét's five surefire tips for impressing the music industry below:
Not too much, not too little.
The music scene is a young game. Youth = enthusiasm.
Get your caffeine dosage right and you'll seem like a 22-year-old in a 35-year-old's body. Extra showcase? No problem. Spontaneous collabo/songwriting session? You got it. Street press/semi ironic photoshoot at an op shop? Let's do it.
Overdose on that java and you'll soon be a million words a minute. Those ever important one-on-one meetings need to walk a fine line between Fitspo instructor and Zen master.
Take it from me – last BIGSOUND I blew it. I'd recommend two or three max a day. Trust me.
2). Social Media
Get those numbers up. It's 2007 all over again. The bigwigs are looking at numbers. Festivals are looking at numbers. Tony Abbott had it right back in 2014 with his rapid popularity amongst men from New Dehli aged between 18-34.
Forget about that new Dave Smith Prophet 6 synthesizer. Pump a few $k into some likes and it'll pay dividends.
3). Waiting at the pedestrian crossing convo zone
This is where BIGSOUND really happens. Do your research. Follow triple j on Instagram and keep on following the suggestions until you're getting suggestions for Praise FM presenters.
Do your digital stalking. Hobbies? Recent trips? Shows they've been to? Pets? Favourite restaurants?
If you find yourself waiting for the green man and you're next to Mr/Mrs ... you'll be armed and ready for meaningful small talk that shows you really know them.
For example, they'll be delighted to know that you also enjoy the company of Staffordshire Terriers or enjoy that little gyro place in Bexley that no-one knows about. What a way to make a connection.
And, my bonus advice - make yourself some cheat cards and wake up 30 minutes earlier each day for some rehearsal in front of your hotel bathroom mirror.
4). CDs/business cards
Vinyl made its comeback. Cassettes are pastiche cool... You wanna be ahead of the rest? burn those demo discs. Handwritten track listing. Bespoke.
I was at SXSW with industry stalwart Jack Ladder a few years back and I remember seeing the streets of Austin littered with perfectly printed demo discs.
The problem? no human connection.
Handwrite those bad boys and who knows, they might make for a heartfelt Instagram post from a major label a few years down the track.
And business cards. I'm heading to Officeworks tomorrow to get 500 printed. Gonna slip 'em in people's pockets and in handshakes all week. Make the emotional connection and reinforce the memory with a name on paper.
5). A Really, Really Good Showcase
Thirty minutes. Trim the fat. No songs over four minutes.
You gotta make your showcase pop. (such a terrible word - usually auto spray painters with terrible taste in everything usually use this term when they talk about what colour they painted their own personal vehicle).
Play your hits. Make sure you've read rule number one before taking the stage.
Get that nervous pre-show piss out of the way. I usually go about two minutes before.
Splash some water in your hair just before you go on. I've worked with the best throughout my career and this is a Kirin J Klassic move. Makes you look edgy.
Tune your instrument ten minutes before you play - rooms are humid, ever changing environments.
Charge your laptop/USB stick/sample pad lit square thing. Turn off that wi-fi - you don't want your OSX updating during your set.
Believe in yourself. Don't give a damn – also falls under the enthusiasm in rule number one. It'll all be over in 30 minutes.