Ever thought about entering a band comp? Grant Hardisty from Tempus Sun (winners of 2016s “Melbourne’s Music Bank, winning them a career-making prize pack worth more than $60,000, four days of recording at Melbourne’s The Studios In The City and a spot at Beyond The Valley festival) has offered up his Top 5 Tips for Band Comps:
1.) Just bloody enter!
Let’s start at the very beginning – a very good place to start! It may sound so super obvious but the amount of times I’ve seen people fail because they are too afraid to start is ridiculous. You have to be in it to win it – despite whatever level of confidence you may have – so just give it a go. If you don’t win it, well you haven’t lost any ground. Winning Bank of Melbourne’s ‘Melbourne Music Bank’ last year with Tempus Sun after being told, ‘what’s the point’ upon contemplating entry, I can assure you it’s worth it!
2.) Public vote is in your control!
If there is a public vote element in the competition, ensure you do EVERYTHING within your power to reach far and wide in contacting your networks. Whilst your competition may seem more established or have more Facebook followers, there is such a difference between having followers and actually converting them to vote. This aspect is pretty much within your control and is purely dependent on how hard you are willing to work and how imaginative you can be in promotion. Privately inbox people, post live videos, call people, send emails…just know that despite the result you can rest assured you did all you could.
3.) Perfect your live performance!
If you are in a music/band competition this one is probably pretty important. Obviously the best way to achieve this is to rehearse, rehearse, rehearse, but if you are strapped for time there are ways around this. Simply spending time with your fellow band members helps you to become more cohesive and this translates in a live performance setting. Live performance isn’t just about nailing the music itself, but about putting on a show and letting the audience in to you as an artist. Marketability can be a key aspect in these competitions. If you all get along as a crew, let it show, and if you don’t – get bloody good at acting!
4.) Know what the competition is searching for and meet these parameters!
We don’t want to encourage changing yourself to meet the needs of others, but sometimes tweaking a few things to meet competition specifics can go a long way in helping you stand out. Ensure the content of your song entry nails the brief or appeals to the correct target audience. This could be having the ability to feature on an advertisement or hitting the perfect demographic on the head. Being lucky enough to take out Listen Up Australia hosted by ‘The Official Top Ten Night’, we understand the importance of lyrical precision – for example, fulfilling the brief of writing with the theme ‘speak up’ in regards to mental health.
5.) Be personable, develop good relationships, build a network base.
It’s all about how you talk to people and build connections that you can rely on for life. Email people, call people, follow up with a thank-you note or some baked delicacies. Be professional but be yourself too, a little bit of personality and a laugh can go a long way and can help you be remembered when you are next asking for a favour. You want to stand out as being different, but for the right reasons. Being a little over-bearing is better than being too distant. I remember Jac Phillips from Bank of Melbourne saying, ‘if you send an email to no reply, email again and then again. Don’t be worried that you are nagging as people honestly say ‘yes’ much more often than you expect’. Approach people for advice and use all of this to your advantage to best communicate with people. We can use that in our speech and in our music and it will go a long way in these competitions!