Editor's Note: I invited my friends at C Squared Music to take over this column for a couple weeks! This public relations and music marketing company has A LOT to offer underground bands -- if you need it, they can do it. Each week or two throughout the summer, we will talk with a different member of the C Squared team.
Publicist Holly Royle kicks things off...
Tell our readers all about yourself! Where are you from and when did you get started?
Hi, my name is Holly Royle and I'm from Manchester, England. I began playing the piano and guitar as a young child and soon discovered the world of metal -- currently I'm a member of the metal band Disconnected Souls as well as the gothic electronic project Sensory Enigma. I've also been involved in music journalism for four years now writing for a number of US and UK publications. More recently I entered the world of music PR when I launched my company Deviate PR two years ago, and I'm now working with C Squared Music!
What are your goals?
This might sound a bit idealistic but I want to try and contribute a positive change to the world of music PR. Being in a band or working as a solo artist is incredibly difficult with having to market and promote your music, as well as writing and performing it. There are a few less reputable promotion companies that take money and don't put the work in. If I can help to educate artists so they know exactly where their money is going I think that can make a significant difference.
Do you have a day job? If so, what is it?
Music PR is technically my day job! I also do some freelance writing and research which leads me down all sorts of interesting non-music related topics. My time is also taken up with studying for a PhD!
How do you balance your work and personal life with C Squared?
Following from the previous questions you can probably see that music is about 90% of my life! There is so much crossover with my work and personal life, and at times I don't always get the balance right. It helps enormously that I enjoy what I do so it doesn't always feel like work.
What do you consider to be the best investment you've made, career wise?
I would say both starting my own PR business and joining C Squared, not just from a financial investment perspective but from how much I've learnt by doing these things. Both have taught me a lot about myself, what I want to do with my working life and how important it is to work with amazing people who share the same goal. I'm eternally grateful to Cori and Curtis for seeing something in me and asking me to join their cult, I mean team.
What's the worst or least helpful thing you've ever spent money on in your career in the music industry?
I'm not sure I have an answer for this, so far money spent on business things or releases with my band appear to have paid off okay. Who knows, I'm sure there will be some unhelpful purchases one day! Actually, I guess I did purchase a load of gothic masks for a video that fell through... but I like them so I don't consider that a failure and I'm sure they'll get used one day!
What kind of merch do you purchase most often as a music listener?
I've reached the unfortunate point where I own too many band shirts and not enough storage space... so I'm now mainly looking for unusual merch items or things that I don't already own. I have just ordered one of Spacegoat's water bottles as I love their logo and needed a new one. It's great to see lots of bands are trying new things with merchandise from more unique accessories to coffee, and many are trying to be more environmentally friendly too which I think is so important.
Which online music or social media platforms are most helpful to you?
I'm finding myself using Instagram mainly and it is helpful for discovering new bands and interacting with them too. Also I do like the artsy visuals that come with Instagram - although remember it's not real life!! Twitter can also be pretty good for connecting with musicians and other industry folk, although I'm not sure I've quite mastered it yet!
What does "making it" in the music industry mean to you?
This is a very interesting question. With my music it means creating something that brings enjoyment to others. Disconnected Souls, for example, seems to get a love it or hate it response (which I think is better than just being in the middle with an okay response). We do get some amazing feedback from people who truly love what we do and that means the world, even though we don't have thousands of listeners on Spotify.
From a PR perspective, if I can do a good job and help bands reach wider audiences and increase sales I think that's huge! I love the fact that I've discovered so many talented artists and I've been able to share their release journeys with them. In many ways I kinda feel like I have made it already as I genuinely love what I do! I don't dream of fame or fortune as long as I make enough to afford to live that suits me, and even better I get to do that working with awesome people!
Featured photo by Tom Lloyd Photography.
To learn more about budgeting, band finances, and more, order Money Hacks for Metalheads and Old Millennials in paperback and ebook formats: https://amzn.to/3lCsFdq