#indieID “On Stage Performance Techniques”

As a performer your goal is NOT to sing or play perfectly… YOUR GOAL IS TO COMMUNICATE!

Tell a story – take them on a journey – give them something to FEEL, REMEMBER and DO.

ARTIST RELATIONSHIP – You Are Always Communicating From The Stage
People don’t come to see an “artist”, but they come to see people. PEOPLE who have the gift of music and feel compelled to share with the world.
There are 4 key elements in your ability to communicate affectively: Mental/Emotional/Physical/Spiritual
How you feel about YOURSELF will reflect and affect your ability to deliver a confident and believable presentation.

You must love your audience – want to give them anything you can. (Don’t beat them up for not responding or throw off, but find ways to remain upbeat, positive and stay connected.)

SONG MOMENTS – How To Choose The Right Song/How To Create Moments That Audiences Will Remember
WHO you are is more important than WHAT you do.
Your audience is ignorant! Not fully aware of the technical elements, but they will understand and react to human behavior.
PLAN in advance where to sing, talk, sit and move.
Be unique and make it interesting.
(Don’t leave everything to ‘inspiration’)

MOVEMENT/TOOLS – How To Move/Where To Move/When You Should Move and Why
There are 4 essential tools to use during your performance: Mic Stand, Mic, Stool and Instruments/Headset/Props
Use the entire stage to enhance the visual presentation.
Key Movement Positions: Center Stage, Far Right/Left, Mid Range Right/Left.
Your songs should LOOK and SOUND different.
(Performance and Techniques are key, but a “connection” will make an IMMEDIATE IMPACT)

The song is the script to your story – TELL THE STORY!
Keep your attention on God, The People, Group/Band Members and/or Instruments.
Love your audience from the stage – meet their needs – feed the people.
Audience Impact:

There are so many practical things you can do the enhance your live performance presentation without sounding and looking like someone else – DEVELOP and be the best you! My #indieID advice blog is available weekly to help emerging talent/indie artists prepare musically and in business for the music marketplace. I am also available for events and 1-on-1 consultation, email SHARE THIS POST! Like me. Follow me. Book me.


Posted by on April 1, 2014 in indieID


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#indieID Audition Tips

These tips may seem obvious, but you would be surprised how many people ignore the obvious.

Be sure to FOLLOW DIRECTIONS! Read all the information, requirements, deadlines and follow them to the letter. If you can not, you are not ready for the audition.  The excuse of “not knowing” is not acceptable.

Sing ONLY songs on the preset list! Don’t deviate to prove your originality… this is NOT the time! In one audition, a contestant came and asked what we WANTED  him to sing. I was like what?! Get of the stage!  Only to find out he was a terrible singer. Later he said, that he was an R&B singer… *blinded by a blank stare*

Learn the words to the entire song.  Nothing is more annoying and disrespectful to the judges and fellow contestants, when you decide to “wing it” by not knowing the song lyrics. It also sends a message that you don’t care enough about this moment, so why should anybody who can help you.

Don’t argue or curse the judges. If you would like to address a comment you don’t agree with, ask politely and be definitive, but respectful. Avoid being emotional and offering excuses. Selecting music is very subjective and a skilled judge should also weigh in on the objective elements of your music. Ask for construction criticism, accept and apply it to become a better singer.

If you RAP, don’t audition for singing competition…If you sing, don’t audition for a RAP competition… If you sing R&B, don’t audition for a gospel competition. You get the message… If you can’t sing, do something you’re good at!

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Posted by on March 27, 2014 in indieID


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#indieID 5 Tips for BET Sunday Best Auditions – DC


As a performer your goal is NOT to sing or play perfectly… YOUR GOAL IS TO COMMUNICATE!


Taking singing lessons will definitely help you be ahead of the game. Having natural talent is great but if you rely on natural talents (alone) you make find your overall performance lacking.


Sing the best part of the song. Show exactly how amazing your voice is. Select the song that best shows that off.


It is essential that you know something about the show. Do your research and look at the songs people are singing. Do any of these songs fit into your range? Could you rock that song better than someone on the show? What are they wearing? Use the show as a resource to prepare you for the audition.


Though you may have to wait in line for a while, you need to ready to go at any second. Drink lots of water, do some humming and keep your voice warm, especially if you will be waiting in line outside. Do everything you can to be well-rested before the audition. This is your opportunity to shine!

5/SUNDAY BEST is literally looking for “SUNDAY BEST”

It may be obvious, but there is something particular that they are listening for. While they don’t tell you what that exact type of voice is, you get some insight into the fact that you may be phenomenal but still not the “right” voice for the show.

DISCLAIMER: The content in this post does not reflect the views of BET Networks/Sunday Best or any of its agents and representatives.  I offer advice based only my professional experience as a former Casting Judge of BET Sunday Best Season 2 (Washington, DC) and my ongoing work and experience in the Gospel Music Industry.


Posted by on March 26, 2014 in indieID


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#indieID – Tips on Successful Mentoring [25 MAR 14]




Mentor, a word that has been used to personify HELP, SUPPORT, GUIDANCE and SUCCESS! It has now become watered down, and used a “buzz word” to signify a sloppy leader, selfish instructor or inexperienced guide.  Whether you are a Mentor or Mentee, following certain guidelines will make the mentor-mentee relationship a successful one.

Taking on a role as mentor means helping a mentee progress with their personal or professional goals. A mentor is a coach for the person they are mentoring, usually in reference to a profession or education. A mentor is often senior to the mentee, with more years of work and life experiences that the mentor can pass on in the form of advice and as a role model.

1/Setting the Mentee’s Expectations

It is important to have a candid conversation upfront with the mentee about the role the mentor will take in the mentee’s life.  This includes asking the mentee what they want and expect from the mentoring relationship.  This will allow the mentor to judge if there is a good fit for the relationship (for example, whether the mentee is realistic in their expectations of the mentor) and set boundaries, if necessary, with the mentee about the relationship. The mentor also needs to be clear about the potential time that he or she is able to commit to the mentee so that the mentee is not disappointed down the road.

2/Setting a Professional Example

The mentor and mentee relationship often exists in a professional setting, where the mentee is looking for guidance and advice on developing a career path.  In this case, it is important to project a professional image to the mentee so that the mentee has someone they can look up to.  Examples include maintaining a professional rapport with the mentee, setting an example in your own career, relaying professional accomplishments to the mentee as well as inquiring about the mentee’s career goals and what is happening in his or her job.  Even in the case where the mentor-mentee relationship is not professional, and the mentor is acting as a personal coach, this tip still applies so the mentor can set a positive example for the mentee regarding his or her future career path.

3/Acting as a Counselor

In the mentee-mentor relationship, it is important to be a coach on an emotional level as well as a professional level. While professional advice is important, there will be times that the mentee has personal problems that he or she feels they can’t discuss with their peers and want to guidance of someone they look up to, such as a mentor. Listen carefully to the mentee, provide a sympathetic ear and give constructive advice where you can. If the problems of a mentee become too serious to handle, professional assistance may be required.

4/Maintaing a Positive Attitude

The mentor should portray a positive attitude at all times with the mentee.  The mentor should not use the mentee as his or her own shoulder to cry on as the mentor is supposed to be the role model and support person for the mentee. Passing on a positive attitude to the mentee should also translate into positivity from the mentee.

5/Maintaining Confidentiality

To build a trusting relationship, what the mentee tells the mentor should be kept in strict confidence in most situations. This will result in the mentee feeling that he or she can open up to the mentor and share any problems and issues freely, which will lead to a closer mentor-mentee relationship.


The mentor can also be a valuable teacher to the mentee, whether it is from an education or career standpoint. Give the mentee advice on how to accomplish tasks, when asked or prompted, and guide the mentee to resources such as specific websites or books to help them study or complete work tasks.

7/Reaching Out to the Mentee

Although it should be the mentee’s responsibility to reach out to the mentor to check in on occasion, the mentee should not always have a reach out to the mentor when they want advice or even just talk. The mentor should put aside time to contact the mentee, perhaps take the person out for a meal or a drink, to show care fo the mentee’s well-being and interest in the mentee’s professional progression. Introduce the mentee to select friends or colleagues to expand the relationship and potentially help the mentee in their career path. This behavior also shows the mentee that it is good pratice to be proactive in relationships.

I thought this was real GOOD information to share in helping us manage our working relationships. As a result of the digital age and social media networks, we find ourselves “connected” but poorly engaged.  Our connections and networks are linked directly to our successes. #indieID weekly advice blog is a FREE service, but I am also available for events and 1-on-1 consulting. Email or 856-49HOLLA.  Like me. Follow me. Book me.

Information pooled in this post is by Juli Thompson, eHow Contributor.

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Posted by on March 25, 2014 in Uncategorized



#indieID THE SESSION – Artist Development for Indie Artists

THE SESSION VOL II presented by Blanche McAllister | April 11/12 @ The Brook (Columbia, SC)

There are many steps independent artists need to take in order to put their careers on the right track. THE SESSION will provide fundamental advice, guidance and techniques that are the basis of your music career. Guest performances by Grammy Award Winning Songwriter KJ Scriven, and DETOX! Guest instructors include Gospel Media Personality Holla Walla, Celebrity Stylist Algernon Johnson and Branding Consultant Erica Johnson.

UNPLUGGED: Friday April 11, 2014 | 7pm to 10pm
THE EXCHANGE: Saturday, April 12, 2014 | 10am to 1pm

Register online today at!


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Posted by on March 22, 2014 in Uncategorized


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#indieID – 10 Tips for Developing Musicians

18 MARCH 14

My intent is to provide you with solid advice and help to start, build and maintain your career as a musician/artist. TALENT ALONE IS NOT ENOUGH! Read the tips below and go find your place in the music industry… and the world! Besides its FREE… doesn’t mean its invaluable.

1/Good Music Isn’t GOOD Enough
If you think your music is “good”… then just keep it as a hobby. The music marketplace doesn’t need any more “good” music, it needs GREAT music. These days not only can everybody and their sister make bland music, they are making AND releasing bland music; so the marketplace is flooded with mediocity.

2/Know Thy Audience
The minute you decide you want someone to listen to your songs, you have entered the MUSIC BUSINESS. If you don’t know who would like your music, why would you make it in the first place? Art and commerce not only can WORK together, in today’s marketplace they MUST work together. Gone are the days when a musician’s talent alone is all that is needed to succeed. Spend time asking yourself WHO is your average fan, and get to know everything about their lifestule, ages, sex, and income levels. Do that, and a whole universe of inspired opportunities on how to reach them will open up to you.

3/A Good Idea Is Worth More Than A Good Budget
Getting a music career off the ground is not only hard work , it also COSTS MONEY. But the simplest ideas can deliver big payoffs. Look around where you live, and find simple ways to get your career moving. Use your time creatively and challenge yourself to come up with one original music marketing idea a week! You will be surprised how many good ideals you can move up with, and most of them won’t cost much money at all, if any.

4/Being Nearsighted Might Make You Blind
If you don’t know clearly where you are going, you can easily lose sight of your goal, and miss an opportunity that may come your way. Don’t see only what you THINK needs to be done with your music. Find out as much as you can about how the music business is set up, and how all aspects of developing your career are related. REMEMBER that every job, responsibility, and professional involved with creating, developing, and marketing music is related to another part, and they all NEED each other AND work together for the mutual benefit of each other. Do you have a realistic plan for yourself that puts the whole picture into clear focus?

5/Get The Job Done, and Get The Job Done Well
DO what you SAY you are going to do, and don’t use any excuses for not getting things done. Everybody you meet in this business who agrees to help you in some way with your career, may also benefit from your success. When an opportunity arises to get your foot in the door, KEEP IT THERE! If you treat people unprofessionally, they will remember you. If you treat them professionally, they will remember you, YOU DECIDE WHAT KIND OF REPUTATION you want to established.

6/Weave A Thread of Consistency In Everything You Do
Like it or not, as a musician you are a part of the ‘show biz’, and as should be very conscious of developing a clear, honest, and definitive IMAGE of who you are, and what your music is about. If you believe you don’t have an image, go ahead and let the music business create one for you… BUT don’t complain when they call you something you’re not. Only you know what’s inside you. Be sure your ARTWORK, PRESS MATERIALS, LIVE STAGE APPEARANCE, and your SONGS reflect who you are, so that every time you work on a part of your career development, you are thinking consistently about any and all aspects of your image.

7/Work With People, Don’t Work On People
The music business is built on relationships. Don’t take advantage of people! Nurture contacts you make, and spend time building these relationships within the particular music scene that exists for your music. Learn who the key players are in each area of music marketing; the distributors and stores, the broadcast media (TV & Radio), the press and the live performance industry. Give them SOLID business reasons to want to work with you.

8/Expectations Kill
Expectations are different from goals. They imply that you DESERVE something because of some inflated, premature ego that has put you on your own pedestal. A sure way to fail as musician is get the reputation of being difficult to work with.

9/On The Road To Success, There Are Many Detors
Anticipate trouble and find a way around out. Knowing that problems will arise, and finding solutions to your problems is half the challenge. The other half is implementing your strategies and tactics consistently and professionally. Many ‘wanna-be’s’ give up when rejection arrives. Rejection is a coat of armor that must be worn at all times. For every yes, there will be countless no’s. Learn from the rejection, the missed opportunities, the failed promises, the bad reviews, the insensitive label personnel, the crooked agents and managers that you encounter. Turn every negative into some kind of positive. See what can be learned from the bad experience, so that the next experience might be good.

10/Stop and Smell The Roses
Doing music and nothing else is a bad idea! Too many musicians forget that to grow as an artist, experiences are what matters most. It is so easy to get carried away with your music to the exclusion of everything else… friendships, family, other artits, nature and other interest that are essential to keep the creative juices inspired and flowing. Do things you have never done before. In fact, go out and do the one thing that you feel is the last thing you have an interest in… that should give you something to write about. Music is a business, no doubt about it, but music is also an art, an as an artist you need to nourish your soul as well as your wallet.

(Information in this post was pooled from and inspired by Christopher Knab’s FourFront Media & Music)

I firmly believe that we are called to impact our culture… BUT we must be affective with our offering. These tips should help you clearly define your role as a musician/artist to prepare you for a robust and sustainable career.

I am available for your next event or 1-on-1 consulting. Send email to #indieID weekly advise blog is a FREE service.

NOTE: It is our policy not to accept, read, listen to or review unsolicited artist submissions.

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Posted by on March 18, 2014 in Uncategorized


#indieID 3.11.14 – How To Grow Your Audience Using EP’s

Hey everyone! I apologize that this post is behind… I’m still trying to find that hour we lost over the weekend to DST! Well, actually I attended a webinar about Social Media Marketing hosted by #likeablelocal, also I’ve been on back-to-back calls today delaying my post. NOW let’s get this party started.

About that EP…

An Extended Play (EP) is a musical recording that contains more music than a single but is usually too short to qualify as a full studio album or LP.

These days, with new artists, it seems to be more about popularity to have an album, mix tape, EP, single or a feature instead bringing a message to the world. (what is a song if it doesn’t inspire?) Each unit has a specific use, but are all interrelated. Our focus today is the EP.

For indies, recording costs can be high, but with the right focus and attention you can create something memorable to help create awareness and generate revenue. The general public would prefer to buy full albums, but they settle for 1 -2 tracks. An EP should be no more than 4 full songs. (Kill the reprise, remix, alternate musical versions) Talent buyers (promoters) want to hear how you might format a full set based on the limited song selection. A series of EP’s build a foundation for your branding and merchandising strategy. A physical EP works more as a souvenir of great show rather than a full-length recording. Be sure to craft a product with great packaging so that you’re building a brand based on QUALITY. You can string a few EP’s together in a short amount of time to build momentum for a full album release, and fans will follow the movement and see you as an accomplished artist. Consider a 9-18 month release strategy, so you have time to perform the music, create awareness and grow your audience.

If you have the passion, songwriting ability and production chops to pull it off, you should work on an album. The biggest criticism nowadays is a lack dept. If you’re not able to accomplish this or not ready to deal with the public feeback, don’t do it.

Final note. I always advice talent to HAVE A PLAN! Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Research and educate yourself about the process… “not knowing” is not acceptable!

#indieID is available every Tue by 3, unless it’s posted at 5, but then it could be after 9 or the next day before 12… lol… BUT either way, you can expect information that will help you advance your music career. If you have specific questions or would like to hire me for one-on-one consulting, an event, music conference or talent showcase, email The #indieID weekly blog post is a FREE service.


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Posted by on March 12, 2014 in Uncategorized