How to Market & Brand Your Music: A Conversation with Casey Cavaliere – Part 1
“I just want to try to take a more thoughtful, mindful approach to helping artists think for themselves and become self-sustaining. Because the industry is going to change. The things we’re talking about right now are going to be either way more relevant or way less relevant ten years from now. But I want you to be able to gain the tools and frameworks for kind of going through and saying ‘Hey well, how do I talk to this label? How do I pitch this label.’ And being like ‘Hey a better idea is, let’s flip the lens and put your hat on in a way that allows you to think about what behooves them and what their objectives are.’ And that’s maybe a better pitch.” — Casey Cavaliere
This episode’s guest is an American record producer, musician, and artist coach. His creative work ethic has been sculpted by a career spanning over two decades with his band The Wonder Years, including multiple Billboard chart-topping releases, extensive global touring, and the mentorship of music industry heavyweights. His mission outside of the studio and the stage is to help educate and inspire a new generation of independent artists by teaching them how to think critically about the way they market, promote, and brand themselves and their music.
His name is Casey Cavaliere and I think you’ll find him incredibly inspiring. I know it’s tough out there for musicians right now, but the best is yet to come, and this discussion will help demystify what it takes to be a working musician.
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Can We Plug This In?
We start the show off with a look back at Casey’s memories of sound, and the big impression that his dad’s role as a bass player in a classic ‘70s rock band made on him as a child. “And I was like ‘Dad, can we plug this in?’” Casey recalls. “He’s like ‘honestly, I don’t even know if it still works, but I guess we can try.’ And we did, and boy did it still work” As he puts it, “I just didn’t stand a chance after that.” He tells us about living his lifelong dream as a professional musician, and how the thought of it being his career still leaves him in awe. “I still can’t believe it myself,” he says, “but it’s been, you know, the better part of two decades in a band from Philadelphia called The Wonder Years”
Your Own Shiny Object
Casey talks about the most rewarding part of his career as a musician and how it’s led him to help other artists who are just starting out. “I wake up every day,” he says. “and still have such gratitude to see the impact that we’ve been able to make, even in our little sub-world of punk rock and alternative music.” We also discuss the impact online platforms have made over the years, and how, as he puts it, artists should look past this or that “shiny object” to find their own value and approach to promotion. “That is a big part of what I hope to do,” Casey adds, “for the next generation of independent artists who, I think, have an opportunity to really dominate and completely change the landscape.”
What Have You Built?
As the first half of our interview comes to a close, Casey tells us how he focuses on the longer view when it comes to making and marketing music. “Imagine you wake up,” he says, “and you’ve been in this little punk band from Philadelphia for twenty years. What do you hope you’ve built?” We talk about how his career direction, like so many, changed after the pandemic encouraged him to reflect on his life, and how he hopes to give back what he’s received over the years. “The sense of community and that compassion and empathy, I hope that that is something we’ll be remembered for.”
- How Casey’s family history with classic rock inspired his own musical career.
- The best music promotion tools and the trick to remaining timeless.
- How indie bands can market themselves without losing their authenticity.
- Making music after COVID-19 and the fresh perspective it gave him.
Tune in next week as Casey and I talk about how music fandom can transcend the algorithms, about the mistakes new artists make when trying to get a foot in the door, and how Casey’s podcast The Record Process offers a peek behind the scenes of some of the most famous record releases.
Connect with the Guest
Connect with Casey Cavaliere on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/casey-cavaliere-a72ba3197/
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This interview episode was very skillfully made to sound beautiful by the talented Humberto Franco.