A singer-songwriter friend recently told me that she had started working with a marketing and PR company to help her with the launch of her upcoming album (which she just finished). My friend had initially planned to release her album around 2 months after finishing it but they strongly advised her to delay the release of her album by 3 MORE months as they felt that in order for the album to have as long a lifespan as possible, they would need that extra time to generate interest and momentum. Her initial plan of 2 months would simply not be enough.
It reminded me of all the times I have worked on projects where “the mixes have to be finished by X date so it can go to mastering and duplication so they can have physical copies by such-and-such a date for the release party.” Release party?! We haven’t even finished the album! And now you want me to rush the mixes because you are too hasty with your release?
Stop and breathe!
Don’t get me wrong – deadlines can be crucial to get an artist to commit to finishing their works. But in my mind, never put unnecessary/false deadlines on your music (e.g. “I want it to be out for the holiday rush”, except you rush it out so quickly that no one got a chance to find out it was out!). Rather take a bit longer, make sure every track is 100% even if it adds an extra 3 months to your timeline. If you are not happy with how one of the songs turned out, take the time to go back and fix it (even re-record if necessary). Then you can focus your energy on a proper release strategy… the release that it deserves. If you do rush it, you will regret it and you never want to look back at your art and feel regret.
Because this is art – it is a representation of YOU. You never want to put anything out into the world that you don’t believe in. And you also want to give it the absolute best chance for success it can have which sometimes means waiting longer than you would like. Trust me, it will be worth it in the long run!
(PS. Unless it is a Christmas record. Releasing a Christmas record in January is probably not a recipe for success.)
Sean Spence is a record producer, engineer and owner of Blue Grotto Sound, an award-winning recording studio based in Brentwood, TN, just outside of Nashville.