Here is an exclusive interview with Dorian Perron! Hope you enjoy.

Of course! I started as an indie music blogger in 2013, sharing music that I liked and thought didn’t receive the attention it deserved. I also organized live acoustic sessions at my place and live shows in Paris with indie rock musicians such as Ryley Walker, Plants and Animals etc. It was more passion than a job, but the virus caught me (not the one you’re all thinking about ;)). I met with my co-founders Romain & Rafaël in California in 2018, they had music projects and had struggled with getting their new tracks heard from blogs, radios, record labels etc. On my side, even knowing my blog Indeflagration was small, I was receiving over 100 requests per day from artists and their representatives wanting to get their music featured!

When we met in California, we wanted to help independent artists, that was for sure. We knew they had problems and wanted to do everything at once. But instead of going right into it, we started by taking phone calls with more than 200 musicians and music industry professionals for a full month, and we understood very quickly that the most major issue they were facing was related to the nightmare they were experiencing to promote their music and try to get heard. That’s why we created Groover.

Through those calls and meetings, it was not hard to realize that artists needed help in order to stand out from the crowd when supposedly 80,000 new tracks are released each day on Spotify. We realized that the biggest bottleneck exists after the track is created, recorded, mixed/mastered. The barriers to production and distribution are already brought down thanks to production software, streaming platforms and digital distributors. 

That’s why we created Groover when we came back to France from California. Our goal from the start has been to help artists emerge through influential channels such as blogs, radios, playlists curators, starting with guaranteeing that their music would be listened to and that they’d receive feedback. To help them break this wall of the first listening that could change things, and sometimes change everything.

To say it short – be ready for the sales pitch 😉 – Groover is the web platform that helps artists get their music heard. Groover connects artists who want to promote their music with the best curators, radios and labels seeking emerging talents. 

To get started, it’s easy! You can add a Youtube or Soundcloud link to the track you’d like to promote, and send your music directly to a selection of blogs, radios, playlist curators, record labels and pros of your choice, get feedback guaranteed, build your network and increase your visibility. Feel free to have a look at this short guide to get started easily on Groover

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Groover is for all independent artists who want to get more people to listen to their music, to build their network and progress. We’ve been amazed by the kinds of artists who have used Groover to increase their coverage through blogs, radios and playlist curators so far, from amazing projects such and labels as Nico & Vinz, Tchamy, La Femme, to complete discoveries and artists releasing their very first track. You can even use Groover to get detailed feedback on your unfinished track from mentors and sound experts, and also get in touch with record labels, publishers & managers.

Let’s also note that Groover is also a great tool for artists representatives such as managers, record label owners, publishers. They can capitalize on their recurring use of the platform to target even better the right contacts for all the artists they work with.

What Groover guarantees is that artists will get their tracks listened to and feedback from the curators and pros they’ve reached out to. If some don’t answer after 7 days, the artists get Grooviz – the name of our credits on the website – back. The current answer rate on Groover is around 90%. This means that if you send a campaign to 40 contacts, you’ll get in average 36 answers and get Grooviz back to send your track – or another one! – to 4 more music curators & pros of your choice.

You must wonder what kind of feedback you can expect. All the curators & pros have to agree to a charter before they’re approved on Groover, and to several principles. The most important ones are: be informative and constructive, explanatory and sincere, benevolent and encouraging. We want artists to get value out of the feedback they receive, be pushed forward, either understand how their music is perceived or find ways to improve.

The content of the feedback depends a lot on the types of curators you’re reaching out to. Mentors, sound specialists, record labels, managers will naturally tend to be more detailed and comment. On the contrary, radio stations and playlist curators sometimes have trouble judging a track on top of saying it’s a fit for their list or not.

More interesting of course is the fact that curators and pros can share the tracks they receive or get in touch with the artists. It happens on average in 20-25% of the cases, with huge variations based on the quality of the music and the accuracy of the targeting. Since Groover started, there have been more than 1 million pieces of feedback given, 250k shares and more than 500 signatures with record labels… That we know about!

The artist dashboard gathers all the replies obtained by artists from the curators & pros which they have chosen to get in touch with on Groover

The artist dashboard gathers all the replies obtained by artists from the curators & pros which they have chosen to get in touch with on Groover

I’ll say it shorter on this one haha 😉 First, they get the tracks in an optimized dashboard which is as easy to use as a playlist, they can make their decision and share the tracks they like through it and save a lot of time. Second, they get high quality music much more in their editorial line since we guide artists to choose the most relevant curators and pros for them. Music curators & pros on Groover tend to receive really amazing music on the platform! Third and last, they get paid for each reply they give, whatever their decision is. So they keep their complete editorial independence while discovering new music gems at the same time.

So many… I mean, so many things I wouldn’t have imagined would happen! Starting with how the team evolved, with now more than 35 people working for Groover who amaze me and my co-founders Romain and Rafaël every day. 

And also of course there’s nothing more satisfying than witnessing artists who’ve been using Groover from the start getting amazing results, making life changing encounters, building their team through the platform… And killing it on stage! Our artist accelerator Groover Obsessions is also particularly dear to me as it was a dream to be able to help artists boost their careers even further. The 30 artists who are part of it are family now, and we have a team of 5 working every day on pushing them to where they deserve to be.

The band Ninety’s Story on stage at our Groover Obsessions 1st anniversary in December ‘21

The band Ninety’s Story on stage at our Groover Obsessions 1st anniversary in December ‘21

Oh, I know! People are extremely creative in the music space, it’s extraordinary. But on the contrary, you won’t find as many people being very… let’s say… organized. When I was doing my studies, I started a small music blog and I was able to obtain so many free festival passes, vinyl discs, CDs just by sending professional emails detailing exactly what I was going to do in return. More generally, this also has to do with the fact that the music industry can be much more open to newcomers than other industries, especially on the “pro” side. 

So the first piece of advice would be: always try, you’ll never regret it. You can try to get in touch with whoever you want in the music space, nothing can stop you if you’re nice, professional and if you know what you want!

The second piece of advice, especially if you want to start a service/platform would be to talk to the people you’re trying to address. Before starting Groover, we interviewed more than 200 artists and music professionals, long and detailed interviews that led us to understand how much promoting your music as an artist was painful and how game changing it would be to solve that issue.

We hope you liked our exclusive interview with Dorian Perron!

Want to try Groover out? Pirate users can now enjoy a 10% discount. Sign up on Groover and use the code VAMPRGROOVERVIP [more explanations on how to apply the special discount here]

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Exclusive Interview with Dorian Perron. The goal of Groover is to help artists emerge through influential channels like blogs, radios, playlists curators

This post is a collaboration with: PosterMyWall – a free album cover maker

Create a professional album cover in 6 simple steps

Releasing an album is a strenuous, but fun, process!

You’ve created the music, considered music publishing and prepared for release – but you’re still getting started! Finally it’s time to bring all that hard work to fruition and make sure your music reaches the world!

Before you jumping into free music distribution to Spotify and other digital stores, you must create an enticing album cover.

This should not only represent your music, but also appeal to your audience.

Here are some great tips on how to make the perfect album cover for your music.

1. Consider your audience

Whether you’re a Pop artist or Hip Hop rapper, there are different expectations from fans.

When thinking about how to create an album cover, start with some research. Assessing work by your favourite artists is a great first step.

A great piece of album art can help tell an overall story conveyed by an artist.

An album cover Hip Hop artists would use (like Drake’s album cover for Nothing Was The Same) would take a different approach to creating an album cover if you were Taylor Swift.

Going beyond “generic” and telling a story (whilst appealing to your target audience) is the way to make your album cover part of your art.

In the examples below, both artworks depict a profile view of each artist. The differences between each are subtle but are the key details that speak to their audience.

Drake's album cover Taylor Swift's Album Cover

In Drake’s album cover we see the shaving in his haircut, his gold chain and the graffiti font, which are indications to a Hip Hop/RnB audience.

The painted portrait and the blue sky, tell a bit of the album’s story.

In Taylor’s album cover, we see:

These subtleties speak to a different audience to the Drake album.

The shadow over her face, what she might be looking at and the why? of the art start to tell a story of the album.

2. Select the right colors to represent your music

Bands or musicians typically have a special color palette. Their fans automatically associate these colors with them and their music.

When designing your own album cover, it’s important for you to go for colors that represent both your music and your personality as a musician.

When selecting the perfect color palette for your album cover, ask yourself the following questions:

Once you have the answers to these questions, you’ll be able to create a mood board of colors and create the perfect combination to add to your album cover.

For instance, if you want people to dance and feel happy, use warmer, brighter colors together. If the album is melancholic, use blue or some variation of cooler colors, or go with a single, dark-colored tone.

How to create an album cover

3. Add in some on-brand visuals

The images you add to your album cover will be the most central aspect that people take note of.

To create an album cover that catches people’s attention, you need to place specific focus on the sort of imagery you will be adding to it.

Ideally, the visuals on your album cover should be representative of you as a musician and the kind of music you’re creating for your fans. They should also encompass the image you want to portray to your listeners.

Some artists like to go the old school route and add in their own picture as the primary visual on an album cover. This is especially the case if this is your debut album. Others like to add in a visual that best portrays the sort of music they create.

If your music is more melancholic with a slow beat, go for some minimalistic imagery with a blend of colors. If your music is upbeat and chaotic, go for a maximalist image or a collage that showcases everything you want your listener to feel.

How to create cover art

Streaming platforms and stores can be strict about what they display. There are some things to avoid in your album cover design. Avoid:

Nudity, violence or illegal activity will also be contested. So, if you want to depict these in a creative way you will have to be really careful and potentially work with your distributor to get this right.

4. Choose a fun font for your album name

Your album name, like everything else, should be presented in a way that best represents what it’s about.

This will be much easier to figure out once you’ve planned out your aesthetic by following the first three tips.

If you’ve made a hip hop album, a loud font would be a good fit. On the other hand, if you’ve made an indie album, a simple sans serif font would do a good job if you want to depict a more sombre vibe. For some softer, feel-good music, try out a nice cursive font.

5. Consider your design on multiple platforms

Once you’re done designing your album cover, the next step is to get it ready to be marketed. This means releasing your album on multiple other platforms, both online and offline.

Your cover will have to be high resolution and look good as a small box in the corner of a screen. At the same time, your cover also needs to work on large vinyl records, CDs, and billboards.

So, before you finalise your album cover, adjust your design style accordingly.

Keep in mind different places your album will be visible and ensure it still stands out. Adjust your design according to different sizes and see if everything is still visible and aesthetically sound.

You can also resize your album cover into social media posts to amp up your online presence and get your followers excited.

6. What is the size of an album cover?

The dimensions for album covers are:

Digital

For digital releases, such as to Spotify or Apple Music, your artwork needs to be at least 1600×1600 pixels. Although, 3000×3000 is recommended.

CD

When it comes to making artwork for print, you must consider the dpi (dots per inch). A higher dpi produces a higher quality image when printed. Therefore, you should work with at least 300dpi.

A CD cover dimension is 4.72×4.72 inches. This in pixels at 300dpi is 1416×1416.

Vinyl

As with CD, vinyl covers must be printed.

At 300dpi, a 12 inch album cover would need to be 3600×3600 pixels.

Final thoughts

Your music deserves to be heard, which is why it’s so important to get the album cover right.

The key takeaway here is to focus on individual elements and make sure each one is perfect.

Online design tools like PosterMyWall’s album cover maker include a lot of fabulous album cover templates. These will help inspire you to get started on your own.

Throughout the designing process, remember to stay true to yourself as an artist. Show people what your brand is like and what your music represents.