How to Approach the Music Industry with your Press Release: Tragic Sasha

Our alumna Tragic Sasha lets us in on the secret of writing a winning press release...


Tragic Sasha, aka BA Songwriting alumna Sasha Gurney, has seen major success with her music since completing her studies with ICMP.

She's received millions of streams across various platforms, official playlisting in stores such as H&M and has managed to do it all independently without a label or a manager.

Sasha cites her tightly built press releases as one of the notable reasons for her acclaim. We chatted with her about why they're so important when it comes to making a good impression...

What are the key things to include when making a press release?

Most importantly, the dates for the key assets surrounding the release, such as the audio and/or video release dates. Another important thing to include is a little biography of your artist project. So where are you from? What influences your music? What have been any key highlights in your career as an artist so far? I always make sure I've written a few things about the song itself; such as an explanation of the lyrical content and how I found the writing process.

I think it's really important to include a photo in the body of the press release to show the branding of your music. With a strong visual, the person reading it will already be able to tell what kind of music you make before they even get to the text."

Who are you sending your press releases to?

For my artist project, I usually contact blogs/ industry by finding out the type of music they write about. I only contact people who write about my influences and similar artists to myself, with a short email introducing myself and how I found their work. I've found that it's better to keep the email short, include a link to the intended track on SoundCloud and a link to my press release on a Google Drive/another private online folder, so they don't have to download anything.

Is there anything you’d avoid putting in your press release?

When writing a press release, I try and make the body of text as personable as possible by mentioning my influences and the genre of my music, keeping the tone light and humorous. But it's also important to be able to talk about any previous successes, which I've always found a little difficult."

I think the main problem I've always had is finding a balance between sounding too modest and sounding overconfident, so it's important to fine-tune this section of the press release in order to come across well to the reader.

When do you send out your press releases?

For me, when I'm working out when to send press releases, it usually depends who I'm contacting. For large blogs such as The Line of Best Fit, Clash, DIY, and The 405, I try and send out my press releases one month prior to the official release, as it can take some time for the writers to get back to you. With smaller blogs, I usually use a site called SubmitHub where the turnover is much quicker, and I leave two weeks.

For contacting independent Spotify playlisters, I usually leave one week before release, as I've found they don't generally like to have to wait until it's out to playlist it. And finally, I've found with industry people such as label A&R's, radio producers, publishers etc, it's better to wait until the track is out and there is some traction/press.

How has the Careers and Industry Hub helped you with your press releases and strategies?

I love The Hub. It has helped me out with lots of things in the past - and it's helped me build a strategy for all my releases. They are great in terms of organisation of artist projects and implementing direct contact with the industry.

Visit Tragic Sasha's Facebook page for more. Listen to 'Ouch' below: 

Connect with our Careers and Industry Hub

If you're an ICMP student or graduate then please keep in touch and let us know what you're up to Also, don't forget that our careers and industry liaison team continue to be available to you after graduation, providing advice and connections to help further your career.

If you're interested in taking your music industry career to the next level, then please join us on our next Open Day. You can find out more and book your place here.

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by Scott Colcombe
November 29, 2019
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