As an artist, you encounter a lot of opportunities to grow your music and your brand. One of the more common ways to get the word out there is by doing press interviews. Unfortunately, a lot of up and coming artists lack the basic skills needed to have a successful conversation with the press. In my experience, I have seen it plenty of times where the artist is giddy about being able to get an interview. But the second that they sit in the chair they panic & fumble over their words.
It’s completely okay to feel this way! Having nerves just makes you human. But it’s always better to prepare yourself for the day that happens. This is why I am here to give you some tips & tricks on how to nail that press interview.
How Do I Prepare?
A lot of artists that I know (and I mean A LOT) tend to fly by the seat of their pants when it comes to interviews. They think, “Oh yeah they’re just asking questions about myself that I should already know the answers to.” And sure, that may be the case! Some interviewers don’t have a lot of GOOD questions to ask unless you have some clout or a new project in the works. But regardless of how intensive the interview maybe, I always suggest to people that they need to do some kind of mental prep to get in the right head-space for an interview.
First things first, know who is doing your interview. Is it some college kid trying to make a name for themselves or are they a reputable person with hundreds of interviews behind them? Do a little bit of research to figure out the publication & the types of interviews that they typically do. All it takes is a simple google search for the pub’s name and you can find all of their past interviews and who has conducted them.
Once you figure out who is doing your interview, look into what kinds of questions they typically ask in a session. This will help you determine their style and what to expect when it’s your turn. This one technique alone will help you mentally prep for the questions that may be asked.
Don’t “pre-load” your answers to any questions that you THINK might come up. Pre-loading puts answers in your head and then you’ll find yourself rehearsing answers to questions. When the interview happens, people will often spit out their pre-loaded answers & it will either make no sense to the point of the question or it will sound heavily rehearsed (which is never good).
Another thing to be wary of is the fact that not every interview is the same. You may get that college student with minimal experience and not very many “inspiring” questions to ask. You may also get the seasoned professional who will drill you with tough questions that you have NO idea how to answer. That’s OK! That’s why it helps to prepare yourself.
Know Your Topics
You are the one person in this world that knows you and your music as well as you do. If you go into an interview and can’t answer the questions, you lose all credibility with the interviewer and then eventually your audience.
It is extremely important to have a full grasp of who you are as an artist and what kind of music you’re making. Go even deeper than the top level of your artistry. Understand why you chose that beat, what the lyrics mean, everything that has to do with you.
As long as you are a pro on yourself and YOUR music, you will be ready to jump into the interview with no problems whatsoever.
What about during the interview?
First things first, DON’T BE LATE! Again, you don’t want to ruin your credibility by showing up to your interview late. You also want to make sure that you’re dressing the part. No, I don’t mean dress up in a suit and a tie (unless that’s your brand). Dress how you want your audience to know you as. If you’re a hip-hop artist, dress like a hip-hop artist. The same goes for producers or bands. Know your branded attire & lean into that for every press interview.
Finally, speak with confidence. When answering questions, speak like you walk the walk & then talk the talk. Even if you may not have a completely solid answer to a question, answer it as you do. Speaking with confidence is one of the easiest ways to build your credibility as an artist.
As we near the end of this Monday’s post I wanted to point out the key aspects to nailing the press interview:
Research the Publication
Don’t “Pre-Load” answers
Be a You-Pro
Don’t Be Late
Dress to Your Brand
Speak with Confidence
At the end of the day, interviews are never as bad as they seem going into them. You work yourself up thinking about all of the ways things can go wrong when all it takes is a little preparation and confidence to ace it. Every artist started not having a clue how to do their interviews and now some of them are the greatest public speakers in the world. You can do it, we have faith. Now go out there and ace that press interview.
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