Publicity doesn’t work unless you do! Only Beyoncé can afford to turn down interviews because duh she is Beyoncé. She is the only person to be on the Vogue magazine cover without an interview spread in the actual magazine.
Due to popular demand, here’s an article on how best to handle interviews as an artist.
You and your team must have a story to tell.
If you have nothing new to say or to publicise please just turn down the interview and let’s not waste each other’s time. Every interview should tell the public something new about you. To be newsworthy we need the inside scoop, never seen before, exclusive content. We are tired of hearing where you grew up and that you sang in the church choir. Think to yourself, “When I was a young artist what did I want to learn the most?” And then give us that!
You must have objectives on what you want to achieve with the interview.
Are you pushing new music? Is there an upcoming collabo? Did you just clinch a new brand ambassador deal? Are you trying to tap into a new audience? Do you want to clear up an issue? Knowing what you want to achieve in doing interviews will help you to leverage them to your advantage. Do research on the publication which wants to interview you and ask yourself what their readers want to know about you. Forbes wants to know how much you make and how you made it. TMZ just wants to know who you’re entangled with. See the difference? If you tell Forbes about your sex life usulahlekile!
Please plug yourself and your team
They have requested an interview because you are a hot topic. Don’t fumble the opportunity. This is the time to shamelessly sell yourself and celebrate your team. Tell us who does what? Who dresses you? Which brands do you represent. Being a brand ambassador isn’t just a title, you have to advertise that brand. This is how you clinch brand deals. Khanyi Mbau went live to talk about her skin bleaching and a Castle Lite bottle was there, it was not an accident. It’s called product placement. Brands hire you so that they can advertise through you, make it worth it for them which in turn makes it lucrative for you.
The actual interview questions
If it’s a magazine, they will send you the questions before hand. There is no reason why you should mess this up because you can literally ask someone to write the responses for you. These questions aren’t set in stone so set your own questions if you must. The interviewer probably doesn’t know your future plans so use this platform to create a teaser about them. Show off awards. Show off your corporate social responsibility. Sell yourself! You can’t sell yourself with one sentence answers.
Q: What’s your creative journey like when making music?
A: Ah you know, it is what it is.
What have you even said khonapho? Utheni?
Interviews are like being on stage, with the mic in your hand and everyone is watching, what are you gonna say?
Have professional images ready
You should always be prepared for any opportunity. Whether it’s a concert, a magazine feature or a speaking engagement. This isn’t even hard. One photoshoot with 5 outfit changes can suffice. Yikho abanye they don’t have their picture on a concert flyer because it looks like you took the picture with a Nokia 3310. If you don’t provide good images we will dig up old embarrassing ones on your social media. Refuse to send the interviewer pictures via WhatsApp because it depreciates the picture quality. Email them instead.
NB: You signed up to this industry by yourself and looks are everything here! If you can’t keep up rather become something else behind the curtain like a songwriter or producer or manager. Suk’ emabhozen’
Say Thank you and hype up the article
If we write an article about you and it doesn’t do well in terms of traffic, we won’t bother asking you next time. We need to invest our energy into things that bring in traffic which brings in revenue. Sharing the article adds to your clout. It says to people that you are newsworthy and they should sit up and take notice. Keep a list of your interview links or make an In-the-Press section on your website. When you are applying for Twitter verification, these links will come in handy.
Saying Thank You should be obvious but anyway, it’s important to show gratitude and cultivate good relations with the media personnel. Know them, connect with them on social media, keep a database of their names, contact details and publications for every time you have a press release. Offer them an exclusive story and please stop telling us things we can find out by just Google’ing you.