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Can't knock the hustle

Unsigned artist masters self-promotion

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When it comes to the fine art of self-promotion, Beau Hall is a total ham. He likes to describe himself as a taller, whiter version of Prince. And he's halfway right, considering he not only wrote, produced and independently released UNH!, his debut CD of blues, rock and funk, but he also manages his artist website (www.beaurocks.com), writes his own press releases and acts as a one-man street team promoting his band, Beau Hall & the Magnificent 7. By taking pleasure in the promotional plight of the independent artist, he's developed his own tried-and-true formula for creating buzz. Whatever you do, according to Hall, don't check your ego at the door.

I started writing my own [publicity material] because when I started my solo act, I wanted it to be from me. Prior to that I was trying to write in a much more professional voice and sound like an actual reviewer, using haughty words. Finally, I decided everybody knows it's coming from me, so who are we kidding? So I just started writing almost the way that I talk in person. I do some editing because I cuss too much when I'm myself.

And so a lot of my self-promotion experience is one-on-one. I walk around with fliers in my back pocket. ... It's the hardest thing to do, cause nobody – especially an artist – wants to walk up and start talking about themselves. Everybody's all hesitant and wants someone else to be their mouthpiece because no one believes it if it's from you.

And this is the other hard part that musicians have [to deal with]: taking hold of your ego and riding it as opposed to squashing it down and going, "Oh, I don't know if someone would like my songs or not." Uh-uh. My songs are good. And that's going to come across as egotistical whether it's in print or it's a radio interview. So I turn that into a joke. And when I do radio interviews, the DJs that have interviewed me already know that. Like it says on my website, of all the people in the room I'm my biggest fan. And my last set of fliers I handed out said "the greatest entertainer I've ever seen," in quotes. And then underneath it in small print: "Beau Hall, critic."

And again, it's one of those things where if I can't laugh at me, then no one will and it'll be a miserable, uphill battle. But if I make a joke about how awesome my stuff is, that might be a novelty.


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