Last updated on October 3rd, 2022
The Muze community is a place where you’re certain to find entities within the music trade whose skills are imperative to furthering your own career. While our platform is pretty much limited to musicians and the like, those other agents of the business are almost always within arm’s reach if you’re looking in the right places. Everybody knows somebody, and if that somebody is worth knowing, you should get a move on knowing them. My point in all of this is that there will always be someone who is there to help you along the way, and when it comes to things like making videos, managing finances, social media strategy, or any other facet of the business that you’re not totally familiar with, it’s worth your time and pride to ask for help.
However, there are times when you can resort to the good ol’ fashion art of just doing it yourself. Let’s circle back to the first of those few examples I just provided: making videos. I want to focus in on the channel of visual art that so many musicians have utilized since the rise of social media. More specifically, video blogging- or “vlogging,” as the kids say.
A vlog – often produced and delivered on YouTube – is an online diary that you can film yourself or with the help of others that chronicles parts of your musical career or personal life that are interesting. Vlogging is a great way to humanize the face behind the voice and establishes a sort of personality between you and your fans. It also helps people stay engaged and interested in you in between shows/record releases, so when all is said and done, why wouldn’t you start a vlog? If it seems like a lot of work or you just flat out feel like you’re not up to the task of talking into a camera for an extended period of time, bear these things in mind:
- Everything in this business takes work,
- You’re going to have to adjust to being in the public eye on virtually all fronts, and if people are willing to listen to your music, they’re probably going to be interested in anything else that defines you.
Meet Karly Driftwood
For this piece, I reached out to one of my dearest friends here in Nashville. I met Karly Driftwood in the winter of 2017, and since then, we’ve bonded over our shared love of Rob Zombie, dark humor, and all things spooky. Karly is a full time musician who has toured the country on her own dime more times than I can count, and I can’t think of anyone more self-sufficient in a 360 degree way. She also started a vlog a while back that she has kept up and running for quite some time, so I decided to pick her brain on how it helped her, how she got started, and what kind of material she generally filmed in order to keep her fanbase engaged in her day-to-day life on the road and here at home in Music City.
So, without further adieu, allow me to introduce Karly Driftwood.
What are the benefits of starting a vlog?
“I feel like vlogging helps you connect with your audience. They get to see into your day to day life and are able to get to know you in a personal way, more than just through music. There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes that I feel like people would enjoy getting a closer look at, especially when I’m recording or preparing to release music.”
This is a good point – while it can indeed be a draining and tedious process, being in the studio is something most people are at least a little curious about. If you’re tactful about what you show your audience as you record a song, you can show them the exciting parts of the process and get them amped up to listen to your new single.
How often would you post a video?
“I would pick a content day and then edit throughout the week. It takes a lot of time to edit, so once a week on YouTube was the goal.”
So yes, handling the filming and editing process can take time and extra work, but it’s a lot cheaper than hiring a video crew to follow you around whenever you’re planning on doing something cool. Most of these videos are filmed with little more than an iPhone, and a program like Vimeo or some other editing software is relatively easy to navigate.
What kind of content would you film?
“Really just anything that shows that you have an interesting life. You have to be doing something interesting. For a while, I was working the front desk at a strip club – charging cover, talking to the customers… that kind of thing. I would film my funny conversations with people, ask them questions, and just sort of provide an overview of any given night there. It also really played into my brand well.”
If you’ve ever met Karly or know anything about her music, you know full well what she means when she talks about her “brand.” She’s about as edgy and fearless of an artist you’re likely to meet. Her style is dark, debaucherous, and decadent in all the right ways, so her interactions while working at a strip club made for excellent vlog material.
Other tips for anyone starting a vlog?
“I think voice-overs on videos are easier as someone just starting out. It’s hard to keep consistent volume and audio filming in various locations in one day. So just doing a voice-over narrating the whole video helps a lot. You’ll eventually get the hang of other methods that rely on audio right there in the scene, but it’s helpful to learn what works well before you get to that point. There’s nothing more frustrating that doing all of that hard work only to not be able to hear yourself.”
This is a simple step you can take before it’s too late, but it’s also one you can totally discard if you’re not aware of how important it is. Unless you have some decent audio equipment that’s hooked up at all times, you can’t rely solely on your iPhone’s microphone. Maybe you have a conversation with someone that’s laugh-out-loud hilarious. How furious would you be after finding out that you didn’t even capture the punchlines properly? Also, subtitles are a nifty little tool as well.
You can check out Karly’s vlog here.