Why do I need an online presence?

The short answer: TO GET PAID.

So I’m a poor, young jazz vocalist living in a city with limited performance opportunities for poor, young jazz vocalists. So I decide that traveling to play music in less musically-saturated cities might be nice. But I can’t necessarily afford to bring a band with me. Instead, I’d like to hire folks who are local to the area I’m visiting. How will I find players?

-a quick Google search

-personal recommendations

-I can’t think of any other ways. Just the 2.

Let’s say I’m a talented indie artist from Nashville looking to book a tour. I want to play in Washington, DC but I’ll need to split the bill with a local artist or two in order to increase draw. How will I find bands to play with?

-a quick Google search

-personal recommendations (followed by a quick Google search to vet the recommendations)

I’m a songwriter in Hong Kong and I want to find someone to record my music so I can put it in my friend’s YouTube animation videos (this is a real life story). How will I choose who should record my songs?

-a quick Google search

-personal recommendations

I’m a choral contractor and one of my sopranos has lost her voice last minute. I need another soprano for a vocal session in 18 hours. How will I find someone to replace my fallen diva?

YOU KNOW WHERE I’M GOING WITH THIS.

The most terrible and wonderful thing about the internet is that people can find you. But if they look for you, what are they going to see? Are they going to find an article about your high school science fair project, or are they going to find an amazing video of you showcasing your skills? Are they going to find a decaying Soundcloud page with mid-2000s emo ballads or will they find a professional looking webpage that earns their trust? Or will they be able to find you at all? Will their search only yield results about someone else in North Dakota who makes artisan toilet seat covers?

Here are my recommendations:

-If you are a musician, there needs to be a decent video available that displays your skills. Create a YouTube (it’s free) and upload your best video. Make sure the title, description, and tags are relevant and thorough. This will help people find you in a search. I always include “Abigail Flowers”, “Nashville”, “jazz singer”, and “baritone ukulele”.

-Think about a website. If that’s too expensive, do a landing page through Squarespace—I think it’s only $5/month and is still quite effective. If that’s too much, perhaps just purchase the domain name you want.

-If a website is too involved, you can create free profiles on Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube. Yeah, the whole social media empire is corrupt but why not use it for your benefit while you can? Again, make sure your page(s) include relevant information (name, location, instrument, accomplishments).

-Have a bio! Ask a friend to help if it’s too hard. Heck, hire me to write your bio.

-Professional photos are a big plus. They don’t have to be expensive. They just ought to be decent and not have an outrageous filter on them.

-INCLUDE. YOUR. LOCATION. PLEASE. FOR. THE. LOVE. OF. ALL. THAT. IS. HOLY.

If you are living your dream career and getting tons of gigs off of recommendations alone, then I offer you a virtual standing ovation. But if you’ve read this far, that’s probably not the case. I want you to get hired, but you can’t get hired if you’re hard to find. Make it easy for someone to decide you’re right for their gig. Do your best to quickly convey (through a website or social media profile):

-your name

-your general location

-your instrument (and other skills you offer, like arranging)

-what you actually sound like (video or recording)

-your credits (brag in a bio about what you’ve done and who you’ve worked with)

-contact information (email address or contact form on website)

That’s all I’ve got for now—share your thoughts and recommendations with me!

My first "published" arrangement!

Okay, I am SUPER excited because my arrangement of “I’ve Got A Crush On You” is available for purchase on Sheet Music Plus! They have a service that now takes care of licensing for tons of songs so you (I) can post arrangements easily. I’m hoping to get all my trio arrangements on there eventually, but I’m super excited to offer this one for now :) Check it out and send to a high school choir teacher! <3 https://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/21201674

What is Blossom?

I have spent a lot of my life feeling like a musical outsider. When I was in school, I was always in the ensemble of the musical. In college, I felt like “jazz” was for a certain type of person, and this certain type of person was smarter than me. After my tonsillectomy at age 20, I had to start from scratch and re-learn what my singing voice would sound like. It turns out that my new voice couldn’t belt as high or do as many runs. I tended to hang out in the shadow of “stronger” vocalists. As an adult, I’ve been rejected American Idol, The Voice, local wedding bands, and local every-other-kind-of bands.

But 3 and a half years ago, things changed. I got hired to sing jazz standards at a hotel in Michigan with a group of amazing musicians. Getting introduced to the Great American Songbook changed my life. And so did the time I spent with musicians who were confident enough in their own abilities to encourage me in mine. I came back from that experience with a renewed sense of passion and purpose. Despite being told “no” a fair amount in my career, I realized that I have unique skills that are worth pursuing. So I quit my full time job 18 months ago and have been a freelance musician ever since.

At first, I thought that other jazz musicians would look down on me for playing ukulele. And to be honest, they probably do. And to be more honest, I don’t give a crap anymore. Baritone ukulele is my favorite instrument to play. I think the ukulele is special because it’s so accessible. ANYONE can play ukulele. But there’s always more to learn; it’s not too small of an instrument for great musicians. It’s truly a fantastic instrument for any skill level. And I think music is an essential part of life. Anyone with an interest in music should be able to feel confident in their abilities, even if it’s just a hobby.

So Blossom is a place where I want to share my knowledge and encourage you on your musical journey. I want to share the ups and downs of my creative pursuits and help you feel fearless in yours. Everyone can be a musician. And everyone has room to grow. Let’s blossom together.