As anyone knows, the idea of touring in Europe, while it presents a monumental opportunity, also represents a significant expense. In this piece rapper Kosha Dillz shares some suggestions for how to set up a tour of Europe without breaking the bank.
Guest post by indie rapper Kosha Dillz
- Go to a major festival and promote yourself. You can always check back to my old article about that. I recently gave someone a ride to Coachella and he ended up being the editor of Noisey Switzerland. You will always meet friends from other countries. I have and I connect with them and do things with them musically.
- Utilize Facebook friends from your personal page. - You would be surprised of how epic Facebook is overseas. I feel it is a true way to reach out to people and you can find a lot through mutual friends and searches of venues and bookers.
- Flyer, Stickers, Cards and Gifts for all - Add people to your email list. Add people to gifting list. Give people stuff. Anytime you meet someone from another country, they are your first opportunity to be a fan of you.
- Look up every venue from your favorite artist in your genre - If you look it up, I a started tagging along with others in hopes to get a slot. My first gig in UK was tagging along with Rza, and Rza didn’t even show up. I went to the club called Matter in the 02, and I persuaded them to give me 15 minutes. That was my debut in the UK. The story is longer but the job got done.
- Look up things on Pollstar - You don’t even need a pollster account, but you can do well if you have one. THe public forum allows you to click on artists. For instance, see where Danny Brown is playing, or Open Mike Eagle, or Never Shout Never, or Andy Frasco and the U.N. or Mac Demarco. All of them will play festivals and clubs, and that is open season for you to check out these places.
- Buy your own ticket to Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam - Nothing beats buying your own ticket to Europe. I bought a delta roundtrip flight to Prague my first time in Europe. I took a bus to Hradec Kralove for Hip Hop Kemp, and got guest stage time with a friend. I sold Cd’s vinyl, and almost made my money back selling merch. Best part of the story…I bought my OWN TICKET. No one will fly you out.
- Hire an international publicist - I am currently in Israel pushing my song Dodging Bullets ft. Matisyahu in Israel. I also hire a woman out of Germany to push my music to various blogs. When you invest in an area that you have no base at, it is the easiest way to be considered more than someone else who is trying the same thing.
- Busking - Nothing ever hurt besides busking, and you can make good cash doing it. Lots of the shows you might be missing out on because you think you need to look for one on the internet all day. You will also keep money in your wallet.
- Help Others where you can - If you can help someone don’t hesitate. Sometimes you can do exchanges but I am particularly good in America. I help people here in the most situations, including SXSW, and that gives me even one lead in Europe I am happy! Maybe there is a way to to give three times and get one in exchange, I’d do it all day for Euro contacts! Even if not, it is good karma.
- 15 seconds of fame - 15 minutes of fame - I would fly across the World to rap one song. I still do it today. I just did that with Matisyahu and we played massive festivals all around the world for our song Dodging Bullets. From that, I met other contacts and developed personal relationships. Collaboration is key. Who is a bigger artist you collaborate with?
- Drop of CDs and be personal - I went to Melkweg in Amsterdam when I guested with Matisyahu, and since then I toured with Snoop Dogg, played at least 5 festivals in Holland and always have a place to stay in town. I got to tell you , stopping by and writing a note works better than any email I have ever sent.
- COME TO SXSW AND DO SOMETHING - if you don’t have SXSW planned, you must know that tons of international buyers are there and I have been doing it there for 10 years. This year, I have my own SXSW SHOWCASE for the 6th year. Let me know if you need a place to play. I can help! (contact me at email@example.com )