Hobby #6: A Call to Action

Four Steps to Give Ukrainian Musicians a #LilBoost #Music4Ukraine

I recently made a post called “Listen for a Cause” where I encouraged readers to do a little research into the Ukrainian music scene which has been interrupted by the Russian invasion.  Prior to that, it was disrupted by Covid like the rest of the world. 

As the war drags on, those of us who want to support our brothers and sisters in the Ukraine may be looking for new and creative ways to do so.  I’ve been encouraging people to go YouTube, Spotify, Bandcamp, and other streaming services to give Ukrainian artists a boost.  Perhaps this will help provide them with steady income while it is difficult to book gigs.

Photo by Katie Godowski on Pexels.com

If you want to help here are some simple and fun steps, you can take right now to help.

Listen to music from Ukraine -Seek out Ukrainian artists on Spotify, YouTube, or the streaming service of your choice. If you are unfamiliar with Ukrainian music, you might not know where to start.  Below is a playlist of artists I’ve been listening to start there and when you hear something you like please listen to more songs by that artist.  I’ve also been publishing a series called Hasty Music Reviews.  Each post gives a brief description of a Ukrainian song and I compare it to Western artists.  If you like the artist I mention, then there’s a good chance you may enjoy the artist featured in the post.

This is an example of a playlist that you can use to educate yourself or others about Ukrainian music. You can use songs from this list to create your own content or feel free to share this list without creating new content.

Reflect on the music – You can listen passively if you want, but ultimately, you’re going to want to convince others to check out the great tunes you found.  That will be easier if you know exactly why you liked it.  How did the song make you feel? How is it like music you enjoy? Do you have any friends or family that you think would enjoy it too?

Spread the Word – Streaming services pay fractions of a penny per stream, so to have any significant effect we need to get lots of people listening.  Be a social media influencer and spread the word about the great music you find.  Reach out the influencers you follow and ask them to post about their favorite Ukrainian artists too.

There are many great ways you can do this.

1. Write posts on social media about the great bands you find.

2. Share playlists of your favorite songs.

3. Create your own original content like blogs, music reviews, reaction videos, lyric videos, or cover versions.

4. Create a hashtag and follow hashtags created by others like #Music4Ukraine.

5. Reach out to friends and encourage them to do the same in real life and online.

6. Ask social media influencers to join the cause.

Purchase Merch – I know times are tough for many folks around the world.  Many people trimming back their discretionary spending around the globe, but you can always consider spending money on albums, shirts, posters, or other merchandise if you are able and willing to do so.

Concluding Thoughts

I sincerely hope you’ll join me supporting the people of Ukraine. I hope you’ll reach back to me and recommend your favorite songs to me so I can check them out, and I’ll continue to do the same for you.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Pexels.com

We don’t have to limit ourselves to just supporting Ukrainian musicians. In this particular case we’re using music to support musicians, so it’s easy and natural. However, I’m sure with a little creativity you can adapt this model to support any social cause. I hope you’ll take the idea and run with it and let music inspire you to make the world a better place.

Thoughts on Sponsored Content

April 1, 2022

I know the internet is full of people who are sensitive about advertisements and the role that influencers have on sales. I’ve got mixed feelings on the topic myself, and now that I’m creating something and putting it into the world, I’ll have to figure out how to proceed. So let’s start that conversation here.

I should make it clear; I don’t have any sponsors. Honestly, I don’t think I have any readers yet. This blog has only been active for a few weeks. I haven’t even told anyone I’m doing it and I don’t think anyone has seen it. As of the time I’m writing this, there have been three hits and they were most likely all me. I don’t expect sponsors will be knocking down my door anytime soon, although I admit, I wouldn’t be opposed to sponsorship if it were offered.

That being said, it’s not too early to consider how to handle talking about products, because even though I’m not paid to say so, my opinions about certain products may be considered an endorsement.

I’ve been putting links to some of the products I’ve used in the blog. I don’t have to do that, but I think it could be interesting or helpful to anyone working on a similar project.

For instance, when I link to a product, such as the HX Stomp that I have mentioned many times, I have to make a choice. I could decide to link to the Line 6 webpage which would give you some great information about the product. Alternatively, I could link to the Sweetwater website which would help you buy it quickly. Of course, I could just as easily link you to the Guitar Center website that would get you the same product from a different company. Is it right for me to endorse one major box store over another? I don’t know. I like them both and I shop at them both. I could just as easily link to one of the many YouTube channels that reviewed the HX stomp and that would give you yet another perspective. That could help an up-and-coming influencer get started.

Honestly, I don’t know what the right strategy is. I don’t know if it makes a big difference, any option I choose may show an actual bias that I have. It just as easily may suggest a bias I don’t have but APPEAR to have. I don’t have any qualms about telling you about great products when I find them, why should I? I want you to love making music and great gear helps! If I find crappy gear, I’m not likely to use it, so I probably won’t be writing much about the negative experiences (unless it really pisses me off, then I reserve the right to rant). So please, understand that this is a bias that I have- I’m going to write about the good stuff, and as of now I’m doing it because I want to, no one is paying me for my opinion.

You probably believe me now because I’m nobody. You’ve never heard of me, and neither has anyone at Sweetwater except for my Customer Service Rep (shoutout to Adam Caesar) and maybe the folks at my local Guitar Centers. The burden is on you, dear buyer, you’ve got to be an educated buyer. I did the research myself before I bought the HX stomp by looking at all of those resources. I like it and find it to be a hugely useful tool in my studio. You might think the same thing, you might not. I don’t know. I’d be curious to hear your opinions on this product or any of the others I mention.

I’m also interested if a certain type of link is more useful to you, my readers (if you exist). Leave a comment or email me. Let me know. Right now I have no corporate masters, so mold me as you want me to be and I’ll see how I can best support your needs.