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IndieGogo campaign: Hiring a Music Writer Who Wants to Work for You

I’m the Canadian Music Editor for PopMatters.com, a website that generates 1.3 million unique visitors globally each month..

I help new bands by reviewing them.

In many cases, I’m the first professional reviewer with global reach for these bands and musicians, and I’ve received appreciation for my work. It’s a good feeling.

Here are just some of the Ottawa bands or artists that I’ve written about (and consider these “blurbs” for these musicians):

wotts: http://www.popmatters.com/review/189196-wotts-a-ep/ The Gallop: http://www.popmatters.com/review/188897-the-gallop-tall-tale-tellers-ep/ Flying Fortress: http://www.popmatters.com/review/188964-flying-fortress-dirty-rain/ Just Poets: http://www.popmatters.com/review/188530-just-poets-painting-pictures-in-the-darkness/ Gold and Marrow: http://www.popmatters.com/review/188639-gold-marrow-forever/ Vyc Vyper: http://www.popmatters.com/review/188639-gold-marrow-forever/ (A full list of my reviews and features is here: http://www.popmatters.com/archive/contributor/348/ .)

I’ve also contributed a couple of articles to OttawaShowbox.com about records that were released by Ottawa-area bands in the past and are now out-of-print – but deserve to be still heard.

Paperjack: http://www.ottawashowbox.com/2014/12/throwback-thursday-paperjack-effort-ill-never-get-back-2001/ Fireweed: http://www.ottawashowbox.com/2014/12/fireweed-aka-fireweed-company-drinking-man-1994/ Now, I’m willing to provide expertise to UNSIGNED musicians. In saying this, if you agree to use my services I WILL NOT, I repeat, WILL NOT review your album or EP for PopMatters.com. I have to maintain my journalistic integrity. Nor, if you have an album or EP out there or about to be released, will I ever ask you for money for review consideration. That’s my pledge.

However … .

If you’re still struggling to get heard and get the stars aligned for you, I can help you.

For one, I can listen to your demos and tell you what’s great and the thing about your music or act that will twig the interest of the media (I have seven years of freelance journalism experience for the likes of SPIN, Canadian Business, the National Post, the Ottawa Citizen and others). I have connections with writers in Canadian music and the metal genre. And where I don’t have connections, hey, I know people who I can turn to for advice.

I will also tell you – quite honestly – what stinks and needs fixing. (One of the most flattering things I was ever told by a fan of my music writing via e-mail is that I “tell it like it is”, which was helpful to this individual in terms of buying music. I think I still have the email if you want to see it.)

WARNING: If you agree to hire me to listen to your music for honest feedback, that feedback is yours and yours alone. If I find my feedback as a quote in the press anywhere, I will get mad. You won’t like me when I’m angry. :-) Seriously, you have to agree to protect my reputation.

I can go to your shows and critique the live experience for you. I also used to do the odd Fashion article for the Ottawa Citizen. I’m no Joan Rivers (RIP), but I can say a few things about your image and how you’re projecting yourself. Stage presence and all that.

I can write a press release. I can help you get it into the hands of the media – I won’t send it, because I’m sort of in the journalism profession, but I still have some connections locally and nationally, and I can tell you which particular people you can send it to based on my experience.

I also know and deal with major indie music publicists in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. I make no guarantees in terms of getting deals with publicists or labels, but I can point you in the direction of publicists who deal in various genres of music and might be receptive to your work.

I realize this is information you can look up yourself for free, but that’s time. Or you can come to me with your music for a hopefully reasonable fee, and I can recommend people based on your style and genre – and this is information I have, more or less, at my fingertips. Consider this me doing the research for you. It’s up to you if you want to hire these individuals or not. I know the odd person at a label, mostly indie, here and there. I can point you in certain directions. NOTE: I will not approach these publicists directly for you, nor am I aware of their fees necessarily. But I can say so-and-so might be into representing your brand of music based on what I know about them.

I also can do liner notes. Obviously, I have to like your music and, if I don’t, I’ll refund you save the cost of listening to your music. But, imagine having a writer with major publishing credentials grace your CD. I’m not being conceited here in the least, but, hey, with my cred … that’ll make you look good!

There’s probably a whole host of other things I can do for you. I’m open to suggestions for a (hopefully) reasonable fee, but they have to be moral and legal.

I want to help you be the best you can be.

I make no guarantees. Not every project is a success. There are millions of bands out there wanting to get heard. But I do have a proven track record, and, hey, I’m a Music Editor for a major pop culture Web site. So I must be doin’ something right!

Again, I will not review your music for PopMatters for cost. If you have a CD out there that you want to promote that is either recent or forthcoming, email me at zacharyhoule@rogers.com. I will tell you what I need and what my review policy is for small bands. And it’s free of charge, depending on my availability.

However, if you’re in the stages of putting together a CD and need help, well, I can help you. But I have to feed myself, too.

Let’s make this a win-win situation!

Incidentally, so you know I’m a great writer, I’ve been the recipient of a $4,000 emerging artist grant from the City of Ottawa, and I’ve also been nominated for a US Pushcart Prize. My first chapbook was named “Zine of the Month” in Broken Pencil, and I’ve been published extensively in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom.

Also, probably worth mentioning that I plan to tackle assignments on a first come, first served basis. Unless of course you have a deadline, which might result in a request from me to pour some slightly more funding. But we can discuss that, and I’m open to negotiation. Essentially, though, no matter what, I want to be fair.

To fund this campaign, visit: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/hiring-a-music-writer-who-wants-to-work-for-you/x/9431575