The Urban Music Industry
Urban DIY (Do It Yourself)
Sniping can also be more directed, targeted around specific locations like appropriate college campuses or stores. Erykah Badu has a signed poster up at Kadels' African Restaurant, a local soul food restaurant in downtown Brooklyn. Having transplanted from Texas, she now fits the profile of being a bohemian Brooklyn resident. Remember, music is the soundtrack of our lives. On the world music scene, Putomayo Records is known as a master marketer because of their small cardboard retail stands and point of purchase displays which they set up in coffee shops and jewelry stores, curio shops, crystal and new age themed stores across the country. They have incredible market penetration in what are not traditionally thought to be music shops. The specific niche that they occupy - "music that's guaranteed to make you feel good" - does, however, have a place in these kinds of stores. Sniping and positioning your promo pieces in the right places is one way for you to have high visibility at relatively economic prices vis-ŗ-vis more expensive marketing like radio and television advertising. There are any number of independent persons and urban marketing firms that you could employ to help you on a freelance basis with your marketing efforts. Or, you can remain competitive by handling all the marketing yourself and initially focusing on a smaller region that you can properly cover before expanding. Start with your city or state as opposed to tackling the entire country. The Internet provides the globality, but if you don't yet have the resources, you may opt instead to become the biggest fish in a smaller pond and later on use that leverage to move into a larger pond.

The industry wasn't built to empower the artist in this profound business way alongside the creative way, but perhaps artists like Prince have paved the way for a new paradigm of success and competition in the urban music industry. He certainly paid dues with a very successful catalogue of hits, all still available on Warner Brothers. Prince serves as a great illustrative example of an artist with a particular niche that owns a particular space in the public's mind and has a coherent marketing direction. You know what you are getting every time you get it.
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