Part Four: ‘Zines of Yestertomorrow
To end our discussion about unique music promotion, we are taking it back to another old-school method: music magazines. However, instead of focusing on big ones like Rolling Stone and Consequence of Sound (although their articles cater to a lot of genres), we are going to focus on some lesser-known press that are, but not really, in the press.
Based in Toronto, Loading features up-and-coming rap artists via music and video submissions. They feature news articles about up and coming rap artists along with links to their SoundCloud accounts. Although very minimal in content, they are dedicated to advertising underground performers and showcasing what they have to offer.
Founded in 2001 by husband-and-wife team Mark (publisher) and Wendy Redfern (photographer), they set out to create something different. Featuring in-depth interviews with independent and major acts, they were known for conducting the last photo shoot with Elliott Smith. They also attracted attention for The Protest Issues, published in 2004 and 2008. In addition to music, they also review films, games, TV shows, and books.
True to it’s name, Jazziz publishes news and editorials all about jazz and everything surrounding the genre. Started 35 years ago, the magazine includes interviews with prominent jazz musicians of today. If one prefers audio over reading, there are playlists and podcasts curated created by the editors for listening pleasure. One of the more standout features is their vinyl club, where subscribers can purchase four editor-curated vinyl records and have them quarterly delivered to their houses for just $99 per year.
Founded by Aaron Slater, Songwriting is a UK-based publication dedicated to another specific niche in the music industry. Featuring interviews and discussions with past and future artists behind some of the best music releases, they also offer tips on topics like the songwriting process, how to become monetized, and work within a team. One segment (“How I Wrote”) is actually focused on a song’s formation from the artist themselves. They also showcase songwriters through their #keepsongwriting pledge, where artists are encourage to share songs and the inspiration why they keep continuing to create during times of difficulty.
With almost every genre represented, Ones to Watch is a blog that covers both mainstream and independent artists from Atlanata-based rapper Emawk to Olivia Rodrigo. In addition to interviews, their New Artist Discovery page highlights up-and-coming artists and their material. Another segment, Tour Diaries, serves giant throwbacks to artists preparing for live gigs (aka the good ole days). One of their biggest collaborations, however, is concert tours with Live Nation; past tours have included Dorothy, lovelytheband, and blackbear.