Karla, not only can you play a whole range of diverse instruments, you’re also on the way to getting your PhD. Does science have an influence on your current music career?
I went to the best-known university for medicine and public health, but deep down I always knew that I wanted to make music. In 2009 I finally decided to put my academic career on hold and headed to Barcelona to start life as a street musician. It was a massive shock for most people.
Musicians belong on stage. But without fans and self-promotion they’ll be playing to empty venues. How do you increase your fanbase?
Until now I’ve played somewhere between 400 and 500 public gigs. On top of that I’ve played private parties, birthday celebrations etc. I get most of my fans via my live shows because they are so interactive. After the shows I always enjoy chatting with everyone who came to see me. Apart from that I collect email addresses for my mailing lists.
How has gigmit helped you with your bookings?
By using gigmit I’ve been able to build up a good network throughout Germany. Given that my German language skills are fairly limited, I would never have been able to do that as effectively by myself. Meeting Marcus (the gigmit CEO) in the Berlin office showed me that there are real people behind the online platform who are both available and ready to help.
I decided to purchase a GOLD membership with the knowledge that these things take time. You can’t expect to get gigs immediately – except for perhaps last-minute gigs, but they are often a lot more chaotic and don’t always work out.
What would you recommend to other artists who are interested in GOLD membership?
A face-to-face meeting is really important because it gives you a different impression and feeling about who you are working with. You should also always make sure to update your profile with every upcoming gig – not just on gigmit but also on your own homepage and Facebook. It’s also important to be flexible and open to chatting with others from within the GOLD network. I think it’s vital for the communication to work well from both sides. During my 6-month GOLD membership, my relationship with gigmit has just got better and better. You of course need to be active and respect the money that you are investing by becoming a GOLD member. gigmit has to see that the artist is also willing to work hard.
Do you have any tips and tricks for other musicians who are interested in gigmit?
Everyone can create a profile on gigmit and link it with their social media profiles, add their own songs and videos and use the gigmit Artist Page as their Electronic Press Kit. gigmit GOLD is a fee-paying service. I would recommend it to professionals who earn their living from their music and play proper concerts. As with any booking agency, you can’t expect to get gig offers straight from the start. This can sometimes take 3-4 months – perhaps even longer for festivals. You need to remain realistic. They are booking agents – not magicians!
In summary, I would say that it’s important to present yourself well on gigmit – as well as on every other platform – using music recordings, videos, photos, a good bio that’s short and to the point but covers all the most important info, and links to your social media profiles. Your music should be available always and everywhere – but I still think it’s better to present less material that’s of a higher quality rather than lots of lower quality music. It’s also important to show how you perform on stage by sharing live video recordings.