With every woman and their dog trying to make it the Melbourne music scene, making a name for yourself can feel near impossible. Instagram can be both a blessing and a curse when it comes to standing out in a sea of talented performers, musicians and songwriters. So the key to having your music noticed, is knowing how to market it…
Renowned for their smooth, soul-soothing sound, @velvetbloom.music are making waves all over the Melbourne music scene with their incredible music and captivating stage presence. And when she’s not mesmerising audiences with her spine-tingling, velvety vocals, leading lady Maddy Herbert is the marketing mastermind behind the band’s incredible Insta grid and professional online presence.
Also the co-owner of Flo Creative Events, and founder of both Sonic Textures and Fem Jams – an empowering space for women to perform their music and express themselves – there’s no doubt that Maddy is a pro at fem-powering women both on and off Instagram.
We sat down with this talented gal to talk about finding her place in the music industry, inspiring others with her uplifting content and knowing how to market her art on Instagram…
How did Velvet Bloom come about? What motivated you to start posting on Instagram?
I started performing about 3 years ago under the name, “BLOOM”.
As the band and music evolved, we felt it necessary for our title to change to something a little more descriptive to represent our music, we became “Velvet Bloom”.
My bassist, Anthony Rennick, is an incredible graphic designer and he began designing things for me about two years ago. He has also been teaching me how to use Illustrator and Photoshop so I’ve been creating my own designs.
What’s the mission of your music? How has Instagram helped you achieve this?
I think that Instagram connects people to your music. It can give people more of an insight into the things you’re writing about and what inspires you.
“I think that Instagram connects people to your music. It can give people more of an insight to the things that you’re writing about and what inspires you.”
What’s your background and how did you develop your current style?
I feel that our style is forever developing. I’d performed in musical theatre from the age of 10 to 15, and I was trained as a jazz/soul vocalist from 14 to 18. I also had guitar lessons when I was about 13 to accompany my singing.
What drives you to create?
I feel that writing releases most external and internal pressures. When I create music I am able to release emotions, which is super therapeutic.
What are your favourite Instagram features and why?
I think that Instagram Stories are awesome – we can repost other peoples’ experiences of our live performance after a show.
How do you make the most of your Instagram link in bio?
As a musician, I feel that I am always trying to push my art via posts and Stories. I think its really nice for a person to find your page and have the ability to be directly linked to all of the things that you have most recently released. It is important to have a landing page for your art so that it’s all in one place.
“I think its really nice for a person to find your page and have the ability to be directly linked to all of the things that you have most recently released. It is important to have a landing page for your art so that it’s all in one place.”
What challenges have you faced as a woman in the music industry?
I think things have gotten better as I have progressed in my career. I have experienced extremely sexist attitudes from sound engineers, industry people, bookers, agents …etc.
The worst (and most laughable) comment was from a man who used to book me for shows, he told me that “As a woman in the music industry you can’t have a boyfriend because you have to sleep with people for opportunities”.
I was SHOCKED – this experience has shaped me as a person and an artist. You have to stand up for yourself and other woman, it is paramount.
I think that it is also important to treat the bullshit with love because it’s only going to frustrate you in the long run.
Where are some unique, quirky or out-of-the-ordinary places you find inspiration?
ALWAYS while driving. I have to pull over immediately and record the idea so I probably would look a little crazy.
What’s your advice for overcoming self-doubt as a creative?
Just do whatever it is that you’re doubting. The most important thing is that you like what you’re doing.
How do you feel like you have grown since you started out?
My band has helped to shape our music so much. I’m so lucky to be surrounded by such talented musicians and great people, so they have helped me grow. I feel that I am a much more resilient person and I’m able to appreciate our success and achievements more than before.
Your feed is so aesthetically pleasing. What’s your process for creating content?
I think our style represents our music, so I guess you should find a style that that would embody whatever you’re trying to brand. Be bold, take inspiration and make things your own.
What editing apps or programs do you use?
I use Illustrator and Photoshop. I know that these programs aren’t accessible to everyone so I’m super lucky to be able to utilise them. VSCO is a free app which is awesome for my style and I occasionally use that.
How has Instagram helped you to grow and build your career as an Entertainer?
I think that when you release music or tour dates and try to push it to your audience, it helps having a platform like Instagram where people can watch your Stories or be able to have an online gallery to see what you’re up to. Selling your art is easier when people feel that they can relate to you and connect online.
“Selling your art is easier when people feel that they can relate to you and connect online.”
Do you have any Instagram hacks?
I don’t think so, I just try to post about all of the cool things that I’m lucky enough to be involved with. When people think that you’re doing well, they pay attention.
How do you think Instagram is changing the music industry?
I think that it’s an incredible platform because it has the power to change the way in which we perceive things. Women are so hung up on body image and the idea of traditional physical beauty – it’s toxic. If we are able to share more vulnerable parts of ourselves it can create a really positive impact.
I think that women in music (and other creative areas) are using Instagram to empower themselves and others through challenging the idea of “traditional beauty” and straying from what society expects of them.
How do you connect with your online community?
I think that Stories are awesome because people can interact with you by replying to your story, this can spark a genuine conversation.
The entertainment industry is so saturated. What’s your advice for creating content that stands out from the rest?
Find something that you like and make it different to how other people have done it in the past – be authentic and unique.
“Find something that you like and make it different to how other people have done it in the past – be authentic and unique.”
What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made with Instagram? What have you learnt and what’s your advice on what not to do?
Don’t try to be someone else. Be you and don’t get lost in the social media world.
What’s your words of wisdom for other people struggling to find their place in the music industry?
Keep trying. Eventually you will find something that works for you! Don’t compare yourself to others – it’s poisonous.