The help from supportive fans has always been the best way for bands to grow their following and the most effective way fans have figured out how to help their favorite artists is by creating street teams for them. As someone who used to promote a handful of bands when they were younger, I know just how dedicated and hardworking these types of individuals are. So, I decided to give them, the supporters, the spotlight for a change. I interviewed three current street teamers about their artists, their experiences, and their strategies.
Natalie Mckenzie and Caroline Suddeth currently run an Instagram account that promotes Arrested Youth. Their main goal for this account is to promote the artist enough so they can come back to Knoxville, TN for a headlining show, while also helping to promote his music. Then we have Melanie Ren, who actually runs accounts for two artists; she currently runs social media accounts for the artists Doll Skin and Pyrce.
Photo: QuinnAlyssa / Quinntakespics
First of all, I was curious as to how they got started street teaming in the first place, cause we all gotta start somewhere. Melanie said she started not too long ago by joining Fueled By Ramen’s online street team where, essentially, she would be mailed promotional items for artists on the label and it was her job to go out and promote them and their work. Eventually, she veered off to start promoting smaller artists on her own, which then turned into her promoting Doll Skin and Pyrce. Meanwhile, Natalie and Caroline had no previous experience before starting their Arrested Youth promo account. Both had a very vague idea that they wanted to work in the entertainment industry, but weren’t sure doing what. Starting the account for Arrested Youth and working with him has helped the girls discover that they love working directly with artists, and they hope that this is their foot in the door of the music industry.
Every person has their reasons for choosing the artist they want to promote. Natalie and Caroline first saw Arrested Youth together and both saw something special in the new artist. “I’ve only seen a few openers have this kind of affect on a crowd before,” Caroline said. Natalie said she felt it was more about how they were off stage. “You can tell they genuinely care about the music and their fans. They actually take the time to talk to them.” The girls genuinely wanted to help Arrested Youth gain a following because they believe his music deserves to be heard by the masses. Melanie’s story is very similar; although, she did reveal she got into the FBR street team because she heard sometimes you got free merch or free tickets. However, once she found Doll Skin and Pyrce, Melanie genuinely saw some artists she believes in and are unique and passionate that she wanted to help out. She believes “both artists have the ability to create a huge impact in the industry.”
As we all know, no job is all sunshine and rainbows. Everyone has their ups, but they also have their downs. I wanted the girls to reflect and asked them if they thought their promo sites were helping the band the way they had anticipated. Melanie pointed out that with Pyrce, her project is still in its infancy so there was a lot of room for growth. But the challenge didn’t scare her, in fact, it excited her to see where it could go. As for Doll Skin, she pointed how much the band has grown by themselves and also with her help. In fact, the ladies charted at #32 on Billboard’s “Top 40 Mainstream Rock Indicator” chart. As for Arrested Youth, he is much like Pyrce where his career is very new so the street team has a lot of room for growth. They said they spend about an hour every other day brainstorming together new and improved ways to promote the artist. Both girls also admitted to messaging everyone they know, including people they don’t necessarily speak to all that often, to go listen to Arrested Youth and to follow their account on Instagram. Caroline pointed out had they had hoped they would hit their 250 followers goal sooner, but they did just celebrate their first 100. So, congrats to the AY promo team! All three girls also agreed they all feel much more connected to the artists by helping promote them. From what I’ve been told, the artists have all had a hand in helping out their promo teams out making sure they’re all putting 100% into what they’re each doing.
Finally, I gave the girls the floor. If you haven’t listened to or even heard of Doll Skin or Pyrce, Melanie would like to tell you this: “Go check out ‘Fix’ by Pyrce and Doll Skin’s sophomore album ‘Manic Pixie Dream Girl’! Expect lots of big things in the near future from both artists!” As for Arrested Youth, Caroline and Natalie had separate but similar messages: “When you get the chance, listen to Fear by Arrested Youth. Go see them live when you because their performance is impeccable. And not only will you love their music and performance, but also their crazy and hilarious personalities.”
Artists would be nothing without the support of their friends and fans. Support your favorite bands. Stream their albums, go to the shows, and/or buy their merch. At the end of the day, that support will never go unnoticed.
Doll Skin Street Team: Twitter
Pyrce Street Team: Twitter, Instagram
Arrested Youth Street Team: Instagram