Career Counsel: Kyle T. Hurley's Survival Rules for Indie Artists

August 30, 2017

Alternative country-rock and roots artist Kyle T Hurley—who is doing a “reverse British Invasion” by being U.S. born, but basing his music career in London—recently released his second, self-produced album, KTH II. Wielding a Fender Telecaster, a Gibson ES-335, and a Fender Blues Junior, Hurley’s clean-toned arpeggios and gritty chordal riffs set the soundstage for Davide Mazzantini’s solos and counterpoint lines. The result is an album that celebrates the usual country-rock moments of impassioned and bluesy shouting, big riffs, and tasty solos, but it also delivers a modern, alt-rock sheen with elements of ambient music, rap, and experimental noise. Throughout his two-album journey, Hurley has learned a few things about how to stay in the game and attract media attention, and he wanted to share his big three tips with GP readers.


“To carve out my own personality, I wrote the songs about my life, so I’m in the songs,” says Hurley. “Everything is really mine—the ideas, the stories, and the messages—so it would have been impossible for anyone else to have written them.”


“See what your instrument can do, and what you can make it do all by yourself. Don’t hide behind music technology—which people can always see through. I think the trend today is seeing how big of a sound you can get from your guitar without becoming The Edge.”


“The best strategy for an independent musician is to get a budget together for an album, and reserve about 60 percent of the budget to hire a publicity firm that specializes in promoting unsigned artists. Most artists spend way too much on recording, mixing, and mastering, and they don’t have anything left for publicity. If you try to do it yourself, you’ll get nowhere. But, once you get with an agency, they can get you album reviews in magazines, interviews, blog postings, and radio play.”

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