June 14, 2019:

Josie Bello is a Huntington based Singer-Songwriter. Her debut CD (Can’t Go Home) is currently getting radio play in the U.S. and Europe. Here are her tips to help others find success when recording and distributing their music:

Josie Bello cd and music advise

Always curious about how locally produced CDs are made, Under The Radar asked Josie to share a list of “lessons learned” from making her album. Josie sat down for some additional comments from two other Long Island musicians whose CDs get spins on the radio — Linda Sussman (Pass It On Down, Every Road) and Marian Mastrorilli (Light This Candle, Down to Earth).

1. Make a Good Impression: Every track on your CD should be the best possible representation of your music. A shorter collection of your best work is preferable to a longer one that contains tracks you feel are mediocre.

2. Have a plan: Know which songs you want to record, pick a studio you feel comfortable working at, find any collaborating musicians you will need, develop a budget and work schedule. Talk to local musicians whose recordings you like and ask for their advice and recommendations for studios and producers. Open mics and local shows are good ways to network.

3. Be Prepared: Have good charts for your collaborators and rehearse prior to recording sessions. Linda advises “Know what you want to do in the studio before you walk through the door, BUT, at the same time, stay open to suggestions (if you are collaborating or working with a producer)…sometimes the best sounds are those that you hadn’t planned!”

4. Use background vocals: Good background vocals will make your recording shine. A producer can sometimes envision background vocals where the artist doesn’t. Have fun experimenting with it!

5. The placement of songs on the CD is important: Search online for articles that will give you some ideas about what order to place your songs in. Marian’s advice is to “play around with your sequencing to see what gives your CD the right flow. Make test playlists and tweak accordingly”

6. Get Your Tracks Mastered: If you want to get radio play, or get your tunes uploaded to sites that are used by advertising, TV and film music supervisors for their projects– get your tunes mastered. Marian added that mastering is important because she “recorded at different locations, with different players, at different times. Mastering tied the songs together sonically”

7. It’s not right until it sounds right to you: Even if you’ve assembled the best team to work with, it’s not finished until it sounds right to you. Linda commented “Stay true to yourself and the sound you want to capture. Let whatever you’ve recorded ‘breathe’ for a while. Listen in the car, listen on a device with headphones…wait for the post-session thrill to wear off a bit and get some distance–I was surprised at how my ears began to hear a bit more objectively after some time had passed. Overall, don’t rush the process…”

8. Copyright Your Songs: It’s always a good idea to have your lyrics and sound recording registered with the US Copyright office at https://copyright.gov You can copyright each song individually and/or copyright the entire CD as a collection.

9.Submit for Radio Play: Search online for radio stations, programs and podcasts (worldwide) that play your genre of music. Find submission procedures on their websites. Mailed CDs must be accompanied by a “one sheet” which you can learn how to create online. (I learned about one-sheets from Linda Sussman!)

10. Do Your Research: Many reputable websites publish articles about writing, performing, recording and marketing your music. Many Youtube videos address these matters as well. Sign up for online newsletters from BMI, https://www.bmi.com/special/weekly and CD Baby https://diymusician.cdbaby.com/. My favorite book about songwriting is an out-of-print book you can track down online– The Craft of Lyric Writing by Sheila Davis.

As Marian said, “I remember reading this somewhere, and I adhered to it. When you release your CD, inform EVERYONE you know! This may open doorways you never imagined!”

Thanks Josie, as always we appreciate your advice and wisdom!

Josie’s music is available on most digital distribution platforms such as iTunes and CD Baby. A hard copy of the CD can also be purchased at CD Baby. Here’s the link: https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/josiebello.

For additional news on Josie, and upcoming appearances, please visit (and like her facebook page): facebook.com/josie.bello.98 and her official website: www.JosieBello.com.

Have a story or idea for Under the Radar, or want to get your band noticed for free?  Please contact me at the email below.