As Sofar returns to live shows, the safety of guests, hosts, and artists is our priority. For the latest information, review our COVID-19 guidelines

Best of In Session 2020

Best of In Session 2020
December 8, 2020

Earlier this year we launched In Session — a free discussion and education series made for independent artists. Through the program, we hosted new sessions on a diverse range of topics aimed at helping artists work on their craft and learn more about the art and science of growing their music careers.

Thanks to our network of talented and knowledgeable independent artists, we’ve hosted panels on everything from songwriting to team building. Looking to advance your music career in the new year? Want to teach yourself a new skill? Check out the best of our 2020 In Session series below!

Live streaming in the time of COVID-19

Overwhelmed by our new virtual world? A panel of musicians and production experts talked us through how to host a livestream show for your audience.

Getting your music playlisted

Want to expand your audience or make it onto trending playlists? Watch this panel for all of the tips and tricks. 

Memorable Moment:

"I also think it's given independent artists an opportunity to be heard by potentially thousands of people that would otherwise have never found their music. Back in the day you had to know a band or an artist in order to get their music because you were actively going to a store to buy it. So it's opened up a lot of opportunity for discovery and for indie artists to break through the noise where it might have otherwise been tough." -Flavia 

In Conversation with Tom Windish

Sofar Sounds co-founder Rafe Offer talks with Windish Agency founder and Paradigm senior executive Tom Windish about his experience with artist development and helping acts break into the mainstream.

Memorable Moment:

"It's not all about the equipment you have. We're in this golden age of information and tutorials online, you have just about everything you need at your fingertips with an inexpensive microphone and an interface"

End Writer's Block: 20 Songwriting Tips

Hitting a creative rut? We’ve all been there. Luckily, our panel of musicians walked us through their 20 best songwriting tips to turn to in your next dose of writer’s block.

In Conversation with Dave Depper (Death Cab for Cutie)

Let’s be honest, we could all learn a thing or two from the world’s most loved rockstar, Dave Depper. 

Mental health and the music industry: breaking the stigma of addiction

Turn Up For Recovery founder Melia Clapton and a panel of her peers joined us to discuss TUFR's mission to raise awareness of abstinence-based recovery, tackle the stigma of addiction and help make treatment affordable to people struggling with alcohol and drug addiction.

Memorable Moment:

"Turn Up For Recovery is basically a grassroots movement and we want to win hearts and minds in raising awareness about addiction. About how it affects individuals, and their families, and their friends. And also, about the fact that there is a solution." 

Understanding Music Publishing

In this session, author, songwriter, educator, and music industry veteran, Eric Beall, shared with us some of the necessary strategies involved with navigating the world of music publishing and promotional strategies that help artists turn their stack of demos and lyrics into a real, independent business.

Activism and the arts: how artists can impact their community

Artists and creatives are vital to their communities. In this panel, we discussed strategies that artists and creatives can use to actively influence and mobilize community efforts in their city or state.

Memorable Moment:

“Being open to explore and reflect will allow for a seamless path to the causes you can support or ways you can engage with your community.”

Pride - Navigating and Celebrating Life as an LGBTQ+ Artist

LGBTQ+ artists and industry professionals shared their experiences, as well as resources for navigating the industry and building community. Allies welcome!

Home recording techniques for independent artists

Learn more about the world of recording from artists and producers who have spent their careers fine-tuning home recording techniques. They shared their expertise on gear and equipment, how to set up your recording space for best results, tips, and techniques for first time producers and home recording artists.

Building a sustainable music career with Juan Luis Carrera

Ravenhouse Management owner and former Modest Mouse and Bright Eyes manager, Juan Luis Carerra, chatted with us about the role music management plays in artist development and success, and how to build a sustainable career.

Memorable Moment:

"You want to go deep and not wide with your artist roster. It's important for young managers to go on the road with bands and understand day-to-day life. It's one thing to talk to them on the phone, but it's another to be there when the van breaks down, or they lose a piece of equipment, etc. because seeing that experience helps focus the attention to best serve your artists going forward."

Online fundraising for indie musicians

Wondering how musicians properly use resources like Kickstarter and other fundraising tools to strategize, activate their fanbase, and hit their goals? We cover all that and more in this panel for first-time fundraisers.

Music Law 101

For this special In Session, we were joined by 30-year music law veteran and Deepr co-founder, Darrell Thompson, who shared his insight around how independent artists can break down and better understand the legal side of the music industry.

Building a local fanbase

Establish and grow your local fanbase with help from a panel of musicians and artist managers who discussed techniques for filling rooms with real fans.

Radio play 101 for independent artists

Take a look behind the curtain of radio! We broke down some barriers to talk strategy around radio play and how to use non-commercial radio to impact your career as an independent musician

Memorable Moment:

“The best thing to focus on is creating amazing music and presenting your authentic self.”

Crafting an effective social media campaign

Social media experts and seasoned musicians go over the handy techniques any artist can utilize to craft the perfect social media campaign for their next album, tour, or project.

Using SoundExchange to maximize artist revenue

The SoundExchange team sat down with us to offer guidance on how musicians can utilize the tools that SoundExchange provides to maximize digital royalties, publishing opportunities, and more to help propel them in the music industry.

Advanced songwriting techniques with Andrea Stolpe

Grammy-nominated songwriter and renowned creative consultant, Andrea Stolpe, returned to In Session to demonstrate how songwriters can analyze and pull songwriting techniques and tools from popular music today to employ in their own lyrics, melodies, and song structures.

Memorable Moment:

"The bones of the song are here. It's going to sound great. And that's hard to do, I think when you're not getting the sound that you want."

Find even more inspiration and insight in future In Session panels.