The Music Corner: Releasing music checklist

Music has been such an integral part of my life and being able to comprehend music from a broader perspective that stretches far from the talent side of things has come in handy in so many situations I have experienced. As part of this, I have learnt that releasing music should be done against a checklist that will help you determine whether you are ready to release.
Putting music out there and hoping people will listen is not enough.

By Israel Sebenzo

Is it more than just a song?

For people to be drawn to your new music, it must be more than a mere song. Tell a story through your music, show your process and most importantly, diversify your creativity beyond just music. Create an experience for your fans that goes beyond the music. 

What’s the plan?

The idea is to coordinate a creative plan before releasing new music that will artistically generate hype around your project before launching. This however is not the only way to do it. Times have changed and strategies likewise; more and more artists are now taking risks of releasing music announced as a surprise element and this keeps working.

What is important is to understand your market and come up with strategies that will help you meet your goals.

Is my music the best it could be?


Feedback before releasing is the way to make sure your music is perfect. Get a second opinion; take this as a test drive! It’s easy to be convinced that the music you have made is good, obviously it will be perfect to you, you are the one who made it after all. Instead, share your music with people you trust before you release. Take the feedback and use it to make your music even better. Valuable feedback before you release is pure gold. Don’t skip this process.

Am I finished?


Another critical question to ask yourself before releasing new music is, am I finished? Being finished means different things to different artistes. Sometimes you will never be convinced you are finished with a project and probably work on it further one too many times. Only release music when you’ve reached YOUR definition of finished. It is better to push a release date and head back to the drawing board that to put out half-baked music.

Is my album/single art appealing?


The music artwork has always been pivotal to any project’s success. Since the days of vinyl, it is the art that would draw buyers to a certain record. It is the first impression you make in essence; it does the talking for you. With streaming, the artwork is even more important as you don’t get to choose the font or the size of the interface on streaming sites. It is what sets you apart from the millions of songs that are on Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play and other sites.Your artwork is your chance to shine so make a beautifully captivating cover that will catch people’s eyes even in a small square on a screen.

Am I releasing with the right attitude?


Releasing music can be super stressful, make the moment of release a positive one. Attitudes prior releasing are usually indicators of what can be expected. If you are feeling anxious, the release is most likely to be a stressful one. The first step towards a good release is the right attitude so work on your attitude, get prepared, be confident and make your release a memorable and joyous one!