Lina Cooper’s DIY way to success in music promotion
Updated: Aug 8
When artists graduate from college and venture into a full-time career in music, it is an overwhelming and scary venture ahead as they face the DIY approach to the marketing and promotion of their music. This is a whole new world every turn they take. Their knowledge acquired in school is tested from day one, and each decision can create doubt on whether it is the right one. Suddenly, young artists are faced with learning to apply all that they’ve learned on projects that require them to factor in all types of marketing approaches and strategies. It requires you to be disciplined and focused as you are placed immediately in a sink-or-swim situation, and you are most likely making all the decisions alone without teachers, classmates and music friends guiding you along.
Lina Cooper, recent graduate at Berklee School of Music, started to prepare herself to be a DIY artist well before her graduation. She had several songs written and ready for release and began to work on the marketing plans while still in school, by developing early strategies which would get her songs the most exposure. This dive right into it plan resulted in her having a lot of new content to work on the day she graduated. As the valedictorian of her senior class, she grasped multi-tasking early on.
In the Artists on the Move program, we coach artists to become independent artists, and gain confidence in the DIY model. Seeing these artists focusing on every aspect of their music development and careers is motivational to all those around them.
On her recent project she wrote the song completely by herself, produced it, co-mixed it and starred in the music video and co-directed the video. At Berklee she grew as a musician, an artist, a songwriter, an arranger, a conductor, and acquired great confidence with each new success. She was able to overcome her fears of performing in front of people and succeeded in believing in her capabilities of taking on the whole process of making music independently.
One priority she had was to show the emotion of the songs through videos. She was the co-producer and co-director for her recent video for her single, “By Abe’s”. We interviewed Lina to learn how she captured her vision for the song in the video.
The video for “By Abe’s” was released on April 27th, and it already has over 2,400 views. Lina's super proud of how well the video has done, and is just as proud that the video captured the song's emotional transitions.
How did you come up with the vision for the video?
Well, it was pretty spontaneous, but also pretty obvious from the start. The goal for me was to show the life I had been living for months. The life of an artist full of beauty, pain, inspiration, loneliness, nostalgia, depression and art all together. I wanted to capture it all in the song and felt New York City was a perfect place to film it.
What did you use for equipment both in shooting and editing?
Honestly, it was just my roommate's Canon SLR camera and editing software Premiere. His name is Misha Bogomolov, and he is also the editor and the director of the video.
Were you able to shoot the video within your budget?
Oh, we did not have a budget at all! All we did was film around the city and whenever we would see a beautiful shot we felt like would capture the meaning of the song, we included it. We shot a ton of footage!
What is the song about?
It is very difficult to summarize given my emotions at the time. I wrote this song, when I was going through a major depressive episode during the Fall of 2019. And music was my only joy in life at that time, so I would try to channel all of these emotions and feelings into music. With all of that, this song is like a speech towards somebody who I was getting into a relationship with. It is like a confession. Like I am a messed up, traumatized, depressed, impulsive artist, so are you sure you want to get into this mess with me? And if you are, are you sure that you will stay? Because I would not want to handle another heartbreak. And even though the song is mostly sad, the last line of the chorus (it is also different each time) is that little ray of hope. Like I might not survive today, but if I do... "I'll definitely get your number.” The next chorus is "I'll call you back tonight" meaning I already got your number and it's a brand-new day. And the last time it's "I'll meet you out by Abe's at 8", meaning we had a conversation about going out. Even though everything might suck sometimes, it's still a brand-new day and life keeps going forward. Ironically, I wrote these lines after everything else when the song was already being produced.
How long did it take you to complete the project from start to finish?
About three months to write, produce, mix and master and film it, and about three more months to edit it because all of us were in school.
What were the challenges you encountered?
Definitely capturing this feeling that inspired the song in production, in performance and in the picture. As well as attracting attention to the song that if definitely not 100% radio friendly.
Did the finished product meet your expectations and goals?
Absolutely. I am very proud of both the song and the video. I am proudly showing it to people and talking about it.
What was your overall role in the video production?
I wrote and produced the song by myself, mixed it with the engineer Mike Thompson, and starred in the music video and co-directed the shoot.
What were some of the surprises you encountered?
I would say it was a surprise to me how many people reflected on the song, and the video in the way that they did. A lot of people were able to relate to it. And also, how quickly and genuinely we filmed the video, at it seemed like most of the scenes just flew into our hands.
How have you marketed the video?
I only told people about it along with posting some behind the scenes shots of it! It was definitely a very authentic way of marketing, and the feedback was amazing!
Lina’s next single is due to be released this summer, and her promotional plans are already underway. We are confident she will succeed in accomplishing her goals, and will welcome all challenges presented to her.
Written by Patty Duffey, Artists on the Move