Not one to be boxed into a single genre, Amanda Grace is one of the more contemporary solo performers offering indie-rock and alternative pop sounds. After studying at Winona State University and her nephew being diagnosed with leukaemia, Amanda took a closer look at music and returned with a children's album in 2010. In 2012, she released an acoustic album called Embrace focusing on the experiences of family members passing and what that means to her. Her most recent album, Rayne Angel, is a movement from previous releases with diverse melodies and was released in November 2018.
https://www.facebook.com/Amandasakom/ - Amanda's Facebook account is a very personal, well-maintained one with regular posts. While she promotes her gigs and releases well, it is her personal posts with videos and images that make the profile endearing. I also enjoy her notes which are very engaging and help people gain an inside perspective of Amanda Grace. Amanda has a band profile widget available, so there are videos, an EPK and playlist access for fans. I would recommend the addition of social media handles in the 'about' section.
https://www.instagram.com/amanda_gracemusic/ - as with her Facebook account, Amanda Grace's Instagram account seems to be more personal than professional. While there are promotional posts, the majority of the images focus on the more intimate side of the artist - which is a good thing! It's a well-maintained account, and I enjoy how she updates her next gig in the 'about' section.
https://musicbyamandagrace.com/ - Amanda Grace's official website is easy to navigate with a prominent menu pointing out the different areas. Another prominent feature is the social media accounts menu where she has listed everything from Twitter and Soundcloud to Facebook and LinkedIn. If you scroll down, you will find gig listings, news, album information, and a contact box. I also like the background image which is easy on the eye and quite attractive to view.
If you're into country music, then the chances are likely that you have heard of Faith Bardill and The Band. Only a teen when she won her first award, Faith has performed over 150 shows across four states in the US. They have also opened for national recording artists, such as Craig Campbell, and Faith was called back for the 2015 series of American Idol. Hailing from North Carolina, Faith is known throughout the state for her classic country, country and even classic rock music.
Faith Bardill includes:
Faith Bardill on vocals and guitar.
Josh Oldham on bass.
Scott McBryde on drums.
Garrett Morrison on guitar.
Faith Bardill is a two-time winner of the Carolina Music Awards for 'Teen Artist of the Year' in 2015, and 'Country Female Artist of the Year' in 2016.
https://www.facebook.com/faithbardillandtheband/ - Faith Bardill's Facebook account is a well-maintained one with an emphasis on performances. Her gig listings are the first item you will see when you open the page, and there are various acoustic covers by Faith dispersed along the timeline. Many live band images are available, and access to music videos is available via the tabs in the menu. The about section does have links to other social media sites, but it is lacking when it comes to background information offering the bare minimum. A good profile with all the information you need and highly engaging for a loyal or new fan.
https://www.instagram.com/faithbardill/ - this Instagram account is a testament to Faith's young age with many 'selfie' style images available. She also has some performance images and videos, but it is more personal than professional — a well-maintained account that is a lot of fun to view offering people some 'behind the scenes' insight into this country singer. If Faith wants to use this as a professional resource, I would recommend some promotional images for gigs or releases.
http://www.faithbardill.com/ - Faith's official website is a simple landing page with a biography, press quotes, playlists, performance dates and images available. The importance of subscription is made clear with this being the first item you see when you arrive on the website - a brilliant marketing tactic. Also, her social media menu is evident at the top of the page, so you can't miss it! I like this website; it's clean, neat and offers everything you need. I only wonder where the contact details are.
Savanna Leigh Bassett
All the way from Jacksonville, FL, Savanna Leigh Bassett is a singer-songwriter who is taking the country music world by storm. A graduate of Florida State University where she studied Commercial Music, Business and Philosophy, she decided to pursue music as her full-time career. She aims to not only play a few ditties but make a positive change with her music, and she demonstrates this by working with Body and Soul - a non-profit organisation using music to empower individuals with health conditions, such as cancer or heart disease. Savanna has worked with various industry professionals in the country genre and recently released her single, 'Greenlight, Go', in 2016.
https://www.facebook.com/SavannaLeighBassett/ - Savanna's Facebook account is relatively well-maintained and very engaging for new visitors or loyal fans. It utilises the band profile widget fantastically, so people have access to her songs, videos and the dates of gigs. Most of the photographs are personal in style with a tinge of 'press shot' to them, but they all make her look good (and isn't that what it's all about). I love the fun videos mixed in with the acoustic performances, my favourite being the 'slippery slide' one. It makes the account seem less imposing and more playful. I would recommend, however, that Savanna place links to her other social media accounts on her 'about' section.
https://www.instagram.com/savannaleighbassett/ - a relatively well-maintained Instagram account with a good balance of professional and personal images. Savanna seems to enjoy putting up acoustic videos and images of her performing, which is ideal from a promotional standpoint. However, it is the cutesy images between the professional items that make you endeared to this country star. I am a particular fan of the 'mayonnaise eating' piece; how can you eat that much mayonnaise?
https://www.savannaleighbassett.com/ - Savanna understands the power of imagery and videos, and that is evident in the layout of her official website. The landing page is filled with press photographs, a subscription box, an easily navigable menu and links to her social media accounts. Her music tab offers an outstanding array of options where you could listen to her music, so you can't say you didn't know where to go! I enjoy the bold lettering and soft colours, but if I may offer a single piece of advice, it would be to place videos or a playlist on the website.
Barely out of her teens, Joy Kate is a singer-songwriter hailing from a small town in Mississippi who uses music as a catharsis. Instead of keeping a diary, this Nashville star says that she uses music and, regardless of how she is feeling, it makes her feel happy. Focusing on pop music production primarily, she debuted four well-accepted singles - 'Flirt', '2 Much', 'Edge of My Love', and 'Spin You Back'. Joy Kate's debt EP debut will paint a picture of a modern day Juliet with a pure and powerful voice.
https://www.facebook.com/joykatemusic/ - Joy Kate's Facebook profile is a relatively well-maintained one with a great deal of artist promotion but through personal photographs. There is a combination of promotion regarding her musical and acting careers, but it's all the same bubbly Joy Kate. There are various images and videos giving you insight into the artist; as well as access to music videos and playlists. I would recommend an update of the bio section with links to other social media accounts and contact details.
https://www.instagram.com/joykatemusic/ - this Instagram account is filled primarily with press images, but the personal images are so well edited it's hard to tell if they're not professionally shot as well. The consistency of posts makes it a great account to follow, and the Spotify link in the bio is a useful feature.
https://www.joykate.com/ - the content of Joy Kate's official website's landing page makes it obvious what path they want the visitor to take - look at the music, baby! It's an attractive page, and the imagery is lovely to view. It's bright, bold and vibrant, just like Joy Kate. The problem is unless you are familiar with web design; the menu is not placed correctly. To access the menu, you need to click on the 'three lines' and deal with a drop-down menu. Once you have the links available, each link is easy to access, and the pages provide an abundance of relevant information. In fact, Joy Kate includes a section discussing the non-profit organisations she supports.
A classically trained mezzo-soprano, Toya Nash is one of the powerhouse belters whose unmistakeable sound makes people quiver in their boots - in a good way. In addition to being a formidable singer, Toya is both a screen and stage actor. She has released a single, 'Paradise', and an album called 'Him...'
https://www.facebook.com/TOYANASHofficial/ - If you're looking for something sultry but powerful, then you've come to the right place! Toya Nash's Facebook is a relatively well-maintained account with about two posts per month, mostly promotional. Unlike many of the other bands I come across, Nash has a maturity in her press images making them fun but professional at the same time. There are several videos that are enjoyable to watch and access to her music. More than that, there is access to other social media accounts with contact details in her bio.
https://www.instagram.com/mstoyanash/ - Toya's Instagram account is a relatively well-maintained account with a good combination of promotional and personal images. There are also memes, videos, and good grief what I would give to look as good in those bathing suits! I'm content with the account, but does she really need to look that good?
http://toyanashmusic.com/ - a very simple website with one landing page and everything on it. Basic colours using white, pink and black - all tones that complement each other. Toya's gallery, videos, music and biography are neatly laid out allowing you to easily discover all you need to know about the artist.
Coming all the way from Detroit, Michigan, this young soul/R&B artist released her passion and class onto the world. Alicia released a self-titled EP including one of her singles, 'Crazy'. She recently released her sophomore EP, 'Letter from the edge', on November 29th, 2018. The EP will be available on all music streaming websites.
https://www.facebook.com/AliciaMichillimusic/ - One of the most endearing elements of Alicia's Facebook account is her posts. Yes, they are mostly promotional putting out her gigs and her new album; however, it's the way she words the post that makes it more engaging. It's a type of sentimentality, making you feel like a friend rather than a fan or guest. Her band profile gives you access to songs and videos, plus the gig listings are available. I would recommend a relook at the biography section. She places links to social media accounts, but there are no contact details available.
https://www.instagram.com/aliciamichilli/ - this Instagram account has an interesting balance between the press and personal images. Once again, there is a degree of sentimentality in the account with Alicia appearing stylish and passionate. I would recommend that Alicia relook the link in her bio as it appears to be broken.
https://aliciamichilli.com/ - Alicia Michilli's official site is a simple, clean-cut one with an attractive background image. The menu is easily found and navigable with the media being accessed quickly. The social media links are simple to find and make Alicia Michilli's music easy to locate. I would only recommend that the text is made slightly lighter as it is difficult to read with the darker colouring.
Chelsea Blues is one of those soul-based, bluesy, jazzy, one-of-a-kindey people who will get your soul ringing and your heart singing! A singer, a poet, and a performance artist - Bahamian first and British second; this beautiful artist has plans to take the world by storm, and don't you dare stop her!
https://www.facebook.com/ChelseaBluesOfficial/ - Chelsea Blues is, as I said before, one of the bluesy, jazzy, soul-based lovelies that our world needs. They stand for their beliefs, and if you're not there with them, well that's your issue. An intriguing sound, with just a hint of attitude - Chelsea Blues is a powerful force that people have yet to encounter, and help you if you're not ready for it! The Facebook account is great, but I have concerns regarding the lack of contact details and other social account links. The account is well-maintained, and I enjoy the number of videos and photographs.
https://cbluesjazz.wordpress.com/ - Chelsea's website is a unique one in that it offers not only music but also a link to her poetry. A bold image of Chelsea meets you as you log onto the site, and you can immediately scroll down to her bio with a link to her latest album below. The menu can be found above and directs you to various sections. Social media links are obvious so that you can follow her quite easily. I don't have any concerns with this website; I just wonder which template it is so I could use it.
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Having been on the stage since the age of eight, we doubt Carolyn Miller expected the role of a country pop singer was ever on the cards. After graduating from the Boston Conservatory at Berklee College of Music, this New York native was ready to explore a new path away from the film and television world. Using YouTube as her creative outlet, she built a following with only three videos and, according to Miller, suddenly discovered a side of herself she didn't know existed. When deciding to enter the world of music, she was determined to take on country because of its lyrical quality - it tells a story, and you need to be truthful. After several years of hard work, Carolyn released her debut EP, Unbreakable, in November 2018.
https://www.facebook.com/CarolynMillerMusic/ - Carolyn's Facebook is a very well-maintained account with well-worded and engaging posts. She uses both images and videos as part of her posts making them more interactive for fans and site visitors. There are different videos available and a plethora of images, but what I truly enjoy is that the photographs are quite personal. Her biography section provides all the information one may require including contact details and social media account links.
https://www.instagram.com/carolynmillermusic/ - Carolyn's Instagram is pretty much the same images as her Facebook profile with many personal pictures, including a wedding photograph. A good balance between professional and personal, and some enjoyable videos with live sets. I don't have any concerns and quite enjoy the account.
http://carolynmillermusic.com/ - A landing page acts as Carolyn's website promoting her music very well. The first item you notice on the page is an advertisement for Unbreakable, followed by gig dates and a playlist. If you scroll further down, you'll discover more information, eventually reaching a contact box. Everything you need is on this website, despite the social media links and menu not being accessible at all times.
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Written by Nicole Mendes / Germany - Norden
My name is Nicole and I am a South African-born music writer currently based in Norden, Germany. For several years I have worked with award-winning indie music blogs conducting reviews, reported on breaking festival news, but my specialism is interviewing. I currently work as editor-in-chief for an indie music blog I founded where I specialise in interviews with independent artists.
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