On The Road To Somewhere: Behind The Scenes Of An Unsigned Artist Tour

Elli Perry and Samantha Harlow Elli Perry and Samantha Harlow Elli Perry steps up to the microphone at Bluebrick Recordings in Avon, N.Y. She thanks the small, packed room for their time and attention, gestures to Samantha Harlow, her touring partner who will be singing in a few minutes, and launches into her next song. In the back corner of the room, a tall, willowy brunette blinks back tears. Two close friends sitting on the floor in front of her look at each other and clasp hands. By the end of the song about losing loved ones—about death, about cancer—the entire room seems to be shivering off goose bumps or wiping their eyes. On stage, Elli knows that she has won over the room, but she just wants the day to end. It’s been a long one, crammed with a six-hour drive, a radio show, a PR mishap and a misplaced bag of merchandise. Long days are a common occurrence when unsigned singers and songwriters tour. This isn’t a big-name run with a PR company and a great booking agent. These are two girls trying to break into your favorite radio station by loading a car full of gear and merch, and driving from city to city to play in bars, living rooms, recording studios and coffee shops. Basically, they will sing their hearts out at any place that offers a modest guarantee and a place to set up a table full of CDs, records, t-shirts and posters—all in the name of getting discovered. According to research conducted by The Unsigned Guide in the UK, 71 percent of unsigned artists are hoping to... Sign In to Keep Reading

To view this content,

Join Today

or Sign In

The Benefits of Membership:

  • Limited-time FREE Feature Magazine Content
  • Exclusive access to members-only contests and giveaways
Click to Join

We've started a free American Songwriter membership. Click here to learn more.

1 2