Cover Songs: Should You Do Them?

November 8, 2018

I often here the same statement from artists when I suggest they put cover songs up on YouTube or add one solid cover tune to their live show.

"I don't want to. I want to create original music."

And that's fine. 

I get that.

But I also think that if you want to reach the masses as an independent or unsigned singer or group, sometimes you need to make good 
career decisions. And covering other artist's songs is oftentimes the easiest way to get a following on social media these days.

So why not try it? Upload a cover song to YouTube. 

Step 1:
Of course, you need to first do some research and see if you're allowed to cover that artist. Some covers get taken down and it can jeopardize your YouTube account. So try to find songs that the artist or band seems to be ok with others covering.

Step 2:
Then, go for it!

Step 3:
Be original. Don't cover something in the same style, tempo and vibe as the original artist. Some of the best cover songs take a rock song and make it into a heartfelt ballad. Or take a ballad and make it into a rock song! Use your creativity in a different way!

Step 4:
You might get press from one of them on a popular music blog or get it licensed to a film or TV show:

Listen, the Beatles are arguably one of the most loved bands of all time and they performed for hundreds if not thousands of hours as a cover band in Berlin. Don't let your pride get in the way of your success! If you do some great cover songs, you WILL find fans! Those fans will then naturally want to hear more music from you! And likely
will want to hear some original tunes!

So get going! Send me your best cover song! Who knows! Maybe one day it will get licensed and make you a star the way Gary Jules cover of Tears for Fears "Mad World" helped him 
break out from the "Donnie Darko" soundtrack some years ago!

Tears for Fears "Mad World": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1ZvPSpLxCg

Gary Jules cover version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4N3N1MlvVc4

The story of "Mad World": https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mad_World

Jennifer Yeko
True Talent PR
9663 Santa Monica Blvd. # 320
Beverly Hills, CA  90210

~Music PR~

Read our blog at: truetalentmgmt.wordpress.com for dozens of free articles about the music business

"Do, or do not. There is no try." 
  --  Jedi Master Yoda

Challenge Yourself and CHANGE SOMETHING In 2018 (Yes, this relates to music)

December 27, 2017


How old is your iPhone? A year? Two at most? I’m guessing it’s not 10 years old, right?

My web site was only a few years old…but it was so outdated, it didn’t even work well on mobile. So I updated it!

Technology moves at such a rapid pace these days. Even a site that’s a year old can be considered “old” or out of date.

Have you been doing things the same way for a long time?

If so, it’s time for a change!


Always write songs alone? Why not collaborate?

Always co-write? Why not take a stab at a few songs on your own?

Always spend your time in the studio? Get out there and play more gigs!

Tired of living on the road and not having time to record? Take a break and get back in the studio!

Always write songs in the same style? The same keys? Change it!

Always promote your own music? Hire someone to help for a change!

Always using the same producer? Or producing songs yourself? Try someone new!

Expecting your music to find an audience without any promotion? Try promoting more on social media. Making more YouTube videos. Promoting them!

My point is – mix it up! Do something different! Do the opposite! It worked for George on “Seinfeld”:


My point is – if you don’t make a change….if you keep doing the same thing, you are likely going to get stuck in a rut.

I saw “The Greatest Showman” and in the movie (which I highly recommend BTW) was an amazing quote, “Comfort is the enemy of progress.” That line really hit home with me.

I see so many artists writing the same songs in the same style year after year and not getting anywhere.


The one quote you hear a thousand times a day when you live in Los Angeles and work in the music business is, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” Some say Albert Einstein said this. But in any case, no matter who said it, the point is that change is good. You need to evolve if you’re going to grow and achieve great things.

Maybe that starts small. Buy a new guitar. But better yet, learn a new instrument. Always write songs in the living room? Try writing in a cafe or outside.


Change a lot of things!

Progress only happens when you get out of your comfort zone!

Vow to make some changes in 2018 and let me know what happens!


I hope this article helps you! Please feel free to forward it to anyone you like…but please don’t post it anywhere online without my permission.

And check out my music blog with over 100 articles of free advice:



Need help promoting your new album, single, video or music career in 2018? 

A reminder that we need at least 2-3+ months lead time to do PR for any new release! January is the best time of year to promote new music
so email me today to start planning your next release!
Jennifer Yeko
True Talent PR
9663 Santa Monica Blvd. # 320
Beverly Hills, CA  90210

~Music PR~

"Do, or do not. There is no try."
  --  Jedi Master Yoda

"Always treat others with kindness and respect."


The #1 Mistake I See Artists Making When It Comes to Promoting Their Music

September 28, 2017


I was recently emailing with an artist who had hired at least 10 different companies to promote their music over the years who hadn’t seen any results.

Frustrated, they wrote me back, “I’m just done spending any money whatsoever on PR, Radio, Placement, Management, etc.”


I get it.

The music business isn’t easy.

I asked them which firms they had hired…and sadly, I’d only heard of one of them.

But, that doesn’t usually matter. It’s ok to hire a small company if they are HUNGRY and are really going to HUSTLE for you!

In fact, I’ve heard dozens of stories over the years of artists who hired a BIG NAME PR company to represent them, an INDIE artist/BAND. They seem surprised when that “big name” PR company doesn’t do anything for them.

A few things:

1) It doesn’t matter HOW MUCH MONEY you have or WHO YOU HIRE. If your music isn’t CONNECTING with people, first your friends and family, but then, MORE importantly, the FANS, the GENERAL PUBLIC and also critics/the industry, you’re going to be disappointed no matter what. I know that is hard to hear….but back in the days of U2 and Bruce Springsteen, before the Internet became a THING, the ONLY WAY to get fans was a slow and steady process of writing and recording songs and more importantly, TOURING to get the music out there. And that first album or two didn’t always connect. It didn’t sell a MILLION copies the first week.

If you’re not seeing a response from songs you are actively promoting on Soundcloud and YouTube, maybe you just haven’t hit the nail on the head. Rome wasn’t built in a day and a HIT SONG, or just a GREAT song doesn’t come along every day. Or every month or every year. ONE HIT WONDERS exist because its hard enough to write ONE good song much less TWO hit singles, or an entire album’s worth.

2) A company that has a huge roster of artists, especially KNOWN artists, is likely spending ALL THEIR TIME marketing and promoting those acts. Let’s use this as an example. Let’s pretend I just signed Coldplay as a client. Say I’m doing press for them. I am going to spend 900 hours a day just fielding inquiries from the media, all wanting their attention. Now while you may not be hiring Coldplay’s publicist or manager, even a small act that is moderately successful is going to garner almost ALL of your attention whether you’re a publicist, radio promoter, manager, etc. Now imagine I’m working this little band and you come along and need help. How much of my time on any given day can I devote to you if I’m working with Coldplay? Or a handful of moderately successful acts? The answer is: not much! That’s why I always ENCOURAGE indie artists to hire someone small who truly LOVES their music who will go to bat for them no matter what!

3)  Let’s not forget the magical power of LUCK and TIMING! No matter who you hire, you have to have the RIGHT SONG at the RIGHT time. I just saw a video of an artist that released a video and single about Transgender Equality. Talk about timely! That is a song that is going to get media attention and shares because the topic is so timely. If you wrote a song and made a video that was about hurricane relief or helping Puerto Rico and Houston and Florida right now I bet it would get some attention. I’m not saying you need to use a gimmick to become successful. But if you want your music to get noticed, to grab the INDUSTRY and public’s attention, doing something that is timely would certainly help. And there is a magic to having just A SONG THAT TRULY CONNECTS with people. That’s why songs about love stand out a lot. It’s like this James Arthur song that was released just in time for wedding season this past summer. It’s so poignant and true and honest. Write a song like that and I guarantee people will take notice: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0yW7w8F2TVA Write from the heart and write something naked and honest. If you’re open and honest I guarantee others will related to the lyrics and feeling your song evokes.

4)  This is likely the most likely reason you’re not seeing results! It’s entirely possible that your music is great and timely and you’ve simply hired the wrong firm or person to represent you. This happens 99% of the time. It’s not rocket science to be a great manager, publicist or promoter. But it also isn’t easy. It requires years of dedication, drive, persistence, passion and most of all CONNECTIONS. The best thing you can do is to check references and do your research on a company before your hire them or decide to work with them. When I was starting out 20 years ago, I literally had to beg and plead and hustle to convince my first band to let me work with them. After that, the contacts grew and clients starting finding me. But that first one? It wasn’t easy. I really had to prove to them that I was the right person for the job. Trust your gut. Check references. Don’t just believe what people tell you because, after all, it’s the music business and people will lie to get business. But if you do your homework and are a good judge of character, you’ll likely find the right firm and person to represent you and your amazing tunes!

I hope this article helps you! Please feel free to forward it to anyone you like…but please

don’t post it anywhere online without my permission.

And check out my music blog with over 100 articles of free advice:


Jennifer Yeko
True Talent PR
9663 Santa Monica Blvd. # 320
Beverly Hills, CA  90210

~Music PR~

"Do, or do not. There is no try."
  --  Jedi Master Yoda

"Always treat others with kindness and respect."


What’s Been The Most Successful Way To Promote Your Music?

May 9, 2017

I write a lot of articles based on my 20 years of experience in the music industry.

However, this time, I want to turn it around to YOU!

Please post on my blog and tell me what the most effective thing you’ve done to promote your music career has been!

Has it been:

1) Live shows?
2) Posting a lot on social media? (If so, what’s been the best? Facebook? Instagram? Snapchat?)

3) Buying ads on Facebook?
4) SEO?

5) Posting videos on Youtube?
6) Posting covers on YouTube?
7) Getting press?
8) Getting on the radio somehow?

9) Emailing your fans / your web site?
10) Something else?

Please post and let me know! https://truetalentmgmt.wordpress.com/

(Or, you can just hit “reply” to this email)


Need to promote your upcoming EP or tour?  Hire us!  Email ineedpr@truetalentpr.com for more information and include a copy of this email when you write!


http://www.truetalentmgmt.wordpress.com – Read my music blog for advice on making it in the music business


You are receiving this email because you have either sent us music in the past or are an artist or band that we’ve heard great things about (or are otherwise involved in the music business as a manager, attorney, A&R, etc).


To unsubscribe from future event notifications, please reply to this email with the subject line “unsubscribe” and specify if you’d like to unsubscribe from True Talent’s database entirely or just from our music requests.  We certainly can’t imagine why you’d leave though since we’ve placed now over 50 songs in film/tv, including “Sex and the City” and “The OC”.  Major labels, artists and managers have asked to be added to the list.


Getting music in film/tv is one of the best ways to get exposure for music from indie / unsigned bands.


Do You Listen?

December 22, 2016

Do You Listen?

I know that if you’re an artist, you’re in the business of creating music. Making sound.

But did you know that the key to becoming successful in the music business isn’t making sound  – but LISTENING?

I remember when I was starting out in the management business almost twenty years ago and we were about to sit down with a band we really wanted to sign. I sat down with my partner at the time and asked, “So, what should we talk about in this first meeting with this band?”

Her response was one that’s stayed with me EVERY DAY!

She said, “I’d ask them, ‘how well do they take direction?’

As in, if you ask them to do something, will they do it?

Will they listen to your GUIDANCE?

After all, the entire purpose of a manager is to “advise and counsel” the artist….so if they aren’t going to listen to your advice, there is no point to managing them.”

Truer words were never spoken.


Flash forward almost twenty years later and you’d be amazing at what I’ve learned.

The most startling thing is this – MOST ARTISTS DO NOT LISTEN. Most artist that I’ve observed from either near or afar DO NOT take direction well.

In fact, I’m willing to bet that 95-99.9% of artists DO NOT LISTEN.

Now I understand that it’s not a dictatorship when you take on a client. And when an artist signs with a manager, your job isn’t to just do whatever your manager says. However, I’ve found that the most successful relationships have been when we agree and are on the same page 99% of the time. And I’ve sat and watched artists implode and fail time and time again because they went against my advice. They often went against ANY advice for that matter – and just continued to do things the way they saw fit.

For example, one artist, upon moving to Los Angeles, flat out refused to perform live. Sure, there would be a show or two a year. But the artist felt that performing live was a “waste of time.” I tried so hard to get this artist out there and impress upon them that no, they were wrong, but also, PERFORMING LIVE IS THE ENTIRE KEY TO SUCCESS IN THE MUSIC BUSINESS. That’s like a chef refusing to cook food. THAT’S THE JOB. And fine, it was some years ago, but if you just REFUSE to perform live, then you better spend every waking moment on social media and building up your fan base that way.

But no, they refused. They didn’t listen. They didn’t take my advice. So they instead went to the park and read books and eventually, when no one discovered their amazing music by them reading books in the park, they moved back home, got married and had kids. Which is all nice and lovely…but not if you really want to be successful. And this is all from an artist that was signed at 19 to a major record label BY THE LABEL PRESIDENT!!! So, the talent was there. The songs were there. The look was there. The LISTENING part was not. Not sure if it was stubbornness or foolishness but whatever it was, it ultimately lead to the artist’s career going nowhere…and yet they are still trying to figure out what went wrong and why they never “made it!” Yikes.

I can’t speak to all managers because many are good….but many are not. But what I can tell you is that a GOOD manager, and the GREAT manager out there is an objective third party. They can watch you and your career and see what you are doing correctly. And they can see what you are doing WRONG.

The SMART artist will make the necessary changes.

If the ship is off course, you steer back to get on course, don’t you?

If you’re running out of gas in the car, or make a wrong turn, you correct it, don’t you? You fill the tank.

If your plane is taking off and if your plane is about to land, you better pay EXTRA special attention because those are the most critical (and dangerous) parts of flying…but also the most crucial parts of your career. How you start things and get going…and where you ultimately land.

It’s best to listen to your co-pilot as they are often the ones who know what’s up. They have the data. You may be the the pilot and in charge (good music is key, no GREAT music is key), ultimately, but without a great co-pilot (your manager), you’re likely going to hit a mountain or miss important data that you need in order to really soar.


Yes, it’s a collaborative process.

But if you trust your manager enough to sign a legal document to agree to work with them, you better sure listen to what they have to say….because being STUBBORN and NOT LISTENING and thinking you know what’s best when you don’t – when your head is way too close to it – is ultimately, oftentimes, the kiss of death – and the reason why your plane/career is stuck on the tarmac while others are taking off and soaring to new heights.

Hope that helps.

And safe travels this holiday season!

Jennifer Yeko
True Talent Management & True Talent PR


Comments re: Paying for your music career

August 24, 2016


I thought this email would be inspiring to you!

Mike Posner just emailed me back and wrote, “Love this” 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂


Hey Jennifer.  It finally hit home for me what commitment means over the past better part of a year.

*Rather than hope for a wealthy benefactor, I committed to taking on many many extra private music students to pay off loans and save for both practical needs (like a car) and career investment (like a recording project).  Plus I’m learning through teaching.

*Rather than whine about playing covers, I committed to playing as many cover gigs as I could get. I’m getting loads of ideas for my originals.  Plus I just played a venue this week I never dreamed I’d be playing 6 months ago, where I’ve seen some of my fave famous artists play!

*Rather than whine about having to do the business, I’m learning it.  The raw unglamorous stuff.

*Rather than play in the snow all day, I worked on booking gigs all day.  Cut and paste are your friends.

*Rather than not pay attention, I’m paying attention to what I put in my body and invest in my business in terms of time and money.

*Rather than settle for less, I’m striving for more:  I could stop here, but what if I…???

The ironic thing is that all this hard work doesn’t feel as bad as I thought.  I’m making a lot more money, getting a lot more gigs, networking a lot more contacts and I feel like I’m on the road to somewhere really great.

Plus the teaching and performing and relationships forged through it all are very rewarding.

Making the best of where you are really is the way to go.  Sure, I still make mistakes, even stupid ones, but the momentum is with me.  Often you just have to make an executive decision and just do it rather than wait for the perfect moment!

Thanks for continuing to kick us artists in the arse!  K

—– Original Message —–

Here is a great article about ways to pay for your music career:


Too often I hear artists complain and whine that they are “broke”.

Well you know what?

Most successful artists came from nothing.


Literally they were dirt poor!

Even pop stars like Britney Spears.

That “being poor” drove them to be successful because they worked their A$$ off.

Sure, there are lots of rock stars like Jon Bon Jovi who came from relatively well to do families growing up.

But many artists came from nothing.

So you can either complain and whine that you’re broke – and do NOTHING about it.  I guarantee you’ll get nowhere in life with that attitude.

Or, you can get off your tail, work your butt off and become hugely successful in life.

What’s it gonna be?


Or success?

Jennifer Yeko
True Talent Management
9663 Santa Monica Blvd. # 320
Beverly Hills, CA  90210

~Music Marketing~Music Licensing~Music Publicity

““Take a chance. If you never take a chance, then you’ll never know the outcome. So basically, as an up-and-coming artist, you’ve gotta keep hustling and keep trying. Send your demo to people in the industry you respect.’”

“Don’t wait for a label: be an artist without a label. The days of waiting to be discovered are in the past and labels want to see a bit of initiative. Get out there and play.’”
Richard Zito, Senior VP, A&R


How To Find The Right Publicist For Your Band

June 22, 2016

How do you find the right publicist for your band?


Or….just hire us!

What do you think?

Jennifer Yeko
True Talent PR ~ True Talent Management
9663 Santa Monica Blvd. # 320
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

~Artist Management~Music Licensing~Music Publicity

“Anything worthwhile in life requires time, patience, and persistence.”
–Cheryl Richardson