From its modest start out of an east Vancouver basement in the late 90’s Killbeat Music was founded when Ken Beattie, a critically acclaimed Vancouver singer songwriter began looking for an audience for his latest project, Radiogram. It has since become one of Canada’s premiere and most recognizable national publicity and media companies.
After taking Radiogram to an internationally acclaimed profile on its debut album (Unbetween 2000) Beattie found himself being asked by various bands and labels to work as their publicist. With the release of Radiogram's second album (All The Way Home – Endearing 2002), Beattie found his band on the cover of the Vancouver entertainment weekly The Georgia Straight, the cover of the college monthly Discorder, and in the cover story of the mainstream Vancouver Sun entertainment pullout Queue - all in the same week. An unprecedented feat that was even more impressive considering this was the same week as the yearly Vancouver music festival New Music West. In a week when close to 400 bands, labels, lawyers, agents and management companies from all over the world were scrambling to get even one sentence written about their projects Beattie pulled off a huge publicity coup.
Since then Killbeat has nationally launched over 300 albums from artists from every corner of Canada and in between as well as the US, UK and Europe. Killbeat has grown to a team of 3 experienced media savvy music lovers that work in print, radio, visual and online/digital media outlets to create a well rounded media strategy that leaves no stone unturned and no note unlistened.
Working in genres from Folk to Jazz, Indie Rock to Hip Hop, Pop to Blues and Electronica to Country, Killbeat is an award winning national media company that has more than 4 dozen albums reach #1 in the last 3 years on the national college/campus chart including the # 1 album of the year in 2007 and 7 of the year end top 20 on the national Folk/Roots Chart. The CBC Radio 3 Chart is almost never without 4 or 5 Killbeat albums in their top 30 and 1 or 2 in the top 10. In one week in October 2008, Killbeat claimed every one of the top 3 albums, 4 of the top 5 and 6 of the top 10 on the CBC Radio3 chart. There are very few street weeklies in Canada that a Killbeat artist has not graced the cover of while all of the cross Canada dailies have run full page features on KB artists at one point or another. Killbeat has had an artist on the Polaris Music Prize shortlist the last 2 years running as well as dozens and dozens of albums that have won or been nominated for Junos, ECMA’s, WCMA’s, NSMA’s and more. Killbeat continues to Canada’s most active national publicity company working with almost every Canadian label and distributor there is to work with as well as US and UK labels with over 200 different acts represented in the last three years alone and national launches scheduled anywhere from 6 to 9 months ahead of time the year round.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. When do I contact/hire a publicist?
That all depends of course, but once you have recorded material you are happy with people hearing then it is a good idea to get that into a publicist’s ears.
2. Once I have a release date, how far ahead should I contact you?
Generally speaking, national campaigns are booked anywhere from 3 to 8 months ahead of time. If you have a targeted release date then the sooner we start talking the better. The highest percentage of success comes with the most amount of lead time.
3. What is the single most important thing to have in place in order for me to have a shot at some significant press reaction and radio play?
OK, This is an easy answer. The music has to be great. It all starts and ends with the music.
4. What is the second most important thing to have in place in order for me to have a shot at significant reaction and radio play.
Another easy answer. Live dates and tour dates. Nothing says press and radio like live show dates. From Coldplay to the garage band you and I have not yet heard of, the cornerstone to any kind of significant media reaction are live dates.
5. Can you book me a tour?
Sorry. That we cannot do. Sadly the majority of bands still book their own tours and the booking agents in Canada are very busy people. The best bet is to take the mic by the cord and start booking a tour yourself. One quick hint would be to look at bands you think are like minded genre wise and to visit their websites to see where they have
played. Once you get a sense of the names and types of venues they are frequenting then it’s time to send those venues a package and go get yourself some shows.
6. Do we have to have a label?
Absolutely not. If you have made and pressed your own albums then consider yourself a label.
7. Do we have to have distribution?
In a word, yes. This is significantly more important than having a label and if you would like the support of Factor and other government programs it will be become something you need to address. Often, media outlets will need to know that your album is available via a national distributor in order for them to support it. They want to know
that if they write about it or play it on air it will be available to the reader or the listener at a retail outlet or at the very least they will be able to order it from their favorite record store or major web retailer.
8. Can you write me a bio?
We write what we call one sheets. These are specific to the album you are releasing. You can check out examples of one sheets on the front page of the website under the current releases. There are one sheets available for each artist in that section. In order for us to write that we will need some background info from you AND we will need to
live with your music for awhile. We only write these for folks we are going to work with and we don’t do “one off” bio writing.
9. Do we need a fancy press package?
Heck no! In fact when we do mailer all we include is the CD and the one sheet mentioned above. Less is more.
10. What else do I need?
For now we just need to hear your music. You can either mail us a CD or point us to a site where we can listen to a few songs and read some of the things you have been up to. Once we decide to work together we will need colour jpegs of you or your band as well as a jpeg of your album cover and a way to get in touch with you or get a
message to you that will be returned within a short period of time.
11. Do you listen to everything you are sent?
Yes! It may take awhile but we definitely listen to everything that comes in. If you think it has been awhile and you have not heard from us then drop us an email and we will get back to you with where we are at in the pile. We usually end up listening to solicited material quicker but we definitely listen to everything we are sent. It’s your
music and we have nothing but respect for all the music we are sent.