To the Soul/Blues artists:
Double-down! I can tell you this music is making progress and is gaining in popularity around the U.S. and abroad. I predict in 2016 there will be several southern soul/blues artists who will break out commercially which will spawn a new era. People are hungry for this music in regions where most artists are not yet traveling.
Some observations and feedback:
1) Label your music properly when distributing promotional music over the internet and via e-mail. Sending Track1.mp3 or having empty tags in the file is not easy to find your music if it is not labeled. An untitled music file is the same as handing someone a CD with no label on it.
2) Please encode and send your music as MP3 - not WMA or AAC. Preferably, we would like it to always a high-quality straight from the master at 320kbps.
3) Your newest release is not always the one you should promote. Dr. Ulysses Moye (noted clinician, artist, composer and director) mentions to always have your NEXT song ready for release at the same time when you release THIS song - same goes for book releases.
4) Continue to promote and build on existing momentum when your song is popular in one region of the country but maybe hasn't reached the rest of the world yet. Some of the most popular Southern Soul/Blues songs were released years ago and are just now being heard by some audiences. Even more, it the classics are every bit as relevant and popular as the new songs.
You might notice jazz and country songs tend to stay relevant on the charts longer than Urban music. Southern Soul and blues also tend to remain relevant longer than most pop music.
5) I notice many artists concentrating all of their performances in the deep south or in regions where there are audiences already familiar with the material. Try to find those venues outside your region. I hardly notice anyone from the South advertising shows in the North and vice-versa. Expand your tour radius if possible.
Most of all, stay true to the genre. In due time, this Southern Soul/Blues will emerge as another treasure born out of the struggle.