Blogger Spotlight: Lucy Binetti (Lucy Out Loud)

It is hard to believe this, but we are fast-approaching the two-year anniversary of this blog’s birth. In that time we have interviewed well over two-hundred industry professionals, including over one-hundred music bloggers and journalists. If you were here from day one you will no doubt remember a time when the only content we ran was interviews with bloggers. They were the first group we wanted to engage, and they continue to play a vital role in our marketing efforts to this day. Unfortunately, for reasons that would read likely read like excuses, the number of interviews with new bloggers has fallen off in recent months while our focused turned to bigger editorials, bigger conversations, and the like. Through it all we have not forgotten where we got our start, and with this post we hope to bring a bit of our focus back to the people who write about the latest and greatest music every single day of their lives.

The name Lucy Binetti may not be on the tip of every industry influencer’s tongue just yet, but it is a name that anyone hoping to work in the alternative music world would be wise to commit to memory. Still young, yet smarter than many of her peers, Lucy has been helping promote and market bands in the alternative music world for well over five years. She is the founder of Lucy Out Loud, a brilliant music blog, and she has aspirations of doing a lot of good for the industry as a whole in the years to come.

On a personal note, I have been a fan of Lucy’s work for at least the last six months. I couldn’t tell you what the first article was I read on her site, but it didn’t take long for me to recognize that Lucy and her team had the kind of drive and talent needed to make a real impact on the music community at large. When the time came to resurrect our Blogger Spotlight I knew she would be the perfect guest to help kick things off, and lucky for me she was quick to agree to my request.

You can learn everything there is to know about Lucy Binetti and her efforts to conquer the music world one day at a time by reading the interview below. If you would like to learn more, or if you simply need a new source for the latest music news, please make it a point to bookmark and frequently visit Lucy Out Loud. Any additional questions or comments can be left at the end of this post.

H: Hey there, Lucy. How are you today?

L: I’m doing well, thanks! Just catching up on emails and watching the first season of Weeds in between classes. My next class actually got cancelled so I have five hours to kill. Yayyyy ha

H: It’s exciting to have you on our blog. I know we have been discussing this interview for a bit, but SXSW totally threw my schedule for a loop. Did you make the trip to Texas? If so, how was it?

L: Well I’m glad to be on it, so thank you! I think SXSW threw everyone’s schedule for a loop, ha. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make the trip to Texas, but I did have one photographer who was there, not on assignment, and another photographer who covered South By So What?! for us and both had an amazing time! I’m hoping to make it out to South By one of these years!

H: I guess before we go any further we should probably cover the basics. Would you please tell everyone your full name and what it is that you do in the world of music?

L: Of course! My name is Lucy Binetti and I’m the Founder/Editor-In-Chief of Lucy Out Loud! I take care of all the postings, interviews, and assigning of reviews and show coverage.

H: For people who have never seen or heard of Lucy Out Loud, how would you describe it to them?

L: We’re a daily (most of the time) music blog and we post everything from news to reviews to interviews and everything in between for artists of all genres. 

H: There are certainly other sites that cover the same bands you do, so what is it about your site that sets it apart from the competition? What gives visitors a reason to return day after day?

L: From day one, I used my site as a way to post about small local bands in order to introduce them to those who view our site and I think that’s what gives visitors a reason to return. Unlike some other sites, we cover a variety of artists from small local bands to more well-known bands in order to give attention to everyone.

H: Your site recently celebrated five years of existence. Congrats! What would you say has been the biggest lesson learned during that time?

L: Thank you!! I learned a lot about myself over the last five years, which I think shows through Lucy Out Loud. I might say that the biggest lesson learned is to not sell yourself short. When I first started bringing on writers to the site, I didn’t really think about making sure the content was up to any standards, just that having content was important. Over time, I started to realize that I was lowering my standards for no reason, so I immediately changed that. I have an amazing Senior Writer that has been with me for about three years now and he’s helped me with editing pieces from our interns, providing them with feedback, and posting pieces that we are proud of.

H: I’d like to back track a bit and learn about the inspiration and motivation for your work. Your ‘About’ section mentions a history in music promotion. Can you tell us a bit about that?

L: I began going to local shows when I was 16 and something just clicked. It made me realize that I wanted to do SOMETHING within music, but I couldn’t figure out what just yet. I started seeing some local artists I knew about that were creating street teams and it intrigued me to figure out what they were and how I could get involved. I ended up joining street team after street team for people like Fearless Records, Photo Finish Records, To Write Love On Her Arms, Working Group Artist Management, Glamour Kills, even creating a handful for local artists. By the time I was a senior in high school, I was a part of 10-15 street teams. That’s when I created Lucy Out Loud. It was a place for me to post about all the different artists in one location and in a much more organized way. About a year into running the site, I began interning for Ace Enders of I Can Make A Mess Like Nobody’s Business (and The Early November) where I assisted in promoting his third album. That was where I was first introduced to press releases and having to send them out to different publications in order to publicize the album and tour. Once I began to expand the site, I did less street teaming in order to focus on it a little more.

H: So, what inspired you to turn your efforts toward the world of journalism?

L: Journalism was something I’ve always loved. Up until fifth grade, I thought I wanted to be a teacher and then in sixth grade I joined the Journalism Club at my middle school where I wrote articles and poetry for our school paper and that immediately opened my eyes to the world of journalism. English became my favorite subject and I began writing more frequently. I continued to write in high school where I joined our school’s magazine and put out a few more pieces of work. Once I was introduced to the world of Public Relations and I saw how the two worked hand in hand, I figured it was a great way to mix my passion for the two together.

H: Would you say there are any bloggers/writers you admire or otherwise look up to? If so, who?

L: Surprisingly, not really. I follow a handful of websites and read a bunch of great articles from both writers and friends regarding the music industry, but I wouldn’t say that there are any writers that I admire or otherwise look up to.

H: I noticed that your site is hosted on Tumblr. Have you thought about stepping out with your own standalone site, or is Tumblr the best place for your efforts right now?

L: Initially when I started the site, I ran it through both Tumblr and Blogger, but began posting solely on Tumblr because I preferred the layout and other features it provided. It’s also an extremely interactive site, so having it allow people to like/reblog our posts and do more than just view it is definitely a plus. It also gives us the chance of a wider reach. I have considered stepping out with our own standalone site, but that’s not something I have much knowledge about or the time for at the moment, so it’s not something I’ve spent time looking into.

H: How many contributors do you have? Are you looking to build your team further?

L: As of right now, we have a team of 14, which is kind of insane ha. We have a senior photographer/writer in Albany, a senior photographer in Baltimore, a writer in Boston, a photographer in Texas, a contributor in New Jersey, and a total of nine interns (four writers, four photographers, and a social media intern). We’re definitely looking to build our team further! Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll most likely be moving around some interns to higher positions and bring on some new interns as well. I’m also hoping to bring on a couple of editors to help with some new features for the site.

H: I assume you’re unable to pay writers right now, so what kind of incentives do you offer your team to keep them engaged?

L: That is correct – none of us get paid to do what we do, we simply do it for the music and that’s something we tell everyone who joins our site. As for incentives, writers receive downloads of most of the albums they review and access to shows varies on the person’s position on our team. When it comes to covering shows, we don’t provide free access to shows for our interns until they’ve been with the site for a prolonged period of time. It all comes down to trust and making sure that people can follow through with coverage.

H: What is the longterm goal for this site?

L: To grow, grow, and grow. Over the last two years, we’ve begun working with some amazing PR agencies and record labels and I think this is just the beginning for us. Ideally, we’d love to be a top-tier news site and growing plays a huge role in that possibility. We want to be a site that artists want to work with and fans want to look to for everything and anything music related.

H: What is your personal longterm career goal, and how has running this site helped you work toward achieving it?

L: My personal longterm career goal is to be a publicist, bring on my own clients, and help them achieve the goals they want to achieve. I’ve always been someone who enjoys helping others and that’s absolutely something I hope to continue doing. Running Lucy Out Loud has opened so many doors for me and introduced me to so many people, allowing me to build both relationships and friendships that I’m truly grateful for. It’s actually how I met the publicists at my current internship and I’ve learned so much from them.

H: If you could offer one piece of advice to others hoping to enter the music industry, what would it be?

L: Here’s a three-for-one: go outside your comfort zone, don’t let your fears hold you back and gain as much experience as you can. As someone with anxiety, I’ve always been afraid of doing things that are not a part of my normal routine, but I spent the last year and a half pushing myself more than I ever thought I would. It’s given me so much valuable experience that I don’t think I would have learned otherwise.

H: I know you have worked with a lot of musicians as well, so what advice do you have for them?

L: Don’t treat others as if they’re below you. That means don’t treat people (publicists, writers, photographers, fans, etc.) as if they owe you something and don’t give them any sort of backlash if you’re not where you thought you would be. If you know what you want and where you want your music to go, don’t give up on that. It might take time, but if you’re determined, you’ll get there. It’s just a matter of time.

H: Where do you see yourself in five years?

L: In five years, I’d like to be a publicist, working closely with artists in getting their music out to a wider audience. I also hope to continue running Lucy Out Loud, which would hopefully be at a top-tier level by then. But only time will tell, right?

H: I think that is all I have for now. Thank you again for your willingness to participate. Do you have any final thoughts or comments for our readers?

L: Thank you so much for reaching out and allowing me to share my experience thus far! To your readers, if you’re in a band or you work with a band that is interested in working with us, please send us an email! If you’re interested in interning or contributing to our site, please send us an email! Basically, if you’d like to contact us, shoot us an email, ha. We love what we do over at Lucy Out Loud and all I can say is that our best work is still ahead of us!

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the Director of Customer Engagement at Haulix and host of the company's podcast, Inside Music. He is also a public speaker known for promoting careers in the entertainment industry, as well as an entertainment journalist with over a decade of experience. His bylines include Rolling Stone, Alternative Press, Substream Magazine, Nu Sound, and Under The Gun Review, among other popular outlets.