Ohhhhh Ewan McVicar 🎵
You know you are doing something right when fans chant your name at your DJ gigs. More on that in a sec…
It’s been over a year since I last published a Blueprint newsletter. With the relaunch of Socially Sound V2 pending, I thought now was a good time to get back into a Monday morning routine of writing a newsletter where I break down an artists socials and show you what they do well.
Enter Ewan McVicar – the breakout Scot who has took the electronic music scene by storm with a series of releases and sellout shows in the last few years. In this edition of The Blueprint, I break down Ewan’s social media strategy and identify some really cool things he does to keep this raw and authentic personal brand he has going on right now.
To encourage you to make it all the way down, I’ve added five of my own ideas that I’ve taken from this case study that could help you with your social media or music production going forward.
Happy scrolling 📲👇
Who is Ewan McVicar?
If you don’t know much about Ewan, his breakout record ‘Tell Me Something Good‘ has over 50 million streams on Spotify alone. The release originally came out on Patrick Topping’s Trick but is now under exclusive licence to Ministry Of Sound Recordings. That might make him sound like a bit of a one hit wonder but that is a complete lie. Follow up releases ‘El Bombo’ and ‘Heather Park’ are both approaching 1 million streams with a recent remix for ‘Mura’ clocking up over 3 million streams. Just look at how many people turned up to see him at The Steel Yard at Creamfields 👀
Ewan grew up in a small town in Scotland called Ayr. Now Ayr isn’t exactly a city you think of when it comes to clubbing heritage but Ewan’s commitment to throwing parties in the town and the success of his productions have made him one of the scenes true breakout stars.
Every city has its musical heroes. Ewan McVicar is to Ayr what Robbie Williams is to Stoke-on-Trent or Adele is to Tottenham. Ewan McVicar has put Ayr on the map and you can see it everywhere in his social media and his music.
Ewan McVicar & St Mirren Football Club
I’ve talked about combining your interests a lot in previous newsletters.
Ewan has managed to combine electronic music and his love for St Mirren Football Club and build it into his audience. A recent retweet on Ewan’s Twitter account told a story about while on tour in New Zealand, Ewan lent over the DJ booth and told a fan that St Mirren had beaten Celtic 2-0.
This shows how much Ewan loves St Mirren that he is following the football score while playing on the other side of the world. This also shows how engaged his audience is that someone remembered it and compared to his DJ set.
Combined Interests = Opportunities
Music and football is an ever-growing trend. Sorley partnered with Sunderland (his local team) to launch a kit. Yousef partnered with Liverpool on their latest away kit launch. This summer, Ewan was involved in St Mirren’s away kit campaign. The promo video featured him DJ’ing in the changing rooms during training that turned into a rave. He also modelled the kit as part of their promotional campaign and wore the kit with his name on the back at Creamfields.
The results of this campaign? The kit sold-out in just a few days. 💰
This shows the power of becoming a local hero in your home town and city as an artist. This can create collaboration opportunities. Thanks to the rise in music on Instagram, TikTok and YouTube, your music could be put in front of a whole new audience.
Think local, act global.
Ewan McVicar – Heather Park
Ewan created hype for ‘Heather Park’ for a year before it was released on Ninja Tune in July by playing it as the last track of his sets.
The track is named after the street that Ewan grew up on. In a short interview with Mixmag, Ewan says he created the track by drawing as much emotion as he could about what it was like growing up in Ayr. The music video on YouTube is a combination of Ewan and his brothers as kids and the 26 year adult revisiting where he grew up.
The video’s description reads as follows:
“‘Heather Park’ was the street I grew up on & where I have so many cherished memories. The video represents how far my family & I have come from 3 brothers (Neill, Ewan, Rory) in the one room scrapping, laughing, crying, my Maw, Briso & Papa taking care of us all. Playing football out the back, me taking a ‘maddie’ oot the back door and rattling my toy snake off the whirligig. It represents that nostalgic feeling of a real family home & a world away from the real world. So glad it is finally here & I get to share this beautiful video with everyone. I’ve cried every time av watched it so it’s like Marley & Me now.”
In previous newsletters, I have talked about a personal approach is key to building an audience and getting new fans invested in you as an artist. This EP campaign is the complete package – even the artwork is simple. It’s just a photo of Ewan and the road sign for ‘Heather Park’.
Ewan McVicar – Social Media
Instagram – Raw and authentic
You will notice that none of the description of Heather Park on YouTube is broken down into proper English.
This is exactly the same on his Instagram captions. Even though his audience is growing, his captions are still written exactly how he would say it out loud. This continues the raw and authentic personal brand of McVicar and it’s why his audience gravitates towards him as much as they do. Essentially, Ewan is one of them and they can relate to that through his tone of voice, his humbleness and his track selection.
One of the other things that comes out in Ewan’s socials is how much he is enjoying the ride. There are so many DJs out there who think they need to have this serious and moody personal brand because Tale Of Us do. Ewan’s audience is rowdy, up for a laugh and living the ride with him. That’s why they love him.
Twitter – Unfiltered thoughts
Twitter is such an undervalued platform for young DJs who are breaking through.
Artists like Skream and Ewan are unfiltered on Twitter. They don’t have any real strategy on the platform, they just tweet their thoughts and their experiences about parties and music in real-time.
When Ewan and Skream played b2b at Hideout Festival this summer, the two of them engaged with each other about how they were still reeling from how special it was and the ravers who were there joined them in reliving it by sharing their own experiences. The ravers shared videos and the two DJs liked and retweeted them.
This relationship between Ewan and Skream is going to blossom even further with plans to get in the studio and make some tunes. This is all from an unplanned b2b set that started with Skream sending him a DM…
Some ideas for you:
Now this section of The Blueprint is new. I get told I’m an ideas guy, so here’s some ideas for you from what I’ve learned about Ewan’s strategy and how you can implement them yourself.
1. Create a track about the street/neighbourhood/city you grew in. Nobody else had your experience so capturing this will be unique to you and it allows you to tell your story like no-else can.
2. Revisit where you grew up if you no longer live there and channel that into your music/content. If the neighbourhood is raw and industrial, make a track like that. If it makes you feel sad, channel that emotion. If it gives you energy and reminds you how far you have come, create a track with that energy.
3. Start using Twitter as a journal for your thoughts and start translating those thoughts into music. That’s how ideas and opportunities happen. Talk to yourself, write it down. Trust me, it works. That’s exactly what my newsletter is. A journal of what’s in my head.
4. Look for inspiration in your local sports teams content. Your best idea yet might be right on your door step and sports teams content is normally top tier as they have such an engaged audience of different age groups.
5. Write down all your achievements of 2022 in a list – you might have made more progress than you realise. See the bottom of this email for Ewan’s list…
Join the Socially Sound Discord and let me know if this was useful. Next week’s newsletter is going to focus on ANOTR and No Art as they’re creating some really dope content right now that is bringing together music and art both online and in the club/festival space.
I’m also open to suggestions from you on what artists or brands I should break down next.
See you next week for another Blueprint.
Here’s an invite to my Discord.
Peace and love ✌️
Andrew at Socially Sound 🧢
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