Posts Tagged ‘Musician’

BY JEENA JOHNSON

One of the youngest up-and-coming artists representing the “New West”, born and raised in San Diego California. Kam Wil has the streets talking, Kam has been in a studio making music since he was in the 10th grade (2008). His debut mixtape “The Great Mixtape” was released on his birthday 4/18/14, he then re-released the mixtape on livemixtapes.com7/31/14 with a lot of extra things added. Kam Wil cites The Notorious B.I.G, Snoop Dogg and 50 cent as the biggest influences in his music.

Kam Wil (photo by @dalelasoul)

“I Want You ft Bryson Tiller [prod by DALETHEEWHVLE]” is undeniably a laidback sofa anthem. Though mellow, this song has heat, so you can ride to it too! There have not been too many rap tracks that have come out over the past few years that are not worth the space it takes up on your drive. A lot of newer rappers seem to have no talent. They can’t rap, the beats sounds like it was thrown together in a few minutes, and every song sound almost the same. Thank heavens that artists like Kam Wilhave got it.

Sure it’s got catchy RnB vocal hooks and mainstream appeal, but the trump card is in Kam Wil’s flow. It is easy going, vital and simple to understand – not the usual preachy in-your-face, braggadocio stuff. He has refined his game to near perfection here.

While the production by DALETHEEWHVLE is sumptuously delicious, Kam Wil displays a controlled sense of urgency, swiftness and acuteness in his flow, as he rolls and rhymes throughout the verses. Finding comfort with a pen and a pad, we get to see a much more reflective and sensitive side to Kam Wil as he serenades his lady and toasts to seduction and love, which to me makes his persona even more interesting.

All-round, Kam Wil lays it down straight. “I Want You ft Bryson Tiller [prod by DALETHEEWHVLE]”is tight with a phat beat and a smooth vocal jam.

Social Media:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/KamWilthegreat
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kamwilthegreat1x
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/kam-wil

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BY JEENA JOHNSON

The song “Fever” was originally written by Eddie Cooley and Otis Blackwell, who used the pseudonym John Davenport. It was first recorded by Little Willie John in 1956, and has since been covered by numerous artists from various musical genres. Running through the musical annals of time, you will find a Moulin Rouge-type version by French female singer Lorie, a Disco version by Swedish artist, Madleen Kane. You might even bump into a Salsa mix done performed by Cuba’s La Lupe, or more classical styled versions by Ray Charles, Natalie Cole, Michael Bubblé or John Farnham. Not to mention those by Madonna, Beyoncé, James Brown and indie-folk artist, Meiko. But this list is almost endless.

onur-selcuk-350aSo with that many varied and influential interpretations already doing the rounds, what would induce a creative mind like Onur Selcuk to piece together his super-clicked YouTube-watchable version – “Fever (Bayrasa Avant-Garde Mix)”? Well certainly not financial gain, as the video footnotes clearly state: This is strictly non-commercial, not to be released, not used for promotion, not monetized, no advertising revenue of any kind or any other financial gain. Under fair use, no copyright infringement intended. Strictly purposed for sharing and commenting with friends.”

So what was the real reason then? Well, WhatsApp, that’s what! Onur says that the whole idea came together after a group chat, while simply making plans for breakfast. Now if you’ve already shot over to watch the video out of sheer curiosity and are wondering from where the typewriter theme originated, or why the visuals have a retro look and feel, and how they fabricated the drum beats out of actual typewriter sounds, you need to know that Onur and friends are not your average videographers!

Onur Selcuk, who was a State Conservatory weekend attendee, has studied Film & Television at UCLA Extension, vocal technique at the prestigious Juilliard School, and has worked on TV commercial sets and Broadway productions. In turn he is now coaching vocalists and teaching voice for actors. On hand to help Onur rebuild “Fever” from the ground up, were music arranger Ozan Bayrasa, screenplay writer Zeliha Sönmez, sound mixer Murat Bulut, and backing vocalists Sibel Gursoy and Tuba Onal Kozanoğlu.

onur-selcuk-350bOnur Selcuk has a singing style that is at once a throwback to the crooner days and then completely new. If you’re looking to hear a male vocalist with that ‘doesn’t sound like he’s been sucking in helium’, or just looking to hear someone who can really sing and doesn’t need to scream at an audience to prove it, you owe it to yourself to check this out. Onur has a more than competent voice, an interesting style and a natural flair when it comes to singing pop classics like “Fever”, or rather “Fever (Bayrasa Avant-Garde Mix)”, the new version title.  I would really love to hear him sing some original music too.

In comparison to modern-day singers in a similar niche, such as Michael Bubblé or Harry Connick Jr., Onur brings a more individual style and sensuality to the music which has nothing to do with body movement or physical attributes, but rather a performing attitude. Onur’s rendition of “Fever” plays with the tempo and adds a few percussive tricks to make this Chillout Lounge version all his own. He sings this with an understated enthusiasm and panache that is practically infectious; no unnecessary breathless whispering, nor any over the top screaming. Onur Selcuk sings it straight, and never misses a beat. Together with an all-round sublime and classy music production, and superbly filmed video clip, “Fever (Bayrasa Avant-Garde Mix)”, ignites an even brighter flame into the burning fire that is “Fever”!

OFFICIAL LINKS: TWITTER – INSTAGRAM – FACEBOOK – YOUTUBE

BY JEENA JOHNSON

If you are new to One Girl Symphony, I must tell you that their music is very hard to categorize. As a matter of fact, I think we are on the cusp of a new genre. However before experiencing the magical musical world of One Girl Symphony we need to know that OGS is actually a boy and a girl – the talented composer and instrumentalist, Whitney Vandell, a young musical prodigy adopted at the age of two by an American missionary and music teacher, and the exquisite and experienced violinist, William Stewart.

One-Girl-Symphony-CoverWhitney met William online through the random connection of a family-friend. Consider that William had long retired from playing the violin at the age of 21 to start a family, nearly thirty years ago, after leaving the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra. Now, together, One Girl Symphony adventure into classical, rock, hip-hop, folk and blues territories.

‘Today, neither borders nor differences in language or culture can keep musicians apart to stop them from realizing their dreams! Despite us all being from different worlds and working with oceans between us we came together as if we were all sitting in the same room’, says William Stewart, the violinist collaborating on the self-titled, One Girl Symphony album. The inspiring story is proof to musicians worldwide that it doesn’t matter whom you are or where you are located, all that is needed to realize your vision and record an album is a laptop and an Internet connection.

The release of the CD and accompanying DVD film coincided with the premiere performance that united Whitney and William at the TEDx event in Addis Ababa. A crowdfunding campaign was launched and covered William’s flight from France to bring the musicians together on stage to perform. ‘We had never met each other in person but through TEDx we got the chance to realize our fantasy of playing together in front of a live audience’, says Whitney Vandell.

One-Girl-Symphony-TEDxOne Girl Symphony’s music takes you to an entirely different time and place like no other current recording artist. I would encourage everyone to listen to each of their songs in their entirety several times before passing judgment as this style of music is unique and often times the really good stuff really kicks in after the 30 second mark. So watch out for those iTunes samples.

To be sure, the One Girl Symphony experience is a visual as well as aural one, but that isn’t to say the music itself is dependent on the visual. In fact, on its own merits I found this to be an excellent album, showcasing both Whitney Vandell and William Stewart’s technical abilities along with interesting arrangements and, I should say, a sound that I don’t think you can find anywhere else. It’s just that Whitney is a very beautiful lady, which may distract your attention from the music ever so slightly!

One-Girl-Symphony-CDTrayWhitney Vandell has certainly set high standards for her music and that is a good thing because it comes through in everything she creates and plays. This young lady is a multi-talented explosion waiting to happen. And that much is clear from the very first track on the album, “No Glitch” right through to the closer. My only caveat when listening to new music is that I need to feel something when I hear a song, not just want to tap my foot. Her music is so emotional, over and above the melodic manipulation of my brain that it feels almost therapeutic.

Whitney is finding her own expression in this album. It blends genres of music in ways that are very entertaining. You can hear that she is having fun with the music and is not just going through the motions. Very emotional, mature and soul baring, there isn’t a single song on the whole album I wouldn’t listen to again and again; especially “Orleans Dirt”, “What Can I Say”, “Farewell Solace”, “Eternal Savannah” and “Blues City Jam”.  If you like anything that is remotely musical you will most likely enjoy the music of One Girl Symphony.  Without words Whitney Vandell and William Stewart can create beautiful images, stories, and emotions.

OFFICIAL LINKS: WEBSITE – ITUNES – VIMEO

A panel of music supervisors gave a peek into how they choose music for the projects they’re working on at the THR/Billboard Film and TV Music Conference in Los Angeles. In addition to offering advice on what not to do when submitting music, the panelists critiqued snippets of music submitted by conference attendees who are trying to break into film/TV music. Here are some dos and don’ts for submitting music to supervisors.

– When sifting through the music he receives daily, EA Worldwide executive of music Steve Schnur divides the submissions into piles based on importance. I’ll separate it based on things I’m never going to listen to, Schnur said, noting that submissions from people he has relationships gets placed into a pile he’ll likely listen to. Usually those come with a note or a letter, and my assistant pulls those out separately. Submissions with interesting artwork are likely to get noticed over those without, he noted. Music supervisor Frankie Pine said that and CD submissions with handwriting goes into the garbage. 

– It may seem like a no-brainer, but many songwriters don’t leave contact information on music submissions. Those who don’t usually get their music tossed, the panel agreed. While searching in the submission box for music to critique, Pine chose an album by a group whose CD didn’t have contact information on it. I wouldn’t listen to that one, she said. It doesn’t get a listen if it doesn’t have contact information. Because if I liked it, what would I do? I’d have to research it and I don’t have time for that. Picture Tunes Music’s Nora Felder suggested that artists invest in plastic jewel cases and include the name of the act on the spine. For those of us that do continue to use CDs, you want us to be able to see that on the shelf when we’re looking for something, she said. Paul Glass, supervising music director of “One Life To Live,” suggested, “When you put the metadata into your CDs, if you could have contact information in one of the fields, it’s really amazing. So if I’m going through an iTunes list and I’m looking for something specific, it makes things a lot easier.” 

– Most music supervisors prefer digital submissions of music. So if possible, send e-mail with links, streams or MP3s. “One of the supervisors that works for me loves CDs. But I hate them,” Schnur said. “I don’t want to deal with it. I deal with YouSendIt or MP3s. Love it.” Glasser noted that 80% of the music he receives via e-mail contains links to an artist’s music. Play-Tone Company’s Deva Anderson added, “In my office we do digital-only, so we don’t accept any CDs anymore. It’s a lot easier if you have a website to let us know what site it is.” Felder said she accepts CD submissions, but asks songwriters to “please write neatly so I can read it. If you don’t have money for stickets, take a wide piece of masking tape an write the information and stick it right on the CD. Make it as neat of a presentations as possible.” 

– Most music supervisors don’t have time to listen to a whole album, so always circle or note which tracks you’d like the music supervisor to listen to first. “When you’re making an album, obviously you’re not going to sequence it thinking of, “Oh God, I need that song that’s going to get on a TV show”, up front,” Schnur said. “Thus, you really need to call out on that packaging if you have something specific in mind. Because if not, we’re going to go to the first track, and you’re out.” Felder added, “There are many times when I’ll listen to a whole CD and frankly I won’t like most of the songs on the CD. Then one song will be the winner. So definitely try to indicate which song you think is right for the project.” 

– Songwriters should be aware of the projects music supervisors are working on and tailor their submissions to specific films of television shows. “When submitting, it’s really easy to Google anyone here on stage and find out what they’re working on,” Deva Anderson said. “Be familiar with what those shows are and what kind of music they use.” Pine added, “If you really feel like track seven was your strong track, circle it, say why you’re submitting it for this particular project, this one is the one I think would be really great for “Californication,” because I’ve watched the show and know what kind of music they have. Just don’t submit songs for the sake of submitting a song to somebody, because it wastes a lot of our time and unfortunately that tends to leave a bad taste in our mouths.”

Via Billboard

974410_752313181507596_1274045852_nNow collaborating with Houston’s own Just Brittany, who is known for singles with Mo City Don (Z-Ro) and being the Crush Remix Ft with Beat king!.

The “Derriere” Remix came about while DJ Malone was looking for the right fit. He searched for the right person and decided on Just Brittany, who he says: “…[B]rings a flame to the song.” Dj Malone is showcasing various skills on this project by not only writing lyrics for the track, but also producing the beat, shooting a portion of the video, and performing digital editing. The video was shot in Houston, Texas and it took about 15 days to capture all of the footage. However, when it was all said and done, he had a beast of a track on his hands and the right visual elements to complement it. Coming off the heels of his last hit song “Da Wurkout,” DJ Malone again chose video choreography by It’s Showtime, a Houston Dance group. The dance moves, together with the beat on “Derriere” will have you out of your seat! As an additional nod to the Houston music scene, the video showcases young and upcoming talent in the area, including “FOE,” a rap group that DJ Malone has been supporting for years, Ms.

Piggy, DJ Willie T and Lil Black. The video also features Houston’s own sexy plus size model, Astasia Miguel and DJ Ray Young, a well-respected, name in Houston. We are now promoting the video, which has been posted to blogs including www.view hip-hop.com, beat100 and others. This new joint will have you shaking your “Derriere.” When asked how he came up with the concept for the song, DJ Malone noted that he is tired of people saying: “Shake your azz, and shake your booty.” Derriere is a word everyone can say, and in some sense, could upgrade your vocabulary as well.

Check out the video on youtube, DJ Malone Ft. Just Brittany, “Derriere” Remix. Be sure to request the track at your local radio stations and clubs!

Twitter @djmalonepro

Twitter @justbrittany

If you’ve affiliated yourself as a songwriter with a performing rights organization (such as ASCAP, BMI, or SESAC) and registered all your songs, you’ve taken an important first step in collecting the publishing royalties you’re owed.

That being said, PROs such as ASCAP and BMI only collect one form of music publishing revenues: theperformance royalty.

In order to collect ALL of the royalties you’re owed, you either need to have a publishing rights administratorworking on your behalf, or spend hundreds to thousands of hours each year tracking down this money yourself (in every corner of the globe); oh, and you’ll also need to speak dozens of languages and be absolutely psyched about paperwork.

In case my sarcasm went undetected, I’ll repeat it plainly: it’s nearly impossible for independent artists to collect all the music publishing revenue they’re owed — while also having time to make music — without the help of a traditional publisher or a service like CD Baby Pro.

If you’re only signed up with a performing rights organization such as ASCAP or BMI, here’s what you’re missing:

1. Mechanical royalties for physical product (CDs, vinyl, etc.)

Performing rights organizations do NOT collect mechanical royalties. Yet every time a song you’ve written appears on an album that is manufactured for sale, you’re owed a mechanical royalty. If you’re releasing your own material, you’re essentially paying this royalty to yourself. But if other artists cover your songs, are you set up to get paid?

2. Streaming 

Every time your music is played on an interactive streaming service such as Spotify or Beats Music, you’re owed publishing royalties, in addition to the standard streaming license fee you receive per play. These publishing royalties from streaming services are comprised mostly of mechanical royalties, but there is also a small percentage of performance royalties that will be paid to your PRO. Again, if you’re only registered with ASCAP or BMI, you’re only getting paid a fraction of what you’re owed.

3. International download sales

As our friends at SongTrust explain: “Outside of the US, music retailers (iTunes, Amazon, etc)  are required to pay mechanical licensing societies (think Harry Fox Agency but in other areas of the world) around 9% of revenue earned from each download. This amounts to about 9 cents per digital download, owed to the songwriter. This money sits at the mechanical society until it is collected by a publishing administrator.” Without a service like CD Baby Pro, you’re leaving those uncollected international mechanical royalties on the table.

4. International Performance Royalties

US-based PROs such as ASCAP and BMI are great at collecting performance royalties within the United States. But with CD Baby Pro, your songs will be registered directly with international performing rights organizations around the world. We’ll collect your international performance royalties straight from the source. With our direct agreements, you’ll get paid faster and more efficiently than you would via BMI, ASCAP, or SESAC (who have reciprocal agreements for international performance royalties).

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If you want to make sure you’re set up to collect all the publishing royalties you’re owed, check out CD Baby Pro.

Did you know you only have to sell about 450 albums in one week to make the Billboard HeatSeeker Chart? Believe it or not, there have been many unsigned artists hitting the Billboard Charts in the last year. There are many ways for unsigned artists to sell their music online and even in retail stores. But is that all it takes to get you on the charts? No.

Here are the 5 Secrets To Hit The Billboard Charts:

1. Get a UPC code – Most CD duplication companies offer to put UPC codes on your CDs (some for free but most for a fee). It is worth the $30. You should not pay more than $30 for a UPC code. If a company charges you more than that, go to UPCexpress.com and get one for $29. You can give the CD duplication company your UPC code to print on your CDs.

2. Register for SoundScan – How does Billboard create the top album charts? Because of Nielson SoundScan. Every time you buy a CD at a store (most stores) or online, a computer system counts that CD purchase. At the end of every week, the top album sellers are released on Billboard. And if your CD does not have a UPC code, you don’t qualify for Nielson SoundScan. But even having a UPC code doesn’t automatically qualify you. You must register your CD and UPC code on the SoundScan site. Once you register, your online and retail CD sales will count towards the weekly charts. However, not all online or brick-and-mortar retailers report to SoundScan. Call or email the retailer to find out.

3. Set Up A Pre-order – What is a pre-order? It’s a period of time (up to 8 weeks) where fans can buy your CD before it comes out. They receive the CD the week of your CD release. But all the sales up to the release of your CD counts towards your 1st week sales. For example, if you sell 300 CDs in a 6-week pre-order period and sell 200 the week the CD comes out, your first week sales will be 500 which would be good enough to hit the Billboard HeatSeeker Chart (usually 450 albums will qualify for the Top 150 on this chart).

When you register your music for digital downloads through Tunecore or another site, set the release date for a minimum of 6-weeks in advance to ensure your EP/album will be out in time to correspond with your pre-order. Otherwise, your first week numbers will not include both your physical pre-orders and first week sales numbers.

***Again, make sure you set your pre-order up with a company who reports their CD sales to SoundScan. This is crucial. Simply email/call the company and ask.***

4. Bundles – Because of the downloading trend, a lot of people get their music for free online or only buy singles. Labels and bands are starting to “bundle” up their CDs with merchandise. Bundle up your pre-order CD with a Tshirt (CD/Tshirt for $15 etc.) and offer the CD seperately. Give your fans choices. But don’t only keep the bundle up during the pre-order. Keep the bundles up permanently! You can bundle up your CD with posters, autograph booklets, stickers, Tshirts and hundreds of other items. This will definitely increase your sales.

Websites that are good about helping unsigned bands set up pre-order bundles are SmartPunk.com andDistrictLines.com. And both companies report to SoundScan.

Give your fans a reason to buy your whole CD instead of just the singles.

5. Promote – I can’t say this enough. You have to promote your music and don’t stop. Reach out to as many webzines as you can to review your CD or just post about your pre-order. Post it all over your MySpace. Send out an email blast from your mailing list. Make banners and post it on all the websites that have your band profile.

Also, try to get front page coverage on sites like Purevolume during the week of your release. This extra exposure will definitely increase your sales. Offer these sites exclusive rights to stream a new song for a week in exchange for front-page coverage.

Other ways to help your 1st week numbers is to get your CD in your local Hot Topic stores during the week of the release. But you must coordinate this weeks in advance.

Use these tips and I’ll see your band on the Billboard charts!

Via Bandology