Posts Tagged ‘Social network’

BY JEENA JOHNSON

Andi Young is able to play several instruments such as the piano, violin, and more. He is a classically trained violinist, who delicately threads his diverse influences into the combination of modern pop and classical music which can be heard in his releases. Andi released his single, “Time To Say Goodbye”, a few weeks ago and it has now become the #1 in the Top 50 on SoundCloud. The SoundCloud Singer/Songwriter chart is full of successful artists such as Ed Sheeran, James Bay etc, and Andi Young is no doubt a dark horse, and his songs are now available on iTunes, Amazon, Google and other online stores.

Andi Young

  1. When did you decide to take music seriously and how did you go about getting started?

Andi Young: I uploaded a song to SoundCloud, thinking it won’t get noticed, cuz you know, there are countless songs there from everybody in the world, and you normally get a few clicks and that’s it. But after a couple weeks when I checked that song, it got more than a million plays already! I was surprised at how many people around the world are listening to my music, so I decided to make more music for them.

  1. Who were your first musical influences that you can remember?

Andi Young: I started playing the violin since 4, and singing and dancing when I was about 6 or 7.

  1. Which artists are you currently listening to?

Andi Young: Singers? A lot. Tori Amos, Queen, Christina Aguilera, Etta James. Those are the names you would know because they are in the modern music world. But I actually like classic music a lot. I listen to compositions by European composers such as Fritz Seitz. You know him? Haha.

  1. Have you ever had any formal training and do you think it is a necessary requisite for artists today? 

Andi Young: Oh yeah, I was classically trained to play the violin, to dance and to sing. I learned not everything about singing from the anatomy of how we produce sound, how vocal cords work to musical expressions etc. I think they are important knowledge, and I would refer to that knowledge when I need to and that’s just a bonus. I mean, every artist needs to express freely and naturally. Even if you don’t have that knowledge you might still be able to do very well, so it’s important but not necessary.

  1. What are your thoughts on visual media? Do you see video as purely a marketing tool or as a creative extension of your music?

Andi Young: Absolutely the latter. Visual sense is too important to us. We wanna hear the music but if we can also see the music then what’s bad about it?

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  1. Which do you ultimately prefer? Entertaining a live audience or creating songs in a studio setting?

Andi Young: I like both and I am a crazy live singer haha, I love singing live so they can see how I express music as a whole and not just through my sound.

  1. Do you write all the lyrics and music to your songs, as well as arrange them, or do you collaborate with other creative writers? 

Andi Young:  I write everything on my own. But I also work with other extremely talented musicians for the instrumental arrangement just to get the deeper part of me out sometimes.

  1. What kind of a songwriter do you consider yourself to be. Someone who is inspired at the spur of the moment, or someone who ‘locks’ himself away, and works at it until the right idea comes along? 

Andi Young: All of them. I started by locking myself away haha, but after I got all those demons out, I started writing for the moment.

  1. Which ingredient do you think makes you special and unique as a performing artist in a business thriving with newcomers and wannabes?

Andi Young: My music is not commercially driven. I mean, lots of songs you hear are perfected in a business way, because labels think that kind of songs will sell because they are on the charts, so they just copy and paste. I write music for music’s sake. I don’t write to suit my audience, rather, I remain true to music, because it is an expression that I cannot ‘make’, I can only get it out and let music write itself, so it is ultimately nature’s work, not my own. And I have strong influences from classical music.

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  1. If you were forced to choose only one, which emotion, more than any other drives you to be a part of this tough and sometimes cruel business? 

Andi Young: All emotions are important, but for me, I think everything is derived from sorrow. That makes me think, it makes me see things through and ultimately become happy.

  1. Which aspect of being an independent artist and the music making process excites you most and which aspect discourages you most?

Andi Young: I get to do the music I love. What discourages me… when there aren’t enough outlets for my music to come through.

  1. Do you personally choose the engineers and producers for your recordings? How do you find them? And who are the most important creative people you have worked with thus far.

Andi Young: I do. Yeah I pick the ones I wanna work with. I try a few engineers and pick the one for the final recording. Yes, it is a long process for me, because I want my audience to hear the best quality. Every producer and engineer that I have worked with has made me grow. I learned from every body.

  1. What is the best piece of advice in this business you actually followed so far, and one you didn’t follow, but now know for sure that you should have?

Andi Young: You gotta be strong enough to be yourself. Think about it, it’s too hard to be strong and be yourself, but it is the best advice an artist can follow.

  1. If someone has never heard your music, which keywords would you personally use to describe your overall sound and style?

Andi Young: Original, classic? And special haha.

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  1. Do you consider Internet and all the social media websites as fundamental in building a career in music today, and what is your personal relationship with the new technology at hand?

Andi Young: Internet is too important now. Every artist needs a platform and the internet provides lots of opportunities to be heard.

  1. What is the title of your upcoming debut release and where and when can fans find it?

Andi Young: I released Time To Say Goodbye, and Star and You Go Left I Go Right, and there will be a few more songs coming up.

  1. Are the songs on your EP predominantly personal and confessional or more in pursuit of the greater world that surrounds us all?

Andi Young: Personal, intimate, confessional and the exploration of the world haha all in one. That’s why we write songs right?

  1. As you work your way through your career, which more than any other fires-up your imagination – A Grammy award, Platinum music sales or some other tangible milestone? 

Andi Young: Music sales are contaminated these days, and Grammy maybe, but these are not very important to me actually. I want to be there for my audience, you know what I mean? Like if one day I hear from someone telling me a story of how any of my song helped him or her go through a difficult time, then you know what, that’ll be the pinnacle of my life, and that is why I wanna do music.

  1. What is the ONE thing you are NOT willing or prepared to do EVER, in your quest to achieve a successful musical career? 

Andi Young: Nothing.

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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

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

 

Young Gifted has stayed true to the game since 1988. Pioneers of the dark side, Young Gifted embody old school and new school techniques over thunderous beats. Now Young Gifted is back with a vengeance and to settle an old score, with their monstrous street anthem titled, “Get ‘Em”.

  1. How long have you been in the music business and how did you get started in the first place?

Young Gifted: We have been in the business for more than 25 years. Mr. Westfield, the school principal, took an interest in us and became our mentor.

  1. Who were your first musical influences that you can remember?

Young Gifted: Various artist from Motown, groups such as Earth Wind and Fire. Hip Hop artists such as, Run-Dmc, Rakim, Big Daddy Kane and Public Enemy just to name a few.

  1. Which artists are you currently listening to?

Young Gifted: Everyone from Kendrick Lamar to Hall and Oats.

  1. Have you suffered any ‘resistance’ from within the industry, and if so how have you handled that, and how do you handle criticism and haters in general? 

Young Gifted: Years ago, we were told that our music sounds far too futuristic and that the industry won’t embrace it. It’s now 2015; we feel that the industry has caught up to us, being that we were already ahead of our time. The only way to handle criticism and haters is to, stay persistent and believe in your craft. Don’t let anyone tell you that “you can’t do something”

  1. What are your thoughts on visual media and Youtube? Do think that video is an appropriate marketing tool for your music, and do you have any videos published for fans to see?

Young Gifted: Visual media is great if used wisely. No, we do not have any videos out at the moment. We chose another path to go down. We wanted to be different from everyone else. In the near future, we will be releasing some visuals on social media, internet, YouTube, etc.

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  1. Which do you ultimately prefer? Entertaining a live audience or creating songs in a studio setting?

Young Gifted: Both. However, I must admit there’s no better feeling than to perform in front of a live audience.

  1. Tell us something about your lyrics and music production on your releases. Which part of these processes do you handle, and which do you outsource generally?

Young Gifted: My lyrics speak for itself. Ruff, rugged and raw. Lead artist “L.o.v.e” handles the lyrics. Total Kaos handles the production alongside Aaron Dean and Young C The Great.

    8. What is the title of your latest music release and where can fans find it? 

Young Gifted: Our latest recording release was a freestyle titled: Blood Type. Fans can find it on sound cloud, Reverbnation. https://www.reverbnation.com/younggifted4   https://soundcloud.com/jo-146

  1. Which ingredient do you think makes you special and unique as a performing artist in a genre thriving with newcomers?

Young Gifted: When you feel it’s real, whether new or old, authenticity is the key. That’s what resonates in the music as well in our performance.

  1. If you were forced to choose only one, which emotion, more than any other drives you to be a part of this tough business. Is it joy, anger, desire, passion or pride and why? 

Young Gifted: I have to say Passion. Young Gifted’s passion for music and for our music to be heard around the world supersedes any emotion you can think of.

  1. Which aspect of being an independent artist and the music making process excites you most and which aspect discourages you most?

Young Gifted: What excites me about being an independent artist is that I’m my own boss. I get to choose my own destiny. My own pathway. What discourages me is that the industry makes it very hard for an independent artist like myself to get music played on commercial radio.

  1. How do you market and manage your music career? Do you have a management team or do you control everything by yourself?

Young Gifted: We have a management team “Young Gifted Entertainment.”  The entertainment uses various tools such as social media, internet and other outlets to market and promote the group.

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  1. How do you achieve your sound? Do you work from a private recording environment or do you use a commercial sound studio?

Young Gifted: We work out of a private studio “Authority Studios”

  1. The best piece of advice in this business you actually followed so far, and one you didn’t follow, but now know for sure that you should have?

Young Gifted: The best piece of advice I followed was to always be myself. No one can be a better me. I was given this advice at young age by my dad and I continue to follow this philosophy to this day.

  1. If you had the choice which famous and/or successful producer would you like to work with?

Young Gifted: There is plenty out there, but to name one “Dr. Dre”

  1. Do you consider Internet and all the social media websites, as fundamental to independent artists and indie music in general, or do you think it only creates ‘fake of fabricated fame’?

Young Gifted: The internet and social media is very fundamental to an independent artist. Social media gives indie artist an outlet for their music to be heard by the masses.

  1. If someone has never heard your music, which keywords would you personally use to describe your overall sound and style?

Young Gifted: Dark, Hardcore beats, hip hop at its finest, lyrically inclined, ill, Dope

  1. Straight off the top of your head, how would you describe the current state of Hip-hop, R&B and Rap? 

Young Gifted: The industry has changed a lot from when I started. My motto has always been “people change, but the game remains the same”

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  1. As you work your way through your career, which more than any other fires-up your imagination – A Grammy award, Platinum music sales or any other tangible milestone? 

Young Gifted: What fires me up is being able to change the state of hip hop. I want to bring it back to the golden age where music matters. I’m excited about kicking in the doors for us and for all indie artists that follows behind. That’s what motivates me. I’m not doing this for a Grammy, I’m doing this for the love of the culture. If I achieve a Grammy or platinum status along the way, so be it.

  1. What is the ONE thing you are NOT willing or prepared to do EVER, in your quest to achieve a successful musical career? 

Young Gifted: Compromise myself. Stay true to my music. Stay true to the culture and last but not least, stay true to the streets.

OFFICIAL LINKS: REVERBNATION – TWITTER – FACEBOOK

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.

unread_emails_ask_a_publicist_campaignImage via PCWorld

Imagine this clichéd scenario from a Hollywood teen comedy: the protagonist’s parents are out of town and s/he wants to throw a party. They tell a few of their close friends, and those friends tell a few of their friends, and so on to the point where, on the night of the party, nearly half of their high school is there and the crowd has swollen to extreme proportions.Sometimes a publicity campaign can work this way, too – starting small and relying on word-of-mouth to create anticipation and a feeling of authentic, organic momentum.

This kind of campaign (which for the purposes of this column I will call a “focused campaign”) can work wonders for a new band, but so can a campaign that casts a wider net (i.e. inviting everyone at your school to the party upfront). Let’s call this kind of campaign a “comprehensive campaign.” Both have their advantages and their drawbacks, and depending on a band’s history, sound and visibility, one may be more effective than the other.

Focused Campaign

While all publicity campaigns follow the same basic architecture I outlined in my previous column, they can differ in terms of how selectively an album is pitched and how many resources are conserved or expended throughout the campaign. A more focused campaign starts small, and tactically. A publicist would send a limited quantity of advance copies of a band’s upcoming record only to select tastemakers – critics and editors whose endorsement would provoke interest from their peers and colleagues. When this technique works, it can create a genuine dialogue around an upcoming record, and snowball into more (and more prestigious) press coverage.

However, being selective in pitching and hoping an album catches on organically can be risky. It helps if the music is superlative, and if the publicist working the record is well-connected. If it backfires, however, you’re back at square one. It’s important to be fast on your toes, and you may miss out on some great press opportunities by not casting a wider net at the outset of your campaign. In such an outcome, you may risk bumming out the folks that you pitch to as a second resort (to continue my metaphor from earlier, would you like to be invited to a party only after learning that you weren’t in the first place?).

Comprehensive Campaign

For some new bands, it may not be worth the gamble of a more focused campaign. The alternative is more of a “throw everything against the wall and see what sticks” model. This would mean sending out advance downloads or streams of your record to as many worthwhile press contacts as you can find. After all, music critics and bloggers are just like any other kind of music lover – they’re voracious, they’re omnivorous and they’re open-minded. Who’s to say they might not cotton to your music? You never know if you don’t try.

The disadvantage of pitching so thoroughly is getting lost in the shuffle. When you open your inbox every morning, do you sigh in desperation when you see the number of new, unread emails? It’s the same – and often way worse – for high-powered music writers, so a lot of emails from bands and publicists are straight-up ignored. It can be easy to get lost in the shuffle, but with a little tenacity (and more than a little tact) you can overcome this. There’s a certain amount of momentum that can also come from taking as many different press opportunities as possible, expanding your audience in directions you hadn’t anticipated and raising your profile to the point where you’d be more difficult to ignore.

 

There are many, many, many factors that influence the effectiveness of a publicity campaign beyond what I’ve outlined in extremely broad strokes here, but – depending on your band, your publicist’s preferred methods and what you expect to achieve from a campaign – you can try to set the course for your campaign early on by starting small and deliberately or going for broke and pitching far and wide.

 

Jason Baxter is the in-house publicist for Seattle’s Hardly Art Records, and performs in the electronic duo USF. In a past life he was a music journalist and writes comic books in what little spare time he has.