New Music Tuesday: Oct. 30, 2012

TuneCore Artists are releasing tons of new music every day. We’re featuring a few of those new releases below. Check them out!

AlyssaBonagura
Love Hard
Alyssa Bonagura
Pop

Blurred Vision
Democracy EP
Blurred Vision
Rock

Forever the Living Dead
The Army EP
Forever the Living Dead
Electronic

William Beckett
What Will Be EP
William Beckett
Alternative

Music For Deep Relaxation
Splendid Beauty: Classical
Indian Flute & Violin

Music for Deep Relaxation
World

Natalie Portman's Shaved Head
When the Lights Go Out
Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head
Pop

Esthero
Everything Is Expensive
Esthero
Singer/Songwriter

Matthew Ryan
In the Dusk of Everything
Matthew Ryan
Folk

Je'Kob
Hope
Je’kob
Christian/Gospel

Wreckless Eric
A Working Museum
Wreckless Eric & Amy Rigby
Rock

G-Unit’s Advice for Young Artists: Be Seen

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been taking a look at some of the different labels that use TuneCore. Today we’ve got a great interview with Dré McKenzie of G-Unit and G-Note Records, both labels established by 50 Cent.  McKenzie spoke to us about how the labels use sales information to plan strategy for future releases, why live performance is so critical, and more.

Can you describe your label (genre, number of artists signed, how long you’ve been operating, etc…) ?
Labels:  G UNIT RECORDS, INC. & G NOTE RECORDS, INC.
We have a total number of 8 artists, not including 50 Cent, although 50 works hand-in-hand with both companies.

How did you get your labels up and running?
50 Cent established G UNIT in 2003 and G NOTE in 2011.

What does TuneCore provide for you as a label?
TuneCore provides digital distribution for all G UNIT & G NOTE artists’ singles for the last 2 years or so, outside of the major label deals we’ve conducted.

How do you use the monthly sales information in your account?
We mine that data in order to forecast future sales and plan strategy for future releases.  We compare and contrast past strategies with sales from those campaigns in order to be more efficient moving forward.

Are the weekly trending reports in your account of value to you?
Yes, from time to time, although we look more holistically at those reports—2 weeks to months at a time.  During the initial stages of a release the weekly tracking is helpful though.

When one of your artists has a new release coming out, what do you do to promote the release, and what do you expect the artist to do?
We attempt to make inroads utilizing social media and content placement within relevant circles—both live/in-person and digital to raise awareness and create moments that will lead consumers to purchase said content.

GNote LogoWhat are the most important tips you would give to a DIY artist trying to achieve his/her goals (whether it be getting signed to a label or not)?
In principle, I’d say that live performance is critical in the same way that politicians go out and “touch the people” during electoral campaigns—it helps people feel valued and creates a moment within which they, the consumers, play an important part.  Secondly, be seen—Pac said it best: “All Eyez On Me.”  If the biggest social portals make their money from the amount of eyes focused on their platform (traffic to their site which generates advertising dollars from major brands) then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t adopt the same principle for selling your music/content.


More on G-Unit & G-Note Records.

Check out some of the artists signed to G-Unit & G-Note Records: Lloyd Banks, Hot Rod, Precious Paris, DJ Pauly D, Governor, Tony Yayo, Shawty Lo, Lea, Genasis

 

#TCVideoFridays – October 26th 2012

We finally made it to another #TCVideoFridays post! Let’s start off with a great music video distributed to iTunes by TuneCore. (More info on that service here)

Michael Bearden & Ese Vatos, Cry

Michael Bearden & The Ese Vatos, “Cry (feat. Yungchen Lhamo)”


And now, a few more videos from TuneCore Artists…

 


Pentatonix, “Aha!”


Nico Vega, “Beast”


Lake Street Dive, “I Want You Back”


Biters, “Born To Cry”


Katie Sky & Kate McGill, “Tell You Everything”


Hector Guerra, “What Up?”


Kopecky Family Band, “Heartbeat”


Cherub, “Doses and Mimosas”


Crisis Mr. Swagger, “Play On”

How Skyler Stonestreet is Scoring Sync Deals

Even if you haven’t heard her name, you’ve likely heard her music. Skyler Stonestreet, a pop singer who describes her sound as “left of center,” has had great success with TV placements. Her music has been featured on shows like One Tree Hill and Laguna Beach, and most recently her single “A Little Taste” was showcased in ABC’s Sunday Promo for several of the station’s shows.  Check out our Q&A below in which Skyler talks about how these TV placements have come about, what kind of team she thinks an artist needs to succeed, and more.

Without using ‘conventional’ genre words, describe your sound.
I would describe my sound as spontaneous, left of center, without boundaries and completely heartfelt.

Before a new release hits stores, how do you market and promote it?
Usually I promote it most with film/tv placements, when it is placed in a show it increases the people listening and new people get to hear my music, which really helps with the release.

You’ve gotten great television exposure of your music on shows like “One Tree Hill,” “Laguna Beach,” and your latest single “A Little Taste” has been used on ABC promos.  How did these placements come about?
Some of the placements happened because I was sending my music to placement companies and going that route, and some came upon my music online and contacted me which was really cool.  The promo on ABC I got from a live showcase that I was playing with the other writer and the producer of “A Little Taste” Jacques Brautbar.  We played it live and next thing you know it was on ABC!

What are your goals as an artist?
To release a record, tour, write as much as possible, and do everything I’m doing now on a bigger level.

How are you working toward achieving those goals?
I just keep pushing, it’s all about the work you do, and the persistence.  Just because something goes wrong (which it will a number of times before it goes right!) you cannot give up.  I just continue using my craft and I imagine where I want to be, and work towards that every day.

What kind of team do you think an artist needs to succeed?
Well a team is VERY helpful, and can make things go quicker in my opinion, but I have done a lot on my own and have had a lot of things happen so far that have been amazing.  I think you can really get a lot done on your own if you want to, but a manager, creative team, etc would not hurt!

Skyler Stonestreet - A Little Taste

Why does TuneCore work for you?
I have used TuneCore since I started releasing music.  I love that you can get your music up quick, and it’s a very good system, it’s fair and very easy to use.  I have always used it.

Have you signed a publishing admin deal?
I have not yet, there have been some new opportunities placed before me with the recent success of “A Little Taste” but I have not signed a deal yet.  I have made relationships with different licensing companies and networks, and that is how I get my songs out there.

What’s the one most important tip you would give another independent artist trying to make a name for him/herself?
Write as much as you can, and work on your music every single day.  There are going to be times when you feel like you just got punched in the face and you must tune out any doubt, it’s just going to work against you.  Imagine where you want to be and strive to do that every day and you will see it start unfolding, which is truly rewarding.

Are there mistakes you’ve learned from along the way?
YES.  Don’t ever sign something right away, because once you sign you are locked in.  Also sometimes be wary of the promises people make and let actions speak louder than words.

What can we look forward to next?
I will be releasing a new song to follow up “A Little Taste” and then you can expect an EP out, touring, and a new video!


Download “A Little Taste” from iTunes

Follow Skyler on Facebook

Become a Fan on Twitter

Transforming a Hobby into a Business

We’re continuing our series of profiles on labels that use TuneCore, with a Q&A with Mark Orr of LAB Records.  Based out of Manchester, UK, LAB Records is an independent label currently working with nine artists: Young Kato, Charlee Drew, Kid British, Portia Conn, Katie Sky, Hellogoodbye, Adam Barnes, Cartel, and The Summer Set.  Check out our conversation with co-founder Orr, in which he talks about how LAB went from ‘hobby’ to ‘label,’ using sales information to determine marketing push, and more.

Can you describe your label (genre, number of artists signed, how long you’ve been operating, etc…) ?

Our label, LAB Records is based out of Manchester, UK, and we currently have 9 active artists.  Some are licenses for the European territory (Cartel, The Summer Set), while others are on worldwide deals (Young Kato, Adam Barnes & Katie Sky). We’ve been operating officially for 5 years, but made the transition from hobby to business just under 3 years ago.

How did you get your label up and running?

The idea of LAB as a collective first started with us putting on gigs in a small town in the North of England. The nights were totally different to anything that was going on there at the time, and as a result we grew a group of 200-300 regulars. Many of the bands we were putting on were unsigned or had endured a bad experience with a label, so it seemed like a natural step to help them out, put out a CD.

For the first couple of years it was a complete hobby run out of my dorm room at University, but we managed to sell some records and started to work with artists who had serious management. From there, we gained our first investment and the hobby was suddenly a legitimate business.

What does TuneCore provide for you as a label?

Complete flexibility. We have worked with several distributors over here and TuneCore has delivered better service and more store features than any of them to date—without taking a 20% cut of our royalty cheque.

How do you use the monthly sales information in your account?

The most interesting point right now is the shift in emphasis towards some of the streaming services.  It’s interesting to see which stores other than iTunes are working for us—just recently it’s been Spotify and Amazon.

Are the weekly trending reports in your account of value to you?

Obviously this just allows us to see what is hot over any particular seven days, and we can adjust our marketing push and spend accordingly. For example, if a particular release has seen a dip in sales, a flash sale can give it a new lease of life.

When one of your artists has a new release coming out, what do you do to promote the release, and what do you expect the artist to do?

It’s our job to get all of our ducks in a row–music video, mailing list, tour, online and radio PR—and on the artist side they tend to look after the social media, running Twitter contests, hosting uStreams and generally getting the fanbase excited for the new record. At that point more than any other it’s a sort of ‘all hands on deck’ mentality—since clearly we don’t have a 50+ strong team a major label would.

Mark Orr - LAB Records
Mark Orr of LAB Records

What are the most important tips you would give to a DIY artist trying to achieve his/her goals (whether it be getting signed to a label or not)?

I would say to work hard and really try to better yourself from release-to-release, or video-to-video. We’ve released what I believe are incredible records that haven’t necessarily been a success in terms of units sold, but if an artist is true to him/herself and the music connects with the fanbase (and lets the artist hopefully pay some of the bills!) then that’s still an achievement for me.


More on LAB Records @ labrecs.com

Coming up next… on Friday, October 26th we interview Dré McKenzie of G UNIT/G NOTE RECORDS

New Music Tuesday: Oct. 23, 2012

TuneCore Artists are releasing tons of new music every day. We’re featuring a few of those new releases below. Check them out!


Pair of Dice (Radio Edit)
Tiësto & Allure
Dance

NecroFusion
Zak Bagans vs Praga Khan
Electronic

Rewind
Skye Stevens
Pop

Friends and Family – EP
Montgomery Gentry
Country

Beyond the Bunkhouse
Luke Kaufman
Country

Oh Burgundy
Oh Burgundy
Alternative

Covers – Volume 1
Bayside
Alternative

Kids Raising Kids
Kopecky Family Band
Rock