New Music Tuesday: June 30, 2015

TuneCore Artists are releasing tons of new music every day. Each week we check out the new TuneCore releases and choose a few at random to feature on the blog.

Is your hit next?

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How Far You Wanna Go
Denny Strickland


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The Switch
Emily King

R&B/Soul, Pop

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Lucky Diaz & The Family Jam Band

Children’s Music, Alternative

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Opry 9.0: Discoveries From the Circle, Vol. 1
Various Artists


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Bonnie McKee

Pop, Alternative

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Violet Cachki

Dance, Pop

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New Tyme EP
The Kirks

Singer/Songwriter, Country

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Do It All
Ace Dough

R&B/Soul, Hip Hop/Rap

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Somewhere In The Sierras

Alternative, Rock

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Ryan Farish

Electronic, Dance

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Southern Cross
Ron Pope


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Starting From Zero


TuneCore Sync Placements in Q2 2015

You probably already know TuneCore is about more than just selling your music online. On top of our suite of Artist Services, we’re continually building on our Music Publishing Administration services. Helping independent artists collect royalties transparently is rewarding – we love knowing that this revenue is allowing musicians and songwriters of all genres continue their musical journey.

Additionally, we’re extremely proud of our TuneCore Artists who get their music out to the world in the form of synchronization licensing. From TV shows and movies to video games and advertisements, sync placements are one of the most sought-after successes among independent artists. That’s why moving forward, in an effort to celebrate and showcase these licenses, we’ll be sharing highlights from each quarter here on the TuneCore Blog! If you’ve been interested in TuneCore’s Music Publishing Administration, peruse through these placements to see what our team has been up to:

Furious 7
Song Title: “Hamdulilah”
Writer: Yassin Alsalman
Artist: The Narcy featuring Shadia Mansour

Huggies Diapers (Commercial)
Song Title: “Hug (We All Need a Hug)”
Writer/Artist: Ben Sands

Better Call Saul
Song Title: “Milestones”
Writer: Jasper Wijnands
Artist: Shook

Batkid Begins (Trailer)
Song Title: “The Aviators”
Writer/Artist: Helen Jane-Long

Focus (Trailer)
Song Title: “Lisboa Mulata”
Writer: Pedro Goncalves
Artist: Dead Combo

American Idol
Song Title: “When the Moment Comes”
Writer: Erin Sidney
Artist: Mia Dyson

Once Upon a Time
Song Title: “Black Wolf’s Inn”
Writer/Artist: Derek Fiechter

Monday Night Football
Song Title: “Diamonds”
Writers: Joel Bruyere, Christopher Greenwood, Trevor McNevan
Artist: Manafest featuring Trevor McNevan

Song Title: “Close Your Eyes”
Writer: Jesse Cafiero
Artist: Split Screens

Criminal Minds
Song Title: “Ghosts In Control”
Writer: Braden Palmer
Artist: Detuned Kytes

NCIS: New Orleans
Song Title: “Winning”
Writer: Deandre Way
Artist: Soulja Boy

Song Title: “Fascination of You”
Writer: Darron Grose
Artist: John Turk

Song Title: “Thunder In Your Heart”
Writer: Lenny Macaluso
Artist: Stan Bush

Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory
Song Title: “Static”
Writers: Matthew Duda, Patrick Duda
Artist: Packy

Song Title: “Status Update”
Writer: Thomas Sturm
Artist: SsasS

#TCVideoFriday: June 26, 2015

To celebrate the last Friday of June in 2015 – yes, it is a day worthy of celebration, people – we’re doing something similar to what we did last week (and the week before that, now that you mention it…): offering you a round-up of AWESOME videos from hardworking TuneCore Artists! So go ahead and enjoy, already.

Kat Perkins, “Drive”

Jay Rock, “Money Trees Deuce” 

Nyves, “Return”

Epic Rap Battles of History, “Terminator vs. Robocop”

Tity Boy, “Kitchen”

Emily King, “The Animals”

Sugar & The Hi-Lows, “High Roller”

The New Regime, “Daydream”

Amigo The Devil, “The Recluse”


Interview: Nelson Wells Talks Indie & College Radio Promotions

One thing we’ve tried to *gently* hit our TuneCore Artists over the heads with is the importance of marketing their music before and after they release it. It starts with telling your friends and family, continues with staying on top of your social media channels, and after you begin playing shows and building a network in your local scene, you can start focusing on getting your music into the hands of radio music directors and media professionals. It requires a lot of work, but hard work can pay off!

At this point you’ve likely learned that getting your music heard on commercial radio stations isn’t an easy process. Why not change your route a bit and zero in on the often undervalued college and independent radio stations?! Here to explain the values of these types of stations and other ways DIY promotion can pay off is Nelson Wells – founder and CEO of indie PR and radio promotion powerhouse Team Clermont!

When an independent artist is releasing their first album or single, what do you consider to be some of the first and foremost basic avenues of self-promotion?

Nelson Wells: Number one, get your list of contacts together, both industry and fan and begin to reach out to see who else they could add to the inner circle. Number two, use the age old industry formula that says for every dollar you spend recording and pressing an album, be prepared to spend $4 to promote it. Many a great album have been written, recorded and produced only to sit and fill a warehouse or someone’s closet simply because no one explained the need (and cost) of getting it out. Even with personal social media and digital file sharing there is so much more that can be done on a much larger and broader scale.

Number three, get your social media (and file sharing) in line and begin the build up and smart tactful accumulation of fans and industry types. Number four, prepare and launch a well thought out funding campaign, whether it’s having family and friends fund your release, attracting a label, or executing a crowd funding campaign with any of the well known funding sites or the newer more hands-on type sites like MusicRaiser that focus just on musicians. Number five, research publicists and national radio promoters to partner with you on your release months before you actually release it. You can walk a copy down to your local college radio station or the weekly zine yourself, but it’s a really good idea to have a short list of 2-3 professionals who have reviewed your material and are ready to schedule you in their release calendar if you’ve raised your funds and can afford them.

What do you feel are few of the most common misconceptions from artists when it comes to getting heard on the radio?

“If we send it out they’ll play it.” The truth is radio stations still get so many releases that this myth just isn’t true; it’s physically impossible. Also, if you haven’t done your homework as to whether your style music fits the genre of each station you are sending to then you further decrease your chances of being heard and reviewed at those stations because your style simply doesn’t fit. Do your homework or hire people who do it for a living and who have relationships with the music director at each station whether that’s college MD’s or programmers from A3, or Americana, or modern rock radio.

What do you consider to be some wise DIY tactics for brand new indie artists pushing their first releases to different radio formats?

Other than what I stated above, if an indie artist does not raise funding or cannot afford an indie radio promoter then a handful of the indie promoters actually sell DIY packets that allow you to set up and manage a radio campaign on your own for a fraction of the cost of hiring the firm. You just have to remember that while you may have all the correct addresses and contacts and some solid pointers for doing your own radio promotion, the real value to a radio promotion company is their relationships. They can utilize these relationships weekly, yet you’re just getting started building these relationships most likely just by sending out your first release.

How important is college radio when it comes to influence and trendsetting?

There is a key element to this question as well as to the value of college radio in general, and that is the value of tastemakers. College radio stations are made up almost exclusively of tastemakers, or people who influence and set trends. In other words those music directors, program directors and DJ’s are the first ones whose friends listen to them when it comes to what the newest releases are that are landing a radio stations. These radio people leave campus after class and their DJ hours and go work in the local venues, the local music magazine or the record store on the corner.

So in the big picture even if your record is getting a few spins on the local college station that may or may not mean that potential fans are hearing it, but if the workers surrounding the station like it, you can be sure that others are hearing it.

Given that college stations are typically staffed with students/directors used to dealing with labels, firms & DIY pitches alike, do you have any advice for follow-up?

Some of the best follow up is simply researching email addresses of the music directors at each station ahead of time. Many are posted publicly online or on the station’s own website. Of course you may include your email, facebook and twitter accounts, but don’t assume that radio station people have the time to reach out and contact you; that’s your job. Another old school form of getting stations to contact you with information about your record at their station is by sending a self-addressed stamped envelope that is easy for them to send back after they check off √yes, we are spinning your record, or Sorry, we passed on your release…

Other ideas for that card: “Is there a venue you think we should play?___” “Would you like extra CD’s for your DJ’s or to give away on air?”

As the radio industry has gone through conglomeration over the past couple of decades, how has the way independent firms pitch to commercial stations?

I don’t know. We mostly service non-commercial radio, but I’d guess it involves a LOT more money, and more “consultants.”

What roles do public and community radio play when it comes to promoting independent music?

To me these play the largest role for up and coming artists, new artists, and those without a mainstream sound or a major label deal. Public, community (and college) stations are Team Clermont’s bread and butter. These are the stations and the people who “get” the indie artist and the Team Clermont client.

How can indie artists be better utilizing radio promotion when it comes to embarking on their initial regional and national tours?

The most important thing in music PR is simply getting word out and making it a continual practice each day of your career, and yes, you can make a career out of your music. This means doing it yourself whether you are hiring an indie radio promotion company like ours or not. In fact I’ll tell most touring artists to save their money by not hiring us for a tour but to rather wait until a full length release is a few months away. Then use that money to just survive on the road. It’s tough out there,

And you’ll be glad you have enough money for PB&J’s and for buying fans some beers for allowing you to crash on their couches.

Learn more about Team Clermont and their services for indie artists here!
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Interview: Braden Palmer Discusses Licensing for TV & More

Braden Palmer has been led an interesting and busy life in the music industry. Growing up in a family of musicians and falling in love with rock music at an early age, the Minnesota-native’s talents have taken him everywhere from Snoop Dogg’s studio, to scoring films in LA, and back to his home state where he runs his own label.

Having used TuneCore for both Distribution and Music Publishing Administration, Palmer has had to learn first hand how to build a network and run his own business. With the help of TuneCore and his project, Detuned Kytes, he was able to enjoy a recent sync license placement on the season finale of the hit CBS crime drama Criminal Minds. We got a chance to chat with Braden about his career, his influences, licensing and more:

When did you know you wanted to begin creating music?

As far back as I can remember.  I grew up in a musical family, so I started performing as early as nine years old and recorded my first album at the age of 12.  Creating and writing music has been the main outlet for me for most of my life.

Tell us about your initial entrance to the music industry and your involvement in hip hop.

I had been recording for several years in my bedroom as a young kid and after graduating high school I started my first ‘real’ music project called Detuned Kytes – I wrote and recorded a full album called Everything Is Gone, which was a limited product. I only had 1,000 copies printed and released and will most likely never re-release it, but in 2009 I decided to fully start my own record label, StuckHog Studios; I turned a machine barn on my family farm into an official recording studio.

Within the first year of having a ‘real’ place to record in, I wrote and produced two more full Detuned Kytes albums and began doing musical scores for film soundtracks.  By the year 2012 I had released five full-length Detuned Kytes albums and had been producing music for several hip hop artists based out of Minneapolis, MN.  Once I tapped into my ability of producing hip hop, I met Baby Eazy-E, (son of Eric ‘Eazy-E’ Wright, founder of N.W.A). I eventually became really good friends with him and decided it was time to move to Los Angeles to really pursue a larger step in my career. Two weeks after moving to L.A. I found myself in Snoop Dogg’s recording studio working with legendary L.A. producer DJ Battlecat.

Given the way you’ve moved within the industry, when was it that publishing became something you needed to learn about? What attracted you to TuneCore Publishing Administration? 

Music is my passion, but with most things that are taken seriously and looked at as a potential career, there are business needs that must be met.  Once I officially had the idea and products for StuckHog Studios under my belt, I needed to take the correct business steps as well. Copyrighting, trademarking, incorporating, etc. – I never understood publishing very well until I was absolutely forced to.  Like most things in the universe, if you’re open to learning about it and feel a sense of urgency, the perfect tools come unexpectedly to help move things forward.

I had finished most vital business steps and needed to figure out publishing when I received an update from TuneCore about their Music Publishing Administration offering.  Since I have always remained independent, this offer seemed like something that was necessary without having to involve several other parties and/or companies with extra fees.  TuneCore helped keep it simple and efficient, only asking for a proposed 10% for publishing deals once made as an administrator.

What advice do you have for indie artists like yourself when it comes to music publishing and getting a better understanding of it all? 

Do your research.  Read blogs, articles and visit numerous publishing company websites; really get a full understanding of what it involves and how to avoid problematic outcomes.  If you are involved in a contractual agreement, really look through it thoroughly and if you don’t understand it, legal help may be necessary. A small fee here or there will save major headache in terms of dealing with lawsuits.

If you’re truly considering making music your career and you know full-heartedly that it is possible, publishing WILL need to happen at some point.  It’s great if you can just be an artist and have managers or a label that handles most of the grunt work.  But in my case, I am completely independent so not only am I the artist, I have to be the business man, too.

How important has it been to be able to collect all the royalties owed to you?

Royalties and other TuneCore offers have helped me pinpoint exactly what is most effective when writing/releasing.  Each project I’ve worked on has a multitude of different outcomes.  For years I simply released an album and let it do its work. It spreads on its own until larger opportunities come and catapult it towards more success. As long as you believe in your art, it may only have a couple downloads a month, but always stay determined and confident that everything will pay off. Eventually it does if you continue to work hard.

Tell us about how it feels to land a sync placement on a major television series. 

It was a great feeling to receive this opportunity.  I have written several scores for film soundtracks, but never something for a major network (CBS) with such an outreach.

How has your career been impacted by having your song featured on Criminal Minds

My career has suddenly taken a more serious turn.  People who never knew I was making music, or those who knew but never took it seriously, are now suddenly looking more closely.  My fan base has grown and since the airing of the season finale, I have received a lot of publicity and a number of amazing opportunities.  It definitely gave me the extra push I was needing.  It came at the perfect time.

Between your two current projects, Detuned Kytes & LaHa, what inspires to you to write songs?

Everyday life and occurrences inspire me most. As humans we have good days, bad days, down days and surreal days, so I gather from all experiences and environments and write according to how I truly feel and how I think the listener could relate.  Some songs are personal and others are simply for experimenting with other realities. I’ve never been able to stick to just one way of writing or one style.  I’m always in search of different styles, sounds and recording methods.  Detuned Kytes represents how quickly I change from genre to genre.  One day I feel like writing industrial metal and the next I feel like writing Stevie Wonder type love songs, or sometimes just making noise until it structures itself into something cool.

I’m constantly trying to match a sound with a feeling, tapping into what the music feels like or what the music makes me feel like.  It’s part of me. As for LaHa, its a more personal, relatable project that is much more marketable and mainstream.  I think LaHa expresses the maturity and musical knowledge I have gained in the last ten years.

Tell us about the decision to move from L.A. back to your home state of Minnesota.

I decided to move to L.A. for a year and see where it took me. When the year was up, I just simply packed up and headed back home to take the knowledge I had gained and put it to use in my new outlook.  I love L.A. and all of its creative energy, but I’m really a quiet, independent person who needs grounding and peaceful surroundings in order to fully comprehend my actions and future decisions.

Although there are plenty of recording studios and opportunity in Los Angeles, I still really wanted to build a new, bigger and better StuckHog recording studio and pick up where I left off and really take the next step.  Minnesota has a really great music scene and I feel like I could really reveal that to the rest of the world.  Being a local, I felt the need to stay home and stay closest to my roots.

While they may be different for each project, what do you credit as some of your biggest musical influences?

The first album I ever got from my older brother was Nevermind by Nirvana. Being about five or six years old, I remember having a cardboard cut-out of a guitar and lip-syncing the entire album out my bedroom window, imagining a sea of people in my driveway.

One major artist that I respect in every way and broadened my outlook on music was Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails. Further Down The Spiral was the first album I bought with my own money one day while shopping with my dad at a local record store.  I went home, popped it in and it changed my life instantly. From that moment on I bought, wore, watched, lived and breathed everything NIN.  Once I saw NIN live, there was no doubt in my mind that I absolutely needed to make music for the rest of my life, and [Trent] really taught me a lot about staying true to myself, staying creative and expressing the importance of art.

Depeche Mode was another major influence on me.  Dave Gahan and Martin Gore’s chemistry is so special. Their darkness and spirituality through noise captivated me as a youth and really gave me something to relate to. Other influences include Jim Morrison, Pink Floyd, The Beatles, Stevie Wonder, Ministry, Jane’s Addiction, Radiohead, The Beach Boys, The Eagles and many more.

Beyond the sync placement, how else has TuneCore been a part of your musical journey?

TuneCore has helped me in many ways.  The most important thing I had to figure out when starting StuckHog Studios was how I was going to distribute and make [my music] available digitally all over the web.  There are several companies I considered using at the time, but TuneCore seemed the most advanced and user-friendly.  Once I joined, I could then release albums through iTunes which was major, because it helped get my music to places that I couldn’t do on my own.  TuneCore is always offering new services, stores and features that keep them relevant to fans and the artists. Not only does TuneCore help me get my music out there, they’re helping me get paid for it as well, haha!

Got any big plans for the rest of 2015/early 2016?

The next year will be another busy one, but an important one for the rest of my career.  I feel like this is the year that my music is taking another step towards greater success.  I will be releasing the debut LaHa album entitled Barbaric Minds of Future Times, a new Detuned Kytes album called Broken News, shooting several music videos for both projects and really concentrating on taking the entire experience live and begin performing a lot more. I’ve been working with many hip hop artists, too.  Laying a good foundation for future producing projects.  I plan on keeping StuckHog Studios growing in the direction of what I’ve always dreamed of it being and continuing to allow the freedom of creation from project to project.

New Music Tuesday: June 23, 2015

TuneCore Artists are releasing tons of new music every day. Each week we check out the new TuneCore releases and choose a few at random to feature on the blog.

Is your hit next?

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Rock, Heavy Metal

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Alaska Thunderfuck

Dance, Pop

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Skipping Stones
Claire De Lune

Alternative, Electronic

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Chase Coy

Alternative, Singer/Songwriter

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Way Of Life
Cypress Spring


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Laura Nicholson
Laura Nicholson

Singer/Songwriter, Pop

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Tomorrow’s Child
Jonathan Edwards

Folk, Singer/Songwriter

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The Beat Generation

Alternative, Hip Hop/Rap

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Too Little Too Late

Pop, R&B/Soul

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Red Letter Hymnal
Red Letter Hymnal

Christian/Gospel, Dance

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You Surround Us
Tyler Ellison

Ball Game
December Rose

Pop, R&B/Soul