It’s the last day of September! Or maybe you’ve just discovered the perfect musical distraction to keep you from whatever it is you should be doing on a Wednesday afternoon? Either way, we encourage you to celebrate the most mediocre of weekdays with a great round-up of videos from TuneCore Artists after the jump…
By Alex Horowitz & Kevin Cornell
On September 19th and 20th, 2015, artists from all walks of life gathered at the legendary SIR Studios in Hollywood, California for the first ever Indie Artist Forum presented by TuneCore.
Hosted by the ever charismatic singer-songwriter Kelley James, The Indie Artist Forum was an opportunity for independent musicians to come together and discuss the day-to-day realities of making a living as an artist in an ever changing music landscape.
Along with TuneCore’s live event series, TuneCore Live, the Forum is another step for us towards taking a more active part in supporting, engaging in, and shining a light on the independent artist community.
For those that couldn’t make it, (and those that could, but want to re-live the good times) here’s a quick recap of what went down.
Indie Artist Forum attendees were treated to intimate live performances by some of the most exciting names in independent music, including Dylan Chambers, Terra Naomi, David Garza, Jesse Boykins III and Caitlin Eadie.
As much fun as we all had being entertained by our fellow artists, at the end of the day, the Forum was all about learning how to better navigate a career as an independent musician. From star pop musician and songwriter Bonnie McKee, to former head of Twitter Music Bob Moczydlowsky, to legendary producer, manager, and British Invasion rocker Peter Asher (who received a standing ovation after his keynote speech), Forum attendees were given the rare opportunity to learn from and ask questions of some of the top minds in every facet of the music business.
No question the Forum’s keynote guests and speakers had a lot to offer all of us in terms of experience and advice, but it turns out we had just as much to learn from each other. Much of the weekend was spent interacting with fellow artists, and sharing stories, struggles, and inspiration.
TuneCore Live at Bardot
On Saturday night, after the first full day of the Forum came to a close, all in attendance were invited to a night of continued networking, drinks, and live music at Bardot for September’s installment of TuneCore Live. Sponsored by Swisher Sweets, CeleBuzz and Mirrored Media, it was the perfect way to keep the momentum going.
Up first was San Francisco’s Split Screens – the brainchild of musical/visual artist Jesse Cafiero. The crowd eased into the
evening with Split Screens’ intoxicating, poppy jams, which included his popular single “Close Your Eyes” that was recently licensed on FOX’s series Bones.
Next, as more folks began to filter in, TuneCore Artist Joel Taylor took the stage with his band. The LA-based singer/songwriter took
us on a rollercoaster ride of tempos, themes and influences – and even got the room going with a wonderful Bruce Springsteen cover!
To cap off the evening, the ever charismatic Desi Valentine hit the stage with a four-piece backing band. Kicking up the funk, soul and pop, Desi kept the party moving and dancing. Speaking of covers, the crowd was treated to a fun twist on Oasis’ “Wonderwall” from Valentine and his band!
Check out our photo gallery from this month’s TuneCore Live at Bardot.
As Kelley James pointed out on Sunday, giving back can be hugely impactful for an artist. Artists in attendance on the final day of the Forum had the opportunity to learn about one fantastic outfit for musicians to give back — a company called CoachArt. CoachArt offers artists and athletes the opportunity to put their skills to good use by volunteering to spend time with, and teach a new skill to, chronically ill children and their families.
For artists in the LA/SF area, here’s where you can learn more about volunteering opportunities with CoachArt.
This was our first Indie Artist Forum, but it surely won’t be our last. Huge thanks to everyone that came out, and to those that didn’t, we hope to see you next time. Thank you to all our sponsors, including WorldArts, WURRLY, A&R Worldwide, Swisher Sweets, Bompopradio, MSCLVR, Dash Radio and Mirrored Media.
Check out our photo galleries from the inaugural TuneCore Indie Artist Forum below!
We’re fortunate that artists of all genres – from gospel to hip hop and blues to indie rock – choose TuneCore when they want to sell and get their music streamed online. The origins and popularization of the house music genre dates back over three decades ago, but anyone with a set of ears knows how much it (and its sub genres) has exploded over the past five years. Many DJs and producers have been able to gain a name for themselves quickly, but there are plenty who have been on their grind far longer.
Ryan Farish falls into the latter of those two. An electronic artist, producer and DJ, Ryan boasts multiple Top Ten Billboard charting albums, a co-writing/production credit on a GRAMMY-nominated song, and a growing number of song placements licensed for TV shows, films and commercials. With a combined 60+ million YouTube views and his critically acclaimed recent album, Spectrum, (released earlier this year via TuneCore), Ryan was kind enough to answer some questions about his background, influences, the industry, and the electronic/house genre.
What were some of your first introductions to dance and electronic music?
Ryan Farish: I first fell in love with electronic music in 2000 when I was introduced to it on a website called mp3.com. My first early influences were ATB, Paul van Dyk, Enigma and BT.
How old were you when you began producing? What drove you to embark on a career in music?
I began producing music professionally at the age of 24, but I had been recording music with tape decks and an old Korg 01/w keyboard for many years before that. I can remember writing my first song when I was 10.
You’ve been making music during a span of rapid change within the industry. How do you feel your genre was impacted by changes that took place during the mid-2000’s as an independent artist?
It’s been all uphill for electronic music. With all the technology and stores like iTunes, Beatport, Amazon Music, and then the rise of social media, it has allowed other genres besides just pop, rock, and mainstream music to be accessible to the world; and that has really allowed some great music and genres, as well as the sub genres of all kinds of music, to have a chance to be heard.
Tell us how the advancement of YouTube has affected your growth as an artist.
It has had a tremendous impact. Fans are able to share, and collaborate in a sense with their favorite artists, and this has been a wonderful experience for the music to reach as many people as possible. I am constantly blown away by the quality of the fan videos that are made for my songs, and these videos made by the fans play a huge role in helping spread the music.
What do you consider to be some advantages that young producers have in 2015 that may not have been available to you when you got started?
The technology and recording tools in the box, the computer, have come a long way, in terms of the sound quality of the software available such as soft synths, plugins and samplers, and more powerful computers which have become more affordable. With hard work, self education, and the heart for the music, there really is no limit to what you can create today, right at home.
Conversely, what are some of the challenges facing artists looking to break in 2015?
There is just so much music out there. This is why I am always encouraging up and coming artists and producers about the importance of creating your own unique sound.
How has a service like TuneCore played a role in your musical journey thus far?
TuneCore has been very valuable, for several reasons. TuneCore has allowed us to select which stores to send the releases to. Also, the user panel is very easy to navigate, and since we are a label with a lot of releases, it makes things simple for our office to calculate and distribute royalties.
As a multi-instrumentalist, what are some of your musical influences outside of the electronic genre?
The Pat Metheny Group, Coldplay, U2, and Empire of the Sun.
Tell us about what you were going for on Spectrum. How has it differed from past releases?
With Spectrum, I really came from a place of just creating for the sake of creating. Fearlessly pursuing the sounds, and emotions I felt and wanted to feel in the music. I think when we pursue music and art with this kind of authenticity; we are really able to tap into the full spectrum of who we are as artists. This is where the title for the album came from, and I believe this principle works in a similar way across many areas of our lives.
You’ve got some serious experience under your belt at this point. What major lessons have you learned when it comes to marketing a record like Spectrum that a younger Ryan Farish could have benefited from?
It’s really important to have a unified vision for an album, and a sound. It’s easy to explore many directions sonically, but it takes discipline to put together a solid musical vision. There is no substitute for this, and it’s really important starting out that you identify what you connect with the most musically, discover what you can contribute to music as a whole, not try to copy others, and try to stay focused on all that.
Got any advice for young producers who are in the midst of releasing their first album, EP or single?
Release it… and move on to the next. Your tenth song is most likely going to be better than your first song, so keep writing. I’ve worked in the studio for many years, with a lot of talented writers, artists and producers, and we have a saying, onto the next, when we finish a track.
I can remember back in 2008, after winning a Dove Award, and I celebrated with one of my co-writers of that song for about two hours, then we said… ‘Onto the next.’
Music is an ever evolving expression of life, which is why it’s so important to move onto the next track, the next idea… the next release. Keep moving, keep dreaming, and keep living the music. Being an artist isn’t something you do, it’s something you have to decide and commit to being, and live the music every day.
By Dwight Brown
It’s September. Back to school. Back to work. Back to the business of selling music.
For artists who want to get their releases sold worldwide, it’s time to leave that summer daze behind, and follow the innovative steps digital stores are taking to become more competitive, get music discovered and help artists increase fan engagement.
Google Play Music launched in Japan, a country that has been reluctant to jump into the music streaming pool. Google Play Music follows in the footsteps of Apple Music, but makes inroads in the world’s second-largest music market before Spotify can get a foothold. Billboard reports the new streaming service is available for Google’s Android operating system and Apple’s iOS mobile operating system.
Transitioning from CDs to downloads and from downloads to streaming has been slow going in Japan. But the country’s music subscription market grew 43 percent in the first half of the year, according to the Recording Industry Association of Japan. Both Google and Apple are competing in the emerging Japanese streaming market against LINE, which added a music subscription service to its popular messaging app, and AWA, a joint venture between CyberAgent and Avex Group Holdings, owner of the Japenese music imprint Avex Trax. All subscription services currently available in Japan are paid-only services. Now is a perfect time for artists to hook their music up with Google Play.
Shazam has opened its Verified Program To All Artists on Shazam. Originally only 200 well-known artists, like Pharrell, David Guetta and Sam Smith, could easily share what they’d Shazamed with their followers. Now all artists who sign up with Shazam can create a closer connection with the people who love their music.
A Hypebot.com article reveals that the granddaddy of music recognition apps announced that its verified artist community has achieved a combined reach of 1.4 billion followers. Peter Szabo, SVP, Head of Music, Shazam details their strategy, “We are creating an engagement that goes beyond a playlist or a recommendation. It’s an organic, one-of-a-kind connection between millions of fans and the artists they love.” Artists can sign up to be a Verified Shazam Artist here. The verification process is pretty simple and opens up great opportunities for artists to engage music lovers.
Rhapsody and BandPage (a digital platform/website with 500,000+ musician profiles) have entered a partnership designed to increase engagement. Billboard reports that the first round of data to come from the partnership — which uses information about listener’ favorite artists to target and deliver push notifications to their phones — could be a new way for artists to generate revenue in the digital streaming industry.
The push notifications alert “super fans” about concerts and “special experiences” like meet-and-greets, and generate a much higher click-through rate (CTR) than Google search ads and Facebook posts. Greg Spils, Rhapsody senior director of Traffic & Demand, notes that the company saw a 50 percent higher engagement rate with this type of messaging. For example, when a music fan is streaming an artist’s music, a pop-up appears while the fan is in the moment. It’s a new way artists can reach fans, grow their fan base and increase revenue. All aboard Rhapsody.
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?
Take It Easy (Remixes)
Dreaming With Our Eyes Open
Hip Hop/Rap, Pop
Stories From the Green Line
Netflix & Chill (feat. Riff Raff & Melo)
JoJo The Deity
Hip Hop/Rap, Pop
Promised Land (feat. Crash Test Dummies & Mark Crozer)
My Own Pet Radio
The War Inside
Woman At Night
TuneCore Artist Chris Janson has been having an awesome 2015. To look at most of the 29-year old country artist/songwriter’s career is to look at a journey indie musicians of all genres go through every year. But as the Washington Post pointed out this week, a case of good luck and great songwriting led his career down a new and exciting path!
Janson moved to Nashville from a small town to pursue a career in music after high school, and after playing in clubs he landed both a record and publishing deal. After exiting one and being dropped from the other, respectively, in 2010, he achieved songwriting success landing a song on a Tim McGraw album. Things were looking good, but as luck would have it, Janson’s second label went defunct.
It wasn’t until an exciting series of events and coincidences that his song, “Buy Me a Boat” would get aired on an extremely popular country radio program and shoot to #1. Read more about the journey of “Buy Me a Boat” and Janson’s adventure via the Washington Post.
Stories like this make us beyond proud. From the magnitude of a large commercial radio station taking a chance with an indie artist’s tune and a major media outlet reporting on it, TuneCore is so pleased to have been part of the process that got “Buy Me a Boat” into stores and streaming services. Chris Janson is a wonderful example of how so many of our hard working, talented TuneCore Artists are getting up, getting out, and getting heard every single day – his recent success with “Buy Me a Boat” is just the beginning of a new chapter. Congrats Chris!
You can download “Buy Me A Boat” on iTunes right here!