All posts by Kevin Cornell

Event Recap: TuneCore Live NYC @ Pianos 2/29

As our beloved New York City-area artists and TuneCore Live goers know, at the end of February (Leap Day!!), we switched up locations and took our talents to the legendary Pianos in the Lower East Side neighborhood of Manhattan.

During a time of extremely high rents and unfortunate turnover in the NYC music community, we were saddened to see the original home of TuneCore Live NYC, The Living Room, closed its Williamsburg doors in late 2015. However, after just one event, we know that Pianos will serve as an awesome place to have TuneCore Artists, staff and fans gather for our future events.

Helping us bring our first NYC event together was Swisher Sweets, Mirrored Media, CeleBuzz and World Arts – and for them we are thankful! Local indie acts Surf Rock is DeadPaperwhite, and Andy Suzuki & The Method brought the tunes for what would be a pleasantly diverse collection of music over the course of the night.

SRID

Up first was Brooklyn-based trio Surf Rock is Dead. Don’t be fooled by their name – the reverb soaked garage vibes that these guys brought to the stage served as a reminder that upbeat, surfy rock music has not gone out of style.

Paperwhite 1

Following SRiD, brother-sister duo Ben and Katie Marshall (joined with new keyboardist Lauren) Paperwhite brought the dream pop power! With Ben managing drums and production, Katie was free to dazzle the crowd with her performance abilities and voice – and she didn’t disappoint.

Andy Suzuki & the Method 2

Closing out the night was the well-traveled and undeniably entertaining Andy Suzuki and the Method. Andy and his band crooned through songs that spanned his career as a songwriter, throwing in the occasional cover that kept the crowd engaged. A lot of energy, a lot of jamming, and a lot of interaction with the audience!

Want more visuals from the evening? Check out our gallery below! If you made it out, thanks for rocking with us, and if you’re hoping to catch our next event in your area, follow our TuneCore Live Facebook page so you don’t miss an update.

New Music Friday: March 18, 2016

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?

trecapital
I Can’t Die Yet
Tre Capital

Hip Hop/Rap, World

wadebow
Then Sings My Soul
Wade Bowen

Country, Christian/Gospel

krisallen
Letting You In
Kris Allen

Singer/Songwriter

mudface copy
The Bane of Existence

Mudface

Heavy Metal, Rock

farish
Skyline
Ryan Farish

Electronic, Dance

ontgomery gentry
Rebels On the Run (Deluxe Gold Edition)
Montgomery Gentry

Country

masonjennings copy
Wild 
Dark Metal
Mason Jennings

Singer/Songwriter, Alternative

davebarnes
Carry On, San Vicente

Dave Barnes

Singer/Songwriter

freddyechiverri
Mr. Moon
Freddy Echiverri

Rock, Alternative

choppa
Turn Me On (Feat. Roca B)
Choppa

Hip Hop/Rap

dylanjakobsen
From Where I Began
Dylan Jakobsen

Country

zach matari
Day One EP
Zach Matari
R&B/Soul, Pop

Interview: Pr0files – New Album, SXSW Trip, & More

Longtime pals Lauren Pardini and Danny Sternbaum originally collaborated on music under the moniker The Boy Traveler, alongside Sonny Moore (who’d later to go on to be known as Skrillex). After going on to create music separately – Lauren working with DJ Khalil, Danny with his band Baby Monster – it wasn’t until 2013 that they came together to once again write and record songs.

Thus birthing the project known as Pr0files who, “write songs about sex addiction, hypnotherapy and love.” If that description isn’t enough to keep you reading, we don’t know what is. They just released their debut Jurassic Technologie in February, and we’re excited to have the duo joining our TuneCore Showcase Day Party on Friday, March 18th at Vulcan Gas Co.

 

Danny and Lauren were kind enough to answer some questions for us regarding the collaboration, their new album, and their plans for 2016 after SXSW:

How did the two of you meet, and when/how did you click musically?

Lauren:  We can’t exactly pinpoint it, but we think we met in New York first when I was in college working at a recording studio. Friends of Danny were making a record there and we’re sure we met then; but we finally gelled when that band came out to LA and it just so happend we were both living there. Danny was running a recording studio, and we both loved Nine Inch Nails and Depeche Mode. He’d practice learning to record on me when I played piano and sing! We literally grew up together in our music technique, it’s pretty wild.

Danny: Lauren often reminds me that I may have been dressed up as a dinosaur when we first hung out in LA. Don’t worry, it was Halloween.

After the departure from The Boy Traveler, you each went on to maintain successful music careers in different areas. What was the energy like when you began making music together again?

Lauren: It was so refreshing when we started working together again because we were always into electronica, and working with other people you don’t always end up working on your choice style of music. Danny was fresh off of touring Europe so he was really driven to get our project going because he wanted more of the same in his life.

Danny: After The Boy Traveler project came to an end I started a band called Baby Monster with another friend of mine. I had been doing a lot of studio work at the time, engineering, writing and producing for other artists, but being in that band really helped shift my focus to working on my own music. With Baby Monster I learned a lot about being an independent band. All of this really helps with Pr0files since we do virtually everything ourselves. We started Pr0files knowing just how much we could do on our own, which was – and still is – exciting and liberating for us.

Do you feel that after being apart musically in between the two projects gave you each a chance to collaborate in a whole new way? 

Lauren:Absolutely!

Danny: Yes, definitely! We were already fans of each other’s music so we went into this with the idea of just making some music together for fun and seeing what comes of it.

How do you use living in LA to influence or impact your songwriting and production styles?

Lauren: I truly believe that our music fares well in a car. I am ALWAYS in my car in LA, ha. Our studio is in downtown LA and it’s one of the coolest driving cities because there are a lot of hills and the freeways wind in and out of skyscrapers and mansions. I listen to our mixes and demos often at 1:00am on the ride home and the lights and the eerie emptiness LA nightlife has to offer really inspires me. I want our stuff to sound like driving in a video game or a movie and I do think our production goes there.

Danny: LA is such a multi-dimensional city with a lot contrasting elements, one obvious one being the beautiful weather with the grittiness of the city. I think our music reflects a lot of these contrasts.

Speaking of LA: as musicians, what do you consider to be some of the pros and cons of living in such entertainment-soaked city?

Danny: I moved to Los Angeles a week after I finished high school, so it’s hard for me to imagine what it would be like doing this anywhere else. One thing that is a pro as well as con is that it’s really easy to be seen and heard in this city. Many artists and musicians don’t get enough of a chance to develop their own identity before getting music industry people involved.

Lauren: It’s mostly pros. It’s definitely soaked, but it’s also a small world once you’re in it. I grew up in Philly and it’s much more difficult to get your music going there. Once I moved here, meeting the right people was so easy and meeting other people who love music as much as I do is a dream. I honestly, can’t think of any cons.

You’ve been accused of evoking happy and sad feelings simultaneously by more than one critic. Did this anecdote come as a surprise, or was it something you were going for? 

Lauren: Yes, we always say- we make “depression or disco.” I love to dance so even when I’m upset I make myself push through and socialize. I remember reading a quote once that said something along the lines that the point of life is to not to feel happy or sad, but to feel. That’s our whole mentality in this band.

Danny: Hah! I think that describes our music perfectly. Isn’t that what life is all about? It’s the contrasting emotions that keeps it all exciting.

What has gone into developing and mastering the right kind of live performance as a duo with so much sound?

Lauren: We spend a lot of time honing the live show. We want it to be theatrical with lighting and the set while incorporating our music talents which takes a lot of planning since we’re a DJ hybrid set-up. Danny designed all of our lights and then we remix the tracks for live too so we can play keyboards, guitars,bass and drums ourselves on a lot of it.

Danny: For us, the live show is just as important as the music. We try to create our own world and bring the audience there as well. There’s quite a theatrical element to it, lots of lights, fog, weird stuff. We’ve looked to some of our favorite bands for inspiration such as The Knife and NIN.

How do you plan to take advantage of all the opportunities abound during your debut SXSW as Pr0files? How can you draw on previous experiences with other music projects you’ve traveled there with?

Danny: So much incredible music happening this year and excited to try and see as much as we possibly can. Also l’m really looking forward to hearing Tony Visconti speak. I’m a fan of so many of the records he’s produced.

pr0filesJT

The cover art for your debut full length Jurassic Technologie is awesome. Where did the name come from, and how do you feel the art represents you as a duo?

Lauren:  We named the album after “The Museum of Jurassic Technology” in Culver City. It’s a museum of oddities that is filled with some of the the weirdest stuff I’ve ever seen. I went there on an epic date with my muse for the album and Danny went there with a friend.

In the end, my muse and I ended our relationship and Danny’s friend sadly passed away. We had the title for the album before we started making it, so it definitely ties into the whole happy-sad vibe for us. We both had great memories there and both of the people we experienced it with are no longer in our lives. We changed the “Technology” spelling to “Technologie” in an homage to our favorite French Touch bands like Daft Punk, Air & Justice.

Danny: We wanted the “Jurassic Technologie” cover art to reflect this modern  – mixed with 70s/80s –  sound of our record. We had this album title chosen long before we had even written a lot of the music on this record. I think it helped guide us in the overall sound and direction of the album in terms of having the classic feel paired with a modern approach.

What are your plans for riding the momentum of Jurassic Technologie’s release into the rest of 2016?

Lauren: We plan to tour. Getting lots of fans hitting us up everyday asking when we’re coming to them. It’s our number one priority.

Danny: Yes! Definitely touring and trying to get in front of as many people as we can. It already feels amazing to us just knowing that people are listening to and enjoying this record.

Interview: Jacob Latimore – On SXSW Debut, Branding & More

For a 19-year old, Jacob Latimore has been some places and seen some things! He began performing and acting at a young age, eventually landing a leading role in Black Nativity, a supporting role in Ride Along, and various television series spots.

His 2014 pop single “Heartbreak Heard Around the World” brought Jacob into the homes of a whole new audience, moving away from the hip hop genre. Latimore will be helping TuneCore and Swisher Sweets close out the Austin Takeover this Saturday night at The Vulcan Gas Company, but you can get familiar with him in our quick Q&A below:

You’ve been in some pretty high profile films TV shows. At what age did you know you wanted to act?

My first love was always music. My mom told me that if I wanted to be in the business that I should be well-rounded while in it. I started doing voiceovers at the age of 10 or 11 years old and in 2009 I booked my first tv show One Tree Hill and right after my first co-lead in a film Vanishing on 7th Street with Hayden Christensen, Thandie Newton and John Leguizamo.

What was it like getting to work next to musicians-turned-actors?

I worked to Jennifer Hudson, Nas and Tyrese in the film Black Nativity in 2013. It was dope working with all of them.

We became family on set. I still keep in contact with Tyrese the most. Always attending his famous “house parties” (laughs). They are all dope actors!

You’ve been singing and releasing singles for over a decade. In what ways do you feel like your style and writing have evolved year-by-year?

Finally since turning 18 I’ve been able to figure out my direction on my own. I just want to make good music and not stick to one style because I’m black. Right now I’m finding my lane and I think people are paying attention.

Do you feel that your acting career has helped shape your readiness to be on the stage as an artist? Or vice versa?

Not really, I was performing before acting. I don’t act when I’m on stage. I’m 100% me. However, both are gifts that I have so both come natural for me.

You’ve done some brand ambassador work – what can you tell us about your experience in this area?

Sure, I was the brand ambassador for Post HoneyComb Cereal in 2014. It was a dope experience to represent a household brand that many people grew up eating.

Do you feel that indie artists should be embracing branding opportunities when made available?

Most definitely, my team and I always talk about brand partnerships and opportunities. First you want to partner with a brand that makes sense and aligns with your brand as well. The partnership can help our music and brand. These partnerships could also put some money in your pocket, or help with other costs that we have to cover as indie artists.

How did the release of your hit, “Heartbreak Heard Around the World” transform your career as an artist?

“Heartbreak Heard Around the World” was a pop record my former label thought I should record and release. The record put me in front a different audiences which was dope. I did learn the pop side of the business moves differently than the urban side, for sure.

What can you tell us about your most recent project Love Drug?

Well I’m excited about this project because it’s really all me. Not a lot of opinions involved. The music is urban, but could be considered rhythmic. Lyrically, the songs are more mature Vocally Ive matured.

I have a diverse body of records but it’s my sound.

How do you plan to make the most of your time during your first trip to SXSW?

This my first trip to SXSW and I’m excited to perform. I’m excited to be performing in front of a different and more musically diverse crowd. I’m also excited to link up with some of my peers and meet some new people.

What does the rest of 2016 hold for Jacob Latimore?

I’m ready to put out more content and dope music! Also getting back on the road to perform.

Right now I’m filming a movie called Collateral Beauty with Will Smith, Ed Norton, Kate Winslet and Helen Mirren in New York City. Collateral Beauty will be in theaters in December 2016.

I also have an indie film coming out called Sleight tentatively being released this Summer.

Stay tuned for more of me! Don’t sleep.

Wednesday Video Diversion SXSW Edition: March 16, 2016

We’re already 4 tacos deep today, kicking off an array of amazing week of events for our TuneCore Austin Takeover 2016! With over 40 artists booked to play our events at the Vulcan Gas Company, we thought we’d bring some of that Texas flavor to everyone out there looking for a distraction. Check out these awesome music videos from some of the artists helping us to make this an unforgettable week:

Jacob Latimore, “Remember Me”


Deap Vally, “Gonna Make My Own Money”


Fantastic Negrito, “Honest Man (Live on the Streets of Oakland)”


Grayshot, “Landslide (Live in Studio)”


Towkio, “Clean Up (feat. Chance the Rapper)”


Strange Fiction, “Tease Her”


Sammy Adams, “L.A. Story (feat. Mike Posner)”


Kap G, “Power (feat. YFN Lucci)”


Talib Kweli & 9th Wonder, “Every Ghetto (feat. Rhapsody)”


Pouya, “Energy”

Interview: Trevor Wesley – On R&B, Chivalry and Style

Maybe it’s something about growing up in constantly amazing weather, but South California-raised Trevor Wesley can show just about anyone a good time with his music. A modern R&B/pop crooner, Wesley has produced, written with and performed alongside artists like Ne-Yo, Wale, 98 Degrees, and Joe Jonas.

Trevor has wowed the TuneCore Live goers of Los Angeles before, and we’re psyched to have him holding it down for us during our Austin Takeover this week. You can catch him at our Indie Artist Forum Day Party on Thursday, March 17th at the Vulcan Gas Co, and if you’re less familiar, get to know him in our Q&A below!

Tell us about how you started singing and performing. Who were your earliest influences?

Trevor Wesley: I started singing and performing at an early age because I just loved to do it. It wasn’t an idea I came up with, I just did it. My Mom played all kinds of jazz music like Ella fitzgerald and Nat King Cole and my Dad liked the rock side like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Singing to a girl in school was a realization in it’s self.

Similarly, what have you been digging lately for inspiration or just chilling out? (New or old!) 

I mostly always get inspiration from something older… Ain’t nothing new under the sun! (laughs) I could hear anything really and get SOMETHING I like out of it. I love taking pieces of inspiration from all different kinds of things even non-music related, like shapes and colors. Music is all patterns shapes and colors arranged in a fashion that your ears can transcribe.

I really get inspired from a lot of my friends these days… My boy Ruslan is a beast on keys…I like his playing. He has an album out and also coming out soon.  My friends in New Genesis (band) are all super talented and I’m always inspired hearing or hanging with them. BJ the Chicago Kid is a new artist I dig. Nice voice and raw sound.

Of all the genre-resurgences, new trends in R&B have been very exciting. What are your thoughts where R&B and soul are going in 2016?

Well R&B music is the true “baby makin” music lane. There are so many ways to tackle that, (no pun intended). I like to make “love making” music: music that feels like love. Right now I don’t feel too much “love” on a lot of the popular records I hear. I know there are a lot of artists who are working hard at making R&B music in hopes to bring back the love.

Your newest project is titled Chivalry Is Dead – do you think modern music is doing a good enough job covering romance realistically in the Tinder age?

This question can tie into my last answer. No, a lot of modern music aim’s on being “cool” than being a man for a lady. Guys seem like they are singing to other guys (fans). I’m singing to women. The women who don’t take sweet guys for granted and the women who value themselves.

You’ve worked with some high profile artists on the production and writing front. What have these folks taught you that you can apply to your own music career?

I’ve had the pleasure of working with very talented people. I’m always blown away when I sit back and humble myself to learn and observe the greatness in the room. Sometimes you feel the need to always want to show what you can do with your talent when the best thing you can do is be a sponge and soak up everything that’s happening.

You’re a pretty stylish dude. How important do you think image and style is when it comes to the music you’re making, as well as performing in general? 

Thanks for the compliment! We have more than one sense of hearing/listening. Got to appeal to the other senses! Visually, it’s important to entertain as well. I like to dress in ways that make me feel good and in ways that make me feel like me. What you wear says a lot about who you are.

110815 Trevor_211RT
Since this year isn’t you first SXSW trip as an artist, how do you plan to make the most of it?

No I’ve been before. I have a feeling this trip will be a bit more official and also excited that it’s in line with my team over at Believe and they will have a chance to check me out.  I’ll make the most of it by singing my heart out and by tending to the awesome people.

What have your past experiences at SXSW taught you and how do you plan to apply that to your trip this year?

Number one is always have fun. How you feel is a reflection of how you make the crowd feel. If I put my heart in it, and hopefully the crowd will resonate with that.

What advice do you have for artists who are interested in producing, writing and performing but might have a hard time balancing and focusing their efforts?

My advice is do what’s in your heart and what you feel. Do something because you enjoy it and you want to, not because it might make you money. I haven’t made much money in the ten years I’ve been in this industry, but I do it because I love to.