Category Archives: Artist Profiles

#ICYMI: TuneCore Weekly Round-Up

TUNECORE ARTIST SPOTLIGHT

Red FooAfter being eliminated earlier this season, Redfoo returned to the“Dancing with The Stars” finale to perform his hit single “Juice Wiggle”. Tyler Boone has officially released his music video for his single “Austin.” He and & his band will perform with nine-time Grammy Award winner Sheryl Crow at the 9th Annual First Flush Festival on May 24th.

Michelle Knight released her inspiring Michelle Knightsingle “Survivor” after her kidnapping ordeal recently appeared as a People magazine cover story.

Ross Copperman’s track “Hunger” was featured on “The Vampire Diaries” and immediately jumped up the iTunes Pop charts.

Twilight Saga actress Nikki Reed released a new single “Fly With You” and is quoted saying, “The most important part is that a percentage of the sales will be given to help #SavetheWildlifeWaystation.”


TC Live: Los Angeles

tcl_may_26Plans are underway for another awesome night at Bardot when TuneCore Artists take the stage on May 26th. This month’s TC Live event features amazing performances from Act As If, Curtis Peoples, and Best of Friends.

If you’re in the LA area, you’ve gotta stop by. But get there early, every show’s been a packed house.

For a taste of TC Live: LA, check out this video clip of Dear Boy’s performance.


ARTIST SERVICE NEWS

TuneCore Domains.band THREE new domain name have been added — .dance .video & .social.These domain names along with .band and .rocks are available for you to purchase so can set your brand apart. Learn more about the benefits of unique domain names and the special introductory pricing.

FROM THE TUNECORE BLOG

#TCVideoFriday: May 22, 2015

Latest News From TuneCore Publishing

Spotify Announces New Features

Interview: Narcy Discusses New Album, Furious 7, more

New Music Tuesday: May 19, 2015

Statik Selektah Talks SiriusXM Radio

Statik Selektah Talks SiriusXM Radio

Statik Selektah is more than just the host of ShowOff Radio (which he shares a name with his label) on Eminem’s Shade 45 SiriusXM station each Thursday night. He’s an accomplished producer and DJ, bringing back the classic boom-bap sounds of iconic 90s hip hop and providing beats for up-and-coming and veteran artists alike. His ability to release albums packed to the brim with hard hitting feature artists coupled with his skills to help break new MCs has made Statik a sought after producer.

Prior to his time at SiriusXM, his terrestrial radio career includes DJing at seven different stations, from around his native New England over to the west coast and even down to Alabama. Collaborative efforts with the likes of Termanology, Action Bronson, Freeway, Freddie Gibbs and others have only bolstered Statik’s resume further, making him an ideal radio host to introduce thirsty ears to new sounds in hip hop.

To get a better understanding of what it’s like to produce and host on SiriusXM, we asked Statik Selektah about the benefits of satellite radio, advice for getting heard as an independent artist, and more:

Aside from releasing albums and producing tracks for some of todays hottest and rising MC’s, you’ve been in the radio game since the 90s. How has your time at SiriusXM/Shade 45 differed from the various terrestrial stations you’ve spun at?
Statik Selektah: It’s been great because I have millions of listeners, and no rules! I take pride in a lot of the artists I’ve broke there, such as Joey Bada$$, Action Bronson, Mack Miller, Freddie Gibbs, Chance The Rapper, etc. The list goes on. They trust my ear.

 

Growing up around Boston, what fascinated you about radio? Who were your terrestrial DJ idols and how did they impact your music discovery?
Funk Flex was definitely #1 for radio, but as far as local in Boston, Geespin, Clinton Sparks, and Chubby Chub taught me a lot and gave me a shot. It taught me the industry at an early age.

 

For those who don’t know, can you explain the music programming process that stations and DJs go through at SiriusXM?
If you have your own show at Sirius in the first place, that means they respect your ear and what your brand is. So Paul and Reef at Shade 45 just let me do me. In the last 9 years, they have only stepped in once or twice telling me to tone it down, haha.

 

What do you feel are the major benefits and disadvantages of satellite radio as a whole?
There are no disadvantages. The benefits are that all of North America is listening. You never know who and where!

 

Has hosting ShowOff Radio been a vehicle for promoting artists you’ve worked with/your own releases?
Of course. I break all my label’s new stuff on our show, as well as through other DJs up there like Tony Touch, Revolution, Premier, Eclipse, Lord Sear & Scram Jones.

 

Do you feel you’ve been able to get greater exposure for hip hop artists you respect and listen to versus the reach of terrestrial radio?
No question. I get to bring up a lot of 90s artists as well as break new talent no one has ever heard. Where else does that happen?

 

You’re likely used to receiving unsolicited music from indie artists. How do you separate your efforts of reviewing music as a producer versus as a DJ? Or are they one and the same?
They are one in the same, but the difference is, my production and time isn’t free. But if I love a new record from an artist I’ve never heard that I come across, I’ll give them a look on the show. I also have the Showoff Casino on ShowOff Hip Hop’s website for new artists to kinda cut the line of getting heard!

 

What are some of the most common mistakes you see from independent artists looking to get their tracks spun on ShowOff Radio?
Being too aggressive, or acting like I owe them something. Don’t burn a bridge you haven’t crossed. There is protocol.

 

What’s the craziest thing an artist has done to get your ears, both during your time on terrestrial radio and on Shade 45?
Haha! Where do I start? I’ve seen it all. The smartest thing to do is to buy a beat off me and make something dope! That will get my attention, haha. Sending me 100 emails about how some internet station played your song doesn’t help. If I don’t like it, that’s it.

 

What kind of tips can you offer artists (hip hop and otherwise) that want to get heard by DJs that host shows on satellite radio?
Create a buzz online first. Or on the popular blogs or in your city. Don’t spam on Twitter or Instagram. That’s the worst.

 

What are your thoughts on the future of satellite, Internet and terrestrial radio formats?
It’s gonna get interesting. Digital has definitely taken over. All the stuck up rules of FM commercial radio is for the birds!

Be sure to tune into Statik Selektah’s ShowOff Radio on Shade45, Thursday nights 8pm-midnight, and check his website for new singles and mix tapes.

TuneCore Live Artist Breakdown: Andy Allo, Fire In The Hamptons, & Nova Rockafeller

We’re excited to be at the end of the month and getting ready to hit Bardot for another TuneCore Live event! Last month was a tremendous success, with three performers who brought the country and folk vibe to the stage. This Wednesday, April 29th, we’re stepping it up in the dance and funk department! With help from our awesome sponsors, Swisher Sweets, CraveOnline and Mirrored Media, we’re looking forward to another packed house.

In fact, if you’re an LA-based TuneCore Artist who hasn’t made it out to our TuneCore Live/Swisher Artist Project shows, what are you waiting for?! Come down, let us know what you’re up to, ask us questions, and share some fun – our west coast TuneCore team will be in attendance and are ready to kick it. And make sure to bring your dancing shoes, because we got some awesome TuneCore Artists sharing the stage this month. Learn more about Andy Allo, Fire In The Hamptons and Nova Rockafeller after the jump…

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Andy Allo is truly a jack of all trades: on top of being an accomplished singer/songwriter, pianist and guitarist, the Cameroonian-born artist also dabbles in modeling and television acting. After the release of Superconductor and UnFresh (both via TuneCore), we’re beyond pleased to be hosting Andy’s LA release show for her latest EP, Hello! Andy’s albums dance the lines of pop, funk and rock, and her pleasant, soulful voice floats smoothly over a variety of instrumental arrangements.

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Fire In The Hamptons is the brainchild of Zack Arnett, who in 2010 linked up with producer Bret Serlen to compose his debut release F.I.T.HAfter enlisting four talented musicians to bring Zack’s electro-pop vision to the stage, Fire In The Hamptons spent a couple of years licensing songs for television and building a fan base. A dedicated fan base, at that: in 2014, the group was able to release Chosen Ones after raising $15K during a Kickstarter campaign!

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‘Problem child’, laser tag enthusiast, self-proclaimed ‘nerdy art kid’ – Nova Rockafeller carries a variety of descriptors. What remains true is her performance talent and ability to write raw lyrics that resonate with fans, (’90s kids’ and ’00s kids’ alike!). With a reputation for the occasional punch-in-the-face and disregard for critics, Nova’s made it clear that it’s her world and we’re all just renting space in it.

Event Recap: TuneCore Live at Bardot, 3/31

It’s hard to believe we’re already in April, and maybe even harder to believe that we’ve now held four awesome, packed-to-the-hilt TuneCore Live events. But you better believe it! While performers from the January/February shows at Bardot and our TuneCore Live Austin SXSW party have ranged in genre from synth-pop and electro-indie to hip hop and straight ahead rock, our most recent bill featured artists who geared towards the singer/songwriter scene, with hints of Americana, folk and country sprinkled in.

As always, a big thanks is in order to our sponsors Mirrored Media and Swisher Sweets, who were there to mix and mingle with attendees, handing out swag and enjoying the music. CraveOnline did an excellent job at capturing the night on film for us and provided a great highlight reel of interviews with the performers below:

Kicking off the night’s festivities was Sam Outlaw, who brought a spectacular full band to give the audience the full experience of his ‘SoCal Country’-sound. We enjoyed songs from last year’s self-titled EP as well as teasers from his upcoming release, Angeleno.

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Up next was the talented George Byrne and his band. Through his songs, Byrne shared his journey of packing up his things in his hometown of Sydney, Australia and heading an ocean away to Los Angeles.

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Capping off our night was an energetic performance from Alexander Cardinale. With the crowd Cardinale shared his brand of sentimental, carefree, folk-tinged pop that delighted all in attendance.

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To make things even cooler, we had Taylor and Griffin Goldsmith of DAWES bringing their tastes to the DJ booth for all to enjoy between sets!

Check out more photos from the event in the gallery below! Couldn’t make this one? No sweat! We’ll have another awesome TuneCore Live show at Bardot on Wednesday, April 29th – come hang out with us!

Interview: Charlie Peacock Talks Music Career & The Overdub Hub

Charlie Peacock has had a busy career in music. As an artist, songwriter and producer, he began in the 1980s aligned with A&M, Island and Sparrow/EMI. Charlie was named by Billboard’s Encyclopedia of Record Producers as on the 500 most important producers in music history, and for a good reason: he’s played a role in the careers of hit-making artists such as Amy Grant, Switchfoot, and The Civil Wars. In fact, Charlie earned Grammys for Best Folk Album and Country Duo Performance (twice) thanks to his work with the Civil Wars!

Charlie has continued to push the barriers of his own song and music writing – his most recent recordings have jumped between the jazz/improvisational and folk/Americana genres, displaying Peacock’s diverse range of musical talent. On top of all of this, Charlie is also an A&R consultant for Downtown Music Publishing, the Director of Contemporary Music and Industry Outreach at Lipscomb University, and the Founder/President of The Overdub Hub – a new, innovative service that provides access to reputable producers, engineers and session musicians to artists of all genres looking to complete their projects.

We got the chance to interview Charlie Peacock about his musical career, partnering with TuneCore and his latest venture, The Overdub Hub:

Music runs in your family. When did you first know you wanted to pursue a life in music?

My father was a musician and a huge inspiration to me, so it’s difficult to locate a time when I wasn’t pursuing a life in music. I suppose freshman year of high school was the year of ‘never turning back’. I recorded my first songs and while on vacation in southern California that summer, my dad took me to David Geffen’s office on Sunset Blvd. so I could drop my songs off in person. I received my cassettes back with a wonderfully positive rejection letter a month or so later.

How has your experience playing in instrumental ensembles impacted your style of production?

It embedded within me musical values that I still pursue today – passionate playing, dynamics, careful listening, only playing just a little bit louder than the person to your left or right, timing and tuning – fundamental things like that. When looked after in a natural non-dogmatic way, your productions are hopefully, dare I say, more musical.

What inspires you to write these days?

Everything! It could be a story from half-way around the world, a new Pro Tools plug-in, a writing assignment from my publisher, or something very personal to me that needs to become a song. I keep my satellite scanning the earth and skies for inspiration. It never lets me down.

Tell us about going from being in the crowd during The Civil Wars’ first concert to producing two of their smash albums!

Anyone who was there that first night won’t forget the feeling of witnessing a little pop music history. Seamless, winsome, essential, breathtaking are a few words that come to mind. And then we literally went right into the studio creating the first EP. It was an amazing five year ride. Hate that it ended so abruptly as it did, but groups, even duos, can be a very temporary thing. I’m grateful I got to produce the majority of the catalog, no matter how short-lived it was.

Having a career that spans several decades in a drastically changing music industry, what are some major challenges you see for indie artists these days? Conversely, what kind of advantages for artists do you think lie in today’s market?

Well, we know there has never been a more empowering time for indies than today. The tools for self-promotion and distribution are phenomenal – TuneCore being a major piece of this infrastructure – so that’s the advantage. As you know, The Civil Wars’ Barton Hollow was independent with digital distribution via TuneCore and it was a Gold album. This was and still is, exceptional. So big success is available to the indie artist.
But, you can’t chase exceptions. In the normal course of events for indies it’s one very small victory at a time, hopefully by year’s end, adding up to making a living at what you love. But, it’s very, very hard work. I think it’s becoming apparent that there’s a ceiling on what the average indie can achieve – simply because you’re usually just one small person against the world. Not everyone is Amanda Palmer or The Civil Wars. All that said, it’s exhilarating to control your own destiny and actually succeed at it. Ups and downs aside, I would never discourage anyone from that experience.

What advice do you have for independent artists who are looking to further their career but cannot afford to hire a producer?

One of the remedies that I’ve looked at is to give independent artists access to great engineers and musicians. This can go a long ways in improving the music when a major producer is not an option – most major engineers and studio musicians are able to use their huge diversity of experience to make great contributions to songs, with or without a formal producer. It’s one of the reasons why I started something called The Overdub Hub.

Tell us more about The Overdub Hub and how it can help indie artists of varying genres.

The Overdub Hub is an exclusive aggregator website that I curate. It’s a very simple way for artists, songwriters, and producers to get direct and easy access to the same musicians and engineers I use every day on my own productions (The Civil Wars, Chris Cornell, The Lone Bellow, Joy Williams). It’s a pretty exclusive, limited stable of players who share me in common. It’s Nashville-centric and represents some of the very best of the ‘New Nashville Sound’ – whether it’s country, rock, pop, singer-songwriter, folk-Americana or beyond.

I think The Overdub Hub’s number one source of help for indie creatives is to put them with the very best when they are ready for it – and to do it an affordable way. Another upside to a curated access site like this, is that I make my production notes, signal chains, and stories on the players available to the Premium Members – this is like getting several hours of direct consultation with me – basically telling you: ‘Here’s how we do it.’

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What inspired you to address the issue of booking session musicians and create the Overdub Hub?

It’s all about access. I want people to have access to great talent and to grow as artistic people. I get asked to produce so many artists that I simply don’t have the time to – it’s not lack of interest, it’s time. But as a session player, I might have time to create a Wurli piano part for them or recommend a great guitar player – the same player I just used on a hit record, or a critically acclaimed indie release. So, it seemed to me that putting great engineers, background vocalists, and session players in front of the indie community was a solid way of contributing without having to be in a hundred places at once – which I understand is still impossible.

At what career levels do you anticipate artists will find a solution in The Overdub Hub?

The primary level is the talented, forward-thinking indie songwriter, artist and producer. I think they will get the most out of the experience. It requires that they have a little funding for their music, but not as much as some might think. Most, if not all of, The Overdub Hub players have agreed to work at a scale of $100-200 an hour. And there’s not one of them that can’t get a whole lot of music done in an hour. But it’s democratic and egalitarian – come one, come all.

Given your career and various roles in other artists’ careers, how do you view TuneCore in the grand scheme of an ever-evolving music industry?

I hope it’s not too much of a suck-up to say essential! I use TuneCore exclusively for my own music and all my artist development projects. My Top 5 Billboard Jazz recording Lemonade went through TuneCore as did Lenachka, and the recent Kris Allen record I produced. The more TuneCore can effectively be a comprehensive one-stop shop for distribution and administration, the more it becomes invaluable. Personally, I see it making all the right moves for this time in music business history.

Tell us about some other projects you’ve been involved with, recent past and right now. Any cool TuneCore Artists?

In addition to The Overdub Hub, three very major and important projects for me are: my alignment with Downtown Music Publishing as a writer/publisher and Sr. A&R consultant, my appointment as Director of Contemporary Music & Industry Outreach at Lipscomb University here in Nashville, and my role as curator/co-director for this summer’s Ottaquechee Farm Songwriters Festival in Bridgewater, Vermont. Production-wise, the new Joy Williams record for Columbia will come out this year, as will Angelica Garcia for Warner Brothers. My production and co-write with Joy and Matt Berninger of The National was renewed this year as the title theme for the AMC drama, TURN: Washington’s Spies. Also watch for ChessBoxer, Peyton Parker, Shawn Conerton, Gracie Schram, and the Tiny Fire Collective. Every year I launch several artists via TuneCore. 2015 and beyond won’t be any different!

TuneCore Artist Silento’s “Watch Me” Goes Viral

If you’re a regular reader you know that the TuneCore Blog is here to offer news, advice and tips for independent artists looking to advance their musical careers. If “going viral” were something we could simply and practically suggest to every artist, we would! But anyone using platforms like YouTube and Vine, whether to promote themselves or entertain themselves, knows that the ‘viral phenomenon’ is just that – a phenomenon.

A couple of months back, little-known Atlanta hip hop artist Silento released his track, “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)“, produced and co-written by Bolo Da Producer and distributed to online stores via TuneCore. By early March, “Watch Me” had broke into Billboard’s March Hot 100, climbing to #69. Not a bad jump for an unsigned, 17-year old with no prior recordings released, right?

The reason “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)” has seen such success isn’t just thanks to its contagious beat and catchy hook – it’s the dance that the chorus instructs listeners to break into that really helped this song explode. Or should we say, two dances:

“The Whip and the Nae Nae were two different dances. I just got tired of seeing people do them so I started doing my own rendition where I was doing them both!” Silento says.

Now watch me Whip / Now watchme Nae Nae“, the song goes. Well, thousands of listeners decided to follow those instructions and take to Vine and YouTube to show off their dance skills to the soundtrack of “Watch Me”, resulting in nearly 21 million views and a total of 35 million minutes watched. Silento and his producer, Bolo Da Producer, are working with TuneCore to collect all their eligible revenue from multiple channels. That means getting 100% of iTunes download revenue and money from the sound recordings on YouTube when ads have been placed on videos using their music. Adding to the revenue stream are the worldwide songwriter royalties TuneCore Music Publishing Administration will find and collect for them from 60 countries.

Everyone from toddlers and parents to costumed individuals and street dance crews has contributed a rendition of the dance-craze, and it’s tough not to crack a smile while watching them!

Much like dance sensations such as the ‘Harlem Shake‘ and the ‘Dougie‘, “Watch Me” began as a regional phenomenon. Silento achieved some local support with his song before he even recorded it. He tells us, “I had been singing it and dancing to it in school already. People were always asking me to do it, they already knew it.” So when the song began to go viral, it was no surprise to the young artist: “When people are asking you do something repeatedly, it’s like, you just know. People liked it, so I kept doing my dances!”

In 2015, this kind of attention can make you an instant star – especially among a younger, plugged-in demographic. When asked how the success of “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)” has affected him as a high school kid, he modestly answered, “It hasn’t, really. I’m still the same – I’m still me, you know? I guess now some people, they look at me like, “You’re famous.” But you know, it hasn’t really changed me at all.”

Of all the thousands of Vines and YouTube videos using his song, Silento says that some of his favorites were those that incorporated children and their parents dancing. One awesome element of viral hits like “Watch Me” is that they sometimes get picked up and used in videos by celebrities and athletes. When we asked him who he’d love to see whipping it/doing the Nae Nae, Silento gave us an answer many artists would support: “Obama!”

When discussing the future, he sounds optimistic and confident, and why shouldn’t he? In terms of riding this momentum and where he sees himself in 5 years, Silento says, “I already am, you know? I got remixes, a dance album [to come] – I’m already doing it. I see myself on a stage…and definitely bigger [as an artist] than I am right now!”

TuneCore is excited to be apart of Silento’s and Bolo Da Producer’s musical journey – collecting their download/streaming sales, worldwide songwriter royalties, and YouTube Sound Recording revenue as they ride the wave of this fun, viral dance craze. We’re getting the feeling that 2015 will be the year of “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)“!