Tag Archives: A3C

TuneCore Live Atlanta & A3C 2015 Recap

A couple of weeks back, TuneCore was honored by holding the title of official Music Distribution Sponsor of A3C Festival 2015 in Atlanta. We enjoyed 5 days of celebrating independent hip hop from all corners of the world, and it was amazing to see the outpouring of love from various artists who had their own connection to TuneCore in relation to their respective musical journeys.

In order to kick it off right, and celebrate the opening of our brand new Atlanta office, we brought our wildly fun and successful TuneCore Live series to the Music Room – featuring a whole lineup of dope TuneCore Artists – on Wednesday, the first night of the festival.

Young Chizz, Chris Rivers, Kaj Kadence, Shawn Chrystopher, Young Lyxx, Goldyard, Frank Mayson, Mighty High Coup, and a roster of young up-and-comers off of the Label No Genre imprint got everyone moving. But it was the special guest, Young Jeezy, who shook things up later in the evening! It was extremely exciting to treat not only the crowd, but also the artists on the bill, to a surprise like this one. Honestly, it’s tough to think of a cooler way to start off a week of live hip hop, networking, and education.

Speaking of education, A3C isn’t just about offering MCs and producers the opportunity to collaborate on the stage – each year, there’s a conference that takes place concurrently with a ton of panels, speakers and workshops aimed to inform and guide artists through their careers. TuneCore is all about helping independent artists make good business decisions, so it’s only fitting that we helped run a panel titled “How To Make Money: Revenue Streams for Artists”, featuring our Chief Creative Officer Joe Cuello and our Sr. Director of Artist Promotions Chris Mooney. It was an active, engaged discussion packed with note-taking artists who were eager to walk away with information key to their respective financial strategies.

As Joe Cuello put it:

A3C was an amazing experience across the board and TuneCore working with the conference to pull together our panel on ‘How to Make Money’ was a highlight.  The capacity room and the experienced panelists made for a lively hour, and I believe the knowledge shared was incredibly valuable.

panelphotoHow To Make Money panel feat. Rico Brooks, Leron Rogers, Ricardo Spicer, and Shaun Burton

TuneCore also had the privilege of presenting a Making the Most of Your Video workshop later in the day, alongside photographer/videographer Courtney Jefferson.

“At the video workshop, we thought it was important to bring in a video director to discuss the process and the reasons for considering a professional video. Just as vital, we wanted provide expertise on optimizing a channel and video, along with strategies to generate revenue on YouTube. We covered a lot in 30 minutes.

“A3C is such a fantastic music conference. I still love SXSW, but all day long it seems like you are trying to coordinate meetings around free bbq and beer shows. At A3C, I hang out at the conference lobby and meet labels, tech start-ups, and other members of the music industry all in one spot. And even better, I get to meet the artists using TuneCore. I love that opportunity to connect with the community.”
– Chris Mooney, Sr. Director of Artist Promotions

Between the educational panels and workshops, catching legends like De La Soul live, hanging at the Swisher Sweets #ArtistProject Stage, and soaking up art and culture at X Spaces, the whole experience of A3C Festival 2015 was, as the kids say, lit.

Be sure to peep a gallery of some photos from TuneCore Live and a really tight video recap courtesy of our friends over at Infinite Mag (great resource for music, tech, fashion and more) below. We already can’t wait for next year!

A3C Recap from Infinite Magazine on Vimeo.

TuneCore Artists Head Down to A3C Prepared!

It’s Day Two of A3C Festival 2015 and hip hop artists from all over have ascended to Atlanta to perform, shake hands, and, well, party! Before the festival kicked off, we reached out to some of our TuneCore MCs and producers to get a feel for how they’re planning on making the most of A3C this year, and grab their thoughts on what it means to be an in independent artist in 2015.

Per usual, our insightful community didn’t disappoint! Whether they’re veterans on the scene or they’ve head to Atlanta for the first time, take a look at what they had to say…

On making the most of A3C. . .

“I plan on going to as many conference panels as possible to network and get advice from industry veterans on how to improve what I’m currently doing and continue to improve my musical success.”

“Aside from the obvious answer of making connections and witnessing legends speak/perform, I find A3C and Atlanta in general, a huge inspiration for my song writing. The rich culture and southern lifestyle spark a different kind of creativity I wouldn’t normally experience at home in Canada.”
– Quake Matthews

“This is my first year at A3C, after doing SXSW four years in a row and having great success, I’m really excited to start the A3C chapter in my career. After the festival, I hope to gain the notice of music lovers that enjoy spreading the word on new artists as myself.”
Erreon Lee

“I plan on taking advantage of every opportunity to engage with the supporters of indie hip hop; performing as much as possible, building with people on a one-on-one level, etc. In terms of the “creative” side of things, I’m there to have fun and make sure I remain as visible as possible to those who I may want to engage with in the near future.”

“As an independent artist it’s key to be out and about networking. You don’t have a big team behind you, so you have to play street team sometimes down to the manager. We plan on killing shows and building with like minded artist with the same goals. A3C is the perfect opportunity to make more opportunities just have to apply yourself.”

As an independent artist I plan on making the most of my time at A3C this year by personally connecting with my current and potential fans. I already have a pretty nice fanbase in ATL, so I will be looking to expand on that. Other ways I will be making the most of my experience in A3C this year are by promoting with CDs, download cards and promotional flyers for the project I released this year through TuneCore. I will also have my personal artist/brand apparel on hand at every show and media event I attend. I’m scheduled to do tons of interviews and a few shows, so I plan to make the most of every opportunity. ”
Weasel Sims

“As an independent artist it’s hard getting your music heard and recognized. A3C gives upcoming independent artists a platform to be heard, so if I don’t connect with as many people and artists as possible I’d be wasting my time.”
Kidd Adamz

“In my eyes, the biggest thing that needs to happen during my time at A3C this year is  to go from a shy introverted artist to the very outgoing personable being that I am. The best way to do so is by meeting as many people as possible!”

On being an independent hip hop artist in 2015…

“Being an indie artist in 2015 has it’s ups and downs. As far as myself, I tend to try and look towards the positive, which is freedom. Sometimes the freedom to be you creatively makes a lot of difference – your sound, your look, and your perception always has a chance to be the next thing!”
Boxx A Million

“Being an [independent] hip hop artist, there are many obstacles and challenges – but it’s my job to continue to make interesting music and be as interactive with my fans as possible.”

“We’re the next wave of music. Of course labels will always be around, but everyday another indie artist is going viral without them. We’re the future.”
– Trev Rich

“As an independent artist in 2015 with the Internet at our fingertips, the power is in my hands. As much as I love the art, I understand that I’m a business. The more energy you invest into your business, the larger it can grow!”

“It means to be able to control your own future. Being able to ride the wave and keep up with the changes by releasing music whenever you choose to. It also means having a close relationship with your fans; they’re like your team.”
– Shawn Chrystopher

“Any thing is possible even without a label support if you work hard for it.”

“To have been signed to a boutique label before and to be independent and thriving at the same time is just a blessing from God. It’s an amazing opportunity and honor to be respected as an independent artist and it makes more sense business-wise for me at the moment; so the timing is perfect for me to succeed as a self-contained force. Shout out my team!”
– Super Spodee

Artist Breakdown – TuneCore Live: Atlanta @ A3C – Weds, October 7th!

A3C Festival (All 3 Coasts) is a huge, city-wide music event that takes place each October in Atlanta, GA. Dubbed ‘Hip Hop’s Biggest Stage‘, 500+ performances will occur over five days, giving hip hop artists from all over the chance to showcase their talents, network with their peers and industry professionals, and learn a thing or two during the A3C Conference (which includes keynote speakers, panels, workshops and more).

TuneCore is psyched to be the official Distribution and Music Publishing sponsor of A3C 2015, for the second year in a row, and we couldn’t dream of a better excuse to open up our new southern office and host our first ever TuneCore Live: Atlanta! On Wednesday, October 7th, you can find us at the Music Room, where we’ll be throwing the perfect “get-ready-for-5-days-of-music-and-partying” event for those ascending to A3C. It’ll be 18+, kicking off at 9PM – RSVP for the event on Facebook here!

With the help of Swisher Sweets, we’ve rounded up an amazing line-up of hip hop artists, and this is sure to get packed, so get there early! If you’re heading down to A3C next week and want to come mingle with TuneCore (and see amazing live music), familiarize yourself after the jump, and we’ll see you down there.

Kaj Kadence

Born in Brooklyn and residing in Fayetteville, NC, Kaj Kadence has been rapping since 2011, dropping his first official mixtape in 2013. Kaj comes from a musical family – both his parents grew up in Haiti playing multiple instruments – and boasts New York influences like Nas, Jay-Z and Biggie, while admiring artists outside of the genre like Bob Marley and Jimi Hendrix. He released his latest, Studio 68, in early 2015.

Young Lyxx

Young Lyxx
An emerging artist who was raised in sunny San Diego, Young Lyxx has been recording music since 2009. Now operating out of Los Angeles and Atlanta, Lyxx is riding high off the success of his 2014 singles “We Winnin (feat. K-Camp)” and “With the Homies“. He’s partnered with major brands like Reebok, and we’re excited for his upcoming project, G$LMPD$TRCT, which will be hosted by DJ MLK.

Young Chizz

young chizz
His grandmother gave him a nickname, “Young Child”, and Young Chizz turned it into a stage name. Raised in Jamaica, Queens, New York, Chizz parted from his original duo, Fame & Chizz, and has been building a successful solo career for himself. After touring under hip hop heavyweights Young Jeezy and Lil Wayne, as well as racking up rotations on MTV & commercial radio, Young Chizz released  his debut EP, Provoked, in late 2014.

Chris Rivers

Chris Rivers Grey
Chris Rivers has been making himself heard: from getting coverage on all the prominent blogs to his explosive freestyle spitting on Sirius XM programs. With a dominant flow, it’s no surprise that Rivers comes from Hip Hop Royalty: his father was the late Bronx legend Big Pun! Born Chris Rios, Jr., he’s stepped out of his father’s shadow and has proven to be a man of his own, ready to conquer the hip hop world.

Label No Genre – Artist Showcase

This year, southern hip hop superstar Bobby Ray aka B.o.B. announced the launch of his own imprint, Label No Genre. With a cast of young and emerging talent, we’re psyched to help B.o.B. show it off during TuneCore Live! Attendees will be treated to short sets from the following:

Havi115-year old Atlanta hip hop artist Havi began supporting B.o.B. on tour. He’s since gone on to headline teen concerts all around the state.

jakelamboJake Lambo, at 17-years old,  has videos on MTV Jams and Revolt. He has toured with B.o.B and Kevin Gates. His latest project is called  “2nd Period”.

Lin ZLin-Z  has been featured on Label No Genre’s compilation album and is currently working on her first solo project.

Jaque BeatzBoth an artist and a producer, Jaque Beatz has produced for LeCrae,Kevin Gates and B.o.B. He currently has a project called “The Good Beatz” available on iTunes & Datpiff.

London JaeAtlanta hip hop artist London Jae has been featured on songs with B.o.B, Young Dro, Zuse and many other well known hip hop artists out today. His latest project “Better Late Than Never” is on iTunes and Datpiff.

Shawn Chrystopher

A combination of confidence, dedication and the DIY spirit, Shawn Chrystopher hit the road in 2012 for a 45-city tour with Big Sean. He’d go on to garner the attention production mastermind Timbaland, who would executive produce his debut album, The Love Story LP, in 2013. Chrystopher has maintained his independence and continued to release projects on his Honour Role Music label, and is recently finished up his latest LP, Blackgrad.


A high-energy hip hop trio, Atlanta-based Goldyard consists of A.T, In-Doe and Producer Flick James. In the spring of 2015, they released F**k Culture 2, the follow-up to their 2014 EP of the same title. Fans can expect a third installment in the F**k Culture series next year. Goldyard has shared the stage with current hip hop stars and has a reputation for active, intense live performances.

Bankroll Fresh

Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 6.02.05 PM
Growing up in the streets of Atlanta, hip hop artist Bankroll Fresh had to face adversity and struggle from a young age. But it was music, he says, that kept him focused and gave him direction. Determined to make a go of his musical career,  Fresh connected with some popular Atlanta producers, worked on songs with artists like Gucci Mane, Chief Keef, and Rich Homie Quan, and built a lot of buzz up around last year’s Life Of A Hotboy mixtape.

Frank Mayson

From Haiti, to Connecticut, to Atlanta, Frank Mayson uses his diverse upbringing to make an impact with his music. Working with executive producer Wes Green and a rolodex of up-and-coming Atlanta hip hop producers, Frank is currently readying his debut release, Trap Standard.

Mighty High Coup

Mighty High Coup – consisting of Mr. SOS, Ricky Raw, and A-Bomb – got together through performing and partying in Atlanta’s hip hop scene and have been distributing music through TuneCore since their debut, To The Moon in 2010. After that release, their track “808” received the remix treatment from legendary dubstep producer Bassnectar – which as Mighty High Coup shared with us today opened up doors into the EDM/house music/rave world. The trio now benefits from being involved in both worlds – EDM & hip hop – as they begin to intersect more and more.

A3C ‘Beats & Rhymes’ Compilation – Signif “Rebel (Produced by M16)”

As official Music Distribution and Publishing Administration Sponsor of A3C Festival 2014, we knew we had to make the most of our time at the 5-day hip hop event in Atlanta. With almost 50% of the 500+ artists who performed this year having distributed through TuneCore, it made perfect sense to distribute an exclusive A3C compilation to highlight some up-and-comers.

A3C ‘Beats & Rhymes’ Presented by TuneCore is the final product of our TuneCore Studio experience at the SAE Institute, during which 8 TuneCore artists were hand-selected to work and complete tracks with 8 accomplished producers. The compilation was was recorded entirely at SAE Institue during the 2014 #A3CProAudio portion of the festival and was mixed by Art RoebuckA3C ‘Beats & Rhymes’ will be distributed by TuneCore in it’s entirety and released on November 11, 2014 – it will be available on Amazon Music for free download.

A3C_Comp Cover

…but of course you know we couldn’t wait until next week to give you a preview! During the #A3CProAudio experience, TuneCore artist Signif linked up with producer M16 to record the hard-hitting yet soulful Rebel. We talked both artists about the experience and the track below. Stream the track here.

How long did it take for you two to ‘click’ and take this into a certain direction?
Signif: It didn’t take long for us to click. There was a little technical issue of getting M16’s drive to work at first, but after that it was all good.
M16: As soon as she heard the track it didn’t take long at all for her to do her thing.

As a producer, what kind of hip hop and other musical influences did you conjure up when creating this beat?
I’ve always been a fan of that hip hop, boom-bap underground type of sound. Being from Alabama, we had no sound so I always did my homework on the greats back when it started.

Lyrically, where are you coming from on this track? What did M16’s music bring out in you?
Signif: I came up with the chorus first and from there just followed suit. Lyrically it’s rebel music, I talk about standing on my own two and doing it my way without pressure to follow the trends, but at the same time the music can resonate with anyone.  M16 has a nice selection of tracks so it was hard to choose just one. The track I did go with was a bit gritty so that’s the direction we went in.

As independent artist, what does the opportunity to jump into the studio for some free recording time while at a festival mean to you?
Signif: It means everything to me, so when I do get the opportunity to work in-house I jump on it. I never had the privilege of sitting in a studio and writing songs/ideas for free while working on my own music.

signifm16 copy
M16 & Signif in TuneCore Studio

In what major ways do you feel TuneCore simplifies distribution for producers who are looking to stick to releasing independently with varying artists?
M16: It just doesn’t give you that pressure. You actually have the time to perfect your craft and release it whenever you think it’s perfect – on your own time.

What can you two advise producers and emcees when working together in this fashion?
Bring your A-game to the session. Know as much as you can about the artist and keep positive energy.
Signif: Just go in with an open mind. I’m always down to mix my style up with other artists to see what comes out. If the process is organic and natural, it will make for a great session and you’re not boxing yourself in to one type of style or sound.

How would you sum up the energy and overall experience inside TuneCore Studio at A3C this year?
Signif: The energy in the studio was good; chill vibes, people stopped by on both of our ends to say what’s up and show support.
M16: I think the whole idea is amazing – to have all this dope talent randomly selected. It will bring a whole new, broader sound that can only get better every time another project drops.
Signif: It was fun, I was glad to be a part of the TuneCore Studio session at A3C. I had a great time.

Where do you see TuneCore on the map of an artist’s musical journey in 2014 and beyond?
I see it being on top because artists have started to take control of their own situations now. TuneCore has the perfect outlet.
Signif: TuneCore is definitely essential to an artist’s musical journey. With the way people are receiving and discovering music nowadays, something as simple as streaming your music is a must if you’re trying to connect with people all over the world.

For more coverage on our time at A3C, be sure to check out these features:
Artist Spotlight: Ripynt & Translee
Artist Spotlight: Shome & Goldyard
Artist Spotlight: Signif
A3C Festival Artists To Watch
A3C Festival 2014 Recap


A3C Artists Spotlight – Goldyard & Shome

As we continue our A3C Festival coverage, we’re happy to link up with TuneCore artists featured in this year’s lineup. TuneCore is thrilled to be able to help independent artists on their paths when it comes to distributing, publishing and sharing their music with their ever-growing fan bases! We caught up with TuneCore artist Shome and trio Goldyard (A.T., IN-DOE, & Flick James) to see how they plan on approaching the festival.

If you talk to just about any independent hip-hop artist, they’ll tell you that promotion is a big piece of the puzzle. But when you visit a festival, it’s important to bring that mentality each day. When asked how Shome tries to stand out, there’s no gimmick necessary, “Just be me. I’m a firm believer in that being real is what sells and makes listeners gravitate towards you.”

“We promote our brand every day. We try to make it a habit. As far as A3C goes we’re just trying to get everyone familiar with Goldyard as a brand, and trying to get everyone we can to come to our show,” the members of Goldyard say. They’re a local name you’ll find on flyers, walls and venues all around the streets of Atlanta.

Shome BLog photo

It’s easy to get wrapped up in the fun and commotion of a festival like A3C, but independent artists know that there must be a balance of work and play. While Goldyard reminds us that being a fan is non-stop, they still have plans to be “meeting new people to work with, whether it’s artists or just people that we can build relationships with to work with in the future.”

“Networking and getting to know more people in the game,” Shome tells us, will be a priority, and he also hopes to utilize some of the many panels at A3C for education.

The ability to get your music into online stores and streaming services prior to getting to a festival is a huge bonus. Goldyard released their EP, F**k Culture, through TuneCore this year. “TuneCore has helped us put our music on platforms we didn’t necessarily have before, and not just in the States but all over. It also helped us make money while doing it, through the Internet, which can be a big hassle,” they attest.

“It’s opened an outlet for me to get my name and music out, as well as generate revenue,” says Shome, who released his single “Hold Me Down” through TuneCore.

Aside from distribution, being independent requires you to build a network or team of your own to drive your goals forward. Shome makes sure to stick around “people with a similar vision, faith, and love [of] music.”

goldyard Blog

“Being independent in 2014 is nothing but grind,” Goldyard reminds us. “Your team has to be ready for everything at every moment. Your relationships with people is your biggest asset in being independent. The right relationships with the right people can be your biggest opportunity or your biggest downfall. The people you surround yourself with have to be as hungry as you in every way.”

At TuneCore, one of our mottos is, “You take care of the music, we’ll take care of the rest.” But we still love to know what sort of processes and preparation techniques our artists have before hitting the studio!

“We normally don’t prepare for the studio, it’s all organic with us,” the members of Goldyard reveal. “We normally write songs as we tell the producer what we do or don’t like. Most of the time it’s the producer in our group, Flick James, so we’ve all gotten to the point where we know each other’s vibes and how we’re feeling at certain moments. If we work with new producers we normally have them adapt to our style of song writing, and most of that is just vibing, getting to know the producer. Making music has always been our strong point, we can make songs with anybody in a reasonable amount of time if were feeling the production enough.”

For Shome, creating music isn’t about mapping things out. “Pick out the right sound and what I’m feeling in the moment. It’s hard to just sit down and say, “Hey, I think we should rap about this and that”. Concepts kind of just flow and whatever comes natural when I start writing is what usually works.”

Are you in Atlanta this weekend? Be sure to check out both of these TuneCore artists in and around A3C! For more information, their A3C artist profiles are below.

Shome at A3C Fest
Goldyard at A3C Fest

A3C Artist Spotlight: Signif

Milwaukee-born and New York-based Signif took some time to chat with TuneCore as a part of our A3C Artists To Watch Spotlight about her journey, influences, and process. She’ll be recording as a part of our partnership with SAE Institute during A3C’s #TuneCoreStudio Artist & Producer Sessions. Her latest release, Friction(released through TuneCore) is available on iTunes.

Check out Signif’s A3C Artist Profile here for other info & set times.

TuneCore: What hip-hop legends inspired you? 
Signif: A Tribe Called Quest, Mc Lyte, Bahamadia, MC Breed, Tupac, Queen Latifah and a slew of other hip-hop greats inspired me to write.

How do you describe your style? Are you influenced by trends?
I would describe my style as honest but hard-hitting. I stick closely to the roots of hip-hop with more of a boom bap, jazz, and spoken word sound. I’m not heavily influenced by trends at all; as an artist I set my own trends.

What specific challenges do you encounter getting your music heard? How has it changed during your career?
I face the same challenges that most indie DIY artists face while trying to find that path to where you’re able to reach your core audience and build upwards from there. Not having the big machine behind you is always a challenge, and you definitely have to find room to wiggle around the “No’s” and closed doors. The good side to that is you get a chance to fail, try again, and learn the business while trying to figure out the best route.

How does an artist transition from focusing strictly on promo to an artist getting paying gigs?  What cities and venues are great for hip hop? 
For me, the promo is how I was able to get the paying gigs; some artists build a relationship with promoters or other bands for gig opportunities. There are several ways to go about getting paying gigs, but building with your core fans always helps. Every city has a hip-hop scene, but New York has some of the best venues for hip-hop in my opinion.

What do  you have happening at A3C? Do you think festivals are important for hip-hop?
I’m performing at Apache Cafe on October 11th from 9pm -1am with a roster of good emcees. I’m also participating in the ‘A3C Audio Experience’ while at A3C.

I think hip-hop should be incorporated in more musical festivals and events for sure.

Do you have a system of releasing singles in advance of albums? Or do you like to focus on bigger releases? Do you put everything up for sale or do you make it available for free via downloads? 
With every album I release the approach differs depending on the direction of the project as a whole. My latest release, Friction, had a few singles leading up to the release and is for sale, but some of my other albums are donation-based. It also depends on where you purchase the music from as well, if you want it digital or physical copy.

How important are mixtapes for you?
I have yet to release a mixtape. I’d rather use original music, (even if sampled), than use already released tracks. I will always dig the original concept of doing a mixtape with the live DJ aspect.
Signif1 - Photo credit Sylvain Berly
What are your writing inspirations? How do you choose producers and studios?
My inspiration comes from just living life; the struggles I face or have dealt with inspire my writings.

The producers I work with actually choose me, and if I can vibe to what they create: it’s on. I’ve been with the same studio and engineer for many years, The Brewery recording studio in Brooklyn, working with Andrew Krivonos.

Do you avoid explicit lyrics or write/perform whatever you write?
I don’t avoid them I just don’t write explicit lyrics. Some of my tracks hit so hard that people ask me for clean versions not knowing the track is already clean. I’m not against using explicit lyrics and artists should definitely express themselves how they see fit. I just never had to express myself in an explicit manner for people to get it, and I write and perform what moves me.

How do you participate in the business side of the music – distribution, hiring a PR agency, etc… or do you have a label or manager do that for you?
I’m hands on with everything, from shipping merch to setting up meetings. It’s the DIY way for now. We have a few outside sources we go to when needed, but it’s just us for now – no labels or mangers are involved.

What do you see for yourself in the next few years?
In the next few years I’m looking to expand my brand Intelligent Dummies and tour more in other countries.

If you couldn’t rap, would you still try to be involved in music as a career?
If I didn’t emcee I would probably be involved in one way or another. I help out a lot with the pictures/visuals and the business side of my music as well.

What is the most important piece of advice you can offer to an aspiring hip-hop artist/independent musician?
The most important advice I can offer to an aspiring artist is to figure out your niche before you dive in, and make sure to keep your focus on building your own brand and reaching your core audience. But there is no one way to get the job done, do what feels right to you.