Tag Archives: A3C Festival

A3C Artists Spotlight – Ripynt & Translee

As a part of our on-going A3C Festival coverage, we’re here to provide insight from artists featured in this year’s lineup. These are hard-working, independent hip-hop artists embracing entrepreneurial journeys every day, and TuneCore is proud to be a part of the process! We caught up with TuneCore artists Ripynt and Translee to see how they plan on approaching the festival.

A3C isn’t just producers and artists – industry professionals, members of the media and fans travel from all corners to check out what’s happening in hip-hop.  This brings huge opportunities for artists to get out there, perform, and shake some hands.

“I’m hoping to meet some new bloggers,” Translee says. “Bloggers make the world go round.”

Ripynt certainly sees A3C as a chance to get out there: “I know that doing this hip-hop thing as a career can’t be played safely from your own backyard. You have to travel, play for untested crowds, and network with all the possible contacts you can.”

Hip-hop is TuneCore’s #1 genre, so of course we’re pleased to see a festival that caters to its vast array of artists. A3C is truly a festival that benefits the independent hip-hop community, bringing likeminded people together.

“Performing for the [A3C] Fest is awesome, but the real win is in the people you get a chance to mix with,” says Ripynt.

Translee agrees, stating that A3C “gives [independent artists] a platform to be proud of. Everyone around the city is asking about the different shows and the air is electric.”

We know half the battle of a festival like A3C is getting there in the first place. Independent artists of ANY genre are constantly striving for access to new ears, as well as a means to deliver music to their already established fan bases.

TR blog

“TuneCore has spread my music across all avenues, increasing my visibility. They make it easy for my diverse fan base to find me,” explains Translee, whose fans are obviously plugged in – he boasts almost 52,000 Twitter followers.

Ripynt has been around the block with digital distribution, and had kind words to say of TuneCore’s services. “TuneCore has made it abundantly easy to be heard,” he says, “The tools at your disposal are much more reliable, the analytics are unquestionably necessary, and ease of use is without a doubt the best in the business.”

Of course, let’s not forget – just because artists are there to work, doesn’t mean they can’t have a little fun! These guys are hip-hop fans, too, after all.

R&CR blog

“I’m excited at the fact that a lot of the artists I grew up listening to will be performing this year,” Ripynt says, citing Mystikal, LOX, Slaughter House and Pharaohe Monch as some sets he intends to catch.

As for Translee: “Rocko is one of my favorite artists, so I’m ready to see his show.”

As TuneCore “Artists To Watch“, both Translee and Ripynt know promotion and standing out is key, (Translee: “Turning up social media an staying in the streets.” Ripynt: “Equip ourselves with free EP’s, announcement flyers, and business cards.”).  Be sure to look for both artists at A3C if you’re in Atlanta this week, and online otherwise – their artist profiles are below!

Translee at A3C Fest – Set times
Ripynt & Carl Roe at A3C Fest – Set times

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.

Artists to Watch at A3C Festival 2014

A3C (All 3 Coasts) Festival is entering its 10th year, taking place October 8th-11th in Atlanta, GA. What began as a regional showcase has transformed into a 5-day celebration of hip-hop featuring more than 500 artists, producers and panelists. TuneCore is proud to be the Official Music Distribution & Publishing Administration Sponsor for A3C Fest, having distributed music for almost 50% of artists/producers in this year’s lineup!

In addition to being a sponsor, TuneCore has is also launching #TuneCoreStudio Recording Sessions featuring top producers & artists, as well as presenting the panel, “Fueling the Independent Spirit: Blueprint for Going Global” featuring Rich Kidz, Nappy Roots, ChellaH, Quake Matthews & N8, (moderated by TuneCore’s Senior Director of Artist Promotions & Strategic Relationships, Chris Mooney).

We’re excited to present TuneCore’s 5 Artists To Watch at A3C 2014.

Born and raised in Milwaukee, Signif now represents her home of New York City, combining skills in poetry writing and free-styling to stand out in a mostly male-dominated genre. With six projects under her belt since 2009, Signif has had the opportunity to tour internationally and open for hip hop greats like Pharaohe Monch and Jean Grae – no small feat for an independent artist! Signif released her latest, Friction (TuneCore distribution), in August of 2014.Signif1 - Photo credit Sylvain Berly


Translee (a.k.a. Leezy)
Translee’s path to musical entrepreneurship kicked off in college, as he met his friend, manager and soon to be label head when they became roommates. Raised in Hunstville, AL but now residing in Atlanta, Translee is out to transfigure the some of the imagery often associated with Southern hip-hop while staying true to his roots. Leezy dropped Culture Junky (TuneCore distribution) in August, and has had several videos appear on MTV Jams and REVOLT.Translee press photo


Shome hails from New Orleans – an area that has been plagued by violence and crime. While these darker elements are often reflected on by some it’s native hip-hop artists, Shome intends to highlight his efforts in making the world a brighter place through his music. In addition to his aim to uplift and inspire, Shome’s cultural background (born to Indian parents) brings an added element of diversity to the independent hip-hop scene. Shome 4


Ripynt & Carl Roe
From his first proper solo release using TuneCore for distribution in 2009, Rip: Re-Inventing Politics, to his more recent partnership with likeminded producer Carl Roe, Ripynt has been using his background and upbringing to tell a story of struggle and triumph. Representing Seattle and the Northwest’s hip-hop scene, the duo will travel to A3C Fest with a videographer to document their adventure. Carl Roe is a U.S. Army veteran who complements Ripynt’s flows onstage not only as a talented and diverse producer, but also an emcee.Ripynt & Carl Roe


Rich Kidz
This duo’s beginnings date back to the halls of Frederick Douglass High School (Atlanta) in 2008. RKaelub and Skateboard Skooly built a reputation around Atlanta before dropping the single “My Partna Dem” and exploding with over 1 million hits on YouTube. After releasing a series of mixtapes and singles via TuneCore, the Rich Kidz were signed to Columbia Records in 2012. The young duo is an inspiring example of taking independent hip-hop to the next level!RICH KIDZ