During TuneCore’s 2016 Austin Takeover the week of SXSW, we threw some pretty amazing music showcases at the Vulcan Gas Company. Additionally, we took some time to celebrate our newly minted office in Austin’s SoCo neighborhood by getting to know members of the Governor’s offices, mingling with TuneCore Artists, and welcoming other members of the music community.
On March 17th, TuneCore CEO Scott Ackerman, Entertainment Relations Vice President Shelby Kennedy, and Austin-based Entertainment Relations Manager Amy Lombardi were guests of Governor Greg Abbott’s A Capitol Salute to Texas Music, an invite-only reception at the Governor’s Mansion celebrating Texas music and the Texas music Industry.
Texas Music Office Director Brendon Anthony introduced the TuneCore team to Governor Abbott, who greeted them with great enthusiasm. He showed appreciation for setting an example to companies around the country and world who can be fully supported by the state when they bring their music business to Texas. It was a special experience for everyone, and the Governor’s Mansion is truly beautiful!
Later that day, our favorite local, Amy Lombardi, welcomed executive staff from our Brooklyn, Burbank, Nashville, Boston and Atlanta offices, as well as our partners at Believe Digital and TuneCore Japan for a fun ‘Team Hang Out’, (she also introduced everyone to the magic of green chili queso!).
A morning Open House then took place on Friday, March 18th, during which we shared our new space with the Austin music community, artists, and colleagues from around the world.
Folks came out early to show love for TuneCore (and donuts) and hear words from our CEO Scott Ackerman, our CCO Jose Cuello, and Texas Music Office Director Brendon Anthony. Mr. Anthony thanked us for bringing our presence to the Austin music economy and spoke at length on the ‘Live Music Capital of the World.’
A huge thanks is in order to Governor Abbott, Brendon Anthony, and everyone who was able to join us. Texas sure has a way of making us feel welcome!
Catch up on all the fun we had at our TuneCore Austin Takeover events at the Vulcan Gas Company below:
If you were following us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook during the week of SXSW, or reading the blog leading up to it all, you already know we did it big this year.
Five events. More than forty artists. One venue.
We couldn’t be happier with how our TuneCore Austin Takeover went. Over the course of three days we were able to showcase amazing talent, throw raucous parties, connect with independent artists who use TuneCore, and partner with Swisher Sweets, WorldArts, and Mirrored Media to pack the Vulcan Gas Company on 6th Street. Not to mention, we received over 16,000 RSVPs on Do512 for our five events!
“TuneCore’s AustinTakeover was an incredible experience. It is a privilege and so much fun to spotlight the amazing up and coming talents on TuneCore like Jacob Latimore, Taylor Bennett, Miya Folick, and Trevor Wesley alongside legends like Wyclef Jean, Talib Kweli, and Waka Flaka Flame.
And the varied styles over the week represent the breadth of what a TuneCore artist is – they can rock the house like Fantastic Negrito, Towkio, and Ron Pope or be intimate performers like Ciaran Lavery, Airlands, and The Wealthy West. “
– Chris Mooney, Sr. Director of Artist Promotions & Strategic Relationships
It all started Thursday, March 17th with our TuneCore Indie Artist Forum party. As some of you know, our friends at WorldArts gave several TuneCore artists the chance to win slots during the Austin Takeover.
Winners Flight of Ryan kicked the party off right! They were followed by Trevor Wesley, who was no stranger to TuneCore’s live events and made himself quite comfortable crooning on stage for an engaged crowd.
As fans filtered in an out, attendees were treated to fantastic performances from the likes of Grayshot, LazyEyes, Lena Fayre and Baby E.
Chicago MC Towkio revved up the crowd when he jumped into the crowd, juking, rapping and involving the whole room.
Blondfire, another LA-based act who has enjoyed playing TuneCore Live once before, wowed a packed room full of fans who were lucky enough to catch them early in their trip to Austin.
The roof deck was hopping, the drinks were cold, and the Swisher Sweets were burning. The energy that filled the Vulcan set the tone for what was to come.
Check out our recaps for Day 2 and Day 2, plus more footage from Day 1 of our Austin Takeover in the gallery below!
During the final day of TuneCore’s 2016 Austin Takeover, we handed the reigns over to our friends at Swisher Sweets. While Swisher’s promotional squad, the Sweeties were at every event this week giving out free samples to very grateful patrons, Saturday, March 19th was truly a Swisher Sweet Takeover at the Vulcan Gas Company.
And boy did they pack a punch with the lineups!
A red carpet, tons of photo opps, and all the Swisher Sweets swag you could get, SXSW-attendees may have been getting tired, but not enough to skip our festivities.
Chicago’s Taylor Bennett (brother of Chance The Rapper) treated an enthusiastic crowd to cuts off of 2015’s excellent Broad Shoulders, and while many in the audience came for hip hop, Miya Folick attracted a whole new crowd of fans with her Cat Power-like brand of indie folk.
TuneCore familiar face and Cincinnati’s own Buggs Tha Rocka sported hot shades and made the stage his with high-energy rhymes over spacey stoned beats.
Fans waited all afternoon for the legendary MC Talib Kweli to hit the stage, and he, too, did not disappoint. Playing a captivating and energetic set, Vulcan attendees were treated a combination of new songs and old favorites, dating back to his debut release.
Always the hip hip mentor, Talib brought out some of his protege acts – Space Invadaz, K’Valentine, and NIKO IS – out on stage to join him. It was like a party within a party.
Andy Allo, who similarly rocked out for Swisher Sweets’ Convenience Store Sessions last year, kicked out the jams, alternating between acoustic and electric guitars and carrying the set with her incredible voice and performance abilities. Her mix of pop, soul and rock made the for a perfect end to the day’s festivities. Now it was time to get ready for a whole new show.
When you put Waka Flocka Flame as the headliner of your last show during SXSW, people are going to show up early. That was the case as we opened the doors of the Vulcan Gas Company and let eager fans flood in from 6th Street.
Knowing it was most folks’ last night in town, each and every artist on the bill brought their all. Goldyard, Tre Capital and Bingx all brought their sets to the people by jumping into the crowd to soak up the love. Bingx, in fact, decided to show off his acrobatic skills as seen above.
Local favorites/husband and wife duo Riders Against the Storm showed us all how Austin does it, and teen heartthrob Jacob Latimore brought a female fan on stage to serenade her. K’Valentine and NIKO IS shared a DJ (eventually leading to a Talib Kweli second round appearance), and Yonas performed cuts from his last EP Going Places and his new mixtape The English Architect.
Perhaps one of the most captivating sets of the night came from TuneCore Artist and Nashville-newcomer R.LUM.R.
Drawing comparisons to the Weeknd, the soulful indie performer treated the crowd to his first full-band set, and even joined in on the fun by taking selfies mid-set with fans. An encore was eventually demanded.
Headliner Waka Flocka Flame gave the set of his life – nearly 2 hours – and turned the Vulcan into a shaking house party. Playing old favorites and new cuts, Waka didn’t hold back on intensity and energy. We couldn’t think of a better way to end a 14-hour Swisher Sweets Takeover!
Want more? Check out photo galleries from both events below – you may even spot yourself! Plus be sure to catch Recaps from Thursday and Friday.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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: