CMJ Music Marathon turned 34 this October – it’s gone from an event that included just a few-venues event to a behemoth showcase with over 1,400 live performances spread over 80 New York City locales. Ask any artist or music industry professional and they’ll tell you how vital the festival is for exposing new music to the masses. Ask any indie music fan in the area and they’ll be too busy trying to coordinate a schedule to see their favorite up-and-coming artists!
Over 40% of the artists that performed at CMJ 2014 have distributed their music through TuneCore. This year, we were proud to sponsor The Wild Honey Pie’s Beehive showcase at Brooklyn Night Bazaar (Happy 5th Birthday shout-out to The Wild Honey Pie!). A majority of the groups on the bill were TuneCore Artists, and a few of them were able to chat with us about their CMJ experience, how they got there, and their plans moving forward! Be sure to take a look at some of the photos caught by the TuneCore staff & Aehee Kang Asano, and visit our preview of The Beehive event to learn more about the TuneCore artists who played.
TuneCore Artists Neighbors, Fort Lean, and Twin Wave shared their perspectives on CMJ, TuneCore, and their plans for the near future.
1. How did you go from distributing music via TuneCore to performing at CMJ?
Neighbors: We’ve been playing in NYC and releasing records for a little while now. Performing is a big part of getting more people to hear what you do. Plus it’s really fun.
Fort Lean: Distributing on Tunecore helped broaden our reach and get new fans interested. So when it came time for CMJ a lot of blogs, promoters, and fans were aware of what we were doing. So they basically just reached out and asked if we’d like to come play some shows they were putting on.
Twin Wave: Building a following in NYC/Brooklyn is not an easy feat. Distributing music online is one way to hit an audience, playing live is another. We have been playing shows every month for the last 2 years. The goal is to be heard/seen/felt/known and we want to use every angle possible to reach people. CMJ is a fantastic place to share music. We were luckily enough this year to play at the Buzzchips & My Free Concert showcase at the new Living Room.
2. Why did you choose TuneCore?
Neighbors: As an indie band, TuneCore is the easiest most affordable way to distribute our music and collect the money we make from it.
Fort Lean: We chose Tunecore based on strong recommendations from other bands. It’s basically just the simplest, most straightforward way to get your music on every relevant platform. No brainer.
Twin Wave: TuneCore was the obvious choice to share our music in an organized and efficient manner. It has been incredibly helpful, and the revenue earned has even allowed us to pay for Twin Wave merchandise and a music video.
3. Besides performing live, how else have you built your fan base?
Neighbors: We’ve built our fans in a lot of ways. Word of mouth, social media, videos, licensing etc. I think these days its kind of about doing as much as you can to just get stuff out in to the world as much as you can in as many different ways as you can.
Fort Lean: Beyond playing live, we’ve also used social media to stay connected with people who are interested, and made videos to accompany our songs. It’s a multifaceted landscape now, so you basically just have to juggle all these different things at once and give people a window into the world you’re creating.
Twin Wave: Online promotion. Websites like SoundCloud, Bandcamp, etc. have helped us reach audiences near and far. Additionally, the services provided by TuneCore have allowed us to send that reach even further, linking us with mega music hubs like Spotify and iTunes.
4. Now that you’ve played CMJ, do you have plans to perform at SXSW or any other festivals? How will you be preparing?
Neighbors: We’ll definitely be at SXSW this year. I think we’re mostly getting ready by saving rooms for lots and lots of tacos.
Fort Lean: We will indeed be playing at SXSW this year. No specific plans yet, but we’ll be getting ready by practicing a lot just to make sure every show counts.
Twin Wave: The goal is to play as much as possible. We are open to all possibilities. We don’t have any set festival plans at the moment, but we will be playing all over NYC/Brooklyn, so make sure to catch a show soon!
We’re already looking forward to CMJ Music Marathon 2015! Thanks again to The Wild Honey Pie & Brooklyn Night Bazaar for having us.