“Everybody Loves The Sunshine”

 

ORIGINALLY a tune written by Roy Ayers, “Everybody Loves The Sunshine” has come back to life in the form of 21st century New York jazz and neo-soul singer, Jose James & Japanese jazz trumpetist Takuya Kurado on the new album Rising Son. The album was released on February 18th,  produced by James and featuring all of Kurado’s original compositions, except for two interpretations of Ayers’ ageless music. Naturally, I was curious as to how one would go about negotiating the fee for any samples of  Mr. Ayers’ originals released by Universal or other master-owners of the said recording, were used in Rising Son. Did Kurado re-record his interpretation of Ayers’ original or lift the samples? If it was a sample, how much did the label charge? Is Mr. Ayers even aware of this recording? For so often, this particular kind of information is buried in the books. Even ASCAP (to which Ayers is a member to), does not list Kurado and James as performers. When and where will this information be published? I am on the lookout. Are you? What if it was your music? What if there was a system to easily trace the answers to some of these questions? Am I blind? This all goes to say I am in an inquisitive way, trying to say that I’m certain Kurado created Rising Son ethically, I just want to know-how.

Adaptation !!!

It is always hard to build any project from scratch, and trying to do it with absolutely no hierarchy makes it even more challenging. My previous experience leading a multinational team spread around the world, made me realize the crucial role communication has between human beings in a group, as well as how important it is to have a pre-established structure with clear roles defined. Changing from that to a student managed label was definitely a shock: we are not in the real world and our objectives obviously do not match those of real life. We are still in an academic environment in which the first outcome must be learning, learning as much as possible. It has definitely been a bit hard for me to adapt, as maybe I was looking for a different experience due to my background. Once your mentality changes, it is much easier to start working and actually expect results.

As far as today’s meeting goes, I believe we reassured the way in which we all felt comfortable managing our side of the label. We decided that in order to achieve the most of this exercise, it might be better not to divide the team in departments, as we should all aim to learn the most in every area we attack. So today has hopefully put our record label in motion. The team also discussed the first issues regarding the general dissatisfaction concerning the label’s name, as well as trying to structure and coordinate methods of communication and tasks due for next week. We also established the mission statement behind the label.

Let’s keep on working!

Introducing…Wallace

Introducing…Wallace!

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Sammy Pisano, who performs under the mononym “Wallace,” is an American R&B artist from Beaufort, North Carolina. An alumni of UNC Wilmington, Wallace studied jazz piano after entering the university with intentions of majoring in Political Science. “It’s like I did a complete 180,” Wallace explains. “I always knew deep down that I wanted to pursue music. I guess it just took time for me to make the decision to really go after my dreams.”

Wallace cites Ne-Yo and John Legend as two of his major influences, claiming that the “sense of poetic romance in their lyrics” is something that he really enjoys but thinks has been missing in contemporary R&B/urban pop records. “I try to make music with powerful hooks that people can sing along and dance to. Music is such an important part of my life, and I am just thankful to be able to share my creations with the rest of the world.”

The latest work of Wallace, entitled “Sex, Love & Alcohol,” is a collaboration album with Vegas based rapper Pappagiorgio. The project is a collection of party records, romance songs, and what Wallace calls “feel good” music. View his promo video for the project below:

To view his profiles, visit his Twitter at @Kidd_Wallace or his Facebook at /WallaceOfficialTV.

Introducing… Pappagiorgio!

Introducing… Pappagiorgio!

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Pappagiorgio is an American rapper born in San Diego, CA. After beginning his career as an emcee in 2004, citing rap artists Snoop Dogg, Kool Keith, and Andre 3000 as influences, Pappagiorgio visited the city of Las Vegas and was captivated by its atmosphere. The talented artist soon after relocated to the city. His music now, as described in the biography on his website, he “embodies the spirit of classic Las Vegas entertainment in the form of today’s Hip-Hop.”

In 2010, Pappagiorgio attended Berklee College of Music to pursue a degree in songwriting. After completing the program in two years, the rapper began pursuing other musical endeavors in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, London, and Spain. Pappagiorgio has developed his skills both on the microphone and as a music entrepreneur.

The most recent work of Pappagiorgio, a collaboration album with R&B artist, Wallace, is set to release in the early spring. Entitled “Sex, Love & Alcohol,” the project elaborates on his love of a Vegas lifestyle, balancing party records with smoother, sensual tunes.

View Pappagiorgio’s promo video for “Sex, Love & Alcohol” below:

In addition to his love of music, Pappagiorgio is an avid sports fan, following the LA Clippers, the San Diego Chargers, and the Anaheim Ducks. He also is a passionate beer lover, aspiring to create his own brews, and a self-proclaimed Ancient Astronaut Theorist.

For more information on Pappagiorgio, visit his profiles at @HipHopandBeer or facebook.com/VegasPappaG.

Why SoundCloud Will Beat Other Streaming Music Services – Review

“Soundcloud has focused on making a platform creators want to use. They will continue to improve their consumer experience, as mainstream adoption continues. This will only entice more and more creators to join.” – Dan Polaske Hypebot.com

  As we all have seen in recent music industry news streaming services have been a major topic discussed by music executives, entrepreneurs, experts, and more.  Entrepreneur and blogger Dan Polaske seems to think that the streaming service that will come out on top of this streaming war will be Soundcloud not Spotify, Deezer, or the newly released Beats.   Polaske states that the leading streaming service at the moment is Youtube, noting that it technically isn’t a streaming service Polaske notes that regardless its makes up most music streaming online largely due to its user generated content.   Polaske seems to think that this focus on user generated content is what is going to make Soundcloud stand out among its other competitors.

  In addition to user generated content Polaske sites 3 major differences that will further lead soundcloud to success;

Cheaper

“To get your music on most streaming services you must go through an artist aggregator. There are paid and (apparently) free options here are Spotify’s recommendations. You can upload up to 2 hours of audio for free directly to Soundcloud.”  Dan Polaske Hypebot.com

Directness & Instantaneous 

“According to TuneCore it takes 2-3 business days to get your music on Spotify. In a world of up to the second content, that doesn’t quite cut it. On Soundcloud your music is uploaded directly and is live almost instantaneously.”  Dan Polaske Hypebot.com

Copyright Friendly  

“In order for your music to go live on most streaming services it must be cleared for copyrights. In other words my (unofficial) remix of Beyonce’s “Drunk in Love” will not make it to Spotify. However, on Soundcloud it is totally acceptable.”  Dan Polaske Hypebot.com

Conclusion

Polaske thinks that these factor in addition to the ability of users to upload unfiltered content will only make the platform more appealing to users and people who want to stream and discover new music. The major factor I think is overlooked is the way the brand is thought of in the eyes of consumers and potential users.  Right now when you mention streaming services the first names that come to your head are Spotify, Deezer, and Beats. In order for soundcloud to really even be considered as part of the streaming world it needs to establish a brand  positioning as a streaming service rather than an online distribution platform. To Polaske’s point about user generated content, price, directness, and copyright flexibility I completely agree t that hose are all factors that a benefiting Soundcloud at the moment but as a consumer if someone asked me to recommend a streaming service Soundcloud wouldn’t even be in my top 3 answers.

Articles Cited

http://www.hypebot.com/hypebot/2014/02/why-soundcloud-will-beat-other-streaming-music-services.html

A very slow recap

Excuse me for taking so long to start writing here, but I must say I feel last weeks have moved slowly in a directional but not clear motion.  Little can I say so far about my personal experience within our record label, as decisions have laid more on the structural than on the pragmatic side of the project.  Now I am aware that this is a characteristic that always repeats when shaping a real live project, but is truly not a motivating factor. 

During the last weeks, we attended some interesting meetings during our stay in Cannes, had fun while doing so and got exposed to the dynamics of the wheels of the music industry. I found particularly appealing the process and challenge of listening to our fellow students music and taking decisions in a time constraint period.

Now, with my career interests lying on the artist management side, I am really looking forward next Friday, when few pre-selected artists will have the opportunity to present their projects.  The selection of artists will start moving the project forward and giving our label a purpose to both exist and hopefully, some motivation.

This week in review – All Quiet on the Western Front

I find it quite unfortunate that nothing revolting occurred in this past week on campus (the euphoria of my birthday must have rendered me blind to it). Amid the somewhat uneventful visits, beautiful early morning musical showcases, heated conversations, and all too theoretical concepts of economics, ’tis hard to find something compelling to write about – could it be that I have finally found a way to stop caring?

Once again, it feels like the only thing super-execs can do about the downturn of events in the industry is to try and turn-in as much cash-flow as they possibly can – because at the end of the day there is always going to be a hierarchical boss who wants his quotas to be met, and full reports on his desk by the time you clock-out. An unsurprising moment of clarity and transparency arose in the course of a guest lecture when artists were suddenly compared to supermarket products – I guess some might have a longer shelf-life than others, how unfortunate…

On a positive note, we have managed to form a unified work-group for our Entrepreneurship & Innovation class that looks promising and productive. We have assigned five roles amongst the team members, and it looks like we’re covering solid ground so far. The project we are working had been deserving this level of attention from the start – but I guess everything has got its time and place and patience is still a virtue.

Meanwhile, Kiev is fuming by day and burning by night; a student was shot by the police in Venezuela; and 17 year olds, smothered in make-up are being propelled in the limelight of stardom with impressive turnover. Whether it be through a declining system, inherently flawed business structures, general lack of cultural education, I guess one could argue that the world is going to s!*@.

Listening to this tune at the moment and it’s an oh so accurate depiction of what surrounds us. Darwin Deez – “The Bomb Song”.

The sky’s green (…) the clouds are brown (…) the city is dead.

Julien Audigier “The Wikidrummer” When drums and acoustic merge in a perfect sound

 

 

As a bass player I can say that there is no more pleasant way to play music than to create a solid rhythm base accompanied by drums. This percussion instrument has being part of the most important music sets of the main pop music genres since the birth of jazz. However, there is a myth about the limitations of percussion as an instrument because it cannot produce melodies and harmonies as others instruments such as piano or guitar. Even when there are amazing drummers in history such as John Bonham (Led Zepellin), Keith Moon (The Who), Dave Weckl (Chick Corea) among others, the stigma of drummers as a “beat keepers and timestickers” still prevails.

 

The French drummer Julien Audigier found an interesting way to bring out the drum voice by choosing locations that would emphasize their natural reverb. Without any artificial reverb added Julien plays his groove in places such as particular small room, a garage, a soccer field, in the middle of the road, on a roof, at a park, or a  factory. Julien became famous as “The Wikidrummer” thanks to a video that shows him playing in these different places underscoring the amazing sound and relevance of drums. This amazing video has become very popular in youtube with more than 1,200,000 views. The work and the edition of the video are linked with the sound of the drums bringing a new perspective and voice to the drum set.

 

I’m not sure if Julien is trying to develop this concept even more or if he is taking it as his personal project. As a professional drummer he has played for many years with artist such as Nidi O, Nina Attal and worked on the TV show Dancing with the Stars. What I think is that he should continue to share his drum based music and videos to the world. Just wearing his hat and playing a kick, hi hat and snare he would be a huge success.

 

Behind The Scenes at The (still untitled) Berklee Record Label at Valencia

A&R's

One day, I want to look back at this picture, smile wide and say, “We made it”. (Que Drake’s latest hit)

My name is Marcus, and I’m part of the A&R department here at Berklee in Valencia. A pictures worth a thousand words, however cliche that is, so I’ll keep this post brief and to the point.  Today, we held the first A&R meeting and discussed roles and how we would be conducting the interviews for our potential “signees” (technically, they don’t get signed but for lack of a better word…)  SURPRISINGLY. the meeting went exceptionally well, was structured and formalized, and flowed from beginning to end. I’m a big fan of surprises, especially good ones. Needless to say, it was a very constructive meet and I feel much more at home with my fellow A&R’s. I think we will be ready to handle the work load for the remaining of the semester, and I’m looking forward to being in the studio with the artists, pushing them beyond their limits.

Cause thats what I do, I push. 

Now here’s some music I was listening to while I wrote this,

✌✌✌

-Marcus

MIDEM- A MECCA OF AND FOR MUSIC PROFESSIONALS

Attending the biggest music conference in Europe for the very first time, I went in with open mind with little to know what to expect. The trip started with a fifteen hour long and tiring though fun bus-ride from Valencia to Cannes. I had my schedule sorted out and marked the conferences and meetings I had to attend in the three days i was there. I made sure that my schedule was not very hectic so that i had time to just walk around MIDEM and possibly make new connections.

First day, I had two agendas, one was to attend the activity in the networking village called ‘Meet the countries: Germany’. It was more of a speed date exercise and i chose ‘date’ Michael Phisling, Managing Director, A.S.S. concerts and promotions from Stuttgart. In the five minute we met we were able to exchange a lot of information about his company and how can Indian Artists if promoted will do well in Germany. We then, exchanged cards and he asked me suggest few Indian artists which i think would work well in Germany.

The next thing that day was the MIDEMLAB start-up competition, undoubtedly the one thing i was most excited about. Seeing ten new start-ups presenting their new and innovating ideas were surely inspiring. Nagual Sounds was the winner with the most coolest idea of producing live music with your body just was dancing! I wasn’t much interested in going for conferences but was more interested in going around and network as much as possible and attend, not if all, then most of the speed dating. Well, some turned out to be very useful and some didn’t.

The biggest surprise for me was to bump into an old friend, Mihai Gruia from Romania who is an associate with Mango Records. He was a part of very successful pop band ‘Akcent’ whose show i produced twice in India.  We had a good discussion about the Romanian Music Industry, Mango Records and European Market in general.

Meeting Benji Rogers, Adrian, Harry Briggs and so many others was an awesome and insightful experience. MIDEM definitely was full of surprises and for me was a very successful and worthy travel to Cannes.