Technology Changes Everything.

If there is one thing that has become quite obvious is that technology has the power to change everything. It has certainly transformed the music industry throughout the years! From the way we make music to the way we produce it. From the way we source music to the way we listen to it. It can be said that technology has affected the music industry in both positive and negative ways. The short clip above provides an excellent example of this.

If you were to type “technology and the music industry” into the multiple search engines that are available to us, you would soon discover that the majority of the articles out there focus on the negative effects technology has brought to the music industry. It is important to point out that technological advances have not only affected music but also publishing, television, radio, and the news. While it is true that perhaps technology has had a negative impact on the music industry (as well as other industries), there are many other changes that have been positive.

Today, I am choosing to focus on the positive as it is important to recognize favorable disruption. Let’s look at the short clip below.

Positive changes in the music industry (thanks to technological advances) include: consumers having access to music more than ever before, online music education availability, new musical instruments, access to digital tools (by both artists and consumers), artist collaboration increase, artistic control and independence, artist and fan communication/interaction via social media channels, crowd funding platforms, etc. All these changes continue to ultimately shape the music industry today.

Though there are many who feel nostalgic when thinking about the way the music industry used to be, it is important to appreciate the way the music industry is now. It will never be the way it used to be. In other words, it is important to see the good and bad (without specifically focusing on the bad). I am not saying the music industry is perfect. In fact, there are many things that could be improved. I am simply saying that technology should not to be seen as evil. It is important to embrace it and welcome the changes technological advances may continue to bring.

Artist Review: Itzel Salinas (part 2: Deimusaranea – La Cabalgata de la Musaraña)

Hello!

Continuing with Itzel Salinas’ artist review, let me introduce you with her band “Deimusaranea”.

Deimusaranea is:

Antonio Escamilla (Electric Guitar)

Ramsés Guevara (Drums)

Sinuhé Guevara (Electric Bass)

Itzel Salinas (Tenor and Alto Sax)

Deimusaranea's 3 song Demo

Deimusaranea’s 3 song Demo

The band started in 2010 just with guitar and drum experimentation, giving birth to a 5 song EP. At mid 2011’s, bass guitar was added and finally at 2012, Itzel joins the band playing sax.

The band self describes as a mixture of rock, stoner, jazz, progressive, psychedelic and noise, with their intensity and complexity in their sounds as a main characteristic.

This is true as you listen their music. There is a “constant creepy” feel of chaos and mutations through their sound. It’s full of dark musical colors and a “root of absurd”, perfectly described in their conceptual artwork. Beautiful.

See here for more artwork:

https://www.talenthouse.com/deimusaranea

So now I would like to describe briefly their music from my personal prospective and review the 3 songs corresponding to the band’s new Demo that Itzel gave me as a gift.

  1. Cabalgata de la Musaraña (Ride of the Shrew)

The song starts with the feeling that something is becoming bigger. Dark chords surround this “growth” and gives a creepy color atmosphere. The sensation of scary things can be enhanced thanks to the tremolo and the guitar FX.

Slowly, the drum beats starts increasing intensity as the guitar screams with the wha-wha. The song “explodes” and melody changes into a more regular pattern around 3:15. It’s still “perturbing”. Around 4:00 the climax ends, giving intro to the second part of the song.

A powerful guitar riff, giving the sensation that this “something” has life and “can walk, and has its own personality”. The section has time changes and very bluesy riffing.

Around 8:17 the song has its second breakdown. Some screaming echoes (very “Pink Floydian”), perhaps “the beast has devastated the city”, and everything has been turned into shadows and screams.

Chaos and fear surrounds. We can hear a voice saying “una musaraña, y su cabalgata” (a shrew and its ride) and suddenly the fast section begins again, as if the mystery has already been solved.

Around 12:15 there is another breakdown, with a repetitive loop and if like this big thing has gone but the fear is never gone. Around 13:41 the last section of the song begins. We can notice a more reflective and positive melody, but still unstable. It goes back to the beginning… and then its over. Peace?

On next post I will finish reviewing the 2 remaining songs of this fantastic piece of art.

Feel free to share your thoughts and feelings, and if you want me to review any artist or concert, just write it!

Until next time

Felipe

The Tyranny of Choice

Have you ever noticed the immense amount of music that technology allows us to listen to? There are so many choices that it would be impossible to listen to every track out there in one lifetime. This is what a fellow blogger likes to call “The Tyranny of Choice”.  In his blog, he points out simple facts – making relevant points regarding the future of music.

There is a noticeable imbalance in the music industry. There a numerous music services world wide. These music services are focusing on a small percentage of consumers as opposed to targeting a much larger market share. Streaming plays an important rule in the music industry and it has caused cd and download sales to decline. By targeting that small percentage of consumers, music streaming services are simply taking the downloading money and converting it into streaming money. This means the consumers are switching but not spending more. Larger target market is not necessarily being considered meaning there is just revenue transition rather than revenue growth in the music industry.

According to fellow blogger, there are three things to focus on that are predicted to shape the future of digital music – (1) Consumer Behaviour (2) Tech Companies Strategies (3) Income Distribution. Consumer behavior of the next music generation listeners and not the generation transitioning from downloads or cd’s will be the ones music services need to pay attention to. By understanding the next generation, the music services will be able to properly grow and evolve. Technology companies such as Apple, Amazon, and Google control digital music in one way or another. For this same reason, others such as labels and producers can focus specifically on the music while these companies strategize to focus on their own established goals which mostly involve product/service sales. It is a win-win. Finally, artists and songwriters have begun to pay more attention to income distribution. Although it may not happen overnight, the pressure to more evenly distribute this income is an important movement.

Music listeners may not be expected to spend money on downloads or cd’s in the future, however they are expected to listen to the numerous music choices available to them more than ever before. The Tyranny of choice will influence the way we all listen to music. This provides artists and labels with new opportunities though. Because of “the tyranny of choice” technology has created and will continue to create in the future, artists and labels must come together to create partnerships that will allow them to sell an experience – an unique music experience that they can both sell to the next generation listeners. To provide unique music experiences to listeners is what music has always been about so to focus on this same principle in the future despite how technology continues to change our lives is truly a beautiful thing.

To read the blog post and see charts that served as inspiration for this blog post, follow this link – http://musicindustryblog.wordpress.com/2014/09/29/digital-ascendency-the-future-music-forum-keynote/

WARE have you been? Meet JESSIE WARE

Who is JESSIE WARE?Jessie-Ware-red-lipstick-effect

Another artist that I slept on was Jessie Ware! I didn’t discover Jessie’s music until this year. Here’s a quick rundown on this budding starlet:

The Deets

  • Origin: UK (London)
  • Label: PMR Records
  • Started her career as a background vocalist for Jack Peñate and SBTRKT
  • She collaborated with Sampha (long time collaborator of SBTRKT’s) on the song “Valentine”
  • Released her debut album “Devotion” August 2012
  • Debuted at #5 on the UK charts
  • Most successful single “Wildest Moments”

ps_jessie_ware_01_129

Jessie has spent the last year touring at numerous festivals throughout the UK, Europe, and the States. She recently started working on her sophomore album during the 1st quarter of this year. I’m highly anticipating her next release! I can’t wait for some new music! In the meantime, listen to some of her tracks below.

Wildest Moments

Devotion (Title Track)–One of my faves!

Bonus Vid: Valentine

Dates of Upcoming Shows:

  • Wilderness Festival (August 7, 2014-Cornbury Park, Charlbury, UK)
  • Berlin Festival (September 5, 2014-Flughafen Tempelhof, Berlin, Germany

For more info on Jessie, check out her official website jessieware.com

Artist Match Up of the Week: The Ceremonies Vs. Betty Who

First Up…

Name: The Ceremonies

Sounds Like:  fun. , The Smiths 

Label: Capitol Records 

Websites:

 http://theceremonies.com/
https://www.facebook.com/theCEREMONIES

ceremonies

The Ceremonies is an American rock band from Los Angeles, California.  Their sound has been described as ‘80s New Wave nostalgia meets cutting-edge alternative rock. The three members, of the band consists of brothers Matthew Cook (age 21), Mark Cook (age 20), and Michael Cook (age 20).  Formed in 2010 they did not  release any music until late 2012. They are currently managed by Troy Carter and has been signed to a joint label between Atom factory and Capitol Records.

The Ceremonies have listed some of their influences being  Echo and The Bunnymen, The Smiths, and The Cure.   They recently released theur self-titled debut EP on October 8th, 2013 preceding the debut of their music video “Land Of Gathering”, which was featured on MTV´s Artists to Watch. Check out the video below. 

Check out some of their other tracks as well.

I think they do a good job describing their sound, its  a new age type of indie rock and you can really hear the influences bands like the Smiths have had on them.  I definitely can´t say I don´t like what I hear.   The have a good new sound and a real connection to social media, which we all know is a huge factors these days.  They know how to connect with their fans without just posting about their music. The use Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and youtube and follow a consistent image.  It refreshing to see young artists have a defined sound and look already established, there is a lot potential in this group of brothers.

Next Up…

Name: Betty Who

Label: RCA Records

Sounds Like: Katy Perry, Madonna, 

Website: 

http://bettywhomusic.com/

https://www.facebook.com/bettywhomusic

Betty-Who-2-590x395

This next artists has been featured in a lot of blogs and has already created a following after a video featuring her song went viral.  This Australian-born, New York-based pop singer released her upbeat debut EP, The Movement, last April. Since then, the 22-year-old born Jessica Newham has worked tirelessly to get her catchy melodies as good as anything topping the charts today. She has recently  joined a roster of RCA artists that includes heavyweights like Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears and Kelly Clarkson. Her second EP is due out in early 2014.

Check out the Viral Video that had her name burning up the blog world.

Take a listen to her debut EP, The Movement

Conclusion

I think in this case I would sign both these acts!  Each one has something that I think would make them successful in the industry today.  The Ceremonies have an interesting sounds a a defined look, I think their ready for big things.  Betty Who knows how to write a damn good pop song and I can see her competing with current pop artists like Katy Perry and Taylor Swift.

What do you all think?  Who would you sign? 

Sources: 14 Musical Acts To Watch in 2014 | TIME.com http://entertainment.time.com/2013/11/13/14-bands-and-artists-to-watch-in-2014/#ixzz2n0eEIm1f

Artist Match Up of the Week: Dylan Owen vs. ill.GATES

This week we have to completely different artists with different styles and positioning in the industry.   On one hand we have newcomer Dylan Owen and on the other the accomplished electronic musician ill.Gates.

First Up…

Name: Dylan Owen

Sounds Like:  Asher Roth, Macklemore

Label: Unsigned

Websites:

 Facebook.com/dylanowenmusic
Twitter.com/dylanowenmusic
Youtube.com/dylanowenmusic

Dylan Owen

Dylan is an independent songwriter/rapper/hip-hop artist based out of New York. His emotional and storytelling style has gained him much attention in the underground music world.  Dylan began his rap journey in New York as a student  in college, he began to participate in rap battles with people around the city.  He was  stereotypically classified a so-called  “white rapper” from NY but with all stereotypes aside after watching and hearing some of his content I was pleasantly surprised.  His style is more emotionally driven rather than focusing on partying, dissing, etc.

Check out his Keep Your Friends Close EP below.  Listen to ; Keep Your Friends Close, Ghost, and In The Corner

   “In June 2012, Billboard.com placed Dylan on the top 15 artist chart as the industry’s predicted “Next Big Sound.” He has traveled from his home base on the east coast to Los Angeles, Colorado, Philadelphia, Connecticut, Washington DC, New Hampshire, Virginia, New Jersey, NYC, and many other places to perform. Opening for acts including Mac Miller, Wiz Khalifa, Yelawolf, Chiddy Bang, Mac Lethal, Grieves, Asher Roth, Elliott Yamin and other popular new-age hip-hop stars has earned Dylan a strong following in support of his unforgettable dramatic live set.”

Video for In The Corner:

Check out one of his freestyles  below, it takes while for him to warm up but give him a chance.

Next Up…

Name: ill.GATES

Label: Multi Music

Sounds Like: Bassnectar and  Mimosa

Website: 

http://ill-gates.com/category/music/

https://www.facebook.com/illGatesMusic

illgates

  ill.Gates is a Toronto-based composer, performer and educator. In the last 16 years, he has established a global fanbase and a solid reputation as a dynamic electronic music artists.  He  tours across North America, Europe, Australia and Asia. Gates has headlined festivals like  Burning Man, Shambala, the World Electronic Music Festival and the New Orleans Jazz Festival.  His upcoming triple album The ill.Methodology and accompanying online course are highly anticipated. Check out some of his music below.

“While on tour, Gates  teaches workshops, in which he shares his highly effective approach to producing quality finished music as well as insights into the mentality and strategies necessary to succeed in the music business.”

Check out one of his interviews where he discusses his influences, sound, gear, and much more.

Conclusion

So who would I sign,  not taking into account the artists stature in the industry I would have to go with Dylan Owen.  ill.Gates definitely has a specific audience that he plays to but if i was listening to them for the first time I am more compelled by Owen’s work.

What do you all think?  Who would you sign?

Artist Matchup of the Week: Charity Vance vs. Tori Kelly

First Up…
Name: Charity Vance
Age: 20
Label: Independent
Sounds Like: Taylor Swift, Ingrid Michelson, Regina Spektor
Website: http://www.charityvance.net/

Charity

  Charity Vance is a classifies herself as an Indie Pop artist hailing from LIttle Rock Arkansas.  At first glance she looked really familiar, with a little bit of research I realized she competed the 9th season of the reality singing competition juggernaut that is American Idol.  Since then she has worked the music scene attempting to release a full length studio album.  So far she has released a slew of singles and and 2 EPs’.   As I listened to her singles I would find myself thinking, man she sounds like (Insert any modern female single here).  In one song she sounds like Taylor Swift then like Katy Perry, then like Avril Lavigne. Check out some of her stuff and maybe you can hear what I’m saying.

  Very Avril meets Taylor if you ask me, no?  Then we go to…

  This song could have literally been taken out of Katy Perry´s Teenage Dream. 

  I think the problem here is that her team is trying to make her fit into the various sounds happening in the music industry at the moment rather than trying to develop her own sound and lyrical content. In my opinion she has everything you would want to make a female pop star she just needs to find her own sound to get her there. Something that will at least set her a part a little for all the rest of the pretty girls trying to break in.  She definitely has what it takes check out her cover of Hold on We’re Going Home by Drake.  Still plenty of pop but just different enough to make her stand out.

THEN I SAW THIS…

  Charity teamed up with singer April Kry to record a couple of videos together, and they were probably my favorite to watch.  They were all covers like the Justin Beiber one above but the harmonies and creative choices they made with the songs impressed me.

Next Up…

Name: Tori Kelly
Age: 21
Label: Major
Sounds Like: Jojo, Leah Labelle
Website: http://torikellymusic.com/

Tori+Kelly

  Tori Kelly is an Pop singer with an R&B influence. She competed in many talent competitions but her most notable appearance was on the the same season of American Idol that Charity was in, with both being  eliminated before the live shows.  Since American Idol Kelly has gained much attention  with her covers  and originals on YouTube.   Her channel has more than 600,000 subscribers and over 48 million views to date.  She has released some singles and an EP with the newest, Foreword  coming out October  22nd via Capitol Records, take a listen here.  Currently she is being managed by none other that Scooter Braun a.k.a. Justin Beiber’s manager and with that kind support skyes the limit.  Check out some of her videos, new and old.

My personal favorite.

Dear No One Off her new EP.

  She definitely has her own style that set her part from a lot of the girl in the music industry doing the type of pop music.  She has some R&B and soul influences in her music style and vocal inflections that I really like.

Conclusion

  This one is tough  because they both have established somewhat of a fan base following their short stints on American Idol.  They are both young talented girls that have a lot to offer.  Solely based on the music I should go with Tori just because she has her own laid-back R&B/Pop style that is almost absent in music today when it comes to popular females in music. After listening to her new EP I´m not sure if the content is strong enough to really make any impact, she definitely has the potential to do better.  On the other hand if Charity created a duo with the equally talented April Kry I think there could be something there! Their voices complemented each other very well and at least it sounded more original than Charity’s individual work, and it was a cover. Maybe then we would have a different outcome. There also has never really been a big female duo, at least from my knowledge so that would be interesting dynamic to work with.  For now though  I think I would go with Kelly, even though I’m not too fond of her new material.  She  already has a good fan following and with right material I think she could blow up.

Artist Matchup of the Week (Country Edition): Katie Perkins Vs. The Whipps

First Up…
Name: Katie Perkins
Age: 23
Label: Unsigned
Sounds Like: Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift, and Miranda Lambert
Website: http://katieperkinsmusic.tmgartist.com/

Image

Katie Perkins’ music is a perfect  mixture of old and new mainstream country music.  When she was It was 16 it was discovered that Katie had a hole in her heart and needed open heart surgery.  Without this surgery her life expectancy would have been 13 years.  After her surgery she want back to singing and attended Berklee College of Music in Boston. Check out her first single of her new album Breathe called Hello Heartbreak.

 

In the second video we see Katie covering a Carrie Underwood song  which  is where I think she could fit in the industry. It definitely shows she has the cross over potential and the attitude to be country cross over artist.

Lyrically and musically her content meets today’s  pop/country standards but still has a throwback feel with her instrumentation.   She definitely ticks a lot of boxes.  She  is pretty, pop cross over appeal, friendly demeanor, and a great backstory.  When thinking of the country music industry as it is today it is hard to say if I would sign her or not.  Her music is honest and you can tell it means a lot to her.  Her voice is good and fits all the songs really well, overall she’s a complete package. But her talent and ability are not the only factors at play, the state of the country music industry also plays a huge factor.

The female side of the industry is dominated by  Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift, Miranda Lambert, and most recently newcomer Kacey Musgraves.     With the latter two barely making any impact on country radio.  Let’s face it, in today’s country music it is hard for a female soloist to have careers like Reba Mcentire,  Trisha Yearwood, and Faith Hill.  For more information about this competition checkout this blogpost focusing on the potential signing of a female country artist Kree Harrison who was a ruunner up on AMerican Idol and the uphill battle she faces by clicking here.  Can Katie pull of a crossover like Carrie, Taylor, or even Shania have done? I’m not so sure.

Next…
Name: The Whipps
Age: 23
Label: Unsigned ( In talks )
Sounds Like:
Website: http://www.thewhipps.com/

the whipps

  The Whipps come from Greenup County Kentucky,  formed in 2009 with  singer Don Hanshaw, bassist Eric Daniels and guitarist Larry Collinsworth.  They self-released their debut album Ghettobillies a few months after their creation. The Whipps describe their debut album  Ghettobillies as a country crossbreed that cracks with hick hop (Country Rap)  and rock. In their sound you can hear a blending of traditional instruments like banjo, dobro and mandolin with newer hybrid elements. t.  Check them out below.

The Whipps:  Honestly 

The Whipps: Got Mudd 

  They are definitely bringing something new to the table with songs like Ghettobillies while still showing they still have some country pop appeal with songs likes Honestly.  And in an industry where most  successful country groups are mixed groups  i.e. Sugarland, Little Big Town, Lady Antebellum, and The Band Perry.  The most recent group that even remotely comes close to them is Rascall Flatts but even then The Whipps is able to be more diverse in their sound.  There is definitely a gap in the market for an all male country groups, especially for one bringing something new to the genre.

Conclusion

  So who would I go for? This is a tough one! On one hand we have a female country with crossover appeal and on the other a band working within their own niche in the market but still diverse enough to be successful (in my opinion). I think I would have to go for The Whipps on this one! They country genre is just too competitive for females now a days and to go with Katie would a huge risk, I can see her having a better shot going on a reality singing show competition and establishing a fan base that way. While The Whipps are definitely doing their own think and I like what I hear!

Till next time…

Artist Matchup of the Week: Vance Joy Vs. WALLA

Artist Matchup is a weekly blog post asking the readers a simple question, out of the 2 artists presented who would you rather sign?  Weekly matchups will consist of indie, signed, unsigned, bands, soloists, basically any kind of artist you can think of.  We all have our own opinions, as do I so I will share mine and I encourage you to share yours.

Now let´s get into this weeks match up…

First is James Keogh a.k.a Vance Joy… I guess Vance sounds more artsy. Anyways, a native of Melbourne, Australia Vance garnered some attention from his song Riptide off his debut EP God Loves You When You´re Dancing.  The song became a success in Australia and resulted in enough attention to land himself a 5 album deal with Atlantic Records.   Check out some of his stuff below.

   If Jeff Buckley and Mumford and Sons had a love child I think that Vance Joy would be the result.   Vance matches his skill of writing with folk influenced melody and instrumentation to create a sound that is very in right now in the wake of success by artists like Passenger, Of Monsters and Men, Mumford and Sons, etc.

The next artist is an independent band called WALLA consisting of 2 Berklee alumnus ( won´t let that cloud my judgement…promise).  Their fans describe them as “indie pop, synth-based, retro-influenced, indie rock, or something along those lines”.  Check out some of their music below.

Though an independent band WALLA has some serious pop sensibilities with some rave influenced beats and rhythms (i.e No Time). Their lyrical content combined with they synth heavy production makes for a really enjoyable listening experience. I do think they could develop a sound more of their own but I see a lot of potential in this group.

These artists are very different and offer different strengths.  If I had to sign one I think I would go with WALLA but not by a lot.  Vance Joy fits the genre of music I love the most but that necessarily isn´t what is going to sell.  Even though he has already garnered some attention in his native home of Australia I´m not sure if he can crack the U.S. especially when artists in similar genres are already starting to crack it (i.e. Passenger).   WALLA for me has a lot of potential I think they have knack for creating really catchy music. With all five different members being from  widespread locations around the world (Mexico/El Salvador, Italy, Indonesia, Brazil, Korea), They manage to create a united sound filled with hooks and likeability.  Vance Joy is already has a direction while WALLA I think has more room to grow and experiment with their sound, which I like.  So WALLA is my choice, but that just my opinion!

Now lets hear from some of you… sound off in the comment section! Till next time!