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.

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.

 

Record Label Practicum – A l’écoute

This past friday we, as a class of 20 something students, took-on the task of shortlisting some of the applicants to the very first Berklee College of Music Valencia Campus Record Label (buzz-wordly named Disrupcion). The total of applicants neared the 30s, and the number of songs approximated 100, while the time we were given to accomplish the task was of about a couple of hours. So as one can imagine, and as expected, this daunting task proved to be challenging.

I’ll spare you the details but the boiled down summary is that without a concise idea of the sound we are looking for, and with a class composed of music-oriented students with a plethora of diverging musical tastes and listening habits, a show of hands was the most appropriate way of reaching a consensus on talent.

We all pulled through in the end anyway, and came up with an interesting list of 12 artists. In my opinion, the shortlist shows an array of styles that could have been diversified a little more given some of the ridiculously gifted people we are lucky to have on campus, but I’m still thrilled with what we came up with and especially what was achieved as a class – and democracy seems to be the last thing withholding us from behaving like apes, so let’s not give it up for the sake of personal taste. Despite my never-ending scepticism, I have to admit that I’m genuinely quite excited at the idea of being a part of this. Especially given some of the artists that were selected on to the following step.

Next step is the audition process. We have designed a series of questions that we have presented to the artists for them to prepare in advance. We have also requested additional information such as press kits or videos, if available. This way we can have a series of quick ten-minute interviews that should allow us to find the artists we are looking for.

The cynical part of me believes that we should have probably interviewed ourselves first to define what it is that we are looking for (amongst other things). But gut-feeling seems to be the trend (panelists from MIDEM can back me up on this one) so let’s just do it like the big dogs and play it solo within a team.

I leave you with this fine tune that should help you get your day started, if it hasn’t already.

RECORD LABEL PRACTICUM Blog 1. Midem By Chris Uribe

RECORD LABEL PRACTICUM

Blog 1. Midem

By Chris Uribe

 

Introduction

 

I arrived the first day without knowing what to expect and without a specific plan to follow. I’ve been in some music conventions before so I thought, “let’s play by ear”. By noon I had a schedule of the people I wanted to hear in the different forums, I made some appointments and I felt ready to live the experience, learn as much as possible, and start networking.

Lyor Cohen

 

There are some points I liked from this talk (besides the photos) that I want to underscore. First, he said that independent must be a business but he knows that building a business is not easy. The mission is to create a long and lasting statement beyond the music, which doesn’t lack internal and external order. In addition, as a risk taken, he stated that is hard to understand what he calls the “resistance of good”.  When something is good most of the people try to remain in this comfort zone instead of continuing to grow. For him, it’s crucial to make good great, and make great magnificent.

 

He also underlined the importance of his collaboration with MIT and Berklee as a means to understand web music related data in an efficient way which can be useful for the music industry. He pointed out the potential benefits of alliances with new tech company developers and the music industry providing the example of his collaboration with Google as an investor and twitter as an important partner in management.

 

He concluded saying that he is really open to hear and promote new artists for his new-INDEPENDENT company “300” which opened on November 2013. This company is composed of a small group of “smart and winner people” within the music industry who are leading careers of artists such as Jason Mraz.

 

Mark Taylor

 

We are in a world where anyone has a voice and wants to be heard. The main question is how we can be listened when we live immersed in the noise of tons of content, tools, apps, post, blogs, streams, etc. The point is not only to be different but also to be able to make differentiation from others. To get attention and loyalty is even harder  when the goal is to make profit in this new-era of marketing.

 

 

 

I was really surprised with this young entrepreneur, Director of the digital marketing company Venture Harbor, and consultant in more of 500 agencies digital marketing strategies. “Wow! This is what it could mean to be different,” I thought.

 

He still believes that Facebook is the most important viral social network. The difference in content is not enough to stand out in a crowd. In this ocean full of tons of information the content must be emotionally stimulating and remarkable. He used the example of Lady Gaga’s marketing plan, which is based in constantly attracting the attention and bringing new thing to audiences.

 

Conclusion

 

I was amazed to see how many independent labels, entrepreneurs, new companies, Ministries of Culture, and a wide diversity of artists get together to create networks that will build the future of the global music industry. After see the representatives of Argentina, Brazil, Chile Cuba, Spain etc., my personal questions were: Where is Mexico? Where are the musicians who complain about and against big companies because of the lack of opportunities? Where are those companies that own the local market and are supposed to be music dealers? Mexico has musicians who are capable of performing at the highest level in the world. The problem is that they have to survive within a local industry that is not interested in playing in the big leagues. I was very disappointed by the absence of my country in this conference and the consequences that this has for the music industry. My only hope is that Mexico could be part in the future of this “New music industry world” and its independent artists make their music heard beyond their local boundaries.