Finding an artist to develop their career “by the face*”

*idiomatic expression (literally “by the face”),

doesn’t exist in English and it means “for free”.

When I was asked to find an artist or music band based in Valencia to manage for free, I leapt into my FB searching for information.

Before then, I had never thought about the number/amount of bands that I could have added to my account, and certainly it would have been very useful to have a tool to order all by location and genre. (This is a call to all you App Developers!!)

The fact is, that after a thorough analysis of almost all my contacts and likes regarding music bands from Valencia, I had a total number of around 30 bands (including solo artists). This, in addition to the fact that -I am an organizing junkie and I don’t like to mix football and politics-, I have two FB accounts, one professional and one private, it’s been a big challenge to conclude this investigation.

So, from my personal view, most local bands play indie or rock; you can also find a growing number of punk, experimental and new wave bands, and let’s not forget electronic music: Valencia in the nineties was for a few years the most important place for electronic music in Europe.(If you haven’t heard about the legendary Ruta del Bacalao – the techno movement of the 90s – just wait for my next post!)

Going on with my research, I realized that finding an artist with talent, knowledge of the industry and willingness to take advice and work with a team of Music Business students was not as hard as I could have imagined. Or maybe we were just lucky! We talked with 8 different artists and all of them were really keen on collaborating. The hardest part of this story was to choose one of them.

From this experience I could know better the local music scene and the compelling need of almost all artists that play music in this city, that no matter if they are interested in making a career in music or just want to play for fun, to have:

more exposure

promotion and

a press kit

And I guess, this experience can be extrapolated to other cities, since LOCAL is the new GLOBAL.

Turning talented people into professional artists

I present to you, one very unique and incredibly talented valencian girl! I’ve been working as her manager and we are committed to make some serious progress.

During my participation in this blog I’ll be updating the steps my artist and I are going to make in the local music industry. We’ll use self produced videos and some other posting formats. My goal through sharing this experience is to make you fall in love with this singer and to generate knowledge on how to build an artistic career from scratch.
I hope you feel as excited as I am and subscribe to my Youtube channel and posts in this blog. Constructive feedback is very important so feel free to give us your opinion and advice.

Thank you for your support!

“Un Lago de Conciertos” . . . or the final ReAdaptation !

We finally made it! Even though the showcase we had in mind at the beginning of the semester was of a different nature, we managed to have a lovely stage on the water and two great performances by two artists of Disrupción RecordsThe official presentation the Marketing Team discussed some time ago, was definitely gonna take place in a venue far less attractive than the outdoors of the Museo de Ciencias Naturales Príncipe Felipe. Obviously, not everything were advantages, but the overall experience was a big success.

Un lago de conciertos

Berklee College of Music’s Valencia Campus has reached an agreement with the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias to produce Un Lago de Conciertos: a cycle of eight free performances by Berklee students taking place almost every Friday during May and June, closing up on the 4th of July. Jazz, folk, electronic music and many other different styles will make the outdoors of the Museum even more attractive, combining the sites of the pools, good weather and music. Brilliant initiative which had to happen, being Berklee located where it is!

The first concert was to take place on the same day our event was scheduled, so it seamed as a great opportunity to join forces and take advantage of the situation. Obviously, a show being promoted by an entity such as CAC would reach many more people than if we were promoting it. So – even though we were limited in several ways, marketing wise – it was a huge opportunity as everything was planned by locals who actually know the audience’s habits and the best time to program it.

Un Lago de Conciertos

Miranda Inzunza was able to catch everyones attention with her sweet voice during the sunset, and Avila Santo made the beginning of the weekend perfect while everyone enjoyed there first drink on a Friday afternoon.

Avila

I believe we’re all looking forward to continue this experience, as yesterday we began to see the results of the previous weeks.

On the other hand, Instagram gave me a nice surprise the other day! A friend from school posted a photo on Instagram of our artist Stephen McHale performing with Andrea Fraenzel. I think last time I saw Pablo was around 2005… So it’s nice to see lost friends enjoy the amazing creativity of new friends like Stephen or Andrea.

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Po’NO’!

I thought I’d take a couple moments to address a couple of quick thoughts I’ve had about Pono. I realize i’m a little late to the game in addressing this, but my newsfeed seems to be congested with the preamble of ‘Record Day’, but when the silent release of Neil Young’s cover album caught my attention it created the connection.

To begin, any ‘Download’ service immediately draws a red flag for me. As a user, I’m moving away from bogging down my laptop, it already runs at a snail’s pace, the collection of various third-party applications, Adobe Files, Microsoft Documents and music files absolutely crush anything that was once magical about my Apple experience.

However, the idea of a loss-less file for me sounds great, but i’d rather stream it. That being said, the difference between a compressed MP3 and Flac File on my shitty earbuds and laptop speakers isn’t likely to make a significant enough difference to validate purchasing additional hardware ( or an application specific one, like the Pono Player ).

In addition, the major issue I have with most streaming/ download services is the lack of depth in the catalogue. I’m interested in user generated content, but I also want to hear every possible version of my favourite songs by artists that i’m interested in.  With the exception of Youtube and in some cases Vimeo, my interests in works have already come and gone by the time they reach these catalogues ( if they do at all ); they are not adapting to the way most users consume content. I also don’t see platforms digging into labels catalogues and remastering the full breadth of music libraries to provide these file formats.  I also don’t see Pono as a service with longevity, It’s too niche to be sustainable and it’s not innovative enough to validate a change in the way I consume information.

Have any thoughts? Leave them in the comment section below.

Next Steps: The Future of Twitter in the Music Industry

As cited today by The New York Times, Twitter and Billboard have now teamed up to release a real-time music chart, based on consumer twitter data. This seems to follow in-line with the recent steps taken by Twitter’s increasingly active stake within the music industry. These can be characterized by the deal with the music label / content company 300 and more recently the removal of #music app from Apple’s iTunes store. Twitter has seemed to realign it’s interests to become an imperative player within the music industry.

Key Takeaways:

Usable Metrics and Time Decay: A new shift towards a real-time based music chart places further emphasis on artist’s use of Twitter as a viable means of conversation and visibility. One of the largest issue’s with sharing over twitter is ‘time decay’, depending on the number of users one follows, a ‘tweet’ or ‘retweet’ can appear in any given user’s feed for a variable period of time.

The trending topics sidebar ( although geo-located ) is too holistic in terms of music visibility/ discovery (often only unattainable through unreplicatable events, usually based on an artist or act’s size – see Beyonce ). That being said, if the chart’s are geo-based, there will most likely be a high level of artist repeatability, but may allow for some variability ( hopefully an up-and-coming localized act ). Therefore, it may also spawn greater analytical tools for artists to make adaptations to their outreach / social marketing campaigns.

The removal #music & the marking of a new age: I wouldn’t be surprised with if the missteps associated with Twitter’s #music that popular thought has shifted towards a more integrated user-interface. It would seem that a real-time chart would also lead towards direct purchasing power for twitter users. If your fans are already there, then why would you send them somewhere else?

Have some thoughts? Leave them in the comment section below.

Thanks for the read!

Behind the Scenes: Disrupción Records Logo Design

The goal of this project was to create a visual identity that coherently connects with the representation of disruption as a brand and its meaning positionally over time. As such, the logo is representative of sources of disruption as it relates to art, the region and Berklee College of Music.

 

To begin, the typeface used is ‘Helvetica’ the selection was inspired by it’s use and development by Max Miedinger and Eduard Hoffmann to mark the transition into the Swiss modernist movement.

 

The composition of the design was based on a photograph by Alberto Hildago used by the Berklee College Commissions WSDG (Walters-Storyk Design Group) for Major Projects. The kerning of the typeface and use of negative space was utilized to highlight the major architectural features of the Palau, as it is both a significant feature of the Valencian region and a holistic representative of a larger artistic community and visual vocal point of the Berklee campus.

 

Additionally, Black & White were chosen to build off of the clarity associated with the use of ‘Helvetica’ as a typeface, while the characters ‘A’ and ‘D’ were used as a means of highlighting the architectural features. However, in an effort to avoid any inferences associated with the use of the upper case characters AD or it’s acromial meaning (anno domini), a lower case character ‘d’ was selected as a substitution. Although the region has a rich Christian heritage and it coincides with the theme of disruption, I felt as though it did not communicate the values associated with the diverse student group and apolitical environment present within the institution.

 

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Reposted from www.tylerbudd.com

A&R this week – Record Label Practicum

For the past couple of weeks the member of the practicum have been communicating back and forth, in person and via e-mail, through instant messaging and by carrier pigeon – talk about innovative and motivated. The aim of this group discussion was to decide on which artists we were keen on collaborating with for the rest of the semester.

After reviewing 12 interviews – which were all brilliant by the way, and only made the process that much harder – we agreed on four talented individuals.

Avila Santo
Tess Tyler
Stephen McHale
Miranda Inzunza

These four names might be familiar to some, if they are not however, they are definitely about to because the marketing team is prepping some killer plans – but for now, shh.

The A&R teams have met up individually with the artists and also started working on plans and musical directions.
(Un)fortunately plans are synonymous with homework, which means that we need to remain proactive. The artists have to make sure they compile tracks for us to listen to and choose from, but in some cases the repertoire to choose from is quite extensive.

Meanwhile, Beatsmusic acquires TopSpin Media and saves them from what looked like a slow and painful demise. They are hoping to fuse the ultimate experience of music discovery, and data collection and analysis. Listeners can rest assured, their relentlessly uneducated choices on music discovery are made easier than ever before.

On a more musical side note, Animals as Leaders are releasing a new album ‘the Joy of Motion‘ on March 25th and it is shaping up to be monstrous! Here’s the single from this much anticipated release, it is entitled ‘Tooth and Claw’. The composition is phenomenal and the production is nothing short of that either.

JUKEBUS SESSIONS: Micro-Indie Concerts On The Road

Jukebus is an innovative project that consists of micro concerts performed by independent bands and singers inside public buses during a normal trip for the duration of one song. The concept is to change the conditions of the common users bringing them a unique and up-close, musical experience.  Furthermore, the concerts have an added value, which is the element of surprise. The concerts are not announced although social network followers may have some clues about them.

Valencia is the city with more musicians per capita within the Iberian Peninsula. It has several music conservatories and houses the prestigious Berklee College of Music within the City of Arts and Sciences. The blend of local regional music like flamenco and international genres such as classical, jazz, pop and rock produces a unique music environment.

The funders and producers of this project, Ricardo Boluda and Johnny Kutnowki were inspired by the “Black Cab” sessions in London, and “A Trolley Show” in San Diego. In the city of Valencia, this project is supported by the EMT (municipal transportation company) and bandness.com, which is an emerging online music platform. These combined efforts try to achieve two objectives: to help promote new artists and involve this beautiful city as a co-protagonist of a ride.

The concept is pretty simple. At any bus stop a group of musicians get on the bus followed by the crewmembers with video cameras. This is also remarkable because all the concerts are recorded and streamed on line through jukebus tv channel. It has created an interactive connection between users, fans, and social media followers who can relive, comment and like any concert. Take a look at this video “The lake song”-short version- by Red Buffalo, a Valencian indie-folk band:

These micro-concerts are mainly created for young people and therefore social media plays a very important role in its success. Bandness.com, the online platform supporter of Jukebus, was created by Quique Belenguer in order to promote indie bands and establish a better way to relate with music fans. Presently it has more than 1,000 bands in its catalogue. Jukebus is the company in charge of developing the social media, recording, and streaming of the micro concerts. Click the links and keep in touch by Facebook, Twitter, youtube/jukebustv.

The other main partner of the project is EMT.  Its goal is to enforce a fresh-young-dynamic image within the population related with the service it provides. But there is also a social objective; to promote new music taking advantage of the big number of musicians in the city.  Alberto Mendoza, EMT’s CEO, expressed the following during the project’s kick off:

“The bands selected will perform only original compositions in order to please all bus users.”

I think this is a great idea and huge opportunity to bring out new bands and performers. The music industry is changing everyday and it is becoming more difficult to be signed by a record label. New music needs and deserves to be heard. It feels so good to watch entities not related with music such as EMT collaborating with media companies in order to help indie artist and promote their music. Well done!

THINKBAND 8: Meet Charlie Parra, the guitar (and social media) wizard.

There’s a lot of unsigned guitar enthusiasts out there with millions of Youtube views, but just a few get the following in say, less than 3 years:

  • Endorsement of one of the most important guitar makers: Kramer Guitars (yes, the guitar brand that Eddie Van Halen used in his early recordings).
  • Endorsement of Laney Amplifiers.
  • Endorsement of EMG pickups (Metallica’s choice)
  • Sign to a major label and start a world tour with one of Canada’s most promising bands: Kobra and the Lotus (discovered by Gene Simmons).
  • Get sold out gigs in USA, Canada and Europe.

This is the story of Charlie Parra, a peruvian guitar player that did all of the above on his own, without a manager but with clear goals.

His strategy was based in engaging his music through social media on a regular basis. Also, his competitive advantage was the skill to play a cover song of almost every style (from Lady Gaga to classical to Peruvian cumbia) but transforming it into metal shredding. Then his solo album was released and was available in almost every music streaming service, iTunes and promo videos for every song with huge success.

Creation, performance, distribution and marketing strategies. All done by a guy that picked up the guitar for the first time because his school psychologist told him that it would help his “lack of concentration issues”.

Thinkband 5: A story to sell.

In ancient times when a plebeian tried to approach the king to ask for something he had to make an offering. This offerings could be slaves, state of the art weapons, land, or just gold. Despite that the plebeian had the opportunity to talk with the king, nothing was taken for granted, it was just a right to talk to the majesty.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Although it’d be interesting to have some lands for my own negotiation purposes, I’d prefer to talk about a similar story that might interest you as possible band managers: two weeks ago a couple of colleagues and me went to a venue we targeted to show the managers/owners a new startup band that we are promoting called Puerto Argento. We felt more than confident since this band has three conservatory members with undoubtedly quality in terms of musicianship, performance and charisma. I had a well prepared speech to talk about how good they are, the possible negotiation to set up the show, the benefits for the venue and even some small talk to break the ice. What could go wrong?

After waiting for 20 minutes we finally approached to this guy and start talking about business, I spent a few minutes introducing myself and my colleagues, describing the band and talking about how this band could be beneficial for both sides. Although he was paying attention and making eye contact, some problems appeared just when I was starting to describe the band’s musical style. His cellphone rings 3 times in a row, he answers them all, one of the waiters rush to give him a document and two people interrupt my speech with effusive smiles and handshakes. At the end of the conversation he had no idea how the band looked and sounded like, therefore no negotiation could be done.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One week later we had our first EPK ready for Puerto Argento so we grabbed an iPad and approached to a similar venue and showed it to the owner. In just seconds he turned off the cellphone ring, called their 2 waitress and said “hey guys, check this out”, then 30 seconds later he whispers to himself “look at the singer, she has a beautiful voice”. He shown immediate interest in booking the band gave me his business card for the follow up coordinations. Now we are closing the deal with really good benefits for this promising band in the long term.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s the EPK we used as today’s plebeians: