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Off with a bang.

I was hoping to be writing blogs relatively often for my website. Both to showcase what I'm working on, and to get into the rhythm of putting out content on a more consistent basis. I, unfortunately, have not kept up as I had wished with the blog, but fortunately, have been blessed with more opportunities to work. More work means more time to nerd out with new friends, but lends itself to be an unproductive time for other non-musical chores. Many exciting things have happened, and since last writing, a dear friend and collaborator managed to do what seems out of grasp to many; achieved a placement on a Spotify editorial playlist.

With $0 dollars spent on marketing, and 90% of the song being produced on an iPad using garageband, Unc D has amassed 32,000 streams on his recent single BLDNTHNDR, and currently has 16,000 listeners visit his Spotify page a month. I believe one should be motivated to be honest through their music, and that music should be good for the soul. But, seeing numbers stack up is also incredibly gratifying, especially when you worked hard on something and want to see it reach more ears.

So how did he do it? To start, there is no guaranteed way to get a placement. Maybe there is, but I don't think I'll have access to that information anytime soon. So for now, what I can talk about is what I have observed, and what is repeatable.

I've had the pleasure of working with Unc D for about a year now, although I've known and played music with him for years now. Since we've been communicating, we've recorded hours and hours of music with completely different casts of musicians and songs. After doing this for awhile, we eased into a good workflow. I track the band performing and send him mixes of just the drums, the synths, the bass etc. He imports those into garageband and continues mixing and producing the beat on top of everything. He formulates chords through another app and thats how he builds his harmonic arrangement.

I think many would scoff at the idea of a released production from an iPad, but after really learning the tools, I believe the limitations breed more creativity. At this point, there is now a "sound" to an Unc D song, and that was developed through repeating the process of writing and recording these songs, taking note of what works, and making adjustments to the work flow along the way.

Having a sound is important, and of course takes time to develop. But much of this can be accelerated. All it takes is repeating a process many times and seeing what works and what doesn't. And being honest with yourself.

Talking about sound, it should go to say that in our conversations, the genre in which we defined the music has shifted so many times it would be impossible to keep track. When we started, we we're strategically working around anything involving "lofi". The big break on Spotify; Jazztronica. To be honest, I didn't know the word existed until a month ago. But defining your sound goes hand in hand with making your sound. This isn't some concrete idea that you have to attach to yourself, but something that can and should flow as you create each song. No matter what you create, there is a niche of people who want to hear JUST THAT. You won't know who those people are until you reach them, you won't reach them until you try new things and learn their language.

As far as promotion goes, Unc D hasn't spent a dollar. Graphic design is all done by him on his ipad. After a few years of graphic design on an ipad and you begin to develop a style. Every release means new profile aestethics. By keeping consistency and keeping things fresh you immediately give off a more professional image. Someone will be that more likely to remember your page. This is also another great opportunity to be you, however unique that may be. By learning how to do it himself, he also taught himself video editing, so every release had content to go with it. This is important, content is good, keep making it until it's unique.

So you've got a hot looking page with good looking graphics, you've been writing and releasing tons of great music and have been putting out quality content but still aren't getting the attention you want? Maybe you need to put an ad out so more people see it, or maybe you just need to ask.

I think it's easy to be afraid of asking someone to listen to your song. A. It makes you vulnerable B. it might come off as pushy. But it doesn't have to be that way, nor is it trully that way at all. The truth is, if you 1 on 1 ask someone to listen to your song, you're probably more than likely going to get the listen, and you can do that for free. This does not mean that I'm advocating you calling your in-laws three times a day to try and spam listens, but to let people know that you released a song and that you would be infinitely greatful if they listened to it, because you would be. Reddit is a wonderful place for this, as there are endless communities based off of very niche artists and genres, and by maximizing on those interactions you'll have just as good luck if not better than with using ads. At least to start, but practicing those one on one interactions with potential new fans or old fans a like are very important, as they are essentially your lifeblood as far as making a living is concerned.

As awesome as it is to suddenly see a spike in listeners, let's put this into a monetary perspective. $120. On one side, it's cool to make money on intillectual property. On the other, it makes it clear that streams ARE NOT what we're truly after. In order to make any reasonable income off of streaming alone, you would have to be generating an enormous amount of streams. Building off of this though, $120 dollars a month is a great incentive to try and release more music while concocting more strategies to make everything work.

All of these paragraphs essentially say this; Write and release music reguarly, release content regularly, make sure your page looks as consistent as the ones you like, and pitch your song to editors on the Spotify for artists computer app at least 2 weeks before it's released with adequate descriptors.

P.S. As far as the studio goes, I'm proud to say that i've begun booking out a few months early, which is new for me. Hopefully I'll be writing again soon.


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