interview

TuneCore Interview Follow Up Part II: 10 Mistakes Artists Make When Pitching Music

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Another photo from an upcoming Sessions At The Steps performance!

This is the second of two posts written as a follow up to my interview with TuneCore that came out earlier this month. Check out the full article here, and thank you again to TuneCore for having me!

Last week I further articulated some benefits I’ve found to using unsigned or independent artists in projects. Today I address a topic most music supervisors I know could pontificate on for hours and hours: mistakes artists make when pitching their music.

Because I am an unabashed fan of listicles, I kept it to just ten pitfalls to avoid if you are an artist trying to bust into this crazy world. To any fellow music supervisors reading this, I would love for you to add more in the comments!

To begin, here is the question (and my answer) from the original interview:
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TuneCore Interview Follow Up Part I: 4 Benefits To Using Independent Artists (When Possible)

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Photo from an upcoming Sessions At The Steps…Stay tuned!

Last month I had the great pleasure of chatting with Kevin from TuneCore about how I fell into music supervision, my favorite projects and more. The result of that conversation appeared on the internet early this month.

Read the full article here.

While I am grateful for the opportunity to talk (my favorite activity!) and generally pleased with how the final product turned out, I think everyone can identify with the experience of finishing a conversation and thinking, “Argh, I should have said this instead!” or “Oh that would have been a way better way to explain that”. Full disclosure, they were kind enough to let me edit the interview, but as an occasional interviewer myself, I attempted to keep at least some representation of the actual conversation, despite temptations to just re-write my more inarticulate moments.

In particular, there were two questions I wanted to clarify and/or expand upon. Initially I intended for this to be one post, but then the words started flowing and I took it as a sign to split it into two.

This week addresses some of the benefits of placing music by independent artists, when they can save a music supervisor’s life (and how to avoid complicating it).
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Guest Mixtape + Interview / Greylag “The Essence of the Pacific Northwest”

Photo Credit: Greylag

It’s true that there are no shortage of emotive folk artists in the world, but that certainly does not negate their ability to make an impact.

Take Greylag for example; the band has captured such purity in their music that it is impossible not to connect with them.  Minimal and raw, their debut EP, The Only Way To Kill You, is far too short to do justice to the depth of emotion that the band is capable of.

In a way that I can’t quite describe (maybe because I haven’t been myself) it makes complete sense for them to pay homage to the Pacific Northwest with their mix.  Yes, the band is based in Portland, but the relationship is deeper than that.  Their whole “musical aura” seems to be the color of gloomy skies, and the feel of a cool drizzle on your skin.
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Interview / Russell Ziecker, Head of Television Music and A&R at Lionsgate

By Amanda DK

Behind many independent music supervisors, especially in the television world, there is a studio executive working with several other independent music supervisors trying to keep multiple shows on course and colleagues on all levels happy.More often than not, these are the less glamorous positions; their names may not be in the credits, but studio music execs are still reading every script, watching every cut, solving clearance struggles and giving creative notes.  Not only that, the creatives on a project (director, producers) can sometimes perceive them as the “bad guy,” pushing corporate studio agendas at the expense of their vision.  The best ones can serve both to an equal degree at the same time – Russell Ziecker is one of these.
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Guest Mixtape + Interview / Vanaprasta: Songs from Bands Who Have Thumped Our Skulls Live

By Amanda DK

Photo Credit: Dylan Bell

It’s no big secret that artists need to have solid live show to be successful. Similarly, it’s always a disappointment when a great album does not translate to a dynamic live show.Los Angeles quintet Vanaprasta does not have that issue.  For the past few years the band has built a strong reputation almost entirely by their larger than life stage presence. They are a fixture on the music scene here, turning heads at the Sunset Strip Music Festival in 2010 and impressing audiences at their Satellite residency this past November. Nor are they strangers to the national arena; Vanaprasta made waves at this year’s CMJ Festival and have played at least a couple shows at every SXSW since 2009, really taking the festival by storm in 2011 with a total of eight shows during their time in Austin.
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