Copyrights!

December 6, 2011

A fellow blogger has posted a couple articles about copyright I figured you all would be interested in!

This goes over what copyright is, and what infringement is:

http://awritehook.blogspot.com/2011/11/what-is-copyright-and-what-is.html

This reviews types of copyrights, focusing on creative commons:

http://awritehook.blogspot.com/2011/12/types-of-copyright-licenses-creative.html

Enjoy!

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Obviously we all know about social media. BUT….It can help and also hurt you. So a couple of pointers.

The more you promote yourself, the more others will promote you. By becoming friends with other musicians, they will also help promote you! So USE social media as a connection to friends and other bands.

By keeping your fans updated, you should also keep your bio updated…because that is where people will learn the most about you! Keep your bio on EVERY page you have…MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, ReverbNation….and always make sure they match up!

Another way to keep your fans updated is your status, and your tweets! Again, try to keep all your websites connected, it makes it easier for you as well as your fans to follow!

Use social media to your advantage. Try to make everyone feel as if they know you personally! Use YouTube and make videos that make them feel like they were there for your photo shoot or music video shoot!

So please ladies and gentlemen, do not post anything that you would not want your mother to see. Make sure all material that is used is professional. This includes language as well as photo material that would be considered inappropriate.

If you have any questions feel free to comment or message me privately!

Here we go, getting into technical terms! For those of you who don’t know what semiotics is, it’s the study of signs and symbols and how they are used or interpreted.

Semiotics can affect the portrayal of a musician by analyzing their website. Musicians all have different ways of portraying themselves even when catering to the same audience.  Three main points that seem to affect semiotics include the visual, the audience and the message that is being sent to the viewer.

Visual

The visual is very important because it can either make the viewer want to continue looking at the information, or make them stop. As a viewer looking at the visuals, they should be able to get an overall idea of the website without having to read anything. Without this, you may be pushing your viewer away.

Audience

Typically these visuals are based around a specific audience. If the key audience is not addressed in these visuals then the advertisement will most likely fail. By making sure your advertisement is catered to your key audience, your website is more likely to be a success.

Message

The audience that looks at your message is going to be looking for specific  characteristics that they are interested in. This is why you need to make sure that all aspects of your website including organization and navigation design are catered to your audience. For example, when catering towards a younger audience you would use a simple and easy to navigate website. For an older audience, more technologically advanced options are available. Make sure you know your audience!

So when was the last time you thought about changing the face of your website? Make sure you have these three aspects to help you become a successful musician!

Nalani & Sarina Interview!

November 15, 2011

Look out for this fiery twin duet! With catchy music, out-of-this-world vocals and passionate lyrics, there is no doubt in my mind these girls will make it big! I’m so excited to present to you the interview I had with them! Enjoy!

What do you do to prepare for a music video shoot or photo shoot?

To prepare for a music video shoot or a photo shoot, we think of the image we’re going for and how we want to portray ourselves. So from there we pick clothing, hairstyles, makeup, setting/concept to fit our vision.

What is your favorite thing about live performances? Least favorite?

Our favorite thing about performing live is (as cliche as it is) connecting with the audience. It’s a whole different experience feeding off the energy and emotion of the people you’re singing to. It can be from having fun and dancing in one song to singing something so personable in another song. All in all, being united through music is an incredible feeling. Our least favorite part about performing live is having to leave…hahah just kidding…the only least favorite part is when the sound system isn’t too good and it’s hard to hear everything. But other than that, we enjoy every minute!

Have you ever had issues working together as a duet?

Surprisingly we haven’t had many issues. We’ve been around each other our entire lives so we’re used to working together. If anything it works to our advantage having someone beside you throughout the entire process.

What was your most memorable moment as a musician?

The most memorable moment would probably be when we wrote our song called “Balloons”. We had MAJOR telepathy writing this song and basically finished each others words and melodies. The whole song came out so naturally and it was a moment we will never forget.

 

How often do you update your websites?

We try to update as often as we can!

What is your next step as a musician?

Our next step is to continue writing as much as we can, and share it with as many people as we can

 

Any upcoming news you would like to tell your fans?

We are finishing up a group of songs that will be released at the beginning of the year! That will be followed by many performances, so stay posted!

Check these beautiful talented ladies out! You heard them! Keep a look out for their new songs at the beginning of this year! Let me tell you, I got a sneak peek of them, and you WON’T want to miss out on them!

www.youtube.com/nalanisarinamusic

www.facebook.com/nalanisarinamusic

www.twitter.com/nalanisarina

www.reverbnation.com/nalanisarina

www.myspace.com/nalanisarina

I had the opportunity to interview Bryan from A Lifelike Story, a Pop Rock band from Flemington, NJ. I asked him a lot about website material and promotion and how to take advantage of that! With a lot of valuable information for upcoming musicians, this is a MUST READ!

What do you do to prepare for a music video or photo shoot?

Prior to the shoot there is a lot of discussion and brainstorming with the director/photographer as to what the direction of the shoot should be.  Ideas get thrown back and forth until there is a final concept.  Usually, with me at least, from there I let the director use their creativity to draw up and present the final design with locations and exact details.  It’s always good to make sure the band and the director/photographer are on the same page…it makes for an easier shoot.  A few days before the shoot make sure that your outfits are ready, hair is cut, anything that may need to be in order to make the shoot look the way you want.  I also try to be well rested for a video shoot since usually they take a good amount of time to film.  Overall as long as the band and the director/photographer are on the same page the shoot will run smoothly the day of.

What is your favorite thing about live performances? Least favorite?

My favorite thing about a live performance is the chance to interact and meet so many new people.  When on tour you get the opportunity to come in contact with so many new faces and new perspectives on things and to be able to share something with them is awesome.  Least favorite thing…hmm…my least favorite thing is probably technical difficulties while on stage but that is something that just happens from time to time so you do what you can to make it work.  Most of the time people don’t know that there were any problems while on stage so it’s best to not make a big deal out of them.

What is your favorite tool for promotion?

Well with all the social networks out there these days Facebook/YouTube is always a great way to promote your band or product to a wide variety of people.  One of my favorite things though is to just go talk to people.  It may sound old fashion but it works.  Find a mall or show and go and promote, hand out flyers, or demo discs…pretty much anything to get your name out there.  And you get to meet a lot of cool people so that’s always a plus.

What kind of tools do you use to gain a better fan base?

Social networks are a huge help.  So many people are on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube that posting something on those sites will eventually spread like wildfire.  Again good old fashion talking to people and handing promo materials out with expose you to a new group of people that may or may not have heard of you before and sometimes they even offer to hand stuff out for you as well, which is pretty sweet.  Music blogs and college radio also are helpful.  Most of the time both of these tools are eager to find up-and-coming artists and are willing to help in anyway they can.  Also who won’t tune in and listen to their friend’s radio show and most musicians or music lovers keep up to date with all the blogs and news out there.

 

How often do you update your website?

It depends on the website and what it is used for.  Any site that gets more traffic or is considered one of the “main sites” gets updated more frequently than some of the “secondary sites”.  I try to post something a few times a week and sometimes more often if things are coming up.  It’s always good to keep your fans involved though so the more updates and fan interactions the more they will come back to the site.  I also try to respond to as many people as I can.  I don’t like when a band draws a line between themselves and their fans.  The band is only as successful as the fans make them so talk to your fans and involve them in anyway you can.

What is your next step as a musician?

I constantly try to better myself as a musician and person in the industry.  It may not be a single step but it’s something to keep working toward.  I was once told that “there is always going to be someone better than you and there is always going to be someone worse than you” that was in reference to my guitar playing but it’s something that stuck out and makes me want to be the best musician I can be.  I’ve been constantly writing and playing while diving into the behind the scenes side of things and working on recording as well as management.  If something catches my attention I’ll try it.

Any upcoming news you would like to tell your fans?

Like I said I’m continuously writing so there is a very good chance that there may be some new released material in the future.  The best way to stay up to date with any and all upcoming news is to follow my twitter (twitter.com/alifelikebryan) or follow A Lifelike Story at (facebook.com/alifelikestory).

Feel free to contact Bryan with any questions through twitter (twitter.com/alifelikebryan), FB (facebook.com/bryanrw) and A Lifelike Story’s Facebook (facebook.com/alifelikestory).  <<ADD THEM ON FACEBOOK!

Make sure you also check out A Lifelike Story’s music video for State//Lines!

This interview has GREAT information if you are just starting to think about recording songs! Justin is full of knowledge about this part of the music industry and I’m so happy I had the chance to interview him!
What has been the hardest thing about being a producer?
-The hardest thing about being a producer that I’ve experience so far is envisioning the end product for the artist and making sure that they share at least a similar direction, whether that’s on one song or 10. To help the artist focus & develop their sound on a record.
How do you obtain clients?
-Honestly, I obtain clients through word of mouth, I usually develop a friendship with the artist or band and that usually leads to us working together once I’ve gained their trust and share a similar goal for them.
How should a musician prepare to record/play live?
-Preparation is KEY! There are several things a musician can do to prepare for recording. 1. Rehearse your material, 2. If you have the ability to demo some ideas out to the best of your ability, helps the producer see the direction you are trying to achieve. 3. In the case of playing live, I think the most important to that you in do in preparation would be, practice your songs, buy a tuner (lol), and learn to take the advice of a sound guy, remember they are your best friend.
What should a musician do before a show? After?
-For me personally, I like to get to a show nice and early, it gives me time to relax, set up, and get excited to perform. Rushing or running late to a show only puts you in a stressful state, which will affect your playing and your enjoyment of playing. After the show, it’s important to communicate with the new fans you made and develop a friendship with them. Even if you had a bad show, if someone comes up to you and says “Hey! great set!” don’t reply with “Oh, i could have played this better or that”. They may have no idea you messed up and you just put down their opinion of whats good or not” It’s silly, but the positive reaction usually works out better, in my experience at least.
How do you keep your good reputation as a producer?
-Don’t screw them! I keep a good reputation as a producer by delivering exactly what the artist wants. Their are times, when I may not agree with a certain part or vocal line, but they love it. So I learn to work with it and its those things that make the song for the artist, then I did my job. The most important thing is that we created something together that the artist is proud of.
Do you find certain musicians easier to work with?
-Absolutely, there are artists who know what you do and trusts what you do and works with you to create something great!. Those are the songs that usually come out the best. I’ll admit, sometimes you have to trust one another (producer & songwriter) and you have to choose the part that best fits the song, not just a cool part you like.
How should a musician pick who to record with?
First step is to find someone you trust and personality wise you get along with or work well with. The next step is make sure you check out their other work, if you are a pop song writer, I wouldn’t suggest working with a producer who does a ton of metal records. They are different worlds and that plays a huge role when trying to develop a sound for yourself.
Where does a musician start when wanting to record?
-Well, I’m assuming this question is in regards to someone regarding their first song or record. With that being said, I think a good place to start is knowing simple things like, how many songs do I want to record (this may depend on budget) which leads me to my next thing, what do you want to spend on recording. If you have no idea, maybe ask around to a few local artists who have recordings you like. Once you answer those questions, find someone. I’ll suggest working with someone you know through a mutual friend, there are a lot of people looking to rip off first time recording artists, instead of showing them the ropes and giving them a good experience.
What is your outlook on recording contracts?
-Well, it depends on the situation for me. It also depends on the money involved. I typically don’t do contracts if I don’t have to, but when you develop a relationship with the producer and artist, and you see the project unfolding, it may not be a bad idea, as long as having the contract will benefit both you and the artist. The industry has gotten so far away from that relationship that contracts have become such a scary part of the industry. but if done right, it really does protect the artist and producer. But for recording local artists and situations of that nature, I think it’s a little over kill.


Justin Stabler
Guitarist, Songwriter, Producer
justinstabler@gmail.com
If you would like to contact Justin for more questions, songwriting or recording, feel free to message him on his gmail, listed above!

Hey check out my Music Video Insider Video on YouTube! CLICK HERE!!

It shows a couple scenes from the video, as well as what REALLY happened! 🙂 Enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/alexabritt

Here it is! My interview with the very talented KDrew!!! I was lucky enough to see him perform twice and I was blown away both times. Not only did I get to see him perform but I got to talk to him in person. One of  the most passionate  & talented musician you will ever meet! You HAVE to check out his music!

Find him at http://KDrewMusic.com or  http://www.facebook.com/KDrewMusic

Here is the interview!

You’ve been rapidly obtaining more fans on your pages. What were some of the tools you used to gain those fans?

My fans do a really great job of helping me spread the word about my music by posting and tweeting about it and sharing it with their friends, so “word of mouth” is the best tool I have.  My fans call themselves the ‘DrewKrew’ and I feel like they’re the best team anyone could have.

 What do you feel is your strong point in promotion and how do you optimize use of this?

 My strong point in promotion is that I update fans on what I’m currently doing everyday via social media platforms.  I make Facebook status posts, I tweet, I use Foursquare to check-in to where I currently am and I use Instagram to deliver pictures of what I am doing.  These tools are a great way to keep everyone updated and also allow me to hear from my fans what they like and what they don’t and to learn more about them.

I’ve seen you twice and your stage presence is amazing. Are there certain things you like to make your fans feel while you’re on stage?

 Yes. When I’m on stage I definitely want the audience to feel connected with the performance and the music.  I make sure that I am “feelin it” when I’m performing.  It’s very easy for an audience to tell when the artist isn’t feeling their own music or isn’t engaged with them during a performance.  This leads to the audience not getting into it either because there’s a lack of that natural energy.  I really feel the music every time I perform and I feel the energy coming back from the crowd.  I want my fans to feel something while I’m performing. I want them to know that they’re alive and have feelings.

You seem to be on the right track, you have a lot of material, great promotion tactics and basically the whole equation put into place. What is your next step as a musician to try and make it big? 

The next step is to release more music and share it with my fans and the world.  I’ll be doing more and more shows over the next few months and I plan to do my first official music video soon as well.  I’m really excited about that and the chance to further express my artistic vision for my songs.

What are some new upcoming things you want to tell your fans about?

 I’m putting out a series of seven EP’s entitled “Free” (Volumes 1 – 7) and will be releasing one on the first of each month, so mark your calendar! I am also going to be doing more shows, dropping some Dubstep tracks and I’ll be shooting my first music video for my single “Body & Soul (She Got Control).”  But, most importantly I look forward to continuing to release new music for all my fans and getting to know them on Facebook, Twitter and in person.

You can get KDrew’s debut EP “Free” Volume 1 is now available for FREE download on http://www.KDrewMusic.com/

Up next, more interviews AND my music video shoot insider video!

Song Writing

October 31, 2011

Song writing, one of the most complicated things about being a musician. This goes along with the whole, “What comes first? The chicken or the egg?” Do you write the music first? Or do you write the lyrics first? Or, do you write them at the same time?!

What I always tell people is that music comes from the heart. Your heart will guide you to where your music wants to go. Emotions drive how you feel and then your body language is transferred into your instrument, which creates the feeling of  the song. Happy, sad or whatever the song may be, the lyrics will also relate to this feeling. Not to say the lyrics come after the music, but both the lyrics and music will give off the feeling of happy or sad in your song. The other thing that helps convey the feeling of the song is the emotion that is put out in the vocals as well as the instrument. If its loud or soft, more of a soft tone or screaming tone vocally.

Many things contribute to a song and how it is written. Next, I will give you a short preview of how I personally write songs.

My songs usually revolve around a specific event in my life. So I will take this event, and I will then try to write a story around it without saying specifically what happened. For example, my song Moving On (which can be previewed on my YouTube) is about me moving on in a relationship. The lyrics are “I’m already moving on, moving on. I’m already gone. Yeah, I walk away from you one last time, one last time, I’m already gone.” So in chorus of the song I am talking about how I have already left my boyfriend and that this will be the last time I walk away from him because I’m not coming back. Instead of saying what you think, you try to phrase it so that the audience can still receive the message by just assuming they know what you mean.

Song writing has always come natural to me. Since I was 15 I’ve been writing songs on the piano and guitar. Song writing is how I express myself. Instead of keeping a journal or diary or sometimes instead of talking to people about my problems, I just write songs about things that have happened to me. Song writing is simply how I express myself.

Note: My music video shoot has been changed to Friday, November 3rd. Also I will be interviewing two excellent producers, as well as Nalani & Sarina, extremely talented twins this weekend! I’m so excited!

Update on Alexa Britt

October 23, 2011

Currently I’m working with the director of my music video to find out locations, props, extras and figure out the story board. We met up today to discuss all of theses things and to set a date for the shoot. We plan on shooting on November 4th with November 5th and 6th as our rain dates.

Next, I’m STILL looking through all my photo shoot pictures to decide on which ones i’m going to be using on my Twitter, Myspace, Facebook, YouTube and my personal website.

I’m also looking through some websites to try and decide how I want all of mine to look like. I’ve included Taylor Swift,  Demi Lovato,  and Selina Gomez as part of my selections. All of these websites have similar themes. They have a lot of interactive moving links, pictures of the artists and ways to interact with them. I want to be able to fall into these similar themes when I create my website. I have been discussing my site with a few web designers.

The next step is going to be to send my pictures to the photographer that need some touching up. Once those are sent and returned, I can give them to my web designer. After the music video is done I can also send that to the web designer. I have continued to work with my producer every weekend to record new songs as well as continue recording past ones.

What to look forward to?  Interviews with current musicians and what they are doing to make it big!