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Tag Archives: Independent music

500 days of Song of the Day

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Today I celebrate 500 days of song of the day. And well I guess that’s quite something. As a lovely friend proclaimed last night – that’s almost a million. And well I guess it is, almost.

So I have been racking my brain about what on earth I should do to celebrate this momentous occasion. And well I just thought I’d tell you the story.

I was always a music fanatic. When I moved to Geneva from South Africa, to start working in Finance, I was beyond excited to finally have concerts within my geographical reach.

I’ll never forget how after just two weeks of my arrival I nearly hyperventilated when I heard that The National (whose new album I am listening to while I write this) were playing just 45 minutes away.

I got my hands on the new arrivals email list compromising of easily 200 people and wrote an ecstatic message asking who would come with me to the concert. Not a single reply. Not one. In fact when I mentioned indie music people either didn’t know what it was or thought I meant Indian music. This scenario repeated itself more than once.

Out of pure desperation I decided to do something about it. I learnt from my past failed attempts of inspiring fellow friends by smothering them with 3 tons of must listen to music. Instead I started emailing new selected friends a song a day – the basics of indie music I use to say– every morning. Half for the love of spreading music, half to get a concert companion.

Those few email subscribers became ten, that became 40 that became +100. Song of the Day started becoming the reason I could get through my day at work. I started a music collaboration project. I turned the mailing list into a blog. As the view ship grew and we started throwing our own indie music parties. This went on for over two years.

And then I quit my job. I moved countries, changed industries. I started this new blog to tell the story. And now I am in London working in the music industry. And I look back and think – wow. It started with a song a day and stupid amount of passion. And the wonderful people who put up with it and supported me.

And so this is every song (or nearly – some are not Spotify friendly) that I have ever given out. All Song of the days ever.
A music road map to making my dreams come true.

If you have a passion, work at it every day and maybe one day you’ll have the privilege in loving what you do.

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My Way In: Become known as your passion guru

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So after you have picked up your morning routine of investing in the search for your passion, and you then started reading all the type of material you could find on your topic – we get to the next step:

TALK ABOUT IT TO EVERYONE YOU CAN GET HOLD OF.  ALL THE TIME.

You need to become the icon of your passion. Every chance you get, mention it. Get people engaged. Share with them what you are doing. At the start, keep it short and snappy and see how they react. But if they are interested – use the opportunity – have a long conversation about it. Of course it is great to speak to people who share your passion but make sure to try it with everybody.

The reasons for this:

  1. It makes you realize how much you know about your subject and you will feel good about being able to articulate all of the things you have been reading
  2. It’s a nice break from weekend or weather small chatter
  3. It will make you realize how LITTLE you know about some areas when people ask you questions you can’t answer – this will fill up your next morning sessions
  4. It keeps you excited about your topic as you feel your face light up as you speak about it and interact with other view points
  5. It makes people ask you several times: why are you not doing this for a living? And forces you to answer that question with a lame answer until you no longer can
  6. MOST IMPORTANTLY: people will know you as THE #ENTER INTEREST# PERSON

Now that last one is really important because that is where the magic comes in. When people start knowing you as very dedicated, passionate and interested person they will think of you whenever an opportunity comes up. That’s how I got approached to become part of music projects, invited to DJ, recommended interesting books or magazines or sites. The problem of today is not getting information – it’s getting the RIGHT information. And in order to get it – you need HUMAN knowledgeable filters.

The most important opportunity that this might bring is CONTACTS in the specific industry. People, by and large, are rather nice. They also by nature like to connect dots. Maybe it’s because we played too much Lego or puzzles when we were little. Point is, if you talk to them about how much you love music the minute they see an opportunity (a job opening, an interesting article, meet someone in the industry, remember an old friend that has a related job) they are more likely to think of you. And that’s when things start to roll.

All of my friends knew that I was absolutely stupidly crazy about music. All of them. I was a walking advertisement for indie music. Even though some of them didn’t know what indie music was (the topic of a future post). And that’s how I got introduced to several contacts in the industry. Because a friend of a friend, or an ex-colleague etc. These are the golden nuggets. And when you get them – PLEASE use them. Don’t be shy to phone a stranger and speak to them about your interest. Find out about them, what is it like in the inside, what different jobs are available, how to get those jobs, what skills, knowledge, activities are recognized as good experience. Ask, ask, ask and always make sure to keep the contact. This will be major support to find out which jobs are out there for you.

If you want to get to your dreams there is not space for being shy about it.

Song of the day: Gather and unite Indie fans – The New Strokes Song

Hello songers,

So there is a lot of oohing and aaahing about what is indie? Who is indie? and other such fights amongst indie-self proclaimed fans. But so far I have hardly ever argued on the fact that The Strokes are an iconic indie band (note: not saying the most important, relax).

So when on Friday The Strokes released their new single One Way Trigger on their site (download for free if you provide your email address) the indie fans united in taking notice. Now, ever since the much awaited release of the album Angles two years ago there has been a debate as to whether the music is as good as it was. For me Angles was a real grower and by now I have adapted to their new sound, so it only took me 2 listens to really get into this new song. Although there are plenty of people who disagree and don’t like it.

The song is very happy, jumpy, boopy and synthy – maybe more than the broody Strokes songs of the old days. Another shock is how the songs opens with nearly a minute of Julian’s school-boy falsetto. We are then reassured he still has his beautifully hangover dark moody voice on ‘you asked me to stay/ but there’s a million reasons to leave’, only to be followed by some higher falsetto. But thank goodness that does lead in iconic Strokes guitar riff (otherwise some fans maybe have thrown the imaginary record across the room). There is no doubt it sounds like The Strokes, just more high pitched, popppy and synthy. Still, I like.

How bout you just a listen and let me know what you think of One Way Trigger

 

According to Pitchfork  there is another single going around named All the Time from their soon to be released unnamed fifth album – but it seems only Seattle’s 107.7 The End has had a listen. Keep an ear out.

Song of the day: Your’s trojan is in my head

Hello kidos,

So back to some easy listening indie sound. This is a happy clappy pop indie band for you. Their name is Atlas Genius and they are a four piece band from Australia. So they did things a bit backward, they decided to build the studio to record the songs first before making the songs. They wanted to have a safe happy place to that they could nurture their songs.

And it worked. In 2011 their first single Trojan (love to see the google search for trojans on this one) and it became an instant hit.

And it’s easy to hear why. When asked for their influences Keith, on guitars and vocals, named Indie band 101 Death Cab for Cutie as a big one and specifically called out Ben Gibbard’s lyrics as inspiration. Death Cab being my very own first introduction to indie music, I cannot help but completely agree. I use to sit with CD covers and read song word by word and be amazed at Ben’s poetry. They also name Phoenix (another popular easy accessible door into indie), The Police, The Beatles and Beck as influences. And I think in Trojan you clearly hear the Ben Gibbardy lyrics and the Phoenix guitars and beat.

So they are busy getting ready for their album release on the 19th of February so let’s wish them all the best of luck.

Take a picture you can never recreate

 

Song of the day: Follow your ears

Dear song of the dayers,

It’s funny how sometimes nothing happens for what seems ages, and then all of a sudden everything happens at once. Today I celebrate 400 days of song of the day (wow). Song of the day also developed in Indie Nation, and today is the blogs 200 post. Today is also the day that I leave my Finance job at a big company to follow my ears and pursue a job in the INDIE music industry in London. I didn’t event cheat the numbers.
So let’s say it’s a pretty big day.

As silly as it may sound, song of the day changed my life. The daily habit of investing 10mins every day into music, that naturally grew to 30 minutes and sometimes an hour made a colossal difference over two years. Not only does it feel great to start your day with something you love, but it also lets you explore it truly, develop it, give you the knowledge and one day the guts to jump. And if you don’t believe me, there other people who say the same.

So where to from now?
I will take about a month’s break, to go on holiday, to go to London start searching my way and to think on how I want to continue blogging how/when/what/where.

What about the music?
In one way or another I will continue to bring you Song of the Day, it’s too much a part of me to give up. So don’t stress.
Just sign up to this blog via email and you will get a notification when I am back to bring exciting new news (end Nov/early Dec).
In the meanwhile it’s not like you are musicless.
You have the song of the day playlists: 1. MasMusic’s Song of the Day  and 2. MasMusic’s Song of the Day  to catch up on all the songs you missed.

So go ahead and get listening.

I leave you with a song and a band that I am completely in obsessed with at the moment: Labyrinth ear.
Yes I know I already gave two of their songs recently, but all they have is two short EPs and all I can do is listen to the on repeat.
And at the moment this song.

So here it is Humble Bones

And remember wear sunscreen

Over and up.

MasMusic
I wish I could make a soundtrack to my life and breathe in the notes every day