On the Rise: Joey Mack

What’s it like to hear your song featured on FOX’s hit series Empire? Just ask Cincinnati bred independent hip-hop artist Joey Mack who landed a sync placement for his raw single “Do It” via an exclusive ReverbNation opportunity. We caught up with Joey to get the lowdown on landing his first sync placement, being featured on This is 50 (50 Cent’s blog), his recent diagnosis of Schizophrenia and how music has served as a creative outlet.

Congratulations on landing a sync placement on FOX’s hit series Empire! How did this come about?

The beginning of 2016 I was invited by ReverbNation to be an artist under a development program called CONNECT. CONNECT gave me an incredible outlet which as a purely independent artist under zero management I was excited about and craved. I jumped at the idea to actually have people who believed in my craft and working in the background to help further my career. Daren Searcy, a CONNECT manager, worked his magic and landed me a sync placement with Hitcher. I was amazed and honored to be under the same roster as Run The Jewels and Killer Mike. Anyways, one day I remember specifically I had gotten fired from my current job with AT&T because I took a risk and left for Atlanta to meet with a highly accomplished songwriter, Sky Keeton. They didn’t like that I left to chase an opportunity so I happily accepted their reason to fire me. On the way home I checked my e-mail and saw a message from Daren about Hitcher interested in one of my songs. It was a song I originally released two years ago titled “Do It” and at that moment I just knew it would work out somehow. Fast forward to a few months later and Daren informs that we may have a bite through Empire. I took a few moments to actually realize what was happening, a song I wrote two years ago is going to now be on a hit TV series using my lyrics and broadcast to millions of people. I really just can’t explain in words how good it feels to land such a massive placement as my first one. I hope this can project my career as not only a recording and performing artist but now an established songwriter. Maybe one day I’ll write songs as a staff writer for a publishing company. All I know is November 30th of 2016 will be a day that I’ll never forget. My city is so underrated as a music hub even though we have had great people emerge from this city but no one in hip hop has really made an impact outside of Hi Tek and Mood & Lantana who signed to RCA and made it to BET. I just feel blessed and I pray it opens more doors for my career. I’m wanting to be that artist that can say I’m from Cincinnati, Ohio and we have so much talent here. I want my city to shine just like NY, ATL, CHI, CAL.

DaveOn the Rise: Joey Mack
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Tour Diaries: Josh Savage

In 2015, U.K. born, bilingual singer/songwriter, Josh Savage, played 79 intimate shows across the U.S. and Europe with Sofar Sounds and in homes of fans. Holding the record for playing the most Sofar Sounds shows worldwide, Josh is hoping to inspire other artists with his new documentary Living Room Tours. Read on to learn about Josh’s heartfelt and inspiring Living Room Tour, how Sofar Sounds has helped in the development of his career, and more.

Hey Josh, it’s been a few months since we chatted! Give us a breakdown of your Living Room Tour.

As a new artist, it’s difficult to connect with your audience in bars and in venues where people talk over your music, text or get drunk. Often, I wonder if people even go to gigs for the music anymore. So in 2015, I played 79 shows across America and Europe in intimate environments with Sofar Sounds and in the homes of fans. It was a wonderful yet tough experience and it was a great, affordable way to kickstart my music career as a singer/songwriter.

How do you hope to inspire other artists?

I hope the documentary will show other artists that you don’t need the “go ahead” or permission from anybody to follow your dream. With the internet today, you can make your own rules.

DaveTour Diaries: Josh Savage
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Artist You Should Know: Hy Brasil

We caught up with Hy Brasil to get the lowdown on their new single, “Let Go,” creative process, live shows, and the story behind their mythical band name.

Hi guys, before we start off can you please introduce yourselves?  

Absolutely, my name is Wyatt Hull, I’m the chanteur of refined bellowing for Hy Brasil, we are a mostly alt-rock specific band but at times genre confused. Currently we reside in Ventura California, about an hour up the coast from Los Angeles.

Where did you come up with the name Hy Brasil?  

Hy Brasil was the name of a supposed island once on all the ancient mariner maps but now has vanished. Its mythology is very similar to Atlantis but more fascinating because of the numerous eyewitness accounts of the island. The word was derived from “Breasal” which means “High King of the World”. I could nerd out more on the history but its ties to extraterrestrials are what really attracted me to the name. In one of the most famous & well documented UFO encounters, at a US military base in the UK’s Rendlesham Forest, Jim Penniston touched a grounded alien craft & received 16 pages of binary code burned into his mind that were later translated to “EXPLORATION OF HUMANITY 666 8100 52.0942532N 13.131269W (Hy Brasil) CONTINUOUS FOR PLANETARY ADVANCEMENT.” Which in a nutshell says that Aliens will someday return to the coordinates of the island of Hy Brasil for planetary advancement. Also if you rearrange the letters in my name Wyatt Hull the anagram is Hy Brasil.  

TylerArtist You Should Know: Hy Brasil
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Artist Session: The Upset Victory

Set to release their first full-length album, Cincinnati-based quintet The Upset Victory is turning heads with their uptempo, high energy brand of alt-pop. We recently got up with the band to discuss their latest single, “The Weekend (Bad Habits),” stripped down songwriting process, and more.

Hey guys, thanks for catching up with us! You just premiered “The Weekend (Bad Habits)” on MySpace Music and said, “”The Weekend” is a bit of a satire, urging one to embrace their inner demons or desires (bad habits).” What’s the story behind the track?

You’re absolutely right. Jason, our lead singer, said it best, “‘The Weekend’ is a bit of a satire, urging one to embrace their inner demons or desires (bad habits), whilst poking fun at the status-quo of “morality” — church and confession of sins. The song also points to our innate attraction to chaos, and our tendency to lust after something/someone despite knowing or being told it is “no good.” Lastly,  I feel, “The Weekend” is a reflection of my own life and the menace I have been.”

TylerArtist Session: The Upset Victory
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Behind the Opportunity: Sneak Attack Media

Sneak Attack Media is a boutique digital marketing and creative services agency based in NYC. Since its inception in 2006, Sneak Attack has worked with some of the biggest artists in the world including The Cult, Tom Petty, and many more. We chatted with Marni Wandner, the President of Sneak Attack Media, to learn how artists can market themselves like a pro.

Hey Marni, thanks for chatting with us and we’re excited to launch the Sneak Attack Artist Reboot opportunity! As President of Sneak Attack Media, can you give us an introduction to the company?

Hi!  We’re excited for the launch as well – we’re looking forward to being able to help a lot of artists navigate the crazy world of promoting their own music. We’re extremely passionate about putting the keys back into artists’ hands and giving them the map they need to build their own fanbases.

Sneak Attack is a boutique digital marketing and creative services agency based in New York City. This year marks 10 years of promoting entertainment and lifestyle brands through innovative digital strategy, and collaboration directly with our amazing clients.

We tend to do things a little differently than most marketing and PR companies so each campaign is quite different, and our clients are people who think outside the box right alongside us.

What does Sneak Attack Media offer artists?
Sneak Attack offers creative online PR, grassroots digital marketing, social media strategy, content creation and consultation, creative promotions, and influencer partnerships.  Some of our campaigns are a few months long, some go on for years.  

KevinBehind the Opportunity: Sneak Attack Media
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On the Radar: The Dirty Clergy

With a Independent Music Awards nomination and a new album out, Alabama-based garage rock band The Dirty Clergy needs to be on your next playlist. We caught up with the guys to get the lowdown on their new album Rattlesnake, Alabama music scene, influences, and more.

Hey guys! Let’s start off with a little introduction. Who is The Dirty Clergy?
The Dirty Clergy is a garage rock band from Winfield, AL. We began as a folk rock duo and that got boring really quick, so we blossomed into what we are now. A pretty loud, 5 piece, rock band.

Congratulations on being nominated for Best Indie/Alternative Rock Album of the Year at Independent Music Awards! Have you ever received a nomination before and what was your experience like?
This was our first nomination for any type of award. It was a nice experience. The people behind the IMA’s are super nice and they put on a great program for independent artists. They are really dedicated to helping boost the artists to the next level. It’s well organized and is held at the Lincoln Center each year. I look forward to working with these guys more and snagging some of those awards soon. Aside from the 32 hour drive up there and back in such a short period of time, everything was great.

What is the concept behind your Rattlesnake album?
It’s basically just taking you through the steps of a relationship. It’s not really arranged chronologically, but if someone wanted to attempt to put those songs in order they could. It’d take some lengthy listening though.

KevinOn the Radar: The Dirty Clergy
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Artist You Should Know: Young Scrap

By combining R&B and hip-hop, LA-based singer/songwriter and rapper Young Scrap will have you listening to his tracks on repeat with his unique style of “Trill And B.” We caught up with him to get the deets on his latest album, what it’s like to perform with Nipsey Hussle, 21 Savage and Trey Songz, what advice he’d give aspiring hip-hop artists, and more.

Hey Young Scrap! Before we get started tell can you tell us little about yourself?
I’m a singer, rapper and songwriter from Inglewood, California that’s a huge video game nerd and grew up in love with music. Lol

We read you grew up in Inglewood, CA and later moved to Maryland. Both cities have had a major influence on hip-hop culture. How has living in both cities influenced your style?
Maryland taught me about a style of music they call “go-go” and “club” since I’m right in the middle of D.C. and Baltimore. It gave me a major chance to soak up both influences and utilize them sometimes in my music.

How do you describe your sound and what kind of message are you trying to send to your fans?
My sound I call it “Trill And B” it’s a mix of R&B and hip-hop that’s heavily influenced by the Houston sound of rap. As far as my message I wanna promote 90’s love…nobody’s in “love” anymore. Everybody just wants sex. Or at least according to music and artist today…I’d like to change it back to how it used to be. Peace, love and positivity.

KevinArtist You Should Know: Young Scrap
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Behind the Opportunity: Ghost Ramp Records

Ghost Ramp Records, who has released music from a diverse range of artists including Wavves, Best Coast, Weezer, and more, is scouting unsigned artists via an exclusive ReverbNation opportunity. We chatted with Patrick McDermott, co-founder of Ghost Ramp, to learn about what sets them apart from other indie labels, what they look for in artists, and more.

Ghost Ramp Records is the the brainchild of Wavves front man Nathan Williams and Patrick McDermott. How did you two meet and what inspired you to start a label together? How has it evolved since its inception?
Nathan and I met via mutual friends. Our friendship really stemmed from our mutual interest in video games (and possibly getting relatively drunk while playing them). But seriously – I think when you meet a fellow gamer as an adult it’s something that does really build a bond. It’s collaborative and just really snowballs in terms of other nerdy hobbies and interests.

Ghost Ramp releases music across several genres. What are some factors you look for when recruiting new artists?
We aren’t calculated with trying to check boxes with genres or really worried about confusing people with lots of genres. I think the modern listener has a diverse palette as ever. People listen to everything just like we do. We truly just put out what we like.

Why do you think its important for a record label to release video game OSTs? Is the release process different from ‘regular’ music releases?
I don’t think it’s necessarily important for other labels to worry about video game OSTs (please leave them to us :)) haha but yes I just really believe some of the best electronic music is coming out of video game scores. I’ve always been super drawn to OST music and I believe it’s time to close the gap between the traditional music world and the video game world which is often considered niche (but in fact has arguably a larger listener base).

KevinBehind the Opportunity: Ghost Ramp Records
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