From being featured in the Discover app to landing radio airplay in the U.S. to being asked to join the soundtrack of a feature Hollywood film to getting on the eligibility list for an Oscar nom for “Best Original Song,” this is the story of a little-known band who hustled their way to DIY success. “You got me hooked, you got me dancing…you got me!” <— That right there is the quintessential reaction a fan has after experiencing a live show care of the boys from Belgium, The 5 AM. A couple months ago we received a crazy email from these dudes completely out of the blue, raining down props on ReverbNation’s tools and services. Seriously, we couldn’t have scripted this story any better, but it all came from these guys. Cause apparently some really cool (and unexpected) stuff happened to them recently. It all starts with a concert 2,000 feet above the ground…
Going on an international tour as a support artist is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and it’s something that most musicians aspire to do at some point in their careers. Performing overseas allows you to connect to a new audience and new industry professionals, make new friends, and gain valuable experience. The exposure can be amazing, the memories will last a lifetime, but it’s a big endeavor that requires A LOT of planning. That’s why we asked our friends Empathy Test – who are no strangers to the road – to share some of their expert advice.
Raj Singh (Rajuju) and Andrew Why (Butterfly), better known for their stage name GRUMBY, are a jazz, soul, and electronic duo based out of Brooklyn. GRUMBY’s signature sound combines influences from jazz, R&B, soul, and world music evoking the nostalgia of the 90s with an undeniable contemporary, electronica twist. After capturing worldwide attention with their debut EP, Changes, the duo are back with a new track and the official release date for Changes PT II. We chatted with the guys to learn about their new EP, which features a guest appearance from Heems of Das Racist, the origin behind their name, and the role that two producers from diverse backgrounds play when it comes to writing and production.
We’re big fans of collaborations; two ReverbNation artists joining forces, sharing ideas, and giving birth to ridiculously feel-good music. Meet alternative duo FEiN, who recently partnered up with house producer Christofi for a sweet-sounding, funky jam, “The Disco.” In our latest series, we caught up with Luke and Brandon of FEiN to get the deets on their new single, learn about the benefits of collaborating with different types of artists, how their local community has shaped them as musicians, and more.
What’s it like to be involved in all aspects of the entertainment industry? Just ask Nate Richert. Nate – who is widely known for playing Sabrina’s (Melissa Joan Hart) charming love interest Harvey Kinkle in the hit series Sabrina, the Teenage Witch – is not only an actor in Hollywood, he’s a producer, occasional director, and Bluegrass musician. We caught up with Nate to learn about his songwriting process, the type of creative satisfaction from both acting and music, and his take on how music licensing is shaping the current music industry.
From pop to soul and electronic R&B, New Orleans native M. Maggie is making heads turn. Her effortless croon, heartfelt lyrics, and jazzy flourishes have gotten her noticed by Pigeons and Planes, Buzzfeed, and Nylon Magazine. Her song “Trndsttr” reached #14 on the Dance chart on iTunes and has received over 2 million views on YouTube! That’s not all, M. Maggie has been selected for several ReverbNation opportunities including Rock N’ Roll Marathon, School Night, and Bold Creative Media. We caught up with the singer to learn about her new single “My Love,” the benefits of collaborating with other artists, and her advice for artists just joining ReverbNation.
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.
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.