A few tips and suggestions on how to stay focused as an artist vying for a successful music career.
I too often encounter artists and bands who are obsessed with their musical career. Any driven individual could be described as ‘obsessed’ which I think is great, as long as your focus is on the music and honing your craft. I find that many young artists are too distracted by self-managing tasks and get bogged down in areas that take away from the very thing that will make you successful; creating impactful, deep and innovative new music. Here are some tips for staying focused:
Australian producer and singer Julian Maverick has been making waves with his infectious tropical pop sound that has praised by the likes of Hype Machine, Indie Shuffle, Acid Stag, and more. We caught up with him to get the deets on his latest single “Move Your Magic,” production history, and more.
Hey Julian Maverick! Thanks for being part of our series. Can you give us an introduction to Julian Maverick? It was a solo project I started to combine my own songwriting and production. A project where I didn’t have to be limited to a genre and where I could explore all different styles.
First impressions are everything and your band bio gives people a first glimpse of what you’re all about. Our CONNECT Manager, Sharyn, who has written countless bios gave us some quick tips for how to make yours stand out.
DON’T overestimate the reader’s attention span. Keep it short and sweet – think one to two paragraphs max.
DON’T let writing intimidate you, reach out to your writer friends for advice
DO hook the reader in with the very first sentence
DON’T use cliche phrases like “hails from” or “we sound like (insert band name) and (insert another totally different band) had a baby. Be original.
DO create a strong, unique tag line for your band that press can latch onto like “disco pop princess” or “post-millennial Billie Holiday”
DO find a compelling story line about your life and music that sets you apart and build the bio around this
We’re so excited to share that we’re working with the Evening Associates of the Art Institute of Chicago to find one artist to open for the influential hip-hop duo The Cool Kids at their exclusive After Dark event live at the Art Institute of Chicago. We chatted with Jeremy Rothschild, Chairman of the Evening Associates Board of Directors at the Art Institute of Chicago, to learn about the successful After Dark series, how it’s become a platform for emerging artists, and more.
Hey Jeremy thanks for chatting with us! Introduce yourself and tell us what you do for the Art Institute of Chicago. Jeremy Rothschild: Chairman of the Evening Associates Board of Directors at the Art Institute of Chicago
What is After Dark, what does it offer for audiences of the Art Institute of Chicago? After Dark is an event series hosted by the Evening Associates Board of directors that highlights art exhibitions at the Art Institute of Chicago while featuring musical acts, cocktails, interactive theatrical performances, and occasionally art making activities all focused on engaging Chicago’s young professional audience.
The Evening Associates Board is a diverse group of young art-inspired professionals, innovators, and philanthropists committed to engaging Chicago’s under-40 community with the Art Institute of Chicago, driving Evening Associates membership, and promoting an understanding and appreciation of the arts. They were named the 2015 Associate Board of the Year by Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of Chicago (YNPN Chicago).
Chicago-based producer Owen Bones recently premiered his latest single “Mach One” on Pigeons and Planes who described it as one of his finest displays of production. Read on to get the lowdown on the collaborative process behind “Mach One,” his upcoming debut album Dive Club, Spotify experience, and more.
Hey Owen Bones, thanks for be part of our series. Can you tell us a little about Owen Bones and is that your real name? Thanks for inviting me! My real name is Owen *Jones* (clever, I know). Owen Bones is a bit like my alter ego. He does things I might not.
Pigeons and Planes just premiered “Mach One” the lead single off your debut album Dive Club and described it as one of your finest displays of production. Tell us about the track. The beat was made earlier in the year in one sitting, and I knew right away that it had some special qualities. A close friend of mine was sitting in while I made it, and we imagined it might sound a bit like the inside of a spacecraft during intergalactic travel…the theme stuck, and the name was saved. When picking beats for the full project, I had been listening to a lot of Tunji, and I thought his voice fit. Same with Aaron – he was actually the first person to hear the beat.
Boston-based indie pop band Air Traffic Controller are on the road Bronze Radio Return, have just been nominated for three Boston Music Awards, and have been touring nonstop for the last few weeks. Read on to get their top tips for surviving life on the road.
Know when you need your space. It can sometimes be hard to be around people 24/7 for weeks on end, especially if you’re an introvert like me. If you need to throw on headphones or go for a walk to recharge, do it. It helps a lot.
Pack as light as possible. I don’t always take my own advice on this one, but I always end up trying to bring things that I don’t need and it only weighs me down. I’ve worked over the years to cut down everything I own so that it fits in a small suitcase, and it feels a lot better.
Be kind to everyone you work with. Your band, the sound staff, the promoter, the bartender, everyone. It’s so much easier for everyone when everyone is psyched to be there. If you act like a diva, it just makes things miserable. And what’s the point of that?
Driver gets to choose the music and the navigator sits shotgun and stays AWAKE.
Don’t make any rash decisions. It’s not always gonna be a good day and you’re not always gonna get along with everyone at all times. Let moods pass and give things time. Vent to a neutral party if you need to, but arguing and complaining don’t really do any good when you’re traveling around the country for months in a little tin can.
Live in it and enjoy it while you can. I feel like the luckiest person in the world to get to travel and play music with my best friends. I don’t always get to work with my favorite people in the world and it’s the best thing.
Don’t let one sub par show get you down. When you’re playing every night it’s not always going to be magical. Maybe you have an off show, sound isn’t great, show isn’t well attended, you’re exhausted, etc. There are a so many factors that come into play. All you can do is try your hardest to give the best performance possible, support each other onstage, and remember to have fun. We’ve gotten into a really great habit of dissecting our performance after each show and figuring out what we can do to make the next show better.
Take care of yourself. Your body is going to take a pretty good beating. Loading gear in and out of the van, not sleeping well, constant long drives, not to mention there’s probably a good amount of free booze around. Anyway, it’s helpful to try and eat well, rest when you can, and drink plenty of water. You might still feel like you’re not human most of time… but hey, you’re on tour with your BoyZ!
Pre-Stage. Making sure that your gear is setup and ready to go off stage can be a huge timesaver and make your life a whole lot easier. This is especially helpful if you’re the opener on a tour.
Make sure all your gear is tour ready. You really don’t want stuff breaking on the road. Especially if it’s something that’s not easily replaceable. I always try to go over all my gear with a fine toothed comb before we leave for a trip, and bringing some tools along for the ride isn’t ever a bad idea.
We caught up with Brooklyn trio Del Caesar to get the lowdown on their new single “Like They Always Say,” upcoming EP, 60’s garage/psych rock sound, and more.
Hey guys! Introduce yourselves – who are the forces behind Del Caesar? We’re three dudes living around Brooklyn that love old school garage rock and the new psychedelia stuff coming out. I’m [Aaron Lloyd Barr] on vocals/guitar, the rock solid Eric Arikian is on bass, and the animal Ben Reynolds is on drums.
Describe your sound in ten words or less. Del Shannon covering Ty Segall’s song “Caesar”