Success Story Update

Throughout the week, our ReverbNation CONNECT team keeps track of industry news and artist successes. We’ve got your weekly recap of the top stories you’ve missed, including who is featured in Nylon Magazine and what single made iTune’s Hot Tracks.


Lena Fayre

Nylon Magazine feature Lena Fayre in this week’s “Band Crush.” Lena is currently working on a follow-up to her last EP, Is There Only One?, but took some time to chat with Nylon Magazine about her next project, her inspirations, and where she would like to see herself in five years.

ReverbNation CONNECT and The Watch List band, Thaddeus Anna Greene’s latest single “Heart Out” was featured in iTunes and Apple Music’s Hot Tracks.

Following a performance at Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, Nashville-based rising roots duo Smooth Hound Smith premiere their latest single “Forever Cold” on The Bluegrass Station. The single is off their soon-to-be released full-length album, Sweet Home Tennessee.


Matt Kivel

Singer/Songwriter, Matt Kivel is gearing up to release his third full-length album Janus, but not before sharing his latest single, “Violets.” The track exclusively premiered on Interview Magazine and was later featured by Stereogum. According to Kivel, “Violets” was inspired by his ongoing thoughts after watching the dark and graphic documentary Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills.”

Consequence of Sound shares Nashville-based blues rocker Jack Berry’s first single, “The Bull,” off his forthcoming LP, Mean Machine.


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Success Story Update

Throughout the week, our ReverbNation CONNECT team keeps track of industry news and artist successes. We’ve got your weekly recap of the top stories you’ve missed, including an artist shoutout from Chance The Rapper and an EP premiere on The Fader.

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Ogden Payne, Forbes contributer

ReverbNation CONNECT act and recent Forbes contributor, Ogden Payne receives praise for his latest article, “Is Chance The Rapper Indie Artists’ New Team Captain?”  including a shout-out from Chance The Rapper himself.

ReverbNation CONNECT help land Camel Power Club a premiere for their new music video “Drift” on Exclaim!

Lena Fayre stopped by Serious Business Music in DUMBO for a live studio session with Break Thru Radio and shares the compelling story behind her well-received EP Is Their Only One?

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ReverbNation CONNECT Industry Recap

Throughout the week, our ReverbNation CONNECT team keeps track of industry news and artist successes. We’ve got your weekly recap of the top stories you’ve missed, including GRAMMY Nominations and what artist made it onto SPIN's "101 Best Songs of 2015."


Industry News:

THE GRAMMYs: Nominations for the 2016 GRAMMY Awards were announced on Monday, with stars like Kendrick Lamar, Taylor Swift, and The Weeknd at the head of the pack. With 83 categories celebrating musicians, writers, producers, etc., ReverbNation artists grabbed 17 nominations in 14 different categories that cover the musical spectrum. From Best Rock Album to Best Instrumental Composition, view the full list here.

BILLBOARD DEBATE: Does Adele’s Historic Sales Performance Mark a Turning Point for the Music Industry? Billboard published a debate that explores Adele’s historic record sales and whether they mark a turning point for the music industry. They explore the the fact that “roughly half of Adele’s first-week sales were in physical form” and that maybe “soul never goes out of style” (also referencing former number 1 album, “Traveler” by Chris Stapleton). But does that really mean a change for the industry?

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Meet The Curation Team — Ashlee-Jean Trott (Folk)

In this week’s installation of our Meet The Curation Team Series we chat with Ashlee-Jean Trott, one of our Nashville-based Curators. AJ is our Senior Folk Curator, and she’s also an Associate Producer at Music City Roots. In this Q&A, AJ shares her thoughts on Nashville’s ever-evolving music scene, tells us about some of her current favorite artists and lets us know what she thinks makes an artist unique.

What got you hooked on music in the first place? What did you listen to growing up?

I grew up in a Southern Baptist household, and we listened to a LOT of Southern Gospel music. As I got older, I strayed away from that genre, but I still loved the sounds and harmonies of it. Then I discovered Bluegrass, which is very similar but involves all different types of voices. With the Bluegrass community came very close ties with Americana and Folk, both of which immediately draw me in.

What was your first music industry job?

My sister is a musician. While I was in college, I wanted to be like her, but I couldn’t sing or play an instrument very well (or I was shy to), so I started a music festival in Birmingham, AL called The Birmingham Folk Festival and booked some great artists including my sister. We had great attendance and it motivated me to move to Nashville and pursue a job on the business side of the music industry.

You work at Music City Roots. What do you look for in artists when you’re booking lineups for the show each week?

Typically, I look at YouTube videos to see how an artist performs “live” and I ask myself, even if it’s not my thing, can I see other people liking this? Music City Roots is known for introducing fans to types of music that they would normally not gravitate towards. So my job is not only to book good bands, but also to introduce our audience to new and different things. One night a person will come in the room to see Emmylou Harris play and walk out a fan of a new up and coming indie rock band. We’re combining genres and opening ears.

What’s your favorite thing about the music scene in Nashville?

My favorite thing about the music scene in Nashville has to be the diversity. This isn’t just a city for Country music, it has very strong Bluegrass, Folk, Rock, and Soul scenes. If I’ve heard enough of one type of music, all I have to do is walk down the street to a different venue and find something to clear my head.

How did you get involved with ReverbNation and ReverbNation CONNECT?

Emilee Warner, one of my close friends here in Nashville actually worked in this position before me, and gave a handy recommendation when she had to leave. The best thing about the women in the music industry here in Nashville is: we all have each other’s backs!

What are the main things you’re listening for when you’re reviewing music? What makes Folk artists stand out from the rest of the pack?

I typically listen to the songs and how they connect together lyrically. I also pay attention to the singer. You can have a good song and a band voice (song is good, voice is average), and you can have a good voice and a band song (voice is good, song is average). It’s great when an artists can pull off both. And if there’s good production, that’s an added bonus! What makes Folk artists stand out from the pack is that musicians in this genre pull from a lot of what was old and make it new and fresh. Folk music is very popular for that reason. For instance, you have The Avett Brothers, who pull a lot of inspiration from Townes Van Zandt and Ramblin’ Jack Elliot and Doc Watson. They’re very popular now, and I think that is not only because people can relate to their lyrics, but because they can relate to the sound as something they may have heard before.

Who are you listening to these days?

Some of my favorite acts right now have to be Sturgill Simpson, Jason Isbell, Chris Stapleton, The Stray Birds, Todd Grebe and Cold Country, and HoneyHoney just to name a few!

Who are your favorite ReverbNation CONNECT acts right now?

I am really in love with what Sammy Brue is doing, as such a young artist in this community.

What makes you most excited about the future of Folk music?

I think that Folk Music is always evolving, but always brings you back home. This makes me very excited about the future of folk music, I don’t think it will ever disappear. There will always be a place for this genre in the world and people actively participating in it and enjoying its music.

Check out Ashlee-Jean’s favorite ReverbNation picks below:

JustinMeet The Curation Team — Ashlee-Jean Trott (Folk)
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Meet The Curation Team — Lauren Flax (Alternative)

In the fourth installment of our Meet The Curation Team series, we talk to Lauren Flax, one of our Senior Alternative Curators. As an artist, Lauren has worked with Grammy-nominated vocalists both individually and as part of the prominent Brooklyn duo CREEP. CREEP's debut "Echoes" was widely praised for its unique blend of trip-hop, shoegaze, and classic house music elements. Lauren has a keen ear for new and interesting voices. Learn more about her in the Q&A below!

What sparked your interest in music initially?

I had a passion for it from a very young age. I started playing the drums in the 5th grade which I think led to my easing into the world in my teenage years. Timing was very natural for me when it came to matching beats. I’m from Detroit, and the dance music there was and is impeccable.

What was your first music project/band like?

I had a silly band called The Bang Gang something like 10 years ago with my friend Chantel Claret. We only wrote one song.

Who influences you musically?

I’m continually influenced by people I was obsessed with in the 90s. Anything from shoegaze to trip-hop to industrial. Now I’m influenced by the people around me. by their passion. It doesn’t even have to do with music either. They keep me grounded and constantly striving to grow as an artist and a person.

How did your project CREEP start?

It was originally just a side project, something to get away from what I felt was monotonous at the time. Lauren Dillard and I started CREEP to knock down the walls of structure, to just be free with whatever we wanted to do. After we wrote our first song, “Days,” things sort of took off from there and it became our main focus.

How did you get involved with ReverbNation/CONNECT?

I wanted to reconnect with Matt Dufour (Director of ReverbNation CONNECT), whom I’ve known for many years. Matt filled me in on his life and work and we got pretty deep into conversation about what ReverbNation CONNECT was doing. It quickly became evident that it might be good for me to be involved somehow.

When you’re reviewing music, what are the main elements/strengths you look for? What are the most interesting things about emerging acts you’re into these days?

I look for unique voices, interesting, in-depth production skills and just general likeability. Sometimes it’s the simplest songs that are the most catchy.

What are you listening to these days?

Well, a lot of podcasts, haha. I’m writing a lot of music right now. When I’m deep into production and composition, I generally distance myself from listening to other music. It keeps me focused.

Check out some of Lauren’s favorite ReverbNation artists:
JustinMeet The Curation Team — Lauren Flax (Alternative)
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Meet The Curation Team — Jess Gonyea (Dance/Electronic)

ReverbNation CONNECT is now home to a growing roster of great emerging artists, a majority of whom were discovered on ReverbNation. These artists come courtesy of ReverbNation’s Curation Team, a group of passionate tastemakers and music experts who share a deep commitment to identifying and exposing the best new music. Over the next few weeks, we'll introduce you to some of these Curators.

First up is DJ and Tastemaker Jessica Gonyea. Jess goes way back with Simon Perry, ReverbNation’s Chief Creative Officer and Head of A&R, who brought her onto the Curation Team to kickstart music discovery on the site a couple of years ago. We asked Jess some questions about her music hunting tactics and her life in general.

How did you first get involved with music?

I’d been a visual artist, set, and costume designer for years in Chicago. I’ve been obsessed with music since I can remember, though — collecting vinyl and cranking out mixtapes for my friends with original art. In 2006, after a little stint of performance art with my friends’ indie rock band OFFICE, they asked me to join as a full-time member. I sang backup and played keyboards and started DJing soon after. Eventually, I started making electronic music with Chess Knight (FKA Mother Hubbard, founder of the long-run Chicago dance party Life During Wartime) under the names Rocktapussy, and later, Moneypenny.

JustinMeet The Curation Team — Jess Gonyea (Dance/Electronic)
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Why Curation? — An Interview with ReverbNation’s Simon Perry

In the first part of our upcoming series profiling the ReverbNation Curation Team, we spoke with Chief Creative Officer Simon Perry about how ReverbNation's curation technology was developed, as well as how artists can benefit from this exciting and innovative system.

UPDATE 10/13/15: Read how ReverbNation’s Curation Technology is changing how major festivals and brands approach booking and talent buying: (c/o Hypebot)

Why has ReverbNation developed a Curation capability?

The Internet allows Artists to connect directly with their fans. Since 2006, ReverbNation has provided a powerful set of tools that allow Artists to cultivate these all-important fan relationships, and manage their careers online. However, to honour our mission of delivering career growth to our Artists, we’ve always understood that we need to provide more than just this critical toolkit. We also need to offer access to opportunities in the music industry.

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Summerfest 2015 Artist Recap

Milwaukee, WI’s Summerfest — “The World’s Largest Music Festival” — played host to over 700,000 people this year, and some of our CONNECT artists took to the stages to entertain them. Schuyler from the CONNECT Team chatted with Glass Lux (Chicago, IL), Ogden Payne (Austin, TX), Catbath (Minneapolis, MN), Bailiff (Chicago, IL), Sammy Brue (Ogden, UT), Forgotten Species (Chicago, IL), and Golden Age (New York, NY) about their journeys to Wisconsin, their favorite moments from the festival, and more.

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