These days there’s nothing but data out there — social media statistics, Spotify artist insights, info about who your fans are, where they are, and when they listen to your music. But what do you do with all this data? And who is really benefiting from it? Experts Kevin Erickson (Future of Music Coalition), Erica Sinkovic (CD Baby), Susie Giang (APA), and Zeke Howard (Trailboss) join Portia to discuss how artists can put their data to work.
Whether you do everything yourself or have some professional help, being resourceful is an important skill as an independent artist. On this episode, we talk with people who’ve established themselves and built their businesses — doing everything from album recording to promotion — outside of the mainstream. We’re joined by the band Listener, Krist Krueger of Self Group, and Cool Nutz.
Whether it’s your first show or your dream venue, one of the most daunting tasks as a musician can be booking a gig. From the outside, it’s hard to know just how much planning goes into each concert. On this installment of our Music Industry 101 series, we talk to talent buyers and booking agents about what they do and how they do it. Booking agency Monterey International represents over 100 artists, from Van Morrison to Anais Mitchell. After agent Josh Brinkman offers his perspective as an artist representative, we hear from Velena Vego of legendary Athens venue the 40 Watt Club. She’s celebrating 25 years as the 40 Watt’s talent buyer. Then local tastemaker, Eric Gerber, talent buyer at Portland’s Doug Fir Lounge, gives us the nitty gritty details of what he expects from artists.
In our second installment of our “Gatekeepers Roundtable,” we speak with Ali Hedrick of The Billions Corporation about some of the new acts that she’s working with, and how they’ve come to her, or vice versa. Christen Green adds to the conversation by telling us about how she ended up working with The Lumineers, among the other notable acts that are a part of Onto Entertainment. We also have Nate Nelson tell us the story about how he ended up at Stones Throw Records via the leaked Madvillain demos, and how his experience there ultimately led him to start Innovative Leisure. Don’t think for a second that this is a puff piece chock full of “success stories.” We dig in, and ask these folks about who they regret passing on, too! Lots of valuable “what not to do” information in this episode.
In this episode, we speak with three different musical gatekeepers about what gets them to lower their guard long enough to allow a band safe passage to the next level in their career. Joining us for the discussion is the founder of Kill Rock Stars, Slim Moon, Ken Cheppaikode of Dirtnap Records and Green Noise record shop, and Theo Craig, a well respected booking agent in Portland. Slim tells us how he was won over by Elliott Smith, Ken Cheppaikode tells us how White Wires ended up on Dirtnap, Theo speaks to the beauty of La Luz, and Portia and Slim co-tell the story of how Thao Nguyen made her way onto Kill Rock Stars.