Another roundup of what's been happening. Well, been finishing off the next single 'Paint a Better Tomorrow' by Miss Tun Pickney. What's it about? Well, I am a great believer in positive music and the power music has to initiate change. So, the main theme of the song is that there is always an opportunity to make a change. The first line of the song is:'Though today is another day it doesn't mean the same outcome as yesterday'. We can all put our energies into painting a better tomorrow. As is usual with songwriting themes are drawn from experience. I wouldn't be writing this blog if I hadn't believed there could be a better tomorrow. So getting painting people.
#PROMOTION one the 'must dos' for an independent. As usual the big question is on what and where do I spend my limited promotion budget. There are so many promotion services being offered on social media, many not worth spending that hard earned cash on. From my experience I find the spammy type of promotion e.g. I will blast your single to a million potential fans, hasn't worked for me. Music is so subjective, unless you target people who might like your music what is the point. So, I use promotion that is targeted, where I can either target the audience or the provider is already targeting a certain audience.
One type of promotion I use is Radio, FM and Internet. There are many that specialise in Indie artists and are often syndicated, meaning, their shows are played on other stations too. With a good station you will get tweets when your track is played that you can retweet to your followers. One station I am using at the moment, to promote an earlier release is Trend City Radio The station is not a reggae specialist but, I have had some good engagement and feedback. My track got voted into their Top 25 last week (see below). This is what you want as an Indie to broaden your appeal.
Launched my merchandise store this week. There are different ways of selling merchandise and with so many activities to take care of as an Indie, I decided I could not allocate enough time to deal with buying merchandise and shipping. So, I went for a managed service. My store is hosted by Zazzle
DingazzMusic Reggae Merchandise
You can see some of the items on the panel on the right. I create the designs and Zazzle take care of stock and shipping. I receive a royalty payment from sales but, there are other ways of earning income from them. The profits may not be as high as compared to having an independent store, but for me, making the best use of my time is what matters.
I'M FOLLOWING @ Twitterbusiness
There are some good tools associated with Twitter that are not widely known. @twitterbusiness has some good ideas to make Twitter work better for you. Worth a try.
Until next time
Well it's been another couple of weeks so what's been happening?
Still festival season and one the of the best is #RototumSunsplash in Spain. The line up included #Chronixx, The Wailers, U Roy, Big Youth and #Luciano. Check out this video of the Luciano set backed by the Mafia and Fluxy Band Luciano Rototum Sunsplash
Been in the studio myself working on some arrangements and laying down some demos. A mix of Roots and Culture and Lovers Rock. Planning to get them voiced by established vocalists. Got a couple in mind. I'll keep you posted.
Brought in Mafia & Fluxy to work on the riddims. We layed down the demos in Studio H in Spain and plan to finish them in London. It was a wicked session so stay tuned.
The world seems to be on the brink at the moment with great change and fear on everyones lips. This is a time when music especially songwriters and musicians can play a big part in getting the right message out there. Counter all the negativity that seems to be around. This is why I believe there is a rise in the popularity of reggae music. It is a music that has always been able to standup for truth and rights. Therefore, it has integrity when the artists sing of roots and culture, truth and rights, reality.
Rotor Videos @rotorvideos http://rotorvideos.com
Making music videos on a budget is not easy so check out these guys. For a relatively small outlay they have a a product that will give you a music video to be proud of. I tried them out for a dub track I wanted a music video for, see what you think Innocent Dub
Next roundup in a couple of weeks
The summer has been full of #festivals across Europe, in particular # reggaefestivals. Last week #ReggaeGeel (Reggaegeel Website) took place in Brussels. The line up included #Chronixx #MaxiPriest #RagingFyah #Capleton #BlackUhuru #Mafia&Fluxy
It is good to see major acts supporting these festivals
The great man #UsianBolt was in London for the IAAF World Athletics championship. He couldn't quite give everyone the happy ending they wanted but, has anyone ever done so much to raise the profile of Jamaica since #BobMarley
I have been concentrating on songwriting and entered a couple of songs in this years UK Songwriting Contest. It is a good well run competition and at the end you get the judges marks for your song and a certificate even if you don't make the finals.
Been Planning the next two singles. These will be a collaboration with featured artists. Will keep you posted.
Connected with @lightaSoundboy this week. Reggae is alive in Africa. Check out the video below of the single Mama Africa
So much has already been written about Bob Marley. Thirty six years after his death his influence still lives on all over the world.
As with many great people their time in this world can only be put in context when they are gone. The influence Bob Marley had on reggae cannot be understated and even now there is no one artist who can claim to pick up the mantle he left and take reggae to new heights.
One of my early memories of Bob Marley, which really sealed his greatness in my eyes, was seeing Bob Marley on the main news bulletin. Back then, a black man with dreadlocks on the news was less frequent than a lunar eclipse. Anyway, the main impact he left on me was the power of music. He proved that music really can change things, it is some thing that can bring the most diverse personalities together. It can be a banner to focus the mind as we saw in the UK with the 'BandAid' concerts. This is something that is always at the back of my mind when I am songwriting. The song isn't just words it is creative energy that can grow and lead to change on a personal level or any other level.
Thank you Bob Marley for the enlightenment, you live on in the songs of peace, love and reggae.
I've spoken about this before but reggae allows for expression of topics that are not easily found in other genres. 'Conscious Lyrics' sit comfortably with the music. Reggae was born out of struggle and the voice of the people. There is a feeling that reggae is becoming more popular because it allows this expression and has the 'Conscious' messages that people want to hear. These can be found in reggae music past and present. This is one reason why reggae greats like #BobMarley and #PeterTosh are as popular as ever..it is their message.
In a world, where in many places, the word #respect seems to have little value, or it is only applied according to specific rules, people are looking for something a bit deeper in their music. Respect has always been a big word in reggae and a fundamental principle for peace. That is why you hear it in the lyrics of many reggae songs.
Respect, it is only one word but can solve a thousand problems.
The next single has just been mixed and mastered. The thing about mastering is you sometimes hear things you couldn't hear before. So this meant some re-edits and in some cases re-recording. The trouble with this scenario is you can end up in a vicious circle of never ending improvement. The focus needs to be on who is this improvement for, me or my followers. At the end of the day the goal is to publish songs, get the music out there.
So the New Single 'When I Need a Remedy' will be released 18th April. Another creation unleashed.
Its all about the music!
Dingazz Music Website
Working on the next single called 'When I need a remedy'. Should be out in two or three weeks. Just having one more adjustment to the track. Then need to work on the video which will probably be a music visualization video. More info in my next post
Dub Mix One on iTunes
The EP 'Dub Mix One' is now available on all major digital stores with dub versions of the Miss Tun Pickney singles. So if you like dub have a listen.
#Dub is one of the great reggae inventions believed to be created by legendary Jamaican innovator 'King Tubbys'. With the early reggae singles it was common not to have a 'B side'. Instead, there would be a 'Version', which, was basically an instrumental version of the vocal A side. Dub took these instrumentals to a new level using whatever effects were available at the time mainly reverb and decay or 'Echo', with the drum and bass centre stage.
Dub become a reggae sub-genre in its own right with albums of Dub only tracks created by sound engineers and producers, like the legendary Lee Perry.
This creation of mainly instrumental music by sound engineers and producers spawned many similar genres that exist today.
Innocent Review by Indie Band Guru #indiebandguru
One of the toughest things about being an Indie Artist is trying to stand out from the crowd. One way is to find your own style and sound.
I draw inspiration from my musical influencers and the things that I like to hear in songs. As a musican you can then add 'yourself' to the song. What I mean is, for example, you could give 10 guitarists the same guitar and you would hear 10 personalities being portrayed when they play the guitar. This personality is what needs to be added to the musical ideas to finally end up with your own sound. It doesn't have to be a dramatic difference to be recognized, it could just be a matter of emphasis.
If you follow my blog you know my genre is #reggae but there are always things I like in great songs from other genres, the things that make you remember the song. My biggest influences were Bob Marley and Sly & Robbie. The pioneering rhythm section, that Sly & Robbie were, is something that always stayed with me and during my days with 'The Instigators' had a strong influence on our songs. Bob Marley, on the hand, was a supreme storyteller and the power that good lyrics have to transform a song is understood by all music fans.
However, it takes courage and belief to put your personality into your music rather than make it sound like someone elses. Especially, if you are looking to make a living from making music. But. nothing beats the feeling when others appreciate your musical works, that is a flame that can keep fires of self belief burning for a long while.
So I am going to keep trying out ideas and try to expand the reggae genre in my own way. If your music doesn't contain any of you, then, it's somebody else's music (sounds like an idea for a song..hmm?)
You can hear my productions on my website the home of Miss Tun Pickney.
Innocent Review by Indie Band Guru
February is #ReggaeMonth in Jamaica. This is a recognition of the importance of reggae to #Jamaica socially, musically and economically. It is being celebrated across the island and is supported by artists and the government alike. Check out the twitter handle @reggaemonth and the hashtag #reggaemonth
Jamaica is the home of reggae so, it is right that it is celebrated. Though the music still struggles to get the recognition it deserves, there are now other 'centres' of growth and expansion of #reggaemusic like the USA, Europe and even Japan. Where new artists from differing backgrounds are expanding the boundaries of reggae and building large followings.
Reggae month, therefore, is a good way for Jamaica to advertise that Jamaica is where it all began. That is something that will never change and cannot be taken away.
In the UK, the reggae market seems to have shrunk compared to mainland Europe where, you will find many international reggae music festivals like #Rototom Sunsplash #ReggaeJam and #Garance Festival. So, maybe the the UK reggae industry could put its weight behind a reggae month in the UK (maybe #reggaemonthUK) to re-energize the reggae scene and may give the music the critical mass, focus and exposure it needs.
We see for a few days in August each year how the Notting Hill Carnival gets a lot of exposure and is now recognized the world over. A countrywide celebration of Reggae annually could achieve the same thing. We have the tools to make this happen WE JUST NEED THE WILL!
Anyone for #reggaemonthUK
Link to dingazzmusic.com