Following my guest slot on Roots Toots & Herberts i have now taken up the offer of a residency and am pleased to announce i shall be playing more reggae tunes as a regular Dj on the show.
The next one is the xmas show on the 18th of December and you can tune in here or find the event on facebook.
Big thanks to all of you who tuned into the last one, Swifty and the Soitiz Crew for asking me back and to my friend Jackie who put me in touch with the guys to start with. I can’t wait to start spinning some classic flavours, new and old roots and lots of other fantastic reggae sounds. My studio in Bridlington is already bouncing with bass as i go through my music collection, gathering rare grooves and favourite tunes for the xmas show. It would be great if you can tune in or tell your friends so they can! One Love.
This month i have a couple of internet radio shows.
The first is a guest slot for PCB radio, 27th November on the Roots toots & Herberts show with Swifty from Soitiz where i’ll be spinning some reggae tracks from past and present. You can find this event on facebook.
Just a few days later on the 30th its the annual end of festi season show on Audioaddictz radio, i always love putting a show on for this event. This year its another superb lineup of Djs, producers and artists from the festival circuit and i have two shows going out over the weekend long extravaganza. One chilled out bassy Dub set and the other is a thumping raggajungle/dnb set. Check out the lineup here
I hope you can join us for some reggae flavoured fun. One Love
Sunday the 20th of May at 14.00(GMT) will be the first date of my new radio show for FreePartyRadio.com.
I have been looking forward to returning to djing, especially playing the reggae flavoured music which I love. Over the past few years the amount of reggae influence coming through in new music has been steadily increasing. Soundcloud alone has masses of dubby grooves and rootsy tunes to choose from and in various genres. The power of those skanking sounds flows indiscriminately throughout the music world mixing with hip hop, funk, dub, roots, beats, breaks and many more styles. I will be bringing an eclectic mix of these tunes from around the globe to rock your speakers.
Other than a few gigs in Bridlington and a couple of radio shows for the Audioaddictz specials I haven’t done a great deal of of work as a dj since around the time that I started performing with Dyframix. It was at last years Musicport festival that I had the opportunity to play a few sets and one impromptue reggae set I played reignited that little dj spark in centre of my brain.
The good people at FreePartyRadio.CoM are giving me a slot to spin some dub, reggae and world beatz n breaks for your listening pleasure. Freepartyradio are quite unusual for online radio stations in that they are in no way genre specific and have gathered together a fantastic cross section of dj’s whom all have that freeparty spirit and a love of soundsystem music.
I will be getting the schedule very soon and will announce the first show in all the usual places like Facebook and Twitter etc.
The British springtime is nearly upon us, the first fine days are arriving, the sun has been shining over the beach in Bridlington and my latest track is a piece of music which announces the start of the season. Its a little different from my usual dub sounds and i had help in the studio from the talented Hayley Berwick who wrote the music for the Oboe. B.E.R is a great morning track and would slot nicely into any dj’s breakfast/sunrise set.
We hope you like it, share it and do a little dance.
Following on from my last post i have uploaded a new mix of my latest track for 2012 “Another one”. This is the upbeat mix with a big skanking sound. If it makes your feet move then please click ‘share’ or ‘like’ to spread the dance and show support. One Love!!
I have been busy writing some new music and have a brand new track coming out very soon. It follows on quite nicely from my last track “PC in Dub” and i know it will rattle your speakers enough to get you dancing. Currently i am waiting to hear back from a label to confirm that they want to release it, but if not then i’ll put it out for sale on my Bandcamp page very soon.
The wonderful world of online music offers a host of different ways to bring your music to the public. Since I launched my solo music project a year and a half ago I’ve explored a few of these opportunities and here I want to give you some tips relating to the most successful of these explorations: SoundCloud.
I now have over 1000 followers and I have increased my weekly plays from under ten to 100+ using these techniques/methods. My profile here has also helped me to establish some great relationships with other musicians. These in turn led to commissions for remixes and other collaborations. However, I still do not claim to be a master of all things SoundCloud, just an enthusiast. The site holds opportunities for any musician or producer and I can’t praise it enough, so please enjoy my little “beginner’s guide”. It is in no way official but I hope it might help you get the best from your online music.
SoundCloud vs. other online music portals
When I started my project I already had a MySpace profile, but that site had already turned into a faceless pile of advertising so I had to seek out a better place to put my tunes. I started off on ReverbNation, soon built up a following and got into the top 100 in the charts. However, the constant mails offering expensive promotion opportunities with no guarantee of any success soon started to annoy me. When I got a message offering to submit my music for a fee to a festival where I had performed before (and got paid for it) I realised that I needed to find a better option. . . and then I found SoundCloud.
The main basis of SoundCloud is sharing your music. I suggest uploading tracks steadily, at fairly regular intervals. If you upload all your tracks at once, you will get one burst of attention. But by spreading out your uploads they will appear in users’ activity feeds more often, providing more chances to catch their attention at an opportune moment. In short, your name popping up every week or so with one new tune is much less likely to be overlooked than just appearing once with ten new tunes.
Tagging your tracks is an important feature because many people will search by genre/sub genre or by instruments they are interested in. So be sure to include as many appropriate tags as you can think of. Look around for ideas used by other SoundCloud members producing similar music.
Free and paid downloads
Giving away the occasional track as a free download is a nice way of saying thanks to those who support you. Quite often you will see that free-download tracks get many more plays than non-downloadable ones. And these plays provide an important multiplier effect, as other users see what tracks their friends are playing.
For tracks which you are selling on sites like bandcamp, iTunes or Juno: add a ‘buy it now’ button by putting the url into the ‘buy link’ box when you edit the track info after uploading.
The power of community: comments and groups
By far the best way to ensure you get enough traffic through your page on SoundCloud is commenting on other artists’ music. I don’t always have a great deal of time to listen but I’ll press play whilst I am checking my emails or having a brew and drop a comment when I hear something I like.
Better comments are ones which are constructive and mention something particular in the track, although general compliments will get you some attention and hopefully a comment or listen in return. Sometimes I don’t actually like a track very much but I really appreciate the efforts which have gone into the production, so rather than lie or put a negative comment I pick an individual sound which I do like and comment on that instead.
Adding a track to your favourites list is the ultimate compliment and if you have linked SoundCloud to your facebook or twitter account then these selections will be automatically shared across your social networks.
Use the groups feature to find similar artists. Then comment on their music and start sharing directly using the dropbox feature.
Actively participating in the musician community like this can lead to you finding people to collaborate with and open up remix opportunities. You may also come across remix competitions (there are lots of them across a variety of genres). These are brilliant ways of making your name visible even if you don’t win. If you do, then you might even get a track released on a label or some other cool prize.
To follow or not to follow…
Follow others and they will follow you, that is the theory.
Now this might sound like the easiest one but actually there a couple of things worth considering. Some users seem to click follow and when they get a follow back then proceed to unfollow you. This makes it look like they have more followers than people they follow. This started to annoy me a bit so now I look at and listen to new followers first. Some of them have loads of followers but have never left a single comment; others have hundreds of listens but no comments on their tracks: either of these suggests they may be playing a numbers game and not really taking part in what is a wonderful online music community. This is a bit like paying some marketing company to supply a million listens to your YouTube video, it is certainly not a sign of quality music and if I see a profile like that I often move on by.
Good music gets comments and plays at the same time. When sharing music directly with others try to keep it personal, an inbox message directly addressed to me by name is much more likely to be opened first (or at all, on a busy day) than one sent to me and 20000 other people. Mass mailing will not make you friends and in my opinion yields much less success than individually targeting producers and fans who listen to music like yours.
Once you are up and running and settled into your cloud there are loads of other things you can do: start your own group; embed your widgets all over your sites and social network pages; or even hold your own remix competition. Normally these competitions have a prize so it might help to team up with a label who can put the winner on a release or a music shop who may have a piece of tech they can offer in return for a banner on your website and the free advertising they will get through the event.
I shall be exploring all these ideas in time so if you have any tips and tricks then please feel free to add them here as a comment or let me know directly.
No “works in progress”
Of course, I haven’t mentioned one very obvious fact: All of the above assumes you are already creating fantastic new music! The better the tracks, the more success you will have – it’s as simple as that. Make your music the best you can and avoid putting works in progress up on your page. Wait until it is finished, polished and you are completely happy with it.
As I mentioned above, I increased my weekly plays from under ten to 100+ using these techniques/methods. So I am sure that if you put in the effort, you can also gain maximum benefits from the site. It will require patience but the rewards are well worth it.
I am sure that some of you have other ideas and other experiences, so please share them with me and other readers using the Comments. Thanks!
Above all, enjoy SoundCloud for all the superb new music you can find there. And be sure to come and say hello.
Promote your Page too
Sometimes living in the East Riding of Yorkshire is not the best of places for a musician like myself to live, it is hardly the hub of the British music scene. It is pretty easy for any artist to find inspiration from the moors and the north sea but the seaside town entertainments, elvis impersonators, karaoke and tribute acts often leave alot to be desired for a fan of creativity. Once a year though we are treated to a musical extravaganza coming to sunny Bridlington for the weekend. Musicport Festival is the largest indoor world music festival in the U.K and has always featured a host of the worlds finest musicians.
My first contact with Musicport was several years ago when I created some backing drums for the uk didgeridoo master Nick Burman to use in his performance. A few years later when myself and Nick had formed our band Dyframix, Musicport moved to Bridlington and we had the honour of being the first band to perform at the festival that year. We even got to jam with some other performers on the local tv news and perform an acoustic number live on BBC radio. Last year I Dj’d in the Cloudbase room and this year I will once again be mixing a few tracks together for the world music followers, but this time i am doing some laid back sets in the cafe area.
This year there is another awesome lineup including Hugh Masekela, 121ve(Goldies Band), Mari Boine, Mary Coughlan, Andy Kershaw, Iain Matthews, Boy With Tape On his Face, Mercedes Peon, Kanda Bongo Man, Claudia Aurora, Amsterdam Klezmer Band and many more.
There is always a fine selection of stalls with a nice selection of crafts on display. I think this is part of the the charm of this event and helps gives it a outdoor festi feel but without the usual risk of a downpour. Musicport definitely makes a wicked end to anyones festi season and I hope to see some of you down there this bonfire weekend.