Swimming Upstream

Image by Patricia Anne

Since releasing my first digital album back in 2002, technology has played a crucial role in the distribution of the music I create. At that time, CDs were still the way folks listened to music but sales were definitely well in decline. Napster had scared the crap out of the music industry and was shut down for good. Mp3s were all the rage and there were these things called iPods that were changing the way people consumed their favorite songs and albums.

Thanks to archive.org and Creative Commons, I was able to distribute my music free of charge to my listeners without fear of the music being used for commercial purposes. I’d release a concept album that could be downloaded and enjoyed around the world. At the time, this was a novel idea for an independent artist.

MySpace came along a few years later and allowed a platform for album release announcements and other bits of information that helped in increasing downloads. I would eagerly check the statistics each day and be amazed that people were downloading this music that I had created in my bedroom.

Then along came Facebook which didn’t have quite the music friendly interface, but did eventually lead to more promotional opportunities than I could have ever imaged. Later Bandcamp entered the scene allowing a format that was more user friendly and offering better statistical information.

But a change is underway.

In the last few months, I’ve come to realize a major shift has happened in not only the music landscape, but also the social media landscape. With Facebook’s new algorithms, friends are only able to see things that have a significant number of likes. This has led to a mass exodus away from Facebook. It was time to once again change strategies. I’ve set up accounts on TwitterTumblrPintrest, and Instagram. While it is great to know that everything I post will be seen on these other services, I do miss the interface of Facebook.

There has also been a major shift away from downloads to streaming music. With services like Spotify, no longer is it about downloading an album. To be heard on a streaming service you have to participate in a digital distribution deal which can be costly for artists. But if you aren’t streaming with one of the big players, you’re losing potential listeners. Add to that, artists are seeing their royalties from these providers get smaller and smaller.

On the user side of things, Cloud technologies have moved people away from downloading a bunch of files they would have to keep on their computer. I can see this trend in the recent decline in downloads and uptick in streaming plays of my own music. So the challenge is how to keep listeners engaged with a full album of songs in a streaming hit single-oriented world. Perhaps releasing albums one song at a time is the way to go? Offering something extra special for downloading the album?  Or perhaps it is about a more interactive creation experience?

I’m sure once I find the answer to these questions, it’ll be time to shift gears again. Such is this business of music.

Playing With Dirt

540273_224329634334284_525230460_nSince releasing 25th Album, I’ve been enjoying being ‘in between albums’ and just making music for the sake of making music. I’ve been playing with a few bands here and there and I’m working on some new tunes with Fascinoma which I’m very excited about.

But my main focus right now is a project with rapper Dirt Brown. You might remember his voice from the track “Daydreamin.” We also did a presentation together a few months back about the creation of the song.

Mehul(his real name) is of Indian ancestry and we share a love for the music of India. I approached him a few months back about creating some new music together. He loved the idea and I was thrilled when he suggested we infuse a bit of Bollywood into the tracks. The result has been bouncy, funky cuts with a distinct Indian flavor. His rhyme topics have spanned from being drunk in the club to rapping about the challenges faced by Indian-Americans living in the US.

He is looking to release the songs as music videos over the next few months. Be sure to follow me on Twitter and like my Facebook page for announcements about the new music.

Track-by-Track Tour of 25th Album

Click ‘Start Prezi’ and close out any font error boxes that might come up. You can press play or scroll forward by clicking the right arrow. Enjoy the presentation!

Direct link: http://prezi.com/1jjsbh3i5yrp/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy&rc=ex0share

The Story Behind “Daydreamin’ (Loquacious Larissa Remix)”

Enjoy this presentation on the creation of “Daydreamin’ (Loquacious Larissa Remix)” from the 25th Album. Sponsored by SAE Institute and presented by Gobbler, this presentation took place March 5th, 2014 in Hollywood, CA.

25th Album

a3689217485_10

Click here to download or stream the album for free!

Say Goodbye to 2013 and These Three Concept Albums

graves

As 2013 comes to an end, I’m taking down some old albums. As of January 1st 2014,
Past Concept Albums 2002​-​2006, New American Songbook, and Taking Requests will no longer be available for download. The good news is that some of the tracks from these albums will be available completely remastered and sounding better than before.

The songs will appear on my next album simply titled “25th Album.” This compilation will include 25 tracks of live cuts, unreleased songs, and demos. There might even be a brand new tune if I can get around to finishing it.

While I don’t intend to have much fanfare for the release of this record, it will mark the end of an era similar to the way that Past Concept Albums 2002​-​2006 did. Stay tuned.

Instrumental Friends Part 3 Audio Commentary

Meet each instrumental friend and learn about the inspiration for each song. Check out the playlist below!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.