#HowWeListen – Mauricio Bussab / Tratore [EN]

May 14, 2019 Byta #HowWeListen

How We Listen is an interview series where Byta interviews artists, their teams, and everyone else working in and around music about how they find, listen and experience music, new and old.
Mauricio Bussab Tratore

Who are you?
Mauricio Bussab

Where are you based?
Crowded, noisy, sunny, busy São Paulo, Brazil

Where do you work? What do you do?
I am the CEO/president of Tratore Distribution, a local digital aggregator and physical distributor. We are the only local aggregator in Brazil to deliver music to Spotify, iTunes, Deezer, Tidal, etc We also still distribute physical product (vinyl and CD) to stores. Currently we have over 10,000 Brazilian artists in our catalog.

What are you listening to?
I just came back from PMX, the Palestine Music Expo in Ramallah and I was preparing a playlist of the stuff I heard there so, yeah, lots of new Palestinian music, listen here. Apart from the stuff that arrives at my desk everyday, I have been revisiting some old classics like Stevie Wonder and Bowie, and found some new respect for some old timers such as Burt Bacharach and Charles Mingus. And very happy that King Crimson is FINALLY on the digital platforms.
Regarding newer stuff, of the stuff that is NOT Tratore, Boogarins is always a pleasure, the new Lamb is pretty good, Anna Meredith always surprises me.

How do you find new music?
I still buy paper magazines, like MOJO, read blogs, listen to a few podcasts ( like NPR All Songs Considered and Sound Opinions and Hit Parade) get pointers from friends at Facebook, my friends at Tratore know all bands in the universe and always give me ideas (for example, I first heard Rosalia at someone else’s desk). Then I add all this to a playlist I have called scrapbook and listen to it when I have time.
And of course as you can imagine, all the bands that arrive at Tratore.

What formats do you usually listen to? LP, CD, Cassette, Digital, Streaming Services and why?
Nothing beats the practicality of streaming. But at home, it is vinyl mostly and CDs in the car sometimes.

Where do you do most of your music listening?
Car or bike. Now that Sao Paulo has a few good bike paths, wearing headphones is not an unsafe option.

How do find and listen to pre-release music?
I don’t. Only professionally, when a relevant new release appears in the office.

What are your frustrations with listening to music digitally? Any benefits?
THE ABSENCE OF LINER NOTES AND FULL CREDITS. Don’t get me started.

How do you keep track of everything you are listening to?
Streaming is good for this… You just add to your library with one click.

Do you tip other people off to new music? How?
Ah, the aforementioned playlist which I update monthly, RADIO BACANA where I put everything that I like, sometimes connected by an unifying theme: This month: New Palestinian music.

Anything you want to “promote”?
New Tratore stuff that deserves a close listen – the latest O Terno, new Thiago Pethit, latest one by Rubel, new Fafa de Belem and My new band “The Universal Mauricio Orchestra”, a jam band formed only by Mauricios, six of them.

#HowWeListen – Joao Afonso / Gig Club [EN]

May 6, 2019 Byta #HowWeListen

How We Listen is an interview series where Byta interviews artists, their teams, and everyone else working in and around music about how they find, listen and experience music, new and old.
Joao Afonso Gig Club

Who are you?
Joao Afonso

Where are you based?
Porto, Portugal

Where do you work? What do you do?
I’m the founder of Gig Club, an annual subscription service for live music. We kicked-off in Porto and Lisbon early this year and we’re soon launching in other European cities like Madrid, Barcelona, London and Berlin.

What are you listening to?
While I write this, I’m listening to Big Thief’s new album “U.F.O.F” – the first on 4AD – for the first time. Sounding really good, as expected. Love everything Adrianne Lenker and Buck Meek get their hands on. This week I’ve been listening a lot to this Brazilian band called O Terno. The new album is really beautiful. The frontman, Tim Bernardes, is probably the most talented singer songwriter of his generation in Brazil. I’m also hooked to FKA Twigs new single “Cellophane”, Kelsey Lu’s new album “Blood” and the new The National – Gig Club is doing screening and album advance listening events for the release of this album, so I was able to listen to the record a little bit earlier.

I’m hooked on something different every week but, as anyone else, I have safe places I often go to. Sufjan Stevens, Nick Cave, Tom Waits, Wilco, Bon Iver, Sigur Ros, just to name a few.

How do you find new music?
It’s a mix of sources, I guess. I get emails from labels with upcoming releases; I have this rss feed with several blogs and online magazines, which I check every day; Youtube is also a source sometimes. I’ve also a more proactive way of finding music. When I’m hooked on a song or album, I tend to check who played in it, who produced it, etc. This usually leads me to finding new music.

And there’s also live, of course. I frequently go out to watch shows of bands I’ve never heard before – obviously, I only do this when I know who’s curating the show. Actually, this is something we’re trying to replicate at a bigger scale with Gig Club. If the community trusts our curation, we can take more risks in bringing lesser known bands because the audience will come anyway.

What formats do you usually listen to? LP, CD, Cassette, Digital, Streaming Services and why?
I listen to Spotify most of the time with an occasional jump to YouTube for some tracks that are still missing on the catalogue or for live renditions. During the weekend, I usually listen to vinyl. I still buy vinyl regularly and own a fairly big collection of CDs as well, though I don’t listen to these that much.

Where do you do most of your music listening?
I basically listen to music all day. While I walk to work; while I’m working; at home. I’m so used to listen to music all the time that I get stressed if I have a day with too many meetings. In fact – and this might be too geeky – I have speakers on my bedside tables. I listen to music since I wake up till I go to bed.

How do find and listen to pre-release music?
Because of my work, I have people sending me pre-release music almost every day. Labels, booking agents and artists themselves. Some through services like Byta; others through secret or unlisted links on Soundcloud and Youtube; others even through Dropbox or Box.

What are your frustrations with listening to music digitally? Any benefits?
My biggest frustration is the lack of detailed information, which for me is one of the best ways of finding new music. It would be awesome if we could check who composed the song, who played in it, etc. and then click on those names and jump to their other work.

If think the biggest benefit is how fast you can go from thinking of a song to actually listen to it.

How do you keep track of everything you are listening to?
I used to use Lastfm’s scrobbler a few years back but eventually stopped when I moved to Spotify. Now I save albums on Spotify and I build playlists. I started doing a Song a Day playlist on Spotify in 2017, which proved to be quite useful for this. I can look back to a whole year of songs, one each day. It’s almost a diary because, not only do I remember the song I was listening at the time but also what I was feeling or experiencing. Music is a powerful way to index memories.

Do you tip other people off to new music? How?
Yes, and I do it through different channels. I share 1 to 3 songs a day on Facebook, curate several playlists on Spotify and I send direct recommendations through WhatsApp to a handful of people. There’s also this thing I do with messaging and music. Sometimes, instead of sending text or an emoji, I reply with a song and it’s funny how that triggers a similar response from the other person. I’ve had conversations almost purely based on music. A song carries a lot of information and emotion, it’s a really powerful message. Sometimes I wonder if a music messaging app would work.

Anything you want to “promote”?
I have to mention Surma and First Breath After Coma, which are two of the best Portuguese acts right now and seam well prepared to break internationally. Shouldn’t be long before they sign for a big indie label. We were very close to get that with their latest records.

There’s also this young talented polish pianist, Hania Rani. Her debut album, Esja, came out weeks ago and it’s really good. Would love to work with her.

#HowWeListen – Sam Ford / So Young Magazine

April 30, 2019 Byta #HowWeListen

How We Listen is an interview series where Byta interviews artists, their teams, and everyone else working in and around music about how they find, listen and experience music, new and old.
Sam Ford So Young Magazine

Who are you?
Sam Ford

Where are you based?
Southampton, UK

Where do you work? What do you do?
I’m the co-founder and editor of So Young Magazine. So Young began six years ago and was created by myself and Josh Whettingsteel. So Young is a fully illustrated new music print and online magazine designed to champion new bands from the underground and just above. My role at the magazine focuses mainly on finding new bands and organising our features with these bands. We also curate shows at venues such as The Social and The 100 Club in London. I book and organise these shows. Anything packed and posted to you e.g. Magazines or T Shirts, that’ll also be done by me. After that, it’s keeping up with social media and being as regular on there as possible. Josh and I share this role…thank goodness.

What are you listening to?
It’s been a good couple of weeks for albums. On the So Young front, because of the stage at which we work with bands, it’s normally a lot of debut singles. However, Fontaines D.C. and Fat White Family have dropped new records and they’re both game changes. I’m listening to those on repeat at the minute. Each magazine we release tend to represent what we are listening to, so it’s no surprise that Fat Whites and Fontaines are on the current covers. Working Mens Club are a really exciting new young band, they’re on a lot too.

How do you find new music?
A lot of it comes from band managers or their press team, especially if the band have already established themselves or if we’ve worked with one of their roster before. I have a bandcamp account where I follow lots of smaller labels and make sure I get notifications of their new releases. I keep tabs on gig posters and look for names I haven’t heard before. Often, good bands will take their mates around with them and that’s a good way to get in before the ‘team’ does. Press obviously has a part to play, so keeping an eye on trusted sites, titles and writers. I also just keep an eye on social media, see what people are sharing. If they’re willing to put their taste on the line, there’s a good chance it’s going to have something. Radio plays a small part in this process but I do listen to Beats1 now and again on top of the usual 6music.

What formats do you usually listen to? LP, CD, Cassette, Digital, Streaming Services and why?
I’ll buy any record i love on vinyl but it’s never the first place i’ll listen. Vinyl is where you can add a band to your life scrapbook and make sure it’s there forever and i think that’s really important. That’s before we even mention the artwork and the ritual of studying that as it plays. Cassettes are ornaments at best aren’t they? I’ll always ask PR’s for promo CD’s as i’m always driving between Southampton and London so it’s a great way to take in a record for the first time.

On the whole I’ll use digital streaming services as they’re the most effective for jumping between and checking out new artists and new music. My laptop is where i do 90% of my work for So Young so it makes sense for my music to be there too.

Where do you do most of your music listening?
My listening takes place wherever it can. Digital streaming allows me to continue my listening on the go if i need to take it away from my laptop. I work a lot from home and the set up is just a bluetooth Sony speaker that sounds a hell of a lot better than the tin speakers in my laptop. I love listening to music in the car, no distractions (apart from the road) and it’s somewhere you can really invest your time and attention to each track. The sound is pretty good too.

How do find and listen to pre-release music?
Honestly, the majority is sent over to me. It’s a great feeling to think that people want us to hear it first. Obviously they’re looking for something at the end of it but nobody should resent being considered.

I don’t listen to a lot of radio. If I’m at a loose end, i’ll listen again to Wilko on Beats1 in the gym. Generally, it’s not a great source for new music. The importance of streaming figures to bands (out of necessity) has meant that premieres for singles seem to be reducing. If requested from a band, I often offer that we just embed Spotify on the day of release instead. It hits exactly where they need it. I do however keep an eye out on all of the main websites for their posts and new music features.

What are your frustrations with listening to music digitally? Any benefits?
Most albums are sent over as a download or stream via Promojukebox or a major label equivalent. I’ll only download a couple here and there from artists i love. Streaming on those platforms is okay when you’re at a desktop but poor on the go. It’s hard to skip a track without the whole thing resetting. Soundcloud is probably the best on the go now as you can play private links within the app.

New music tends to come via email and we get a lot of those each day, full with new music. The tough thing is remembering it’s there and then where to find it. If I don’t listen within 24 hours, chances are i’ve lost it or forgot about it. I have a tab called ‘New music to catch up on’ now, that helps. Generally, I have no qualms with the sound.

How do you keep track of everything you are listening to?
The tab I mentioned above is starting to help. We have a lot on at the moment so i’m writing a lot of ‘listen’ reminders in my diary too. Ultimately, I don’t keep track very well and I wish I could do it better. This is mainly for unreleased music. Playlists on Spotify etc are great for catching up and keeping track of released songs.

Do you tip other people off to new music? How?
Hopefully the magazine and our website are one big tip off to anyone and everyone we can reach. We try and mention a band before they’ve released anything so that people may try and catch them at a show and if not, we will have their debut on our site. But if you’re talking about mentioning new bands and artists to other people working around us, of course. I send and receive regular messages which always look like this “anything good lately?”. People aren’t discovering bands by chance at the same time, people are sharing their favourite things all the time. Us included.

Anything you want to “promote”?
Our latest issue has sold out which is great but you can still read it online for FREE. It features chats with Fat White Family, Fontaines D.C., Nilufer Yanya, Squid, Sunflower Bean, Surfbort, The Murder Capital and more.

We also have a regular new band showcase night called We Are So Young. Keep an eye on our website for listings!

#HowWeListen – Sarah Stam / Set The Tone & shesaid.so

April 23, 2019 Byta #HowWeListen

How We Listen is an interview series where Byta interviews artists, their teams, and everyone else working in and around music about how they find, listen and experience music, new and old.
Sarah Stam Set the tone shesaid.so

Who are you?
Sarah Stam, artist manager and label consultant within the (electronic) music scene under SET THE TONE . I’m also co-founder of shesaidso.ams, the Dutch chapter of the international organisation shesaid.so, a global initiative to achieve more diversity and equality within the music industry.

Where are you based?
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Where do you work? What do you do?
I am very fortunate to work as an independent artist manager and label consultant for over 2 years now, having the best time of my life really. After working for several other music companies and record labels in the past I’ve launched SET THE TONE as my own umbrella company, focussing mainly on artist management, release marketing, branding and international relations. You make the music, we set the tone. It’s really great working from both the artist perspective as well as the staying up to date with all the label developments, through my work with new indie labels like NoCopyrightSounds, Future House Music and Frequency. On a daily basis I feel blessed working with kind, talented and creative people and brands, being able to do what makes me smile and experiencing room to have that creative freedom I like to have when working on projects. When I started my career I never imagined I could achieve a lifestyle in which I could combine my passion for music, culture and travelling like this. Happy times!

What are you listening to?
Quite honestly, my taste is a bit all over the place, really depending on mood and setting. From Jazz to Hiphop, Classical and R&B, but also electronic and pop tunes or nostalgic stuff like Billie Holiday.
More recently been having Lophiile on repeat, his latest track ‘One Hand’ with Sophie Faith is pure fire. Quite a lot of hiphop, R&B and urban playlists in my Spotify atm, including Kendrick Lamar, Post Malone or Anderson .Paak. When I’m at home I can put on more classical stuff like Keith Jarrett or chilled vibes with Volcano Choir or Laura Mvula. My mum and I are big fans of Charles Aznavour, but I would never admit that to any music friends in the scene 😉 Love indie electronic acts like Zero7, Pablo Nouvelle or Bonobo, and legends like Justice and Daft Punk are definitely the reason I’m working in the electronic / house scene atm. Oh, and a nice new Dutch talent on the rise is Sarita Lorena!

How do you find new music?
Many different ways, I guess mainly through my friends and social network. I love when a friend or colleague tips you that new gem you would have otherwise never discovered. But of course Spotify serves me the right new jewel every now and then too. Through series or films I can sometimes also really stumble upon a beautiful record, bless the power of Shazam! Furthermore, I’d say Soundcloud used to be my main source of discovery, especially back in the days when I had time to get lost in mixes and bootlegs and what not. I have this one music friend with whom I always go to concerts, we decided years ago to stop giving each other birthday presents and instead always take one another to an exciting new concert or gig, absolute source of music discovery, Nowadays, I’m lucky to travel to different countries and discover local talent too, like the other day in Estonia when I met the lovely Lepatriinu and Daniel Levi, two very talented Estonian singer-songwriters.

What formats do you usually listen to? LP, CD, Cassette, Digital, Streaming Services and why?
The main platform for me atm is definitely Spotify. The algorithm and interface simply stands out to me as a user when it comes to all streaming services available today. I’m also starting to have quite a Vinyl collection, I just love the sound and ritual of it and it’s simply fantastic to own a little physical piece of art of those records that are in your heart. Through working with a few YouTube based record labels over the past few years I have discovered that YouTube can be an amazing platform for music discovery, the opportunities on that platform are endless with it being a User Generated Content environment, but I have to admit I feel I’m too old to fully stay on track with it all.

Where do you do most of your music listening?
Always and everywhere. I literally always have music on except when in a social interactive situation or the cinema haha. From the gym, to working, on a holiday, driving, travelling or even when cooking, doing groceries or reading a book. For my work I also listen to a lot of masters and WIPs from my artists, so sometimes I can have tune on repeat for an hour on so, Testing it through my laptop, phone, then through my portable speaker and finally on headphones to see how it sounds through different devices. Always happy to put some vinyl on when relaxing or chilling with friends and I’m happiest when listening at a live concert or festival, being so very in the moment enjoying this form of art with hundreds of others is so special every single time again. I’m happy to be in walking distance from the nicest music temple in the Netherlands: Paradiso, with it being located in an old church it has such a special touch to it!

How do find and listen to pre-release music?
Mainly send to me by artists and/or managers or friends working at labels, Dropbox links and Soundcloud links mainly. I have to say most days I’m so busy I don’t keep track of all demos sent to me, but try to work on the pre releases of the labels and artists I work with. Love when you get all hyped about a release that’s due to come out in 8 weeks or so, and you have it on repeat in the office of the label, and the whole team gets excited working towards release day!

What are your frustrations with listening to music digitally? Any benefits?
Not many frustrations to be fair. I feel Soundcloud used to be better back in the day, as it was such a unique platform and so suitable for mixes and DJs. I totally understand they had to change some stuff around to keep up with the alternative platforms but as a user I sometimes miss the old days where Soundcloud did its own thing. As a professional the trends and recent playlist changes at Spotify can be challenging, with skip-rates becoming increasingly important for playlisting, unique and stand-alone acts or sounds are less likely to be playlisted. However, the power of discover weekly and radio radar make up for that as organic growth is rewarded.

How do you keep track of everything you are listening to?
Haha, I struggle. Just the other day, a very-hung-over-Sunday, I took it upon myself to order and rearrange my 75 (or so) personally made playlists in Spotify. Got so stuck in re-discovering hidden gems in there that I’m not even close to being finished. There used to be this Dutch music brand in the Netherlands titled 22-tracks, they brought the best playlists to you across all genres, existing out of exactly 22 tracks per playlist. They believed that the perfect playlists consisted out of 22 tracks exactly, no more no less. I tried to cling on to that philosophy for a while but there’s simply too much music out there..

Do you tip other people off to new music? How?
Hm I’m not too good on the social platforms, so it’s mainly sending it personally to some fellow music lovers by WhatsApp or Instagram.

Anything you want to “promote”?
For any electronic fans out there, keep an eye out on my boy Ellis. Talented kid from the UK, we’re slowly but steadily building his sound and presence, but a lot of talent and joy to share together with that one! And my beautiful friend and singer-songwriter Bobbie Wall is going to release a special EP in May titled ‘The Hurricane’, a very personal and special creative tale about parenting and pregnancy when working as an artist/music professional. I can’t wait to see that one being released, we’re also hosting a special event around this theme with shesaidso.ams in May, with Bobbie Wall performing. Very proud of her balancing music, life and the care for her newborn, she’s such a star!

#HowWeListen – Andy Weissman / Union Square Ventures

April 15, 2019 Byta #HowWeListen

How We Listen is an interview series where Byta interviews artists, their teams, and everyone else working in and around music about how they find and listen to music, new and old.

Andy Weissman Union Square Ventures

Who are you?
Andy Weissman. “Real names be proof”.

Where are you based?
My family has been in New York City for 120 years. “New York, just like I pictured it”.

Where do you work? What do you do?
“Career, career it ain’t never gonna knock.” I am a partner at Union Square Ventures, a thesis driven venture capital firm. We invest in trusted brands that broaden access to knowledge, capital, and well-being by leveraging networks, platforms, and protocols. For example, we are investors in Soundcloud, Splice and Kickstarter.

What are you listening to?
Everything! Seriously, I ascribe to the “the only truth is music” philosophy and will listen to anything at anytime. Lately, meaning this past week, is it the latest from Little Simz, Jake Xerxes Fussell, Garcia Peoples, Mdou Moctar, Lambchop, Tierra Whack, serpentwithfeet, syd, Obnox. It’s all good. Also, I listen to Phish every day.

How do you find new music?
Every day, a group of a few of us post a song to each other on Twitter around 5am, that is my morning music coffee if you will. But also, by being open to finding new music, I can find it anywhere, the signals are all around us. The best for me is music Twitter – a collection of friends, musicians, writers, randos, strangers.

My entry point to the internet in the early 90s from dial up music BBSs – SonicNet being the first one. Then, through tape trading and then CD trading communities. Things like Tape Trees, Blanks and Postage, hard drive exchanges, I trafficked in all those. Traded live Grateful Dead throughout the 80s and 90s. It is much easier now. “I was so much older than, I’m younger than that now”.

What formats do you usually listen to? LP, CD, Cassette, Digital, Streaming Services and why?
Streaming mostly for convenience – it is with me all the time. Vinyl occasionally. Can’t recall seeing a CD in a while. Bandcamp is the best, it feels like your local record store, warm and fuzzy and weird.

Where do you do most of your music listening?
Everywhere 🙂 I am native New Yorker, I love the subway, you can get from one part of the city to another in 30 minutes for under $3, I just put my headphones on and go. “So many things I would have done but clouds got in my way”.

How do find and listen to pre-release music?
I am not sure I do 🙂

What are your frustrations with listening to music digitally? Any benefits?
When the internet or mobile signal goes down in the middle of a track. More nostalgia based, I love liner notes and lyrics. I want to listen to music and then the related expressions of the artist – the album front and back, the order of the tracks, the liner notes, everything. Streaming abstracts away the song as the unit and deprecates all other information. That frustrates me.

How do you keep track of everything you are listening to?
“The trick was to surrender to the flow”.

Do you tip other people off to new music? How?
Sharing music is one of life’s great pleasures. Whether via email, text, twitter, nothing better than giving, or receiving, “You want to hear something really interesting?” I’m an obsessed playlist maker. Music Twitter is pretty rich, fun, obsessive and deep. That’s the main venue.

Anything you want to “promote”?
Whatever town you are in anywhere in the world, go to a Sofar, it may reaffirm your faith in humanity and the power of music to make us smile.

#HowWeListen – Vish Khanna

April 8, 2019 Byta #HowWeListen

How We Listen is an interview series where Byta interviews artists, their teams, and everyone else working in and around music about how they find and listen to music, new and old.
Vish Khanna

Who are you?
I’m Vish Khanna and I’m a print journalist, broadcaster, and podcaster. You can learn more about me here.

Where are you based?
I live in Guelph, Ontario, Canada.

Where do you work? What do you do?
My current day job is Station Manager at CFRU 93.3 FM. I also work as a freelance music and comedy critic and am an Assistant Editor at Exclaim! Magazine. I also host and produce a weekly interview podcast called Kreative Kontrol.

What are you listening to?
This week I’ve mostly been listening to Dark Blue by Steven Lambke, Football Money by Kiwi Jr., To the Point by Nathan McIntosh, The Pits by Lonely Parade, Miracle in the Night by John Southworth, The Hunter by Ike & Tina Turner, and a lot of A Tribe Called Quest.

How do you find new music?
I hear a lot of cool stuff played by programmers at CFRU. I’m also sent new music every day by publicists and musicians. I also am mindful of what people are talking about on social media, which has led me to hear and speak with bands I love. And yeah, I tend to read music sites just to see what’s up but, honestly, as I’m sent so much music directly, I tend to process that stuff first on my own and decide whether I want to cover it somehow and that usually depends on whether or not it speaks to me on a deeper level or if I think the composer or band might be interesting to speak with.

What formats do you usually listen to? LP, CD, Cassette, Digital, Streaming Service and why?
My record player has been disconnected a few months since I moved it from the living room to my tiny office/laundry room at home so I need to find some time to get that back together. I have the Apple Music family plan and a bluetooth speaker so me, my wife, and my son (mostly; my daughter is too young and disinterested in making a point of purposefully listening to music) can connect to it when we want to. We are still driving a 2005 Toyota Matrix with a CD player so my kids and I listen to a lot of music on compact disc and have sing-a-longs in there. We had a good run at “Junior Panthers” by Sloan recently that was filmed and enjoyed on the socials.

Where do you do most of your music listening?
When you put it that way, there’s always music playing wherever I am. At home, in the morning I usually fire up the bluetooth speaker at breakfast. Then if I’m walking or commuting to work, there’s music on off of my phone or in the car. At work, I’m either listening to CFRU from the hallway speakers outside of my office or sometimes to Apple Music on my work laptop. During dinner prep, the bluetooth speaker again. When the hi-fi is back in action, it’s a Pro-Ject II turntable, Castle Knight 5 floorstanding speakers, and a Marantz PM6006 Integrated Amplifier.

How do find and listen to pre-release music?
It’s basically always sent to me or I request it and get it. I do my best to listen to what most piques my interest first and spend as much time as possible with it, at home and while I’m mobile. If it resonates me, I listen more closely and mentally make note of whether or not I may wish to write about a record or interview a band. I’m just one man so I can’t get to everything I’d like to via my various platforms but that doesn’t mean I don’t still listen to records I’m not covering. It just means that occasionally coverage doesn’t work out the way I hoped it might. Sometimes I may connect with an artist at a show after seeing them play and they might get me their music afterwards. That happens a lot. Go to shows.

What are your frustrations with listening to music digitally? Any benefits?
It used to be sound; I would get low bit-rate mp3 fatigue in the early days of streaming. Don’t notice that as much anymore. Obviously the biggest benefit if you buy-in to streaming/digital music is the convenience of having your music devices and their music libraries connected so you can access it anywhere. But the fact that musicians are suffering under streaming royalty rates and digital streaming makes music at least a little less special psychologically, because the less tangible something is, the more disposable it seems. That’s a knot of issues we’re all paying the price for now and it’s only going to get worse. I am wary of the cultural erasure we’re being conditioned to accept because, with fewer physical manifestations of our collective experience to point to, it feels a lot like some other less than cool periods of history; our particular present may not have a traceable past. In terms of formats, I generally prefer downloads as I’m moving around so much that I’d prefer to have the files stable and not reliant on my data plan or bad wifi for streaming. If I’m sent a stream, I don’t listen to it as much (or sometimes at all) until I get a download.

How do you keep track of everything you are listening to?
Well, in terms of the digital stuff, Apple Music has a “Recently Added” organizational filter so that’s pretty much what I use to find and locate stuff. Their search function is also quick and painless. So yeah, I can find everything digitally on Apple Music. I know people don’t like it as much as Spotify or whatever but I’m an Apple guy and have all the Apple stuff so it’s just easier to use Apple Music for my own Walkman-like purposes. In terms of real things, I dunno, why do I need to keep track of it? Am I being audited?

Do you tip other people off to new music? How?
Yeah, usually just within the writing and interviews I do. I have guests on my podcast whose music I believe in so hopefully by giving them that platform for a talk, people who trust my judgement give them a chance.

Anything you want to “promote”?
Well, university students in Ontario should be mindful of what the government’s Student Choice Initiative is all about. It seems like they can each save a bit of money by opting not to fund campus media like college papers and radio stations but the work of such organizations feeds directly into the cultural life of your school and the city it’s in. There’s some pressure being placed on the government to reverse this policy via opposing politicians and concerned citizens but, if (most likely when) it goes through, students should make sure they opt to fund things that will enrich their lives and communities in the long run. Don’t be as short-sighted as some cut-and-run, cash grab government. It will destroy everything you love about your city and your school. Otherwise, I hope people consider checking out my Kreative Kontrol podcast and, if they’d like me to be able to keep doing it and help feed and shelter my family, I hope they’ll consider donating to my Patreon page.

#HowWeListen – Cameron Schaefer / Vinyl Me Please

April 2, 2019 Byta #HowWeListen

How We Listen is an interview series where Byta interviews artists, their teams, and everyone else working in music about how they find and listen to music, new and old.
Vinyl Me Please

Who are you?
Cameron Schaefer

Where are you based?
Denver, Colorado

Where do you work? What do you do?
I was employee #1 here at Vinyl Me Please and worked with the founders, Matt & Tyler, first heading up our marketing & social media, then music & label relations, then overseeing the brand (curation, content, community). In my current role as Chief Strategy Officer I get the opportunity to elevate a bit and align our company with the realities & opportunities of the marketplace in a way that creates more value for everyone. We believe, sincerely, that the only way this whole thing is sustainable is if people not only pay for music, but pay a significant amount…$9.99/mo isn’t the silver bullet. Our job is to create products and experiences that compel people to do this joyfully, connecting artists & labels with people who put their money & attention where their passion is.

What are you listening to?
D.J. Rogers, Bobby Hutcherson, Willis Alan Ramsey, Barrie, Channel Tres, Kikagaku Moyo & Standing On the Corner

How do you find new music?
Best source is talking with other friends in the industry and following their Instagram accounts to see new record scores. But, a huge amount of my new artist/new music discovery comes from Alex Berenson our Senior A&R who curates our weekly OnRotation playlist + VMP Rising program. Each week we have a music team meeting where we share our latest discoveries, projects we’re pursuing & albums we want a second opinion on. Our company’s curational philosophy has its foundation in pure fandom…we love the pursuit of our next favorite artist and album. Additionally, I do quite a bit of digging around on Discogs and youtube for weird, old stuff.

What formats do you usually listen to? LP, CD, Cassette, Digital, Streaming Service and why?
It’s about a 50/40/10 split between streaming, vinyl & youtube. I use streaming as a utility to quickly find something I want to hear or provide background music to an activity. Vinyl is reserved for times where I want to listen actively as the primary activity. YouTube is for going down rabbit trails I find on Discogs or other places. With that said, if I truly want to listen to something deeply & actively it’s always vinyl – can’t surpass it as a medium.

Where do you do most of your music listening?
I tend to listen to podcasts (Song Exploder, Mogul, The Daily, Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday, Tim Ferriss) on the way into work and music on the way home both driving or taking the bus. I listen to test pressings during the day at work and most of my personal listening happens at home in my basement with my record collection…and usually a friend or two and a good drink.

How do find and listen to pre-release music?
I’m incredibly lucky as VMP has given me access to tons of music way ahead of street. We get pitched by labels, management, PR and artists about 100 albums a week and I’m able to hand pick ones that I’m particularly interested in or are highlighted by our team.

What are your frustrations with listening to music digitally? Any benefits?
Digital music, even super hi-res, fatigues my ears faster than analog. I find super hi-res digital to be too perfect, almost “tinny” whereas analog has a warmth and humanness to it that puts me at ease. Digital music also lacks liner notes, large format album art and any sense of ritual or any pride of ownership. No one invites you over to check out their Spotify playlist or mp3 collection. I still listen to digital music all the time, but again, it’s more of a utilitarian experience vs. something of deep value.

How do you keep track of everything you are listening to?
I keep a lot of tabs open on my browser and email myself…literally, I just create a new email, put the album name in the subject line, my email in the to: and hit send…I spend a lot of time in my inbox so it’s the surest way I know I’ll come back to it — also have found good ole Shazam is nice for cataloging stuff that catches my ear, especially during a good DJ set.

Do you tip other people off to new music? How?
So I tend to only share music I find with a handful of people who I think will appreciate it. With that said, I do have a Spotify playlist I try to keep updated each quarter encompassing recent discoveries & favorites called What’s In My Headphones.

Anything you want to “promote”?
VMP Rising, our emerging artist program is consistently finding and partnering with some of the best up and coming artists out there to include: Moses Sumney, Channel Tres, Miya Folick, Gang of Youths, Ric Wilson, Dreamer Boy, Ivy Sole and more. Most of the vinyl pressings we do are limited and sell out quickly, but watch this space.

#HowWeListen – Clotilde Bayle / 4AD

March 26, 2019 Byta #HowWeListen

How We Listen is an interview series where Byta interviews artists, their teams, and everyone else working in music about how they find and listen to music, new and old.
Clotilde Bayle 4AD A&R
Who are you?
Clotilde Bayle

Where are you based?
London, UK

Where do you work? What do you do?
I work at 4AD, as an A&R. Very new to the label, got hired full time around May/June! Used to work in live music before that, repping shows, carrying gear around etc.

What are you listening to?
Recurrent question in my life, a lot of music..!

Apart from 4AD goodies (upcoming Big Thief, Aldous Harding and Hollie Herndon in particular) I try and focus on new and upcoming stuff.

Recently, I really enjoyed Bill Ryder Jones, Helado Negro, Angelo de Augustine, Haley Heynderickx, Blake Mills, Yves Tumor, Galcher Lustwerk, Abul Mogard, Tirzah, Tierra Whack, Teyana Taylor, Standing On The Corner… A lot of good music out there!

How do you find new music?
I use Bandcamp, follow all the small record labels / artists I am interested in. Do the same thing on Soundcloud.
Read the press a lot (Bandcamp Daily, The Quietus, Loud & Quiet, Pitchfork, Stereogum, London in Stereo, Gorilla vs Bear, Crack, etc etc). Also follow their playlists on Spotify if they have any, follow other tastemakers’ playlists (record labels have some, or musicians like Danger Mouse or Four Tet, etc.).

I also subscribe to mailing lists, PR companies, artists, labels, publishers, promoters, they all have some… I make sure I’m aware of what’s going on, a lot of digging around!

I also share a lot of music with my friends and listen to their suggestions. I’m grateful for the golden ears around me, a lot of very talented people in my life.
Listen to digital radio like NTS or Balamii, follow hosts I love, check tracklists for all their shows.

Follow bands I like, check who’s supporting when they headline / tour, you find similar artists that way. Obviously going to a lot of shows helps to discover new music, sometimes go to 5/6 a week. Going to sound very cheesy but finding new music is a lifestyle not just a job!

Always read/listen to artists’ interviews. I’ve come across a lot of magical music that way, there might be a ‘what’s in your bag’ kind of question in there. Found (Sandy) Alex G’s bandcamp thanks to an Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s interview for instance, life-changing moment.

What formats do you usually listen to? LP, CD, Cassette, Digital, Streaming Service and why?
I grew up buying CDs, that’s what my parents are into. So have quite a lot of CDs actually! I get sent a lot of CDs at work but don’t have a CD player in the office. I’d say that’s the format I’m not really using anymore…
I still buy cassettes yes! Every now and then. They’re cute, I have a thing for them.

Analog vs Digital… We all know the pros and cons, right? I do buy vinyl, when I’m home chilling, nothing like a warm beautiful listening session.
Although I spend a countless amount of time on my computer, both are essential to my life.
Digital is how I find music, analog is how I thank the artist for the good music? I obviously pay subscriptions for various streaming services, but there is something about buying a vinyl and having a tangible piece of the work in your hands.

Where do you do most of your music listening?
Everywhere. At work, at home, when commuting. At work, we have a very good sound system (Bowers and Wilkins speakers and quad 77 amp). It’s another level, feels like the artist is in the room when you play the music.
Also, just got a pair of AIAIAI, TMA-2 Tonmeister Preset, really recommend them if you have long listening sessions, very comfortable. I was on the plane back from SXSW and listened to music nearly non-stop from Austin to London.
Otherwise, at home we have two turntables in our living room, my housemate mixes! Another turntable in the bedroom, portable speakers for rooms without a turntable… music house!

How do find and listen to pre-release music?
A big part of my job is finding new music pre-release so I find myself asking for a lot of unreleased music. It generally happens via email, I get in touch with management or directly to the artist.

I do pay a lot of attention on who premieres the track I’m interested in when it happens.

What are your frustrations with listening to music digitally? Any benefits?
I quite like private Soundcloud links, Dropbox, Drive or special password on the artist’s website, it’s more organised.

I’m not a fan of download links in emails, often the files names are “0999922.mp3’ go and find something like that in your iTunes..! I do download files to upload to iTunes but that’s often albums I’m really looking forward to via Promojukebox.

How do you keep track of everything you are listening to?
I have genre playlists where I pile up songs I like on Spotify, also a gig calendar to remember who’s playing where and when. Also have a monthly playlist! Also a calendar with release dates.
Usually remember what I love, but I’d be lost without all this, they’re my bibles!
I often do one pagers about artists I like too, with all the necessary info and key press coverage.

Do you tip other people off to new music? How?
Yes! Just trying to help artists I love in any way I can, whether it’s telling friends to come to the show, finding them a promoter, a manager, a place to rehearse, pr, etc. put people in touch.
Also, often think ‘I know this person is going to like this song’ so share it, music is all about sharing! It’s a way of saying ‘Hey, I think about you’.

Anything you want to “promote”?
Shoutout to Squid! My favourite band right now, had the best time seeing them in Austin. They’re really blossoming into something insanely good and I’m so excited for what’s to come. Also, they’re very sweet people and have an amazing team around them.
Penelope Isles, Gong Gong Gong and Gia Margaret were great at SXSW too.
Also check out Maria SomervilleAll My People (her NTS mixes too, so good!)
Lucinda ChuaAntidotes 1 a very very talented cellist, singer songwriter, her music is addictive and this EP is finally out for the world to hear!

#HowWeListen – Wyndham Wallace

March 18, 2019 Byta #HowWeListen

How We Listen is an interview series where Byta interviews artists, their teams, and everyone else working in music about how they find and listen to music, new and old.
Wyndham Wallace
Photo: Sebastian Oskar Kroll

Who are you?
Wyndham Wallace

Where are you based?
Berlin, Germany. I moved here from London in late 2004, but it’s Theresa May who made me German. Or half German, at least. Still, right now I’m proud of that: before this, I’d never lived in the same place for more than three years in my life, so it’s definitely home, and I’m only sad that my first country forced me to take this action in order to continue my life, when there are plenty of people in far greater need of the attentions of the German immigration system. I know you didn’t ask that, but I think it needs to be said.

Where do you work? What do you do?
I was once a PR, A&R and manager, but these days I’m a freelance writer and consultant, so I work wherever I am. I published my first book, Lee, Myself & I, (about my time working with singer, songwriter and producer Lee Hazlewood) a few years back, and contribute regularly to Uncut, Classic Pop and Long Live Vinyl, as well as sometimes (not nearly enough) to The Quietus. You’ll also find me hosting panels at music conferences, translating & subtitling German movies like ‘Victoria’, writing travel guides to Norway, directing voice-overs, and I can be seen ‘fronting’ the forthcoming documentary ‘Almost Fashionable: A Film About Travis’.

What are you listening to?
Right now, I’m working my way through the 200 or so albums I’ve been sent for May release so that I can prepare my pitches. In a week or so, I’ll start reviewing some of them. Normally I write about 30 album reviews a month across a huge spectrum of styles. But that Specials album is just what we need right now, and I’ve also been enjoying digging into albums by Giggs, Stubbleman, Prins Thomas, and Dub Sex, whose work’s just being reissued and everyone should hear. ‘Swerve’’s amazing!

How do you find new music?
I open my email inbox. Music gets sent to me – relentlessly – day and night, hour after hour. It’s an awful thing to say, given the fact that most people think music critics should be out there hunting down new music, but my Mac is generally about as far as I go, unless something truly remarkable crosses my path via some other circuitous route. Obviously I’ll come across something on social media from time to time – Kramies and Arvo Party were the last wonderful things I found that way – and friends, especially musicians, will recommend stuff now and then. When I’m at working at conferences, I try to check stuff out in the evening, too. But I rarely hunt stuff out the way I did when I was younger and less deaf: I just wait till my curiosity is piqued, whether it be by a press release, or a name, or a tune in a TV show, or a recommendation from a friend. A man’s gotta sleep.

What formats do you usually listen to? LP, CD, Cassette, Digital, Streaming Service and why?
For my work, I’m almost exclusively digital. I used to love being sent CDs, but my apartment’s full enough I’m now having to get rid of them, and I think it’s a waste of the world’s resources to send them uninvited when most music is average at best and I can simply click a link instead. If I like something, I’ll ask for a download, and if I really like something, I’ll ask for vinyl, a format I use as a way of filtering my collection. If I’ve got it on vinyl, in other words, I must really like it. If I have guests over, too, they enjoy the ritual of vinyl. So few of us play LPs anymore that people really seem to appreciate it when it happens.

Generally, when it comes to new music, I’d far rather check something online, then decide if it needs to become any more physical. As for streaming on services like Spotify, especially for pleasure, I do it as little as possible. I don’t have the spare time for yet more music to justify a subscription, and any extended listening session in the part of the world where I live is interrupted by ads for German or Turkish hip hop. Given my own tastes, that’s quite jarring.

Where do you do most of your music listening?
In my office, where I play stuff via a BOSE speaker (and that also accompanies me to my bedroom sometimes), or my sitting room, where I’ve got a proper old school hi-fi separates set-up, most of it bought at Richer Sounds at the turn of the century. Obviously that’s a more satisfying aural experience, though that Bose is punchy as hell. I invested in a rather smart new record player a few years back, too, and it might be time to spoil myself with some new speakers soon.
I also listen to music when I travel, which is pretty often, for which I use Pioneer Bluetooth headphones, and when I go running, which often allows me to listen to a record really closely before I review it, though those headphones are rather more battered and sweaty, I gotta concede.

How do find and listen to pre-release music?
As I said above, it gets sent to me. Endlessly. Don’t get me wrong: it’s a privilege. But it’s quite an undertaking to try to give everything a chance.

What are your frustrations with listening to music digitally? Any benefits?
I have an unreliable wifi signal which Deutsche Telekom refuse to accept has anything to do with them, so streaming can be frustrating. I also really resent not having credits etc easily to hand. My inclinations are furthered by how large numbers of the streaming systems used by labels for promotion can be a pain in the ass: they stop, or you can’t skip back or forwards easily, or you don’t have label copy, or they lock you out because you’ve maxed out by logging in and out to listen to a record a whole five times while reviewing it.

On the upside, if I listen to something and don’t like it, I’m done. I’d also always rather stream first rather than download without some sense of what I’m putting into my iTunes, because my iTunes already has enough music to play for almost 150 days without a pause and I think it’s going to burst.

I’m not one of those people who thinks digital music sounds terrible compared to vinyl or CD. Worse, sure. But terrible? Nah. I’ll play mp3s happily, and God knows they weigh less. It’s amazing to think I used to travel with 30 or so CDs in my bag…

How do you keep track of everything you are listening to?
I have a geeky side, and keep an Excel spreadsheet with release dates and artist names, plus I try to add a soundbite after I’ve listened to something to remind me why I did or didn’t like it. Many of them just say ‘Blah’ or ‘Nah’. I’ve done this for a decade now, and without it I would have no idea how to manoeuvre. When I need something, I simply search for the artist’s name in my Inbox – if something’s arrived via CD, of course, I try to note this – and the only time this doesn’t work is when a PR fails to include the artist’s name in the subject header, or uses a system that doesn’t bother to include the artist’s name. I’m always amazed by how often that happens, actually. Seriously: if you can’t include the artist’s name in the email header, why are you even bothering to send me music?

Do you tip other people off to new music? How?
Of course! I bloody well hope so! That’s my job! I also do it in person or via social media, though I maybe do it less than I used to, mainly because I’m too busy ranting about Brexit and Trump. But people have enough opportunities to find out what I think without me rambling about it all day and night.

Anything you want to “promote”?
Yeah, since you ask…
Lisa Morgenstern is the best Berlin based singer, writer and musician I’ve seen since I moved here almost 15 years, and the fact no one’s signed her is not to the industry’s credit. She’s putting out her debut album herself in the coming weeks, and you gotta just sit down and let it do its work in one sitting. I got lost in that record for weeks at a time when she first gave it to me. It’s totally spellbinding.

‘Almost Fashionable: A Film About Travis’ will hopefully be out later this year. It’s an hour long documentary I helped make – directed by Fran Healy – about why I didn’t like the band, and more generally how such opinions aren’t always based on the things we think they are. One of the great joys of getting older is having one’s preconceptions and prejudices challenged. I never, ever thought I’d give Bananarama a great review, but wait till you read the next issue of Classic Pop! And that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy the current round of Caspar Brotzmann reissues as well. As I like to remind people, it’s all just vibrating air…

#HowWeListen – Allison Outhit / Six Shooter Records

March 11, 2019 Byta #HowWeListen

How We Listen is an interview series where Byta interviews artists, their teams, and everyone else working in music about how they find and listen to music, new and old.
Allison Outhit Sixshooter

Who are you?
Allison Outhit, VP International Business Development for Six Shooter Records.

Where are you based?
Toronto, Canada

Where do you work? What do you do?
I work at Six Shooter Records, an independent record label and artist management company based in Toronto, Canada. We also own the Interstellar Rodeo, an annual music festival in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. As VP International Business Development, my job is to help our artists break into new markets; to help develop and sustain their careers internationally. I go to conferences, festivals, and road trips to meet people and build networks and teams of agents, marketing, PR personnel and so on, putting boots on the ground, as it were, around the world. It’s pretty much the best job in music, if you ask me.

What are you listening to?
Like my job, my tastes are fairly far-ranging. I’m obsessed right now with Maarja Nuut, an Estonian violinist/vocalist who put out an album last year with an electronic artist called Ruum. I listen to a lot of neoclassical composers, and also a fair bit of hip hop, soul and R&B, especially Canadian artists like Sean Leon, Charlotte Day Wilson, Harrison, Sydanie, 88Glam, Haviah Mighty, The Sorority, Kaytranada… . I used be all about indie rock and folk/Americana, but now I only get excited about new female artists. Sorry lads, but I feel like I’ve heard most of what white guys have to say.

How do you find new music?
So many ways! New stuff comes to me via playlists like Northern Bars on Spotify, Canadian music blogs like Said the Gramophone and Ride the Tempo, Hip Hop Canada, The Lake Radio, NPR’s Tiny Desk series, label newsletters, and word of mouth every day. I use the Artist Radio feature on Spotify to go sideways to new artists. For some things I seek a more finely curated discovery path. Like, as a white grandmother, hip hop is not native to my demographic, so I have my personal hip hop guide, my friend Tia who is a 24-year-old insider who lives on Instagram. She has great ears and knows everything. When she comes across something she thinks I’ll like, she texts me! She’s never wrong. For more “outside” experimental stuff my go-to is The Quietus. Their year-end lists are a treasure trove. My husband is the editor-in-chief of Exclaim! Magazine, so he is tapped in to a lot of new stuff. I follow loads of music critics and good-taste-having people on Twitter and Instagram.

What formats do you usually listen to? LP, CD, Cassette, Digital, Streaming Service and why?
I stopped listening to CDs years ago. As a child of peak vinyl, I always hated CDs and I’m delighted to have been proven right: they are an annoying waste. I stream all day long (Spotify, but I sure miss Rdio); if there’s something I really like, I buy it on vinyl. I love special-ordering vinyl! Nothing beats the excitement of coming home to a cardboard package shipped from Finland containing a 180 gram deluxe coloured vinyl double-gatefold edition of whatever. It reminds me of the early 80s, when I spent all my money on punk and new wave imports.

As for audio quality – I’m not a robot and my sense of hearing isn’t so intense that I can honestly say I notice differences in audio quality unless it’s really obvious (e.g., bad mastering). For me, vinyl is a tactile experience – the weight and size of an LP, the artwork, sliding the thing out of the sleeve – it’s still magic.

Cassettes are the waxed handlebar mustache of music formats, so no, I don’t listen to them… unless we’re talking about my greatest mixtapes from the early 80s, with homemade collage covers, which I still have. Someone’s gotta keep the memory of Sex Gang Children alive.

Where do you do most of your music listening?
I listen at work all day long. I’m happy to let the Spotify mixbot do its thing. At home, I listen to records while I’m cooking, cleaning, or just hanging out having a glass of wine. The radio in my car is tuned to 93.5 FLOW, Toronto’s hip hop station; that’s where I discovered how annoyingly sticky anything by Post Malone is. They’ve recently increased their coverage of Canadian artists, so while it’s still very Drake/Weeknd heavy, they’re starting to play more local Canadian artists too (shout out the Made in Toronto Takeover). More of that please.

How do find and listen to pre-release music?
Because I work in the music industry and have done for many years, people send me stuff, usually Soundcloud links or secret webpages. Exclaim! often has good pre-release features too. I love a good festival/showcase discovery. Sometimes those gigs are a shitshow and other times you see a band that just kills it live and then you love them forever (shout out La Dame Blanche, Dream Wife).

What are your frustrations with listening to music digitally? Any benefits?
What’s iTunes?

I get, and will click, email links to Soundcloud, Bandcamp and Spotify. I don’t tend to notice ads. I’m annoyed that Spotify doesn’t let you track releases by label – that was a great feature on Rdio that was a super useful discovery tool – but other than that I don’t have any frustrations with digital music. I do have a HUGE beef with Canada’s ISPs. Bandwidth is expensive in Canada, and I’m certain the ISPs throttle AV content; they are not net-neutral. We keep upgrading our ISP account, to no avail – we go over our limit a lot, and our up- and download speeds are wildly asymmetrical.

How do you keep track of everything you are listening to?
I don’t, really. I mean, obviously Spotify tracks what I have recently or frequently listened to. When my husband James or I buy new vinyl, it lives in a stack by the stereo for a few weeks until it gets filed (alphabetically of course)… I have definitely forgotten that I bought a thing, only to buy it again. Or to find it on the shelf and go, hey, what’s this? James has most of our library catalogued on Discogs, but when we go record shopping I never remember what I want or need!

Do you tip other people off to new music? How?
I’m old, so I still post to Facebook. I share a lot of things through Twitter and Instagram too.

Anything you want to “promote”?
Six Shooter has a pretty diverse label and management roster with great established Canadian bands (e.g. Rheostatics, Whitehorse). I’m excited about our newest signings The Dead South, Zaki Ibrahim (polished, intellectual soul), Riit (electropop sung in Inuktitut) and the heartachingly great singer-songwriter William Prince. We also work with Tanya Tagaq, and there aren’t enough words to describe how awesome she is.

I love the discovery and near-universal availability of streamed music, but I want to promote buying music directly from artists, wherever and whenever possible. Ideally off the merch table. When you buy physical product that way, there’s a good chance more of it winds up in the artist’s pocket than if you buy it in a store. But second, support your local record store! Shout out to Invisible City and June Records, two great shops near my home, and the long-standing Sonic Boom which continues to eat a chunk of my paycheck every month.