#HowWeListen – Louise Dodgson / The Unsigned Guide

November 18, 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.

Louise Dodgson The Unsigned Guide

Who are you?

Louise Dodgson

Where are you based?

Manchester, UK

Where do you work? What do you do?

The Unsigned Guide, a UK music industry directory created to put emerging bands & artists in touch with music industry contacts who can help them further their careers. I run The Unsigned Guide day to day so it’s a mixture of keeping the directory up to date, creating blog content, answering enquiries from our users, and about a million other bits & pieces! We also have a blog called Spotlight which features 5 tracks from our unsigned/emerging members every month so we get to listen to music submitted to us which is always a nice part of the job.

What are you listening to?

The Cure, Missy Elliott, Karen O & Dangermouse, Lizzo, LIINES

How do you discover new music?

I get to discover a lot of unsigned and emerging music through my job which is fantastic. Other than that – listening to the radio, checking out support acts at gigs, and my mates will usually alert me to stuff they think I’ll like.

What formats do you usually listen to? LP, CD, Cassette, Digital, Streaming Services and why?

I’d say I stream music about 80% of the time. I do still play my old CDs (my car is really old & only has a CD player!) so they’re great for a longer journey. I haven’t bought a CD for a while but will do occasionally from gigs. And I do have a load of old vinyl I still play, and I try to add to the collection with new releases too.

Where do you do most of your music listening?

The radio is permanently on in the office so we hear a broad range of music, new and old, on BBC 6Music. We also have a listening session every few weeks to the tracks we’ve been submitted by emerging bands and musicians to select who we will feature on the next Spotlight blog and our Amazing Radio show. Other than that, at home I usually listen to a mixture of Spotify playlists I’ve made when I’m cooking. On a weekend I often I put on the record player and if friends/family come over I like to dig out old vinyl to play in the background whilst we have a chat. And I like to try & make sure I pinpoint a newly released album every couple of weeks and give that a listen, usually on Spotify.

How do find and listen to pre-release music?

We get sent a lot of pre-release music from emerging acts so that’s how I get to hear most stuff – through SoundCloud, Spotify, Dropbox etc.

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

I actually love the flexibility of streaming and prefer being able to check out a new release on Spotify and see if I enjoy it. Sadly I can’t afford to purchase vinyl releases of all the new music I’d like to, so it’s good to be able to have a few preliminary listens and if I’m really into something I’ll eventually end up buying a physical copy. Streaming gives me that opportunity to check it out. But you can’t beat vinyl packaging & design – the joy of holding & looking at a lovely vinyl cover & sleeve just can’t be replicated digitally.

How do you keep track of everything you are listening to?

At work – we have email submissions from all the acts that send us a track so I store the good ones in a folder to refer back to. At home, if I come across a new track I love I’ll add it to one of my Spotify playlists. I like mixing up my golden oldie faves with newly released unsigned music, so there’s a big variety of genres from across the years. It keeps things interesting!

Do you tip other people off to new music? How?

Yes, obviously we chat in the office about any great tracks we’ve been sent to feature on the blog. As I mentioned earlier, we include 5 unsigned/emerging tracks per month on our Spotlight blog. That blog is also sent onto a 40+ music industry professionals who are keen to hear what we’re championing & take a listen to see if there’s anything they like the sound of, so I guess we’re tipping new music to them whilst also helping spread the word about the great unsigned tracks on the blog. I also send tracks onto my friends & family if I come across something I think they’ll particularly like.

Anything you want to “promote”?

I guess just keep an eye on our blog feed; we post our Spotlight selection in the first week or so of the month. There’s always some really exciting talent on there. Personal favourites of mine in the past would be LIINES, Milvus Milvus, Memes, The Noise & The Naive, Marsicans, False Advertising and Gaffa Tape Sandy.

#HowWeListen – Lio Kanine / Kanine Records

November 5, 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.

Lio Kanine Kanine Records

Who are you?

I am Lio Kanine. Firstly, I am a Music Junkie. Second a Lover of Life and everything in it. And well third the Co-owner of Kanine Records and one of the founders of The New Colossus Festival.

Based in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY since 2000, I have worked in pretty much every aspect of the music business. From working in small indie record stores (Rebel Rebel, Rough Trade), to running club nights for 15 years in the NYC/Brooklyn area (booking bands, djing, promoting), managing bands, A&R and Sales at various indie labels (Mexican Summer, Rough Trade), working in physical and digital distribution (Alternative Distribution Alliance), to currently co-running my own record label (Kanine Records) and helping start The New Colossus Festival in NYC its been an amazing adventure.

But I would have to say my greatest feat has been running and maintaining the healthy environment that Kanine Records has had for the past 16 years. From releasing numerous debut releases from indie greats like Grizzly Bear, Chairlift, Surfer Blood, Braids, and many more we have helped culture a true environment of music love. And we continue to do so each day with each new release. You can find the same musical love within many of our newer releases by artists; Agent bla, Tallies, Pearl Charles, Hockey Dad, Honey Lung, Beverly, Fear of Men, Garden Centre, WEAVES, Professor Murder, Living Hour, The Natvral, Wooing, Honey Cutt, and many more.

Where are you based?

I am based out of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY. We call the neighborhood Willyburg. It’s a great neighborhood full of amazing people. You have four free skateparks, tons of music venues, an amazing record store (Rough Trade), tons of cool bars, restaurants, and shops all within walking distance from your front door. And with Delis open 24 hours you can always get what you need.

Where do you work? What do you do?

For Kanine Records, an independent record label that my partner, Kay Q, and I started back in 2003, I head the A&R and retail sales division. Our goal is to discover new talent and help artists build a career out of it. I truly love discovering new talent and watching it grow.

For The New Colossus Festival I handle the booking for all of the bands/artists. Our goal is to provide a platform for new / upcoming artists from around the world to perform in NYC (Manhattan) often for the first time in a stress free environment where they can promote their music to new music fans. The festival is not only just for artists and their music fans, but also a way for industry professionals to network while enjoying the beauty that the Lower East Side of Manhattan provides, full of music culture, great food, and enriching history.

What are you listening to?

I’m always listening to thousands of new songs and 100s of new albums a week. Not kidding. I’m a rapid music buyer of vinyl so I’m always collecting great records from the 90’s and new releases from ‘indie’ oriented artists.

But I’m always listening to demos from brand new bands/artists for the label and bookings for the Festival.

Some of my favorite new demo submissions for TNC Festival have come from: Zoongide’ewin (a cool shoegaze band out of Canada), Alexia Avina (indie folk out of Montreal), Hussy (very 90’s alt rock from London), Roxy Girls (UK), Ceremony (US, amazing shoegaze that fits well with all fans of A Place To Bury Strangers), Jeanines (US indie pop at its best), Frankiie (great indie rock from Vancouver), Red Telephone (I caught this band live in Wales and loved it. They reminded me instantly of Placebo, Suede, and Strangelove from the mid 90’s in the UK), Flying Colours (shoegaze hidden down in Australia), Gurr (cool German garage rock / pop lead by two super strong females. Most importantly super super fun with an amazing live show), Hoorsees (young kids from France recreating a fuzz Pavement sound that oozes coolness), Kings of The Beach (garage rock from Spain that makes you party), Donna Blue (indie pop from the Netherlands), and Kaelan Mikla (icy cool new wave from Icleand).

For Kanine Records, we have been super busy working on new records with a ton of artists including: Honey Lung, Tallies, Living Hour, Nicole Yun, The Natvral, Pearl Charles, Garden Centre, Surfer Blood, Weeping Icon, and Agent bla. But most recently we’ve been listening to a ton of songs from Honey Cutt as we have their debut album coming next March 2020 and it’s fantastic sunshine indie pop from Mass via Florida.

For my own music pleasure, I’ve been listening to these records lately;
Sports Team (UK), Mick Trouble (US), Whenyoung (UK), Trudy and The Romance (UK, I caught them last May in Manchester and they were fantastic), Working Men’s Club (UK, I caught them in Brighton last May and instantly fell in love with their cool Post Punk chants), Fontaines D.C. (Ireland), Patience (UK), Penelope Isles (UK), FEET (UK, this band knows how to make me laugh with songs about walking their dogs and the weather), Blue Hawaii (this Montreal duo also play in Braids, but for this project they make great synthpop that is fun to dance along to. Super addictive), Just Mustard (very cool 90’s alt rock that mixes shoegaze and pop from Ireland), Girl in Red (bedroom indie pop from Norway), RIDE, Ty Segall, Ellis (indie pop from Canada), Seablite (indie pop in the vain of C86 from California), Lust For Youth (chilly synthpop from Sweden, that also reminds me a bit of Pet Shops but colder and darker), DIIV, Interpol, Temples (UK), Fat White Family (UK), The Lovely Eggs (I befriended this band in Wales and bought all 6 of their albums off them right there. That is how much I loved their live show), and Sacred Paws (from Glasgow making Post Punk fun and dancy).

How do you discover new music?

I mostly discover new music from going out to live shows. I follow certain promoters and see what they book as I trust their taste. Adhoc and Popgun in Brooklyn are my personal favorite promoters. I always look at the opening bands as that is very important and usually where new music discovery happens.

I also enjoy going to record stores to see what they are selling. Since I love buying vinyl it is exciting to see what other labels are releasing and what the store is playing. Often you can discover great new bands from the employees working at shops. I honestly do find a lot of new bands that way.

I occasionally do find a new band via Social Media. That is how I found one of our Kanine Records artists, Honey Cutt. I was planning a trip to Florida to visit my Dad and made a post about it on facebook. Later on I got some notifications that I should check out some cool bands from Florida since I was going there and Honey Cutt were one of them. I checked them out as well why not and instantly loved their songs so kept digging further.

Bandcamp is my favorite place to discover new small bands. Their platform is just great and really is a great music discovery place.

There are a small amount of music blogs where I will occasionally find some new artists. DIYMag.com from the UK is one. I discovered Honey Lung and Tallies from that blog and once I saw them live was amazed.

What formats do you usually listen to? LP, CD, Cassette, Digital, Streaming Services and why?

I listen to all formats. And to be honest there is no better format. It’s just up to your preference.

I’m a huge vinyl collector and before that a huge CD collector and before that a huge Cassette collector so the physical medium will always be my favorite method to enjoy music.

But I make playlists on my laptop to listen to while travelling as so that I don’t have to rely on trying to find good WiFi to enjoy songs.

I mainly use streaming services like Bandcamp, Apple Music, and Spotify for research to be honest on new bands as I have a massive physical record collection and enjoy listening to it the most. But do use these services often to explore new music.

Where do you do most of your music listening?

I have all of my vinyl, CD, CS collection stored in our office so we listen to records all day long in the office. That is mainly where I listen to music and enjoy it the best that way.

When I’m biking, walking, skating around the neighborhood, I don’t listen to music on headphones. I enjoy taking in Life’s surroundings and being aware of your environment. Life is a beautiful place and I’m super lucky to be able to enjoy where I live.

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

For streaming my frustrations mostly come with WiFi issues. The songs cutting in and out while I’m trying to take them in. I get an insane amount of Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Spotify, and download links, which is all totally fine. It just is not as enjoyable as listening to music in a normal format with no interruptions.

How do you keep track of everything you are listening to?

If I like something enough where I need to pay attention to it, I make playlists on my iTunes/Apple so that I can come back to it.

Do you tip other people off to new music? How?

All the time. Via our music Festival bookings and what we release on Kanine Records.

But I also still make mixtapes (CD) for close friends and some of our artists on Kanine Records. I made Sarah from Tallies a couple mix CDs of bands that I thought she would love to listen to while they were on tour. I always love doing that. Being able to share music with people is super fun. And when you make a mix CD or CS it shows more love as you had to make more effort over a Spotify playlist.

Anything you want to “promote”?

Everyone needs to check out Garden Centre’s new album ‘A Moon For Digging’ coming out November 1 on Kanine Records. Maximilian Levy is truly a genius. Fans of Neutral Milk Hotel, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Daniel Johnston, and Graham Coxon will instantly love his quirky taste in lyrics. He writes amazing songs about nature and the discovery of the human mind that is hidden in a world beneath our feet.

#HowWeListen – Cherie Hu

October 29, 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.

Cherie Hu

Who are you?

Cherie Hu

Where are you based?

Brooklyn, New York

Where do you work? What do you do?

I’m a freelance writer and researcher focusing on the intersection of technology and the music business. I have bylines in several publications including Billboard, Forbes, NPR, Music Business Worldwide and the Columbia Journalism Review, and also run my own weekly music-tech newsletter, podcast and Patreon page under the umbrella name Water & Music.

One of the benefits of being freelance is that I can technically work from anywhere with an Internet connection and/or power outlet. But I recently started working regularly out of an office in Dumbo, Brooklyn, and I’ve unexpectedly become much more focused and productive working with that sense of structure.

What are you listening to?

Lots of hip-hop, jazz, neo-soul, funk, deep house, psychedelic rock, lo-fi and any combination of those styles. Some select favorites right now: Saba, Kiefer, Khruangbin, Vulfpeck, Little Simz, Toro Y Moi, UMI.

How do you discover new music?

In terms of online sources, I rely a lot on Spotify playlists, Bandcamp editorial and select YouTube channels like COLORS and Tiny Desk. But as for discovering music that has a track record of really sticking? Word-of-mouth, from family and friends.

What formats do you usually listen to? LP, CD, Cassette, Digital, Streaming Services and why?

Audio and video streaming, exclusively, on my phone or MacBook. I have a vinyl record player, but can count the number of times I’ve used it on one hand. I also used to have a prized CD Walkman, but haven’t listened to a CD since the mid- to late-2000s. If I’m in a car, I’ll sometimes listen to the radio, but that’s a last resort after streaming.

Where do you do most of your music listening?

Everywhere! Music is like caffeine to me; it provides a magical, inexplicable shot of energy. I can literally feel something chemically transformative going on in my brain when I listen to my favorite songs; it’s like endorphins, but without the physical movement.

I consistently listen to music while commuting and at work, wearing a pair of Bose QuietComfort 35 headphones that have gone through a bit of wear and tear at this point. I will also usually put on music while at home, streaming through one of two smart speakers I own: a Sonos Play:1 and a Google Home Mini (thanks, Spotify).

How do find and listen to pre-release music?

I don’t write music reviews, so don’t have to deal with finding or listening to pre-releases too often. But the few times I have, I’ve received links from Byta, SoundCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive and WeTransfer.

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

If I have to download a music file to listen to it in iTunes, I probably won’t, unless it’s an artist I really care about or for a story I’m writing on assignment. I also use an adblocker and avoid ads whenever possible; on most music streaming services, they still are the worst user experience.

It’s also surprisingly difficult on a service like Spotify to figure out basic biographical information about an artist, like where they’re from geographically. To get that info on mobile, you have to go to the artist’s Spotify page and scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page, which takes a few seconds, and then click on their bio and hope that their hometown is mentioned in the copy. There’s just so much friction there, especially for fans who want to get to know an artist better.

How do you keep track of everything you are listening to?

Spotify playlists (I have my own that I update sparingly), Bandcamp collections and my friends’ brains. 🙂

Do you tip other people off to new music? How?

Not formally as part of my job, but I’m always trying to share new music from relatively unknown acts with my immediate network; word of mouth is the most powerful discovery tool for me, so I try to pass on the favor as much as I can. I’ve started posting screenshots of my favorite songs more often on Instagram Stories, and also have a dedicated section called “What I’m Listening To” in my newsletter.

Anything you want to “promote”?

I’m all for supporting dope Asian artists, so here is an incomplete but top-of-mind list: Monsune, Yeek, Yaeji, Peggy Gou, Rina Sawayama, Mndsgn. I have no affiliation to any of them, aside from being a fan!

#HowWeListen – Jenny Kaufman / Terrorbird Media

October 21, 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.

Jenny Kaufman Terrorbird Media

Who are you?

Jenny Kaufman

Where are you based?

Brooklyn, NY

Where do you work? What do you do?

I’m the Head of Digital Strategy at Terrorbird Media, a music marketing company with offices in New York, Los Angeles and Sacramento. I help artists and their teams with digital release strategy, and pitch music to digital storefronts for playlisting and editorial consideration. Terrorbird has plenty of departments (Radio, PR, Licensing, Publishing, Originals) and we were recently highlighted by AdHoc on their ‘List of Woman and Non-Binary-Run Music Organizations’ as well!

What are you listening to?

Right now I’ve got a bunch of local favorites including altopalo, Jachary, Softee and Operator Music Band. Outside of that, I’ve been loving the new singles from Great Grandpa, EVA and Caroline Polachek. (I’m lucky to have worked with a few of these acts too!)

How do you discover new music?

Mostly through friends and coworkers – I really enjoy hearing what people play on our office stereo. We use a Sonos speaker system, which allows any of us to put on music as long as we’re connected to the office wifi network. I love Spotify’s ‘Friend Activity’ feed for the same reason, to see what other people I know are checking out. I also find music by following friends, music critics and record labels on Twitter to see what they’re supporting and promoting. In terms of playlists, I love checking out lists that are curated out of different countries – right now I’m really enjoying ones from Australia.

What formats do you usually listen to? LP, CD, Cassette, Digital, Streaming Services and why?

I pretty exclusively listen to music digitally. I own a record player and will play records on occasion, but it’s pretty rare. I rely heavily on streaming because it’s always with me – it functions as a reminder list of things to check out and things I already love. I also enjoy the algorithmic playlists that condense what I’m already listening to into one neat package.

Where do you do most of your music listening?

My casual listening happens when I’m commuting or at work. That said, most of my active listening, and reviewing of records for Terrorbird, happens at home on my down time. I’m super easily distracted, which is why I find the best time to focus on music is on the couch with my cat!

How do find and listen to pre-release music?

Terrorbird has a bunch of departments, and many of them work to promote new releases, so we receive music ahead of time to decide on projects. Our staff receives submissions and listens to new music every day, and we often share with one another to flag cool new stuff that’s coming. That’s the bulk of how I find and listen to unreleased music, though I will check out a few smaller blogs to find new stuff (such as POND Mag, Cereal and Sounds and So Young Magazine).

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

It’s disappointing that the major streaming platforms aren’t optimized to allow artists to express themselves and their own aesthetic on-platform. They present music in a super rigid visual format which ultimately creates a one-dimensional experience for fans, and doesn’t empower artists to be engaged there. A related frustration is that streaming services do not present a social, interactive experience – I really appreciate that websites like Bandcamp and Reddit foster community via features like user reviews and message boards. It would be great if artists could tell their stories and connect with fans in more interactive and engaging ways via consumption platforms (where their music is monetized). That said, there are plenty of benefits, the most basic one being that I love being able to access music anywhere!

How do you keep track of everything you are listening to?

I have a starred playlist on my Spotify account, which I use as a general aggregator for any track I like and plan on revisiting. I’m also loving the new Spotify algorithmic playlists, On Repeat and Repeat Rewind, which track your favorite songs of the moment.

Do you tip other people off to new music? How?

Sometimes! My favorite places to share music are on my Instagram Stories or on my Rotating playlist on Spotify.

Anything you want to “promote”?

If you want to check out artists or releases we’re working on, you can do so on our Terrorbird Digital Releases playlist!

#HowWeListen – Jamie Ford / Byta & Honeymooner

October 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, listen and experience music, new and old.

Jamie Ford Byta Honeymooner

Who are you?

Jamie Ford

Where are you based?

Southampton, UK

Where do you work? What do you do?

I run Honeymooner – putting live shows on in Southampton and Portsmouth as well as running the singles label arm. I also manage a couple of bands, co-running Concrete Management. Last but not least, I head up Artist & Label Services at Byta!

What are you listening to?

It’s been a weirdly good couple of months for albums. Listening to Miami Memory – Alex Cameron, A Picture of Good Health – LIFE and I still have Ride’s new one on rotation here and there. Aside from full albums, I’m regularly listening to The Wants from NYC – featuring two members of BODEGA. Only 2 singles so far but can’t wait for more – I put them on in Portsmouth the other week, great show. Also Just Mustard, YAK, Bambara, Kiwi Jr, High-Vis, Lazarus Kane. Oh and Warmduscher… new album is going to be amazing!

How do you discover new music?

A huge mixture really. Some of it is from agents or other managers telling me what’s coming up. Being involved in So Young Magazine means I can often hear about things nice and early – either through PRs or word of mouth. I read up on websites such as Loud & Quiet (as well as having a physical subscription), Fader, Quietus, Paste Magazine etc. and do make use of Spotify playlists to find new music too. It’s not always the best way but I’ve discovered some real great bands that way – including Kiwi Jr. A lot of the time the best ones for discovery aren’t just the ones curated by Spotify – but those by magazines or fellow music lovers that I follow. I definitely recommend everyone follow The So Young List on Spotify – regularly updated with great new music.

Mostly it’s through word of mouth or being forwarded things – chatting to other managers, agents, PRs/pluggers, promoters from other cities. There’s a number of London promoters that do some great stuff early on for new artists. I’ll search through their listings sometimes and take a listen!

I don’t listen to the radio much, but when I do it’s either BBC Radio 6 Music or Amazing Radio. AR is really great for discovering things much smaller and at an earlier stage. I was going to say Facebook Groups too, but to be honest it’s just one group. AF Gang is great for finding new music from like-minded individuals – or great for passing on great new music you’ve found!

What formats do you usually listen to? LP, CD, Cassette, Digital, Streaming Services and why?

I have a bit of a mixed format listening pattern. Generally, I’ll listen via Spotify and 90% of the time I’ll also buy the physical format which is most commonly CD (so I can also play in the car) but also often vinyl. There are certain records I’ll be highly anticipating the release and I’ll refuse to listen until I have the physical format, as it just allows me to be in a better place ready to appreciate the music, rather than just on the move or sat at a computer doing other stuff at the same time. I really find the car to be the best spot to listen to an album. Your mind is only in two places, on the road and in the music which at night can be really soothing. No distractions! (drive safe, kids).

Where do you do most of your music listening?

Mostly at work or in the car. Sounds like I’m in the car a lot right? I’m not that much. I’ll listen to said playlists above via Spotify at work or choose an album. I’ll also get sent things via email which I’ll quickly check out before I forget. This is where I suddenly sound older… one thing I never do is listen to music in earphones whilst on the move. A combination of preferring to be in the moment mentally and physically and hearing my surroundings – mixed with a fear of making my tinnitus worse! My setup at home is a Soundbar which my mac connects to via bluetooth and my turntable is plugged into. It’ll tend to be a record spinning on a weekend and digital music playing in the week when I’m listening to a combination of good finds or recommendations.

How do find and listen to pre-release music?

Premieres are becoming less common as they become less effective at the moment, though when they do happen I tend to find them via So Young, Clash or Loud & Quiet. Premieres on radio can be good but I must say, I hardly ever listen because of the times. Jack Saunders does some good premiers on Radio 1 for indie bands and he picks up a good range of stuff so I respect his show for that. As does Steve Lamacq on 6 Music and Wilko on Beats. I really recommend Wilko’s show. I mainly find pre-release music again via social media and people I trust sharing, or by recommendations again including PRs or agents.

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

In terms of pre-release, Soundcloud private is easy enough. The technical challenges come from its app basically being pretty crap and hard to navigate / find users or artists. It’s even very limited on your own profile and pretty tricky to grab your own private link quickly to share with someone. It has got a bit better recently but not by a lot. YouTube doesn’t allow you to listen if the phone is locked, which I do understand in keeping it’s identity as a video platform and not an audio player but it can be frustrating… Especially for older, rarer tracks you can only find on YT!

I think crappy apps is the most common frustration as when someone sends something and I’m on the move, I’ll only remember to listen to it if it’s there and then. It just needs to be simple and if possible, saveable. The benefits to digital as a whole is someone can recommend something and I can listen there and then. I’ve even noticed recently certain bands are on Spotify before they’re on social media. So from a hype point of view for new bands and booking them for shows, this is good for me. Great example is Crack Cloud from Calgary.

How do you keep track of everything you are listening to?

I have my own playlist on Spotify that I refer back to, these are mostly in years. ‘I like 2019’ is my current one which i go back to. Sometimes I save a song to this before I listen that’s recommended as I know I’ll definitely remember to listen this way. If I’m not into it I’ll just remove it later on. This is the main way I keep track or save – I don’t listen to downloads or actually store music digitally in any other way. If I like something elsewhere like Soundcloud, I’ll keep going back to trying to find the link again which isn’t ideal. Back in the day I would say my iTunes library, but can’t remember the last time I clicked to open iTunes!

Do you tip other people off to new music? How?

I’ll mostly send Spotify links, Soundcloud private, Byta shares or sometimes YouTube videos to friends via FB messenger or email. If I find something good via a website or blog I’ll share the link too – as mentioned above So Young, Loud & Quiet, Stereogum etc.

Anything you want to “promote”?

Hotel Lux and Mystic Peach are the two bands I look after at the moment, check them both out! And of course check out Honeymooner on socials – some great shows coming up that I can’t wait for including black midi, HMLTD, Crows, Aldous Harding, Warmduscher, Sports Team, Whenyoung!

#HowWeListen – Tom Malmros / Outro & Scandinavian Sync [EN]

September 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.

Who are you?

Tom Malmros

Where are you based?

Stockholm, Sweden

Where do you work? What do you do?

I run Outro (artist management) and Scandinavian Sync. I manage artists like Alice Boman and El Perro del Mar, I do sync stuff, I’m a member of This Is Head and I produce music.

What are you listening to?

Everything! I’ve listened to a lot of 90’s and 00’s albums recently. I moved to a new apartment a while back and found boxes with my old CD’s. Oh man what a treasure! I just grabbed a couple and found Swedish gems like The Bear Quartet, Bob Hund and Broder Daniel. And older Ride, Madonna and Grandaddy albums. Also been listening to stuff like Joni Mitchell, Aldous Harding and Big Thief lately. I LOVE their single ’Not’ – made me realise how much I love a proper guitar solo.

How do you discover new music?

Friends and colleagues send me new music. And I get a lot of unreleased music sent to me from artists and labels, usually Soundcloud and Dropbox links. I follow labels that I like and I read on blogs etc.

What formats do you usually listen to? LP, CD, Cassette, Digital, Streaming Services and why?

Mostly streaming. I guess mainly because I’m always by my phone or computer. And as I mentioned earlier, I’ve listened to my old CD’s lately. It’s so different and I really like it. Have to install a CD player in my car again. Vinyl is great but I don’t have a vinyl player in the new apartment. Thanks for reminding me!

Where do you do most of your music listening?

Probably at work and when I’m commuting and walking. And at home when I cook. I love my headphones – my favourite way of listening to music. We have 3 different stereo setups at home. One in the living room, a small one in the kitchen and studio monitors in our home studio.

How do find and listen to pre-release music?

I get loads of Soundcloud, Dropbox and Box links with pre-release music sent to me through my sync business. And I share an office with Aloaded, a new Stockholm based digital distribution company, so the office is full of unreleased music.

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

I think I was way more concentrated when I listened to music predigital. Nowadays I have music in the background all the time. And I tend to forget that I even listen to music sometimes. It just goes on and on and on without a stop. Listening to CD’s and vinyl is like having dinner with an old (or new!) friend. Almost like a conversation between you and the music. Listening to music digitally is more like a snack! Trying the best I can to keep the dinner vibe though.

How do you keep track of everything you are listening to?

If I really like something I don’t forget about it because I will not stop listening to it. I try to keep playlists on Spotify for Winter, Spring, Summer & Fall where I save songs I like. Fall 2018 was a good one!

Do you tip other people off to new music? How?

Yeah, but mostly people I work with. I send links to a video I like, live performances or a streaming link.

Anything you want to “promote”?

Yeah – Alice Boman just released her second single from her upcoming debut album ‘Dream On’. It’s called ’Wish We Had More Time’ and it’s so beautiful. El Perro del Mar just released her stunning cover of Prince’s ’I Would Die 4 U’ – listen to that while waiting for the new album she’s working on. (It sounds amazing!) The album will be premiered as a performance piece at The Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm. She will perform the songs with her band and dancers from The Royal Ballet will join her on stage. Don’t miss this if you’re in Stockholm Nov 29-30 or Dec 3-4! Last but not least – Kavi Kwai is the name of a new Swedish artist. The first single will be released soon by Opening – a newly started singles label run by Kalle Lundgren Smith (Pitch & Smith), my colleague Henric Claesson and myself.

#HowWeListen – Patrick Ross / Music Ally

July 29, 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.

Patrick Ross / Music Ally

Who are you?

Patrick Ross

Where are you based?

On a boat called Holly, on Regents Canal, in London, England

Where do you work? What do you do?

I’m the Senior Vice President, Digital Strategy for Music Ally. I educate the industry on all things digital marketing as it relates to music, constantly in front of folks spreading the good news of digital. I also work with artists and labels to help them better connect with their audience. And sometimes I even write for our publication, but usually I just talk and someone else quotes me.

What are you listening to?

Ruben Dawnson, a former student of mine from LIMPI. He’s awesome. Oh, and also The Grateful Dead. Deadhead for life.

How do you discover new music?

Apple Music does a good job of telling me what’s out. There’s the occasional well done Instagram Story ad that piques my interest, like it did with the band Parcels. I also hear about a lot of stuff from our Sandbox publication, which covers all kinds of great digital campaigns. And then of course there’s artists I follow talking things up on social media and email.

On the latter I’m always looking for acts doing things outside of the usual suspects. I’m not a Spotify person, so those playlists are kind of meaningless to me. And Apple Music is far more about presenting albums than transient playlists. What I really look for is artists taking a leaf from a recent article (and panel in NY at our Sandbox Summit conference) that we’ve been talking about. The Dry Streams Paradox, as we call it. The idea is that simple playlisting alone is not going to create a sustainable artist-fan relationship. So I’m always on the lookout for artists doing interesting things to stay connected with me, and fans at large.

What formats do you usually listen to? LP, CD, Cassette, Digital, Streaming Services and why?

My daily listening is usually done on Apple Music. (I also still have iTunes Match that keeps all my more obscure collection available on the go.) At home I listen to vinyl, but only buy records I really love, and these days, have fallen in love with digitally.

Where do you do most of your music listening?

I do a lot of travelling these days. (Recently realised I was on 9 flights in the span of 7 days. 🛫🛬🛫🛬🛫🛬…) So a lot of listening on airplanes, airports, etc. There’s a Panda Bear album, Person Pitch, I listen to on every takeoff. It’s been putting me to sleep in-flight for over a decade.

Commuting of course, gotta have something to drown out the noise on the bus.

At work we have a Sonos on our boat, so we can all share what we’re digging. (As well as play some key “yacht rock” playlists from Spotify and Apple Music for our obligatory “bubbly booze” on deck sessions in the summer.)

And at home it’s all about my vinyl collection. Drop that needle and let it play.

How do find and listen to pre-release music?

If it’s an artist I am really into, there will often be an NPR First Listen. And yes, we do often get stuff through from the artists we work with pre-release. Usually they are sending around a Soundcloud link.

I was teaching in Lillehammer, Norway for most of last year, and got a lot of stuff coming my way from the very talented students. They use Auddly as a place to manage their song rights, so I get a fair few links from there for my listening pleasure.

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

When listening to stuff digitally, that’s not released, it can be challenging. I get a fair few links in emails. (I also send a fair few, usually what I am passed.) If I actually love something, being able to download is a plus, as I can add it to my iTunes library and listen over Apple Music. Private Soundclouds can be annoying, especially because I can’t play them on the office Sonos. Also, I inevitably end up losing them, as you always need the link to get back to them.

As for general digital music, as mentioned a few times I use Apple Music. It’s basically the same experience I’ve had with iTunes for years, so very familiar. It works for me. Since relocating to the UK a decade or so ago, I’ve been mainly digital. Yes, I did finally bring my records over, and do love that format best, but as I’m on the go so much I love having my library available anywhere. As a teenager I took all my 400 CD’s with me wherever I went. Now I just need my phone.

How do you keep track of everything you are listening to?

Apple Music does a good job of keeping things in a “Recently Added” list. It’s what you initially see when you navigate your library on the app. (And it’s far more exhaustive on desktop.) They also do a good job of surfacing your favourites to you, both by showing what you have in heavy rotation and by surfacing tracks that you know and love.

Do you tip other people off to new music? How?

I have tried things, like music discovery / sharing app Laylo, but find some of the best ways are still the old ways. Mine tends to be either directly messaging friends / family about what I think is good. That, and continuously loading up the office stereo with things I am digging.

Anything you want to “promote”?

Since beginning writing this and finishing writing this, Music Ally has started managing our first artist. He’s called Ruben Dawnson. His latest track “What Happened to the Days?” is just great, and getting some Spotify love in Scandinavia. He’s also got a great little video for it. Check him out!

#HowWeListen – Catherine North / Balance Artists Management

July 22, 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.
Catherine North Balance Artists Management

Who are you?
Catherine North

Where are you based?
London

Where do you work? What do you do?
I run Balance Artists Management – managing Weird Milk and Honey Lung.

What are you listening to?
At the moment I’m listening to a band from Brighton called Guru who have released some great tracks this year. Another band I have watched and grown to love over the past year is a band called Haze. Also a huge fan of Ider, had their track on repeat for weeks, and Sinead O’Brien – a spoken word artist from Ireland that has just signed to Chess Club and I think is going to do really well. Also, currently a lot of Kylie as her Glastonbury set was one of my all time favourites!

How do you discover new music?
I don’t like facebook but the only reason I still have it is for events! It’s great for finding new bands that are doing small show support slots. I also am an avid user of twitter and the new blogs I see pop up with tracks from bands in Bristol and Brighton that I wouldn’t be able to find elsewhere. I also look at new signings to people’s rosters – great to see who’s been signed up that I’ve not heard of!

What formats do you usually listen to? LP, CD, Cassette, Digital, Streaming Services and why?
I used to love buying CD’s – the idea of going into Woolworths when I was younger with £10 and choosing very carefully what I wanted from the shelf was an absolute joy that I miss doing! I definitely still treasure the ones I have from when I was younger but now it’s streaming only really for me – unless in the car. If i’m totally honest I’ll buy a vinyl only if it’s got great artwork as I really love the way vinyls look on the shelf!

Where do you do most of your music listening?
At home! Or on the train – the tube is the perfect place with no signal to really get stuck into new music.

How do find and listen to pre-release music?
I love the new Jack Saunders show (on Radio 1) for premieres – I always try and tune in to his show. His next wave feature is great, have introduced me to some great new artists. I get emails a lot from bands looking for management and it’s so nice to see and read about all the cool things bands are doing to get noticed in the ever changing digital world! Seeing them really investing time in artwork and novel ideas to promote themselves is inspiring.

What are your frustrations with listening to music digitally? Any benefits?
Lot’s of links in emails to lots tracks put me off listening to something for a bit – I’d rather just have the strongest track sent and get hooked on that. I find the interface of apple music myself a bit complicated and trying to play Soundcloud on my phone I find an absolute nightmare and end up being a bit technophobic with it and just giving up – a WAV file is best for me personally to just click and listen.

Spotify is of course very easy to use and is great for finding new releases but also I think there is a danger now that the skip button is all too close and easy to press. One of the band member’s I manage mentioned the other week he is going to try and listen to new music only through physical means because he finds himself struggling to get into it just on Spotify sometimes which I thought was a great point.

How do you keep track of everything you are listening to?
Playlists! Or I make a note of it – however thinking about it now I actually bookmark a lot of tracks on Chrome. Usually Soundcloud links I like – or blog articles / track reviews I really like to come back to!

Do you tip other people off to new music? How?
I am always trying to get out to gigs & my co-manager John is also a promoter so he’s great at finding new bands and putting them on – he put on a band called JOHN who supported Idles on their tour last year and the community who came down of Idles fans was great to see. I quite often send bands my friends are working with to people I know as I think it’s a great thing to encourage everyone supporting each other with their music!

Anything you want to “promote”?
Check out the new Weird Milk track that’s released on the 23rd of July called “Honey I’m Around” – great summer and chilled vibe to it! Perfect soundtrack to a BBQ. They also play Truck festival and have a headline Camden Assembly date on the 7th August! Come along 🙂

#HowWeListen – Hannes Tschürtz / Ink Music [EN]

July 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, listen and experience music, new and old.

Hannes Tschürtz Ink Music

Photo by Elisabeth Anna

Who are you?
Hannes Tschürtz.

Where are you based?
I live in good old Vienna, Austria.

Where do you work? What do you do?
I run Ink Music, an agency I founded in 2001 that covers management, booking, label and publishing. There’s a bunch of lovely people working with me here. We focus on artist development and bringing artists into new areas, geographically and artistically. The label released way over 100 records, our Live Department books tours in and around Austria and also promotes some 300-400 shows a year in Austria. We also do a lot of conceptional work and curation for festivals, communities and brands. Also we are very active in creating and running educational programmes for the local music industry, which has been growing nicely in the past couple of years. I personally mostly focus on artist management and strategic work for the company. I’m happy to say that I’m also a big fan of the artists i work with – like Leyya, Schmieds Puls (Mira Lu Kovacs) or Lou Asril.

What are you listening to?
Currently I somehow mostly rediscover a lot of old music from 70s soul (Motown Era and beyond) to jazz records (classics really – Coltrane! Getz/Gilberto! Davis! Chet Baker!) from the 60s – which don’t necessarily fit in the company picture. I must admit I find it harder and harder to get excited over new music. If it does, I’m often surprised about myself – for instance i really enjoy my piece of pop, like Sigrid. I also liked Janelle Monae’s recent record and Little Simz new one. Vampire Weekend got me – again, and my favourite new discovery of now is Australian singer Angie McMahon.

How do you discover new music?
There’s this ever amazing radio station in Austria called FM4 that does such a brilliant job in filtering music of all genres. They have a very dedicated and diverse team. Since their early days each night is dedicated to a different niche – from HipHop to Indie to Metal. They have a DJ slot in the afternoon that is exciting, the Gilles Peterson Worldwide show… it’s really enriching and colourful.

Some Spotify playlists do the job but I have the feeling it’s harder to fall for something completely new without some story or introduction. And then of course there are a lot of personal recommendations from your circles – and I don’t mean Social Media ones, but personal ones.

What formats do you usually listen to? LP, CD, Cassette, Digital, Streaming Services and why?
Pheew. I used to DJ for ages but haven’t touched most of my collection in years. I’m afraid I don’t own a working CD player anymore. Mostly the convenience of Spotify is winning the game; occasionally for a enjoyable and relaxed dinner i give some of my vinyl a dedicated listen. I’m not a huge collector anymore but love to take some vinyl home especially from shows I enjoyed and artists I admire.

Where do you do most of your music listening?
My favourite time to listen to music is indeed while doing boring regular household stuff at home like dishwashing, vacuuming or just getting things in order. Both of it then feels like a treat.

How do find and listen to pre-release music?
Ink Music gets loads of demos and of course also a lot of unreleased stuff from our artists, too. Soundcloud is very convenient for this, i don’t really like actual downloads. To actually find new music it’s really often on recommendations, especially at or around festivals you attend. Also keeping your eyes open what your favourite channels – be it radio, Facebook or release playlists – say, helps here, obviously.

What are your frustrations with listening to music digitally? Any benefits?
Secret download or streaming links that change, you somehow lost and/or forgot. Example: Track 1 uploaded, but artist then altered, deleted and re-uploaded the song to a different place. Annoying.

How do you keep track of everything you are listening to?
Can you, really? I loved last.fm back in the days to do this for me but it’s not made for the business side of things, obviously. So a lot is pure bookmarking of e-mails and browser pages.

Do you tip other people off to new music? How?
All the time, and not necessarily on “my” stuff or new music. I really like to talk and play with my bands on their own references and then tip them off to, say, a weird Herbie Hancock (used to be the trailer music for Austrias “Top Of The Pops” show in the 80s) or Talking Heads record from 1980 when I figure they would probably like it. They often then refer back to something really fresh and new I hadn’t heard before. This is actually great fun.

Anything you want to “promote”?
You would never believe how deep, dense, diverse and amazing the Austrian music scene currently is, so dig in deep. You have to listen to this 19y old whizkid Lou Asril, you will enjoy every single piece that Leyya get their hands on and same goes for Mira Lu Kovacs who’s is in an amazing band that fits your needs if you’re up for something more experimental. I could easily recommend 50, though. Vienna these days is H.O.T.

#HowWeListen – Kristin Grant / Westcott Multimedia

June 11, 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.
Kristin Grant Westcott Multimedia Forbes

Who are you?
Kristin Grant

Where are you based?
I am originally from Toronto, Canada. Currently, I am based in Los Angeles.

Where do you work? What do you do?
I am a contributor for Forbes and I am the Founder of Westcott Multimedia. An automated advertising platform built for independent record labels. Our mission is to use data to create a connection by getting the right music to the right people at the right time. There are over 40,000 songs uploaded every day onto Spotify and access to promotion is a challenge. In other words, getting your music on the radio or playlists. So how does one get noticed through all of the noise? What we do, is we launch digital advertisements online in reaction to spikes in streaming which represent moments of increased awareness about the band. We help to control your spending, increase an artist’s runway and subsequently, their chances of breaking a hit in the online marketplace. We focus a lot on promoting catalog music.

What are you listening to?
Right now, I am listening to “Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X. Actually, I am currently listening to not only the original, but the remix by Billy Ray Cyrus and the remix by Diplo. This song has such an awesome story behind it. It had originally charted on the Country charts but was taken down because it could also be perceived as a hip hop song. Regardless, country fans were connecting with it and country radio programmers were playing it. This is a perfect example of a common behavior within the music space of industry professionals thinking that they can dictate and define what culture connects with. After this happened, a legendary country artist named Billy Ray Cyrus, who also happens to be Miley Cyrus’s father remixed the track forcing it back into the country charts.

How do you find new music?
I discover new music through recommendations through friends and my network or whatever comes across my news feed. I love seeing video advertisements for artists music videos on my Instagram or YouTube.
Saying that I look at music discovery in two ways; first, as a listener discovering new music and then as an artist discovering new fans. Believe it or not, when you are using data, these two perspectives become very different. For example, Spotify uses data to help users discover new music, so they categorize genres as Chill, Dinner Music, Sleepy Time. However, I have yet to see an artist walk out of the studio pronouncing they’ve made the best “Workout song that ever existed!” Saying that, when an artist is trying to bucket listeners most likely to listen to their Hip Hop song, they will categorize their listeners as hip hop, rap or r&b, not workout. It’s subtle, but in the world of data and bucketing audience based on listening preferences, categorization of titles matter from the perspective of who you are discovering for and for what purpose. When it comes to artists discovering new fans, I think discovery is a huge challenge.

I benchmark the functionality of the products we build off of how I discover new music or don’t, online. When I was living in Nashville, I discovered a song called “do re mi” by an artist named Blackbear and I fell in love with it. When this happens with a song, I play it on repeat. That following weekend, Blackbear did a show in Nashville and I had no idea! If I had known, I would have loved to by a ticket. Even though I had listened to the song probably 60 times in a 48-hour period, at no point in time did I see an advertisement on my Facebook letting me know that this artist was in town. Currently, there is no link between music listening and the ability to discover, reach and cultivate a base of fans.

What formats do you usually listen to? LP, CD, Cassette, Digital, Streaming Services and why?
I listen on streaming services, Spotify is my goto. I like the flow and functionality of Spotify versus other digital service providers, that is the primary reason I use the service.

Where do you do most of your music listening?
Everywhere, all the time. If I could have a permanent soundtrack to my life, like those old black and white movies where the entire storyline is amplified by a background soundtrack, I would do it in a heartbeat. I listen to different types of music for different activities and moods but for that reason, in terms of music preferences, I am genre agnostic. If it is good, it’s good. Currently, I have two apple speakers that like to randomly switch from playing my Spotify account to my ancient iTunes account containing nothing but Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald. Amazing music but arguably not suitable for every situation. For this reason, I’m looking into new stereo systems.

How do find and listen to pre-release music?
I get sent pre-release music from my labels, artists and friends in the music space. It’s always a treat when that happens.

What are your frustrations with listening to music digitally? Any benefits?
I love listening to music online, the internet gives you the ability to research and learn about new waves of music all over the world.

How do you keep track of everything you are listening to?
My songs list on Spotify is like a chronological soundtrack to my life. Everything I listen to is saved here. So if I go down my song list, I can identify what songs were summer 2017, summer 2016 and so on.

Do you tip other people off to new music? How?
When I can, I do. I am starting a series of articles on Forbes every month that will highlight a song I’ve discovered and tell the story of the artist and the song’s trajectory using data to back it up.

Anything you want to “promote”?
We have built our data model off of taking traditional practices in the music industry like the traditional way of conceptualizing a “Hit Record” and the blockbuster strategy, and we have reversed this thinking. We are writing about our theories and models in an effort to promote new ways of using data to break hit records versus predict them. To learn more and jump on the bandwagon, follow me on my page at Forbes.com.