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?
I’m Shell, a new music journalist, radio presenter and producer who does a wide array of work in the music industry from lecturing, hosting stages and events, promoting to assessing funding applications for PRS Momentum Fund and Music:Leeds.
Where are you based?
Manchester mainly but i love to travel across the north to support musicians and local music scenes in other towns and cities. I work in the music scenes of Yorkshire, Merseyside and Manchester mainly.
Where do you work? What do you do?
What are you listening to?
Currently listening to the latest amazing radio uploads to amazingtunes.com for this week’s show. I usually listen to 300 tracks a week on this platform. Amazing Radio is a radio station that allows artists worldwide to upload their music for free to be considered for airplay via the website! At the moment I’m obsessed with Porij, PVA, Public Practice, Working Men’s Club, Nancy, VC Pines, Havelock, Joesef and Celeste.
How do you discover new music?
I discover a variety of ways, listening to both the BBC Introducing Uploader, The Amazing Radio uploader, live gigs, blogs such as Never Enough Notes, Popped Music and websites like The Line Of Best Fit, Clash Magazine, DIY Magazine and Dork, streaming services, word of mouth, PR, social media.
What formats do you usually listen to? LP, CD, Cassette, Digital, Streaming Services and why?
Generally on the uploaders, streaming services and then radio / LP. I still own vinyl, i still own cassettes and i have a stack of cds but they’re of limited use as i don’t really have a cd player anymore!
Where do you do most of your music listening?
At home mainly, and mainly laptop based, i do have noise cancelling headphones too that help if i’m on the move.
How do find and listen to pre-release music?
There is less focus on premieres these days as music is much more instant in the way it drops, but i still hear most of my pre-releases from the uploaders or PR in my emails / social media.
What are your frustrations with listening to music digitally? Any benefits?
Being so overrun with emails that things get lost! Things automatically importing to Itunes (it can’t just be me?!) links being sent via social media, these get lost really easily. Always best to ask how to best deliver music to someone and send it that way! Ie upload to the uploaders for radio play is most useful for me, find out from the person you’re interested in hearing your music and tailor that to how they prefer listening! The uploaders can be problematic to use on the move so i would say always lead with your strongest track and focus on one song, more songs just dilutes things and we’re not sure which is your best track, so think about it and plan a focus track if you’re an artist!
How do you keep track of everything you are listening to?
Playlists, blogs, lists! I set up playlists in Spotify, i also put playlists together on Amazingtunes.com and the BBC Introducing uploader too, i sometimes blog my fave artists, albums, lists too and keep a track of things there! It’s really hard to remember what grabbed you in January in December of the same year! I use google docs and lists too!
Do you tip other people off to new music? How?
Of course, on radio, blogs, I’ll talk to people, i promote gigs too.
Anything you want to “promote”?
Sure, listen to my radio shows on Amazing Radio without listeners I can’t continue to curate new music! Follow me on socials too! I blog and share info and advice for new artists as much as i can! @shellzenner on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!
Also come to my nights a band on the wall, they’re called FREE VIBES, they’re free in and they support new artists across the north! Listen to the artists of tomorrow, today! Last years Christmas Free Vibes we had Grimm Twins and Afghan Sand Gang performing which was insane as they’ve both done really well in 2019! We’ve had Faux Pas, Slap Rash, The Goa Express, Ellysse Mason, False Advertising, Blanketman and more playing them too so plenty of emerging artists that have since blown up!!