Where are you based?
I’m in Dallas, TX. USA.
Where do you work? What do you do?
I currently work as one of the partners of The Clarion Group, which specializes in artist & label services. We also do brand refreshes, strategic planning, music consulting, metadata analysis and preparing music brands to go to market. I manage a producer-artist as well. I also work in operations management in the radio servicing, promotions & marketing industry with Cincinnati, OH based firm, I Hear Music, Inc. with industry veteran, Tracey Artis. I also am in the music supervision industry as well. Recently I started working with Creative Culture Co. a production label that collaborates with various artists to create releases across multiple genres.
What are you listening to?
Alex Isley, Robert Glasper, Not Klyde, International Show, Alabama Shakes, Social Club Misfits, Steve Rizo, Artie Shaw, The Foreign Exchange, Maverick City Music, The Beatles, Jokia, Limoblaze, Wiz Kid, Snoh Aalegra, Jor’dan Armstrong, Michael McDonald, Glass Animals, Sade, KAYTRANADA, Samara Joy, Cortes, Jon Keith, Indie Tribe, Arctic Monkeys, Avenged Sevenfold, & Ampiano Music, Binaural Focus Beats, Beta Brown and Pink Noise (for deep focus).
How do you discover new music?
I have Spotify, Apple Music, Sirius XM dj mixes, and also through traditional radio releases. I also use a combination of the editorial playlists and other smaller curated playlists that I follow, also I directly follow the artists spotify/apple pages, I read Bands In Town emails, I keep up with Instagram pages and I constantly Shazam music when I am out at stores and in coffee shops, restaurants, at a stop sign/red light of the car next to me lol . I also read articles, and I watch Revolt TV/ The Africa Channel and watch for underground emerging artists and watch a few on my own radar and save them on my own playlists and keep up with them with alerts for new releases and I follow their growth.I literally pick up music everywhere. Most recently I was in Barcelona at the Hard Rock Cafe and they played a mix of videos at a wonderful volume with good audio quality and I discovered 3 new artists because of the videos they played. I literally made my family wait while the end of song shows video credits so I could save the song to my supervision playlist ( but they didnt know why they were waiting, lol) It’s an odd system, but it keeps me hyper immersed in music and I am all about finding new artists or watching artists blossom into mainstream artists that I have been monitoring for a while because I predicted that they would “blow up”. And many of them I have been spot on. 😊
What formats do you usually listen to? LP, CD, Cassette, Digital, Streaming Services? Why?
I use a mix of digital streaming [SoundCloud, Apple, Spotify], Satellite radio [Sirius XM], I listen to Terrestrial radio a lot because I like certain radio shows and the music programming [in the car on the am signal too/ on the web], I still have a decent sized CD collection that I listen to all the time because I used to make my own mixes, and I purchased a lot of CDs (albums and singles) for my Walkman. I have been buying vinyl albums at concerts and getting them signed by artists, and I also buy them online on Merchbar and at Walmart/ Target and in these new all Vinyl record shops that are popping up.
” I do most of my artist-driven music listening when I am driving so I can actually focus on the music and because my truck has a very good surround sound system.”
Where do you do most of your music listening?
I do most of my artist-driven music listening when I am driving so I can actually focus on the music and because my truck has a very good surround sound system. I tell my producer artist all the time when he sends me music “ I’ll listen when I get in the truck”. I do listen to other music but it’s more brown, pink, alpha, sinus wave ambient noise for focus in the day for work. My listening style is very mood driven. I have different setups for different rooms/environments. I have basic things like Alexa Echo Show for music in the kitchen, Google Home in bathrooms, I even put an Echo dot hidden under the Christmas tree so music is different in each room in my house. We have a LG Sound bar and subwoofer in our living room, and we have a Sonos portable Speaker in my bedroom. My office has different speakers in a surround sound format that I use with my computer aux cords. So sound in specific areas at specific times are very important to me based on where and how I want to absorb specific music which is also based on mood and tasks at hand.
How do you find and listen to pre-release music?
Spotify, Apple Music, Bandsintown Emails, I also watch the news, I read emails from Billboard, other blog sources so I may follow up and go pre-save for my favorite artists. Also on the gospel/Christian side, because of me working to take music to radio, I sometimes get to hear music from major artists before everyone else. That totally rocks when that happens.
What are your frustrations with listening to music digitally? Any benefits?
I wish that there was an immediate option to purchase music as well as download it because I mean to go over to the iTunes side and purchase the song but most times I forget. I know that with Spotify there is no way to go purchase it directly without a series of clicks. I wish there was more integration to help the artist. I do my best to immediately purchase those songs I want but I know I can not always do that because I am driving or not able to complete multiple clicks to do that. The benefits do outweigh that negative because I was looking at my CD collection and I was so upset about all the scratches that I couldn’t repair and that is just money lost and some CD’s I bought more than once and I now have my music with me wherever I go which is so convenient.
How do you keep track of everything you are listening to?
I create my own mood/genre playlists inside Apple Music and Spotify and when I Shazam the song through Apple I then like it, and save the song, purchase it if I really like it and add to a playlist that matches the style of the song so I can find it again. I also have certain songs I prefer to listen to via Apple Music because of the Apple Digital Master lossless audio. I am also starting to use Disco as I move more into Music Supervision projects which is the industry standard. This will help me catalog the songs by metadata including things like bpn, mood, style, genre, release date, etc. Also, I have a photographic memory so album art is a huge piece of connectivity for me for a project and it helps me remember a project and the artist and even like it a little bit more than others sometimes . I appreciate that piece of creativity that they put into the project to help you connect with their work because it works and draws me in and makes the project memorable in an ocean of music that is released by the minute in the wonderful world of digital self distribution.
Do you tip other people off to new music? How?
All the time! I am always texting, and emailing songs and random information about artists, and their songs to my friends/colleagues. I use the share feature in Spotify/Apple music or I send via Youtube if they don’t use either one. I usually share how I came across them and what makes them unique. I do not post a lot on social media, but when I do I also love to use music and tag the artist too so people get into it like me and maybe find a new artist to listen to.
Anything you want to “promote”?
Yes, our firm manages an incredible Producer-Artist-Composer named International Show IG: @intlshow. Please check him out if you need production, mixing & mastering, and he does his own music as well and teaches Production at Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA.
Also please feel free to reach out to me directly if you would like to discuss your release strategy, verifying your data encoding processes for radio, and ensuring you are placing proper focus on the backend operations with relation to royalties/your PRO, publishing administration, etc.