Where are you based?
I am based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The Slurpee capital of the world, woot woot!! As for music… It’s a work in progress.
Where do you work? What do you do?
I am currently at the helm of Musician Guidance, a groundbreaking venture with a mission to empower music artists to realise their unique visions of success. Unlike traditional models, we champion the artistic freedom of every artist we collaborate with, ensuring that rights and royalties remain firmly in their hands.
What I do revolves around a lot of business stuff, which may be boring to others (but is the reason I get out of bed everyday). This includes meeting with executives and prominent figures to discuss opportunities to provide directly to our community, whether that be podcasts, webinars, or more exclusive projects in which our community can work with and learn directly from these distinguished figures.
I’ve been lucky enough and extremely fortunate to grow a fantastic team around me, which handles more of the day to day stuff, so I can focus more on strategic partnerships, but also, allow me to still be involved with our clients, including but not limited to providing feedback on the music, and strategizing plans, whether that be a marketing or release plan, or something else.
What are you listening to?
Well according to Spotify Wrapped, Andy Grammer & Ben Rector are the two most popular artists on my main Spotify profile. Some other artists/bands I’ve been listening to lately are the Morningsiders, Eric Hutchison and The Beatles always make it onto my playlist.
With that being said, I also definitely listen to a lot of music from artists who are not household names yet. I think there is something inherently cool with listening to passionate up-and-coming artists that are fighting for their big break and haven’t been influenced by the music business yet. It’s maybe not music that could stand the test of time, but it is real to them, and that is something I really like.
“Instead of getting caught up in the false narrative and BS of “how the industry works,” focus on creating fantastic music. Focus on putting on the best live show in your town. Focus on building a team around you that truly believes in you and your music and everything else will fall into place with hard work, professionalism and persistence to achieve your dreams.”
How do you discover new music?
When I was growing Musician Guidance, I was on Instagram for over 12 hours a day, listening to new / up and coming/aspiring artists, many were not great… but there were definitely some gems that I’ve been listening to ever since. Now, I’ll always get DMs of music suggestions, usually directed from artists, which can be overwhelming, but hey… If I have the time, I’m more than happy to listen.
The most boring way, but most common way I discover new music is on my algorithmic playlists on Spotify, ie. daily mixes. If you have suggestions, DM me, I’ll listen to anything and everything, I may not always like it, but I won’t know until I listen! 🙂
What formats do you usually listen to? LP, CD, Cassette, Digital, Streaming Services? Why?
Nothing beats vinyl, when it comes to pure sound quality. I have a record player, with a few classic albums, Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A.”, Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” some by the Stones, and The Beatles of course, just to name a few.
I do remember growing up too, having my own CD player, which I thought was the coolest thing, and then having a 6-disc CD player in my first car, (which was a really big deal then).
Apart from listening to the odd record at home though, I pretty much listen exclusively to Spotify now however. I am definitely in the market for some vinyl though, not so much CDs and I never really had any cassettes, but vinyl is a must!
“When I get links in DMs or via email, and don’t recognise the URL, it’s not going to get clicked by me, and I will NEVER download any file, unless it’s from someone I know & trust.”
Where do you do most of your music listening?
The majority of time I’m listening to music is while I’m working, or commuting, and as a result, I am not able to get the record player going. It usually just revolves around blasting it through my car speakers or through crappy headphones while working.
How do you find and listen to pre-release music?
As crazy as it may sound, given what I do, I don’t actively seek out new music at this standpoint. I’m really thankful for what I do, to be part of a music artist’s journey, and to be able to listen and even sometimes have an impact on the actual song, while it’s being conceived, so long before it sees the light of day, I’m able to hear it from demo to release.
What are your frustrations with listening to music digitally? Any benefits?
What I will say is that listening to music digitally is easy, convenient and hassle free, so as mentioned, I do it all the time. With that being said, I really only listen to music from trusted DSPs (ie. Spotify, Apple Music, etc). SoundCloud too, but when I get links in DMs or via email, and I don’t recognize the URL, it’s not going to get clicked by me, and I will NEVER download any file, unless it’s from someone I know, trust and are aware that they are sending me music, because my oh my, there are a lot of scams out there.
How do you keep track of everything you are listening to?
The easiest way is adding it to playlists, but I’ll share some secret sauce that I do. I make multiple accounts, on multiple platforms. The reason for that is I listen and prefer different music, based on what I’m doing, or my mood. For example if I’m working out, I’m going to want to listen to more upbeat music, whereas if I’m cooking in the kitchen… well, I’ll keep that music private for now haha.
In all seriousness, I’m not the best at creating playlists, but by having multiple accounts, I know if I login to this one, it will be this style of music, and if I log into this one it will be another style. So sometimes, months will go by between logging into an account, but when I do, I’ll remember a classic that I friggin love.
Do you tip other people off to new music? How?
Almost never. Music is so subjective, that I don’t want to force anything on anyone, because let’s be honest, the chance they love it, add it to their playlist, etc is low. If it’s an artist I’m working with however, then I usually will, but I won’t tell them who the artist is or that I’m working with them. I do this usually to get unbiased feedback / gain data.
Anything you want to “promote”?
I don’t need to promote anything. I’d rather share some advice, which is… the music business is pretty much all smoke and mirrors and people are always going to try to get you to jump through hoops. I promise you that nothing is as it seems, so instead of getting caught up in the false narrative and BS of “how the industry works,” focus on creating fantastic music. Focus on putting on the best live show in your town. Focus on building a team around you that truly believes in you and your music and everything else will fall into place with hard work, professionalism and persistence to achieve your dreams.