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interview

Tomas Paliūnas

The state51 Music Group

Tomas has a degree in economics which he combines with his love for music working in the music industry for almost a decade.

His current role is Business Development and Partnerships Manager at The state51 Music Group where he worked with many top labels and distributors such as Beggars (XL Recordings, Adele, The Prodigy), mtheory (Major Lazer, Dillon Francis, RL Grime), AEI (UKF, DNB Arena), Future Classic (Flume), Liberation (Childish Gambino), Demon Music Group (BBC), Stones Throw (Snoop Dogg, 7 Days of Funk) and many more established independent brands helping them connect and deliver their music to streaming services and platforms around the globe.

His experience running self-owned independent label Filterjam, while being an artist and a DJ under the name of “Tom Bones”, enables Tomas to see things from a few different perspectives and play a “non-zero sum game” in all of his daily business situations.

Tomas Paliūnas

Where are you based?

Vilnius, Lithuania

Where do you work? What do you do?

I work at The state51 Music Group where I am responsible for our business development and managing our relationships with our clients and partners. I also run my own label called Filterjam and I’m a DJ and an artist.

What are you listening to?

How do you discover new music?

I usually discover new music through a selection of DJs that I follow. I keep track of their mixes, radio shows and social media to find new gems. I also love sharing music with my friends and discovering music in music events.

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

All of those except cassettes! Sometimes even a CD in the cars that don’t have the USB or bluetooth options available.

Where do you do most of your music listening?

Pretty much everywhere I go, but I love listening to the music mostly in my studio, where the sound setup is just perfect. I also pay a lot of attention to the environment. Since I mostly listen to dance music, I like to turn off the light, close the curtains and turn on the strobe before hitting play and immersing myself into the sounds. I also love listening to music in nature!

How do you find and listen to pre-release music?

Mostly in DJ mixes, pre-released music makes very little sense to me in the digital era. It does make some sense in live settings, but you gotta make sure there are no recordings of it, if you are playing any.

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

Organising mp3s sometimes is a nightmare, also it can be very tricky to organise my playlists on streaming services. I have so many of those and sometimes it’s hard to find the right playlist for a new track that I discovered quickly. Also I’d love to have more criteria by which I could filter music, like Key for example. It would be also good if there was an algorithm that could suggest which playlist is most suitable for the track that I’m spinning on repeat.

“It would be also good if there was an algorithm that could suggest which playlist is most suitable for the track that I’m spinning on repeat.”

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

It’s easy to get lost for sure, but I try to use a few streaming services and keep looking at my most recent likes or favourites mostly.

Discover the #HowWeListen Playlist

Listen to the #HowWeListen 2021 Picks playlist. Curated by this year’s interviewees.

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

Mostly by sending them PMs on social media with the links!

Anything you want to “promote”?

If you like drum and bass I can suggest listening to some of my own stuff, you’ll find it all on all main platforms under the name of “Tom Bones”. And if you like new classical music “state51” YouTube channel is where you should look.

"I pay a lot of attention to the environment. Since I mostly listen to dance music, I like to turn off the light, close the curtains and turn on the strobe before hitting play and immersing myself into the sounds."

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