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CMP Artists Blog

Music ‘YouTubers’ To Sink Your Teeth Into

August 1st, 2013

A couple of weeks ago, I spoke about Andrew Huang; he makes the Song Challenge videos, if you haven’t read it check that blog out here. Since then, I’ve continued to watch YouTube channels that are mostly if not entirely related to the music world, so I though I’d share two of those with you, so here goes.

Dave Brown -wwwboyinabandcom, or simply Boy In A Band.

Dave’s channel is great if your music tastes involve a variety of different genres, as he writes djent, dubstep, rap, trap, trance, assorted metal genres etc. And if you’ve already watched the Andrew Huang video of the 26 genre song, Dave was the ‘other guy’ in the video, though he had just as much creative input. Dave also does genre mashups, vlogs and tutorials in many things ranging from Reason (the music software) to how to set up a home studio on a budget. He uploads weekly if not more often so well worth a watch.

Dan Bull (Douglby) - Dan Bull

Dan is another favourite of mine, having recently spoken to him about one of his videos, I can confirm he a genuinely lovely guy. But what’s a nice guy without nice videos? Well, he’s a nice guy without nice videos, but luckily for Dan he has both! Dan’s usual uploads come in the form of video game raps, he’s quite famous for his Elder Scrolls and Assassin’s Creed songs. He’s an intelligent lad is Dan, and that shows not just in his lyrical vocabulary but also in his digital rights raps and also in his more personal songs. Finally Dan’s channel also includes the occasional vlog and thankfully they’re growing in number as his opinions are both interesting, well-argued and enjoyable to hear. He also uploads weekly if not more so well worth checking out.

If you know of any other YouTubers who specialise in music please let me know in the comments below.

Should the way music is portrayed on television change?

July 25th, 2013

Whose noticed that we just can’t seem to escape the stagnation of modern pop music? The last decade or so has been dominated by reality TV shows that aim to propel desperate music fans into music stardom. The X Factor has led the charge of course, headed by the notorious Simon Cowell. For a period of months we see the desperate souls compete to win the all-important recording contract, right before Christmas - appropriately the best selling time for music - only to see their careers fall into nothing in the coming years. The pop music machine churns out them out and many of the general public are beginning to voice the idea that it’s all too similar! Where’s the variety gone?

Top Of The Pops was axed from our television sets a number of years ago, the show featured many different musical acts and formed one of the key platforms to release and market music for decades. However the internet changed all that with the emergence of YouTube and other websites like iTunes, where music in all forms could be accessed by the public. Now one person, with a simple click of the mouse can experience any genre or type of music they like.

It may be that the internet makes the TV redundant in the future, more programs are shown online more than ever and music has shifted online too. Possibly marking a major change in our culture.

If it’s not too late for our beloved television, I think it would be great to see many more genres on the box so the public can see just how diverse music as a whole can be. Perhaps by capturing the variety of the internet and wrapping it all together into one show to demonstrate just how creative and rich each different genre is - be it Metal or Folk, Classical or Electric. Undeniably, the way music is portrayed on television will have to change or it might disappear!

For further ideas and information on this, you can follow this link to an article on The Guardian.

Andrew Huang’s Song Challenge

July 3rd, 2013

Andrew Huang is a YouTuber who has just started an interesting series called song challenge. Andrew receives challenges from fans and picks a good one to do, so far he’s done three, the first one involved him writing a rap in 5 different languages, which you can find here.

The video is entitled Andrew Huang Raps In Five Languages, the languages are English, French, Spanish, Swedish and Mandarin. He raps it in an interesting way too, as it’s not just each line where the language changes, it does so up to 3 times in a line, please also check out the explanation video which accompanies this song here.

For the next challenge, Andrew collaborates with Dave Brown from Boy In A Band. The idea for this challenge was to make a song using 26 genres, each one corresponding to one of 26 letters, in alphabetical order. They successfully pull off the song, and they don’t do a mediocre job of it either, each song is well produced and the lyrics and video are entertaining. I won’t ruin the interesting surprises of Q and X for you, but hopefully if you’ll learn about a few new genres, I sure did. Watch the video here, and check out Dave’s channel here, with the accompanying video for this song here.

The most recent challenge is by far the strangest. Fans of Andrew will know that his nipple piercing recently grew out, and he asked what he should do with it, one clever viewer decided to challenge Andrew to write a song, using the nipple ring. Andrew does just that, using the ring as a plectrum, drum stick and general, all around noise maker. Check out the video here, and the original nipple ring video here.

Andrew does loads of great videos though, from straight up songs, to other fun and clever musical ideas, some of his videos aren’t even musical in the slightest, so see if you can’t find something on his channel that you like, the link is here!

Download Festival 2013

June 19th, 2013

Download 2013 has been and gone, but what a festival it was. Speaking as a person who managed to experience the festivities first-hand, it was an absolute screamer of a line-up, one that you had to question whether it would sound as good as it looks, but for the most part, it exceeded expectations.

Slipknot, Iron Maiden and Rammstein headlined the event, and while the Friday and Sunday headliners did not disappoint; for me, Iron Maiden were a let down. Slipknot enjoyed a strong and powerful connection with the fans from the get go, Maiden and Rammstein, however, did not. The latter didn’t need this connection however, that separation from the fans, that feeling that you are being performed to, rather than with, is all part of the charm; the pyrotechnics, elaborate sets and crazy on-stage antics didn’t go amiss either. This does bring us to Iron Maiden though, and after the Spitfire fly over, I was so thoroughly bored and disappointed I left after 4 songs, I felt no excitement, no special atmosphere and no connection with this band of aging metal icons. I’d also like to point out, I wasn’t biased toward any of these bands before seeing them, I knew only a handful of all of their songs, in fact, Iron Maiden were the only band up their who’s album I’d previously purchased.

I’d like to talk about some of the non-headline performances I enjoyed most. The two that stand out to me most were Stone Sour and Heaven’s Basement. Stone Sour were as good as ever, it’s the third time I’ve seen them and they’re better every time; I felt more connected to Corey Taylor (Vocalist) in Stone Sour performances compared to his Slipknot ones, and I believe that was down to the lack of mask and also the different persona, in Slipknot there’s a certain style that the band portray as crazy ass SOBs and in Stone Sour, you get to see Corey the rock star, loving the attention and interaction that he gets from the fans.

Heaven’s Basement is another band that I’ve seen before, but that was four years ago, as they opened for Papa Roach at my first gig. The change was drastic and their fan base has exploded over the past year. I highly advice checking both these guys out if you want a good show.

Finally I’d like to talk about who I felt had some great fans at download, and I think the two that come to mind here are Bullet For My Valentine and Amon Amarth. Bullet had some crazy fans that really loved their mosh pits, you had so many massive fans their, some of which probably bought tickets just for the band, and that passion really added something to the performance. Amon Amarth, the viking metal band, also had a bunch of hardcore fans at their second stage show. Despite technical setbacks that cut the set to only 4 songs long, about 500 members of the audience, me included, sat down and started a viking rowboat for the finale, Twilight Of The Thunder God, with some audience members even sporting viking shields.

It was a fantastic weekend, and I can’t wait for next year, if you also went to Download, leave a comment below.

Also, we’re not just a blog, we’re a record label based in Brighton, East Sussex and recording studio based in Eastbourne, East Sussex. Check out both, you’re on the label website now, and the studio address is www.cmpstudios.co.uk

Blog Yourself!

May 21st, 2013

With Yahoo! having just bought Tumblr for over $1Billion, I thought now would be a good time to talk about blogs. Blogs are a great way to get yourself know as an artist, it builds a connection with your fans and allows them to show themselves off as humans, rather than rockstars or divas.

So what should your blog talk about? Well it can talk about anything, I right this blog multiple times during the week, and I find it’s fun to do series, it also makes things easier for you, for example, you could pick a topic like daily events in the studio, for a blog during a recording process. Just be yourself and try to make it feel like you’re talking to the reader face to face.

If a series doesn’t seem like your thing, you could talk about any topic you want, especially if it gives your fans a chance to reply with there own opinions, let them feel involved. For example, you could talk about your favourite musicians, and ask your fans to share there’s with you, it gives you a chance to find new music and allows you to really connect with your fans.

As always leave a comment below if you have any opinions or ideas.

How Social Media Effects An Artist Part 2

May 16th, 2013

This time I’ll be talking about YouTube, the video hosting website. YouTube is a great platform for sharing your music and releasing it to the public. There’s an ever growing group of stars that got there break from YouTube, like Justin Bieber, who’s YouTube covers were the reason he was signed by Scooter Braun. Psy is another artist who recently found global success through YouTube, with the infamous Gangnam Style becoming the most watched video in the sites history.

So why is YouTube a better site than any other for sharing music or videos? Well for one according to there statistivs, YouTube has over 1 billion unique users every month, so that’s a lot of people who could just stumble across your music and find out they like it! Another point is that YouTube viewers don’t just come to watch music videos or listen to music, like Vevo or Soundcloud users. They may just be watching something entirely unrelated to your music, but happen to come across it. Finally videos add another layer to your songs, allowing you to hook in viewers another way, until your music gets stuck in their head, and they keep coming back for more, who knows you may have the next Gangnam Style!

Keep coming back for part 3!

How Social Media Effects An Artist Part 1

May 9th, 2013

Social Media has already definitely made it’s mark on the world, Facebook has over 1.11 Billion users, Twitter has over 500 Million users, SoundCloud has 180 Million monthly users, and finally MySpace has a meager, but still impressive, 25 Million users. With so many users around the globe, and the majority of major sites being free to use, the internet has become a perfect platform for marketing yourself as an artist.

So how can you bend the power of the internet to your will? Well a good way to start would be making a Facebook Page to represent yourself, either as a band or as a solo artist, then ruthlessly and aggressively bother every friend you have on Facebook. That was a joke, that won’t get you any likes at all, though just let people know every once in awhile, especially if you can bring it up in conversation rather then just send them a random message, that way they have no way of ignoring it without making things awkward.

Having a lot of likes on Facebook will make you more popular amongst promoters too, if they believe you will sell out shows then they’re more likely to give you that first shot. Facebook likes will also show label executives that you’re a popular band, in fact they usually ask for things like Facebook, YouTube and SoundCloud statistics in your Press Kit.

Keep an eye out for Part 2.

Download or Reading/Leeds?

May 2nd, 2013

So the two major UK Festivals with tickets remaining are Download and Reading/Leeds. Reading and Leeds both share a line-up which performs on different days, so we’ll be classing them as the same festival. What I’ll be doing is comparing a few things between the two festivals and hopefully help you decide which, if either festival you’d like to attend.

Let’s first take a look at the most important thing to most people, line-ups! So as both festivals play over three days, we’ll compare main stage headliners: Download has Slipknot, Iron Maiden and Rammstein, while Reading/Leeds have Green Day, Eminem and Biffy Clyro. Instamtly you can see the difference between the two festivals, Download being very Metal based, which reflects the rest of the line-up, just as Reading/Leeds has a much more varied list of headliners, which reflects the musical mash-up that it is. Bring Me The Horizon sharing a bill with Chase and Status is quite surprising, and if you have a varied music taste this might be the one for you, however if Downloads mix of metal genres is more your thing, you may be swayed to go down that route.

Another important thing is ticket prices. Early entry tickets are usually quite popular amongst fans, so if you take the tickets cost for a Reading/Leeds early entry ticket, which is just about £225, and compare it to the Download price of £205. This leaves you £20 better off for Download, which could go a significant way in travel costs, however, as of right now, you do have over a month longer to save for Reading/Leeds then you do Download.

Finally I want to look at location. Download is situated at Donington Park, which is right in the middle of the country, surrounded on all sides by Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, and Derbyshire. Reading/Leeds has the advantage of being in two places at once, surprisingly enough, Reading and Leeds.

So there you have it, Reading/Leeds vs Download, from an unbiased perspective, well, I attempt to be unbiased, I’m going to Download after all. Leave a comment below and share your past experiences or decisions on which you’re going to.

Fandango-ing!

April 30th, 2013

The latest craze to hit Youtube is the WWE inspired Fandango-ing, where people point there fingers upwards and start singing WWE Superstar Fandango’s entrance theme. The craze gained popularity over the course of Wrestlemania, WWE’s largest annual pay-per-view, with fans in the live audience sowing the seeds of Fandango-ing the night after during Monday Night Raw’s taping.

Those fans couldn’t have expected what happened next, with Fandango’s theme tune rising to No. 4 in the US iTunes charts overnight. Across the pond here in the UK, Everton F.C. supporters were asking the club to play the song at one of the matches, and refused. They were, however, quickly persuaded to change there minds once the entire audience broke in to song and dance.

If you’re interested in checking out this phenomena try these links below:

The Original Theme

The First Occurence

Fandango-ing On A Train

Houston Texas Cheerleaders

A Brief Overview Of What Labels Look For (Part 2)

April 24th, 2013

In this installment, I’ll be taking a quick look at Demo’s. What do Record Labels want from a demo? How many songs should you include? What’s the best medium to send it by? I’ll also be talking about what the CMP label looks for in a demo.

Firstly, you can’t just send a label a demo and expect a reply, you’ll have to send a press kit. A press kit will include your demo CD as well as a short bio, a cover letter, a photo and press clippings if possible, for more information check out this website here.

The most important part of the press kit obviously, is your demo. Labels will generally look for 3-5 songs to have a listen to, and you want your first song to instantly catch the listener’s attention. A slow 2 minute intro to your leading song isn’t going to get you anywhere most of the time, instead, you want your most kick-ass song to go first. Production usually isn’t too important, but obviously it has to be a nice quality to listen to, and the clearer it sounds, the more of your music will get across.

Here at CMP we like a blend of the unique and commercial. Make it catchy, but make it stand out, we’re huge fans of well thought out lyrics that also make the listener think.

So next comes the medium, how should you send it? Well the main two ways are by post, or by e-mail, and both work, so it depends on the label and personal preference. On one hand, if you send it by post they definitely have a physical copy of everything, however, if you send it by e-mail, you’re possibly going to get looked at sooner, as a label executive will always be looking through his/her e-mails, though they may leave your press kit in the pile for ages, or they may just never look at it at all.

If you’d like CMP to take a look at your work, send us an e-mail with your mp3 attached to auditions@cmpstudios.co.uk

If there are other things you’d like to see covered, make sure to leave a comment below.

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