Give us some background. Where are you from originally, where are you now, how did you get there?
I am originally from Caro, Michigan USA but moved to Seoul after graduating from a degree in music at Eastern Michigan University. I have been living and writing, producing and performing music in South Korea for the last seven years.
What Genre would you classify yourself as?
That’s a hard one, as I love creating all kinds of vibes/emotions through music. I would have to admit that
I am most attracted to “Ambient/Atmospheric” music mixed with “Dream Pop/Space Rock” with a bit o’ the electronic vibe thrown in.
Can you tell us about your musical process?
The music I make comes from experimentation. I usually begin the process with the piano or guitar and flesh out the basic idea rattling around in my brain bit by bit. After there is some kind of basic backbone for the idea, next is finding a melody for the vocal line(if any). It’s fun piecing the puzzle parts of a song together. I enjoy the mystery of how a song can bring itself into existence through seeming nothingness.
What is it that drove you to pursue a career in music, and what it is that drives you individually as a musician or a band?
Music is a drug to me. It works on me in so many levels that I need a whole book to just awkwardly convey my feelings. Regarding the passion with music that I share with fellow humans, I feel it is less of a decision to pursue it and more of a surrendering to the gravity that constantly pulls at us. I don’t want to imagine my life without the existence of what is music.
What struggles have you faced with having your music heard and getting your name recognized by outside markets?
We live in an extremely interesting and revolutionary time in the history of music.
I feel pretty blessed when it comes to being heard. I started recording right as computer/internet technology allowed people to upload their tunes on sites that the whole world could have access to. I was aware that musicians before this didn’t have it so lucky. They had to be both extremely talented and had to have been in the right place at the right time for their visions to be exposed via the controlled media. Today, I think one problem that creators of music face is that the bar is raised because EVERYONE has access to hear and being heard. So much good music, and so little time puts the importance of marketing/promotion to a new level, when before a bit of promotion and the talent of the band could make waves.
What kinds of things do you do to promote yourself?
To quote a friend and producer/artist mentor, “(Music)…is cheaper than therapy.” So first off, the music I create helps me to believe that I can have a spiritual connection in this world. I don’t mean to convey that my approach is egotistic, just a form of art I love to create that helps me survive and flourish if other people listen or not. With that said, I feel a bit lacking in the expertise of effective promotion. I do believe, though, that the best and oldest form of promotion is word of mouth. Music sites where I can get to know listeners as friends rather than just a marketing target are where I enjoy hanging out and promoting my music. (Like on www.thesixtyone.com where you had found me as well as some other friendly artists).
Is there a predominant message you hope to get across in your songs?
I don’t think I have a single message to convey, but the lyrics and themes within the songs I write are mostly about my fascination with what lay beyond the death of mind and body.
What are your thoughts on the future of the music industry and where it’s going?
This is a very interesting topic. I believe with the massive changes in the medium of media format (i.e from CD/tapes/records to pure digital form; mp3), the ground that the music industry once stood firmly on has now been pulled from under. I believe that like it or not, things will change about music and the internet. Powers that be (or that are to be) will most likely attempt to control the way we sell and distribute music. Music licensing for tv/movies/other media, however, will probably operate in the same fashion.
Are you currently unsigned, and do you plan on staying independent?
I am indeed unsigned. I think if I had a chance to be signed and had a good contract, distribution, etc, I would jump at the chance to have my music represented by a decent label.
What are your reasons for being an independent artist?
Well, I guess why am I not an independent artist? I have access to the same tools and knowledge that professional artists and producers have as well as resources to have my music heard all across the world. It is a revolutionary time for artists to have their art exposed.
Who are some of your favorite artists?
Tons of them…I think it would take about a month to write down all of the music that I hold dear to me. Ill be super brief and say…The Autumns (a dream pop band out of L.A.) M83, Sigur Ros, Slowdive, Hammock, Spiritualized, Altus(excellent indie ambient music artist based in Canada).
Do you ever feel that people will be missing out on your music because you are not signed to a major record label?
Hmm. I think having good promotion is vital to having a good fan base(along with that world of mouth thing, gigging….AND actually being GOOD; ). If an artist doesn’t have a label, that doesn’t mean they wont have good sales. It really is about finding your niche in this giant haystack of great music in the world.
What would you say if I told you that there’s a new force in Independent Music that will give you all of the power of the Major Labels and more, while at the same time giving you complete control over all aspects of your musical career, and you will never have to sign a thing?
I would say, “Where’s my limousine with the hot tub?”: )
And you would have access to the world’s first ever audio component auction, where pieces of songs are sold off at auction prices to be repurposed in other songs. What kind of impact do you think that would have on your music?
I f I am able to keep the rights to my material in a non-exclusive form, then I really look forward to finding out!
It’s called Beat-Play, and it will be beta tested this Fall 09. Sign up at Music Without Labels