Hey, guys. Welcome to electronic dance money. You’re number one business resource for making money as electronic musicians and producers. What’s up, everyone? We’re back with a brand new episode of electronic dance money. My guest today is Alex Wayman. He is an artist also known as Loesch. You do you wear a lot of hats in the industry? I really like it. So, um, not only are you a producer and an artist and electronic music, but you do A and R for USC, which I’m sure a lot of people that are on the other side of the world probably don’t know about USC or maybe East Coast people. But I’m from the Pacific Northwest. USC is based in Pacific Northwest, specifically in Seattle, and they throw some of the fucking dope is shows in the entire year. Morse. But, I mean, they’re known for throwing parody. So which is hands down the best festival in the Pacific Northwest. The venues the gorge, which is just fucking gorgeous have been there for three years, and it is it is just so much fun. You also do contract, hire four other A and R events, and then health and safety for some of these festivals. What’s that like? What’s it like doing A and R for USC? Cause I mean, you’re working with these artists, these huge artists that your booking, um, tell me a little bit more about that, cause I don’t know it. I don’t know too much about the in our world.
Yeah, yeah, No worries. Um, yeah. So I do artist relations, which is basically I work with artists and their management teams when they come in for our events and sort of work with them on all of their logistics. So I figure out you know what they need for their performances. I figure out, you know, their hotel accommodations, their travel accommodations there, you know, green rooms, the whole green Eminem thing, like that’s pretty much what I oversee. Um, and it’s it’s a lot of fun management. I mean, so, like, you know, we had parody. So just about a month ago, month and 1/2 ago, um, and I got to work with, like, Skrillex, Alice in Wonderland. I mean, any of any of those artists or who I’m working with, Um, and it’s a lot of fun. It’s definitely a lot of fun. Um, you know, it is kind of a contract gigs. So there’s also other opportunities with other festivals that come up throughout the year. And then, like you mentioned, I do some health and safety stuff. I was at E. D. C. This year helping them. Um I’m also gonna be at hard summer in a couple weeks here.
Hard summers, dope. I’ve never been there, but, I mean, the the lineups are always insane at for hard summer.
Yeah, Yeah, I’ve never been there either. It’s going to my first year.
That’s bad ass. Dude. What’s so you have to you reach out to the artist managers and say, What do they want in their green room? What is the craziest fucking thing that you that has been requested? You not to say an artist name, but what I mean, what’s the craziest thing that you’ve had to do for an artist?
Well, I mean, it’s whatever is in their rider, right? So, like in the time that they yet, um, you know, the contract is written, they send over a writer, which is basically saying, Hey, you know, you agree to provide all of these things. Um, I mean, craziest thing. I’ve had everything from people requesting ponies like actual living horses in their room to, you know, some will have, like, Oh, you know, go find, like, five attractive women out of the crowd and bring him to the green room. That’s like a requirement. Like somebody’s like, It’s pretty crazy man. Like, I mean, some of the stuff makes sense. Like, if you have, like, you know, some artists are on tour the entire year, so naturally, they’re gonna wanna have some, you know, some decent food. They’re gonna wanna have something that is actually accommodating. Like I had an artist that freak night last year. I just I won’t say who. But, you know, they flew all the way from Croatia straight to Seattle, which is like a 14 hour flight. And with that jet lag, they came straight to the venue, exhausted, tired, and I could totally get why they need all this stuff. Ah, and it’s actually funny sometimes like this, smaller artists are the ones that you request the most outlandish stuff. Maybe because they’re just like, trying to be funny or like to test how much they can get whatever they’re the ones you see that have the kind of crazier requests, like the pony in the room or, you know, getting the girls from the crowd stuff like that,
right? I’m sure it’s a bit of it, Like an ego stroke to and they go, Oh, I can get anything.
You think every Yeah, I think they go through that phase, you know, like every artist does when they start.
Yeah, I was in to say you wouldn’t. It’s Ah, lot of a lot of people are getting into producing and being a full time deejay or touring artist like you get in it for the specific reasons. And a lot of it is an ego stroke. Um, and that I mean, that’s the most look at the rock stars in the past, dude. I mean, they were in it for the game to get chicks make money and do drugs like that’s what they wanted to fuck and dio. And when you get to that point, I mean, you can get whatever the fuck you want it once you hit a certain level, and especially when your up and coming and like, you know, when your career is made if you’re young and all of a sudden you get picked up by a big artist and you start doing these touring gigs, it’s like, Oh, this is pretty much set in stone As long as I don’t bucket up entirely until they like to push the limits there and I mean, it’s I mean, that’s like you said. I think every artist does go through that phase and they kind of figure out who they are as an artist and what they want to do. And after a few years, they probably tone it down a bit and it turns into just that’s their life.
I mean, it depends to also cause, like younger artists generally are going to be more extreme. I’d say, like younger, heavier music artists are gonna be the more wild ones. I mean, you know, rhythm, community based community, they go hard versus life. If you get like a trance guy who’s like from Belgium and got picked up by, like Paul Oakenfold or something like, you know, he’s gonna be a little bit more low key. Typically,
yeah, yeah, and they there will the cultures just different, you know, and you get that with every single genre, cultures are very different. I feel like with a lot of the more melodic genres, there’s more of a, um there’s that ego isn’t really there like those people are really in it to just try to make people super happy with their music. Um, and with with base artists, I feel like they’re just trying to get people to throw the fuck down and go hard, and that’s what I mean. That’s what the genre is about. That’s why people love it, because it’s just go fucking hard. It’s fun. It’s fun if you do the base stage, the wreckage stage at parody. So is bucking every year to There’s Mawr and more people at that stage, and it gets crazy. Yet
we had to actually move the stage because we used to do it kind of in the middle of the festival, which is where the smaller stage goes. But he got so crowded that we had had to, like, replace it with the House stage. We swapped them a couple years back because that I remember like you gonna go down into this little pit, which is where the base stage used to be. Now that’s the house stage and the base stages upon the big flat hill.
Okay. Gotcha. Yeah, that would probably make a little bit more since I remember I saw Nightmare due back. Do a back to back set. I think it was 2015 maybe 2016. He did back to back set with someone I can’t remember. But it was at, like, 10. PM, 11 PM was nighttime. The fucking crowd was insane. I remember going to the millet. I also saw snails for my first time in 2015 at the wreckage stage. And that was do doubt. That should change my life. That was one of the best sets I ever saw, anyway. So let’s get into why you’re here. You also in addition to doing and are being an artist and do some doing some of this contract hire work for some of these festivals. You run your own record label called story time? Um, the official name is story time entertainment, which will kind of get more into why that’s the name and a little bit. But, um, how long have you been running the record label For what? What made you want to start your own record label. And I looked at it. I looked it up. There’s some pretty banging releases on it, but yeah, let’s kind of get into the history of your record label.
Yeah. Yeah. So, uh, Storytime Entertainment, we sort of started around 2012. Um, doesn’t 12 13. I think I was a freshman in college back then, and it really kind of started out as just sort of a group of friends trying to have a good time with music. So, you know, we were all artists at the time or trying to be artists. And we wanted to, you know, throw dope parties. We wanted to help artists released their music. We wanted to basically do that whole music industry thing. We were pretty young at that time, and we were inspired. And, you know, we started first by just throwing parties. We used to throw like, these super underground, super like I don’t want to say illegal, but like, you know, we didn’t check with people before we did it, and they were pretty small, but, you know, they got shut down by the cops by the neighbors. Stuff like that. You know, that’s that’s how we started it. And then after I went to university, the University of Washington here I got my audio certification started doing, mixing, mastering work. That’s when we really started to like, you know, put that into the labels like Vision, Vision, like helping artists create their music and marketed and stuff. And we started doing, mixing and mastering services for local artists. Then we started doing promotional work. So we used, you know, we we did like all the social media campaigns. We did like a YouTube channel. Fast forward to today. We’re still, you know, on boarding new artists all the time. To me, it’s really mawr than a record label, though, and I’m sure that that’s what everybody everybody says about their record label their collective. But the main vision behind Storytime really is just too help. Artists share their unique stories because what we found is that there’s so many artists in the industry that are making good music. I mean, there’s just so much good music out there. Click on a random soundcloud Lincoln. Chances are, it’s going to be a good production. It’s gonna be original at the end of the day. What really differentiates artists is there, you know, unique story that’s behind them. You know how they got to where they’re at. And our goal really is to focus on that and help artists kind of refined that and hone in on that so that they can make their own lane, so to speak, in the industry. And then also, it kind of gives us the ability to share that, you know, uniqueness to other people to tour fans and followers. So we’re kind of a marketing company in that sense, you know, we help artists market their music, but at the end of the day, that’s what all record label should be, right? They should all be kind of partnering with the artists, you know. I think once ah, record label reaches a certain point, they kind of see this this opportunity to just let people pay to release music through them, regardless of like if it fits their brand or whatever a night. I don’t really believe in that. I believe in like a full partnership with the artists, which is why I like in our contracts, we don’t we don’t have any kind of like non compete. So even Say, like, you know, we’re going to sign just this one song. But if you ever want to just not have it released through story time, you are completely able to just tell us and we’ll just remove it. That’s awesome. Yeah, twice for us, too.
Yeah, I think that is fucking great, cause there are times I’ve done it. I’ve released on I’ve released as an artist and I’m sure the record label I released through would be okay if I was like, Hey, could we remove this? I think a lot of more record labels should be able to do that because artists change. You are You’re always changing. Every couple of years, you’re changing as a person, let alone is an artist. I mean, I’ve gone through so many changes over 23 year time periods where I go. You know what I want? Change this about my artist. It’s super important for an artist to own their music and be like, you know, I don’t want this up here anymore, or I do want to take this track to a different record label with the bigger labels. You just I mean, you don’t see it’s it’s really it’s almost like they’re in competition with their own artists, which can be an issue. And I think the other issue to is the fact that a lot of these record labels are artist owned. I’ve talked to my buddy about this, and he’s the one that actually brought it to my attention. I think the issue with a lot of those record labels were there. Artist owned is if you release on that record label, you will never be as big as that artist because that artists ultimately see Yuhas competition until they won’t want you to break bigger than them on their own record label. So I think a lot of the times you will see you know, these record labels that are artists owned. The artists are released in their own music on there, but they put 100% of their time and energy into their release, but then won’t show that same effort into yours.
I think that’s that that could certainly happen. I mean, I think that’s definitely a possibility, but I think to the point of like the flexibility that’s kind of more common now, days, like at least with our label on, maybe with some other labels. I mean most, most record labels. I think nowadays they’re only going to sign individual tracks like they won’t sign the entire artists. Which means that you know, you can release one song and then sure, maybe they don’t promote it the same way the owner promotes his own music. But at least you’re now, you know, kind of exposed to that community. You can then do a release on the different label. You know, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to release with someone else. And by doing so, you know you’ll have your music in multiple places, which means just more opportunity to get found. I mean, sure, maybe like they won’t promote it as much. But at least you’re on there, and I think that for artists who are up and coming, the more of that you can do the better. There’s no I don’t think there’s any negative value to it. I mean, I think the more you’re out there in general, the more opportunity you’re gonna have being found by the right person with right people, you know,
right? Yeah, I’m being associated with a record label that has that is owned by a bigger artist. That is a good actually toe. Have you can put that on your artist profile, and I’m sure you know this as someone who does A and R for festivals. I’m sure you look for that kind of thing like it. And that’s how you can kind of tell. Is this person going to sell tickets like Ultimate if we put them on the line up or people going to go? Oh, should I really like that artist? I’m going to go to this festival because all five of these artists that really love are on there. So I think that is important, especially to get that kind of exposure because you never know. Like I’m sure you could probably tell me more about this with record labels, do you? Is it is it similar to artists where you’ll get people who follow you in a specific region? Because I know, I know with artists, that’s kind of you can look at some of your analytics of people who either like your page or go to your website and say, Oh, shit, there’s 1000 people in this state. Let’s say in Washington that all follow me. That means I could probably book a show there. I can show that to a promoter or something. Say, Hey, I’ve got following here. I think I can sell tickets there. Is it the same with record labels? Where you’ll you’ll find that more people are following. You are purchasing your tracks or streaming your tracks in a specific region. That air from the record label?
Um, not necessarily. I mean, we have listeners all around the world. We we engage like digital marketing pretty heavily, so we’re kind of all over the Internet. By doing that, people are listening all over the world. I do think being that we’re in Seattle, naturally, a lot of our like my personal connections air here. And so there’s definitely gonna be Mawr Mawr engagement out of people here in the city because that’s where you were from. Um, I think that’s how it would be with anybody, because at the end of the day, the record label owner is gonna be just a person who has the network. And if you’re in L. A and your labels there, then you’re gonna be networking with the people that the owner knows in L. A vs. Like here in Seattle, I can take a look at our analytics to see where everyone’s coming from. But, I mean, we have listeners from all over the world. I mean, we have comments on our soundcloud from people in other countries and stuff like that. I don’t think there’s any, like, for sure answer to that. But in general, yeah, there is probably something there. I
know with a lot of record labels that kind of specify or you could say they niche down to a specific genre, which I think is important as a record label, cause you kind of you can’t really release everything, because then you’re releasing nothing. You know, you’re not You’re not trying to dominate a specific genre where you’re just releasing these fire artists. And new artists are just making great music from this specific genre. I’m sure you guys air genre specific. What is? That
s So we look for electronic artists primarily, um, we look for anything that is pop Elektronik or some sort of future base. Or like a modern house. I see the only Elektronik we don’t Really Do is the heavier stuff, so we don’t really do like Dub Step will do like some German base every once in a while, but nothing super heavy. We always look for something a little more melodic, really. It just comes from personal taste. But then also just, you know, I think that there’s more opportunity to Brandon artists because again, we partner with artists. We always look for the opportunity to work with an artist to help promote them. And I think with, like other genres, like melodic genres, there’s just more artistic personality that we can work with. That’s not true for everybody, of course, but generally there’s just mawr, not creativity, but mawr like uniqueness to it that we can weaken, touch on,
Let’s get into that side of things that you were just touching on as far as like, promotion goes. So when when an artist comes to you and they sign a contract with you, what’s that process like in with with story time specifically not necessarily record labels in general, but with story time? What are you offering to your artists that’s going to differentiate them, releasing on a different label that’s the same size is you guys because I think this is very important that artists should look for when they’re signing a record label. And they should. They should be openly engaging with whoever is signing artists. And they should be asking, Well, I know I’m going to be signing to this record label and you guys are going to be putting it all over here. But what else I mean cause that artists should be, you know, getting a good, fair trade out of it. They shouldn’t just sign a track, it gets released and they get one Facebook post and that’s it. There should obviously B’more involved in that. So what does Storytime do for their artists when they signed them?
Yeah, totally. Um, also for the first thing I mean, like I mentioned before, we do the you know, the ability and the flexibility for them to leave if they ever wanted to, so that, you know, naturally, a lot of artists are apprehensive to like signing a contract. That’s one thing we touch on for sure is that if they want to ever leave, they certainly can. We also reserve the right as a label to, you know, not want to represent them. And really, the motive behind that is that every artist we work with is a relationship. So, you know, we talk with artists, we become their friends. We don’t just kind of like cold shoulder them. Be like, Hey, here’s a piece of paper Sign it, you know, And then kind of forget about them, right? So we definitely kind of embraced this relationship because again, we’re tryingto share their story. We’re trying to, like, figure out who they are and what they do, and there’s no way to do that without getting to know them. So there’s definitely a lot more of a personal connection with our label. And I think it could also be that since we’re a little smaller still, you know, maybe all record label start off like that. You know, we definitely have that freedom to leave the contract if they want to, which which is great in terms of marketing. We I mean, obviously we do engage, like all the social media stuff. We do all that. I’m an artist myself. So, you know, like the direction of where we take a marketing campaign, always varies like weaken. Do anything that is on brand with the artists that we can think of. Like we we had to release a couple a couple weeks ago where we created, like, you are code like flyers for the single release. And we went around Seattle on just slap them around the city.
That’s fucking awesome. Holy shit. Dude, that is such a genius idea.
Yeah, thanks. Yeah, I think it’s a great way to, you know, share the music with City. It was a deejay who, like, kind of produces club music, and naturally, we want to get in front of people. So we just slapped it around the city. It’s like a scan the code to, you know, download the song or to go to the to the Spotify page. And that’s a great way to market, you know, But we only did it for that person because it just made the most sense because they really wanted to kind of connect with the community more like locally. So that work for them. There was another artist that we worked with recently. Ah, and we basically have a newsletter of like DJs like in the City and So we sent out their music to the newsletter, and all these DJs are now playing this song in the club because again, they wanted it to be
so That’s basically a promo list. So and that’s kind of that’s also why I want to ask, Do you guys have a promo less that you send out for every single artist? Is it kind of specific artist that you like? Well, I think these were these ones that are a part of our pro medalists will want this release. It will send it to that. Promo lists are very important, especially if you have a big enough network and you have bigger DJs who are touring or playing bigger festivals. And basically, these are the smaller artists who are signing tracks. Get that opportunity toe, have their track played out to a big crowd.
Yeah, we do. We do definitely have a promo list, and we send all the tracks to everybody. So the reason for that is that because if anybody signed up on the promo list, they already know what to expect from our label, and they already understand, like the what the brandis. So they already know that we can send them anything that’s kind of in our wheelhouse. So, yeah, to answer that question, it’s anybody that we release for sure. But then personally, to I mean, here’s the benefit of working with a label like story time where, you know, like, kind of involved with it or if an artist is involved with it. You know, I also have personal connections and, like as an artist, I have my own newsletter. So, like, sometimes I’ll promote one of the releases through my own newsletter and through that, just generate more traffic if I feel like it’s on brand with my with my own music. So there’s a lot of potential there. Like I said, we really try to be creative and how we do marketing because, you know, innovation is so important, you know, in this industry, because you can’t just expect to post a link on on Facebook and to get, you know, listeners, followers, like right now we’re doing there’s an artist out of Italy named Manar that we’re working with. He’s like an up and coming. I think he’s had one release on confession, the confession label, but like he’s up and coming. And we basically are putting together like a little interview with him because he’s from a part of the world where not a lot of people, like, know much about in terms of this industry. So, like, he’s, you know, we’re making a little video form that promotes his recent release. That’s not even on our label. Were just kind of promoting him as an artist. Yeah, I think that this super valuable to artists just to have that ability to get creative with their with their marketing
yeah, and have that connection and kind of build that network to, you know, the artist might not be releasing on your label, but you found someone who’s really unique. They’ve got a great sound. They have a lot of potential, and you can bring value to people here in the US in Seattle who might not know a lot about where he’s from and how he’s managed to get to where he at he is and get to where he’s gonna be. I mean, being innovative yet 100% that is so important in the fact that you the Q R code thing, I just I can’t get over that that is so genius. I never would have thought to do that in tow, to hear that there are record labels that are coming up with these unique promo ideas. It’s awesome because I’ve never heard of someone doing that. I think that’s almost like That’s the modern day producer from 2001 who print it out 300 CDs. And they went around just throwing them everywhere. That’s the modern version of that. They fucking printed out a QR code said. Who This artist is this track, you can download it and they fucking slap around town. That’s genius, and those are going to stay there, too. That’s the thing is it’s not just it’s not just the Facebook post that’s gonna be gone in two weeks or a week, that paper on that coffee shop board or whether it’s on like a pole or something, that shit’s gonna be there for at least probably a month until people start right ripping them down, riding on them or covering them up.
If you like innovation, here’s another thing that we’re doing that we’re working on, so this is in the works. This is kind of like private but I’ll share it with you and maybe it’ll get some other artists interested. I’m were working within a our company now augmented reality company. And they are designing a way for using, like, image mapping to basically, if you have a sticker of an artist like their logo or something, when you look at it with your camera, it creates a virtual pop up on the screen with whatever you want. So it could be like tickets to their next show or me their social media. Or it could be like a video recorded message like, Hey, I’m so and so I’m glad you found my sticker like, Follow me on Instagram or whatever.
Whoa, that is fucking incredible. That’s crazy. That’s how u k That is so Oh, my God. Branding for that is incredible. So we’re gonna have that
hopefully the next, like 2 to 3 months. So keep an eye out for that
Dude, that is fucking crazy, because I mean, the way an artist can connect with their fans or to get new fans is such a unique way. I mean, that is Wow, that is dude hats off to you because that’s fucking increible this is what I’m talking about is you’re 100% right. You need to be innovative and to become that anything. I mean, you’re you guys are coming up with awesome ideas in connecting with the right people. This is obviously gonna be a very successful label just from hearing this, because I don’t know any other record labels that are doing this. There are a lot of them are in the old school way of, like, 10 years ago of keep doing the same thing over and over again. And, you know, you shouldn’t reinvent the wheel by you should be able to come up with new ideas from I mean, marketing is always changing These social media sites. Algorithms are always changing. These social media sites aren’t always gonna be here. Um, and so it is important to come up with these new ideas and creative ways to promote artists and get their name out there, get their story out there and get their releases out there. And this is a lot. You know, this is why I have this podcast. Because when I was a producer, I I ignored all the marketing stuff. I ignored the artist development. I ignored the branding. I didn’t. I I thought to myself, That’ll come like I’ll handle that eventually in the future. I just need to work on creating good music. And, yes, that is true. You need to work on creating good music. But I thought that was everything. So I was always in the studio and I just thought, You know, if I just have a really good release, I’ll send it to a record label and they want to sign it. Well, that’s not entirely true, because if you don’t already have somewhat of branding set up for yourself, these record labels won’t sign the track.
Oh, yeah? Yeah, Absolutely. Even for me. I was gonna Sorry I didn’t interrupt you, but
no, you’re good. You’re good.
I do feel that’s important to talk about. I mean, for us to you know, like what we look for an artist’s I mean, end of the day. Like I said, we’re partnering with artists to promote their music and, like, help everybody. You don’t become successful in their careers. Um, you know, we look for artists who are actually putting an effort to advance their careers because one thing I found was a lot of artists, you know, smaller artists who maybe, you know, maybe they’ll say they’re all about this. But then, like the next day, you won’t hear from them or like you won’t hear from them for a year and they don’t produce any more music. We look for artists that are, like doing whatever they can to make their careers work, and
they’re putting in the work.
They’re put in the work. Yeah, because we want a partner with people that are going to continue putting in the work because that’s gonna help us out. It’s gonna help you out. You know, we don’t want toe promote somebody who isn’t really invested in their careers because that kind of looks poorly on us. I think.
Yeah, I I agree 100%. And this is, you know, this is why I have this podcast now, because I’m talking to myself. Four years ago when I ignored all that stuff and I am sure I had some releases that were fairly good, that if I had the artist development in branding set up, if I sent to a relatively successful label, they would be interested they might. Maybe they wouldn’t sign the track, but they would still be interested in. You know, my previous episodes talk about how to brand yourself as a producer and great content, and this is why we’re talking today because I think a lot of artists don’t understand how record labels run what they look for, and what you need to do is an artist to get your track sign. And I think of a large majority of it is getting this putting in this work of figuring out your branding because you have to be marketable as an artist. A record label has to see you and be like, OK, they are a have all these things set up? We don’t have to put in all this work for artist development that’s going to cost us a lot of money with someone who might not actually be invested full time in this. So if you can show that you do have that time invested, I am somewhat brand herbal. I have a good logo that’s catch. I’ve a catchy name, all these different things. I’m posting on social media and I’m starting to gather following record label see that and they go, This is fucking easy. We we know exactly what we need to do to market this person. And usually when you get to that point, when you have a lot of that branding in place, the music music usually follows. They have good production. Maybe they need a better. Maybe they need a mixing engineer toe, mix it down a little bit better, or they have a great mix down. But not a great master. And a lot of record labels Condell with that thing. You know, they usually have people to go to for that. But if your song structures there, your production is there. You have good branding. I mean, they eat that shit up. They want that kind of artists because they see that someone. Oh, is this a breakout artists? Because if we can make a breakout artist that that notoriety comes that follows the record label,
Yeah, we do. Look for that. I mean, you know, we also look for just kind of like the creative direction of the artists. You know, we look for people that are already kind of the kind of know what they want with their brand. They know they want to be like this techno producer and they, you know, they like this image or whatever the case may be. And sometimes we confined that without them having a lot of social media activity. Like for example, um, one of our recent releases an artist named Le Morne. Um, you know, he s so we released his first ever Elektronik song that he ever produced. Okay, at face value, that sounds like Well, why, You know, he’s like, who is he? And he’s after, you know, working with them. We found out that he is. And then, like this, this punk rock band that’s been like touring the U. S. For a while. And now he started to, like, dive into this e g m world. So, like, I know for a fact that he’s dedicated to music as a career, which kind of gives me that reassurance. But then also, the song is just really good and like if you listen to him, it’s very unique. You can tell that he’s pouring himself out through that track, you know, like in a way that doesn’t say I want this to sound like, you know, Standard E g m. I don’t want this to sound like everything else. I want this to sound the way that I like. And that’s also what we look for. And, you know, we’ve definitely it’s gone through and seen a lot of different artists type. So we’re kind of like familiar with how to identify that. Um, but that also is a great way, like you said, to get those breakout artists where if you can, like, agree with who they are and you can see who they’re trying to be, you can use that. You can kind of hone in on it, refine it, and then kind of sell that to the marketplace. I
think a great, unique selling point that you guys have while and more specifically for you is how how involved you are in the industry. Because you’re not just a record label owner, you’re an artist. So you know the inner workings of what it’s like to be an artist. You know how to promote, and you do A and R for these big festivals. So you know what? These people you know what promoters air looking for for shows, and, you know, some of these people. So I’m sure you can find an artist or when you do find an artist and they’re relatively close to where you are or if you have a connection that’s close to where they are and you see something in them where, okay, this person’s in it for the long game. They’ve got great branding. Um, they’re very unique. They’ve got great music and you, Comptel, they’re all about it. You can go. We consign this track. And Maura, I can put you in connection with some of these promoters to get you shows, which is very important. It’s extremely important to start getting shows, and especially if you have, you know, if you can sell 20 or 30 tickets in one area. That’s what promoters looking for. Um, so I think it’s very unique to be in that there aren’t record label owners in that position. They a lot of them, some of them, I mean, a good majority of them are producers, and they’re looking for somewhere to release their own tracks. But they they aren’t really heavily involved in the scene. They aren’t networking. They don’t have the connections that you might have so to be able to sign an artist and be like we can do so much more than just released this track and maybe you’re not. You don’t promise that where you tell them that. But there, I’m sure that’s still always in the back of your mind, where it’s like we keep working with this artist. There’s a lot of things we can do with them and get them in front of a lot of people. And that’s I mean, if you if you find that artist whose like you’re saying you see something in them or you’re like this could potentially be a breakout artist, you’ve got everything lined up for them. I mean, you just have to make a few calls, and I’m sure you can get them in somewhere to really get them lifted and bring them up to the next level. It’s super important.
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, for you, especially for up and coming artists, I mean record labels again. You know, the people that run it or who you’re really partnering with and their connections could lead to shows, you know, they could lead to collaborations with bigger artists. They could lead to other types of publicity, and that’s really you know, what Storytime is meant to be. It’s meant to be a record label, but it’s also sort of like a like a marketing for artists hub, you know, because we do all this different type of marketing and, you know, we do also sponsor events. So, like we go in as investors on like other events around the area and through that we have the ability to book artists you know, so like, absolutely. I mean, if an artist is released through the label and we feel like they’re a good fit for a show lineup, we can absolutely put them on. And that’s just an opportunity that, you know the artist may not have had before. A
lot of artists don’t have that opportunity, and this is why you need to put in this kind of work with branding and all these because it’s it’s not just, you know, I think a lot of producers see branding or artist development as a way to yes, it is a way to make yourself more unique, Um, but I think a lot of them Sita’s Oh, this is just a way for me to get new fans and it’s it’s true, but it’s not. It’s It’s not in the sense that they think they think by branding themselves, fans are gonna or people are gonna look at them be like, Oh, I really like this and we have become their fan. It’s Mawr investing the time and money into yourself so that these record labels do have that to work off of or an agency has something toe work off of or a manager so that they can publicize you and make you more public to people. And then those eyes do they kind of get drawn to that. And that’s how you will get fans. So they ignore it. They, they and they Sometimes they think, Oh, if I just signed the record label that’ll handle it or an agency and sometimes they will in very rare cases. If that person is connected to the right person, you know if if they’re a good friend of a huge artist, sure, they can get in connection with some of these people who can help them out. But for a majority for 1999% of artists, they’re not anyone. No one’s really listening to them. And so it’s important to think about these things because if you said, I mean, if you if you just set yourself up correctly, it’s gonna lead to someone so many more successes. I think producers don’t realize that they aren’t really thinking a few years into the future. Like if I set up this branding now, what’s it gonna look like in three years or who could I connect within three years? They’re kind of thinking they’re short game. When am I going to get to play my next show? When’s my next release? Um, and and that that clouds their judgment. And next thing you know, two years goes by and they haven’t really gone anywhere because they haven’t. They haven’t invested the time into developing their artist brand for the next three years, which is super important. And that’s how you see a lot of these artists break out. Here’s the thing is you know, a lot of the times, all of a sudden this this fucking artist releases this big track on this big record label, and they come out of nowhere. But that’s what that’s what it seems like. It seems like they come out of nowhere. That’s just because a majority of the people have never heard of them or you don’t see is the eight years that they’ve been branding themselves as an artist building. They’re following making these connections, really, of course, releasing good music. But there’s so much more to that than just releasing good music. There’s there’s so much more stuff in the background and they they understood that they understood that it takes time of investing all of these different things into creating this. Like artists profile this. I mean, it’s their persona. It’s their second persona that’s you’re basically creating some someone out of nothing. Yeah, we look
for we look for that with artists. I mean, if an artist comes to us and already has, like a persona in mind, they’re like, Hey, this is who I am This is my theme or whatever that we We appreciate that because that shows they’ve taken the time to think about it versus somebody who’s like, Hey, here’s a track. Can you guys? You guys want to release it? And it’s just a base house track their their their profiles. Just deejay first name.
Yeah, it’s there’s nothing there’s no substance,
there’s no substance to it. You can tell. It’s just like something that they put a little bit of effort into. But they’re not committed to whereas, like this artist limb or and I was talking about, you know, he came to us already with a vision for who he is as an artist, you know, he already had his originality. It wasn’t like he didn’t come to us and ask. Hey, what could you guys do with this? Do you see anything in this? It was more like a Hey, here I am. Here’s what I do. Here’s who I am. You know, you could, like, really feel him as an artist. I think more artists need to be conscious of that. But I also think there could be something said about not overthinking it. You know, if you spend too much time worrying about it, you’re going to cloud it. You know, you have to just sort of allow it to be whatever feels natural to you. Um, you know, when I first started producing, I also went through that same issue like everyone else does. Where I was super conscious of like, OK, do I want to sound like a based artist. I want to sound like a House artists like should I only make this kind of music and only release this genre of music? You know, I think the answer to that is really It’s whatever you want. I mean, like, if you look at the’s big artists like Diplo, you know, like he’s have produced a variety of different types of tracks, you know, he’s never stuck. So one genre, Yeah, relax, too. Like all the big guys, obviously right. They’ve always just done their own thing, and that may be like kind of the long term game. It might take longer if you do that because of the fact that maybe you’re creating this new style of music or this new niche that is already in the industry. But it will, you know, over time, as long as you stay true to yourself, kind of work itself out to be better for you. You know, because if you release a song with the confession label or any kind of label that’s like very particular toe a certain sound, that’s good. But then what may happen is that people are gonna expect only that sound from you. Yo. And if they don’t find it, they may not be happy. Which means that those people that came through that connection may not have been the most valuable to you as liken us a fan. Whereas if you’re yourself and you really get yourself out there, you know you can make genuine connections. People can understand who you are, those will. You know, I have some fans that have been following me since, like 2008 when I first started saying that I wanted to make music like before even, like, produced anything and like they did. And they still do because they understood who I was back then and they could see, like how I’ve, you know, changed throughout the times and they’re still there. Have grown. And that’s exactly what we’re trying to highlight with Storytime Is that story of the artists? Because that’s how we find, like, those riel genuine fans, you know, the people that will stick with the artist all the way through their
careers. Yeah, a perfect example of what you’re talking about is getter his latest tour that just he fucking quit the first. What three shows in He Fucking Quit. His people were booing him and shit and it wasn’t what they were expecting and you know that’s in it. He it’s He was making hard trap dubstep music, and that’s what he was known for. People loved it. And when he decided he wanted to do something else, his quote unquote fans were like, Fuck you. This is not what I wanted, and that’s that comes with that genre to it comes with culture. If you’re going to make that genre stay with that genre, otherwise, because here’s the thing is those base heads are only in debase music. And if you are a base artists and you want to go into something like Progressive House, the Progressive House fans don’t like you because you’re a base artist, cause progressive house people usually don’t like bass music. So it’s like it’s almost like when you, when you narrow yourself into this base genre, you gotta fuckin stick there or I mean or just be known for like deplore Skrillex being able to do all these multiple different genres and create your own so it’s it can be it can be really tricky. I think that’s super important not to overthink things cause with the producers usually go one of two ways. They either don’t do this branding at all, or they over think it and it just leads to procrastination and they don’t get anything done in five or 10 years goes by and they’re just they give up because they think that they aren’t doing You know what they wanted to do. And it is important to be authentic and pre things organically. Um, you know, let things naturally come because And I know it’s kind of kind of an oxymoron to be like, Well, you need to create this branding and artist development, but you gotta let it come naturally, so there’s there’s a bit of an oxymoron, but you gotta watch. There’s a fine line that you gotta walk, and if you walk it correctly, it will come naturally, and you will be able to create this branding for record labels.
Yeah, it’s just like being, you know, it is a brand, but it’s also like, you know, it’s a brand that you want to see fine that you believe in. You can have an interest in something and just like, be so about it that you share it all the time without going too overboard with it. You know it goes. Some artists I’ve seen that are like, I mean a good example, I think is like like happy hardcore artists or like anybody who’s in like the heavy Raber community, they are rivers themselves. And because of that, that is their branding, which happens to be their fan base. Also there part of that community. They don’t spend a whole lot of time over thinking that they just naturally are at shows where there’s raves, you know, rivers and like, they’ll have videos of that on their instagram and the like. All their branding is cute raver shit, and that’s like That’s who they are. You know, that is the brand that I think that more artists need to really look into themselves and find out what is it that you truly like, you know. And it’s also ah, part of like growing up a lot of artists or younger nowadays, and part of that growing up process is finding out who you are as a person, what standards you have and what communities you find yourself a part of, you know, like I found myself part of the producer community because I was so interested in sound design. And even to this day, you know, I’m still working with with these types of connections I have. And that’s why I was able to go from, like, this heavier dub step sound to my house here. Sound now, because my fans have always been people that look to, like the production side of music. You know, they’ve always been, like, interested in how music’s created. And so they’re like, Oh, this is a really great dub step track. And now they’re like, Oh, this is a really great house track. I like how you did this. I like how clear your highs are stuff like that, you know? So it just really comes out to who you are as a person. I mean, you kind of overtime naturally realize it for yourself. So there is that concept of like, you have to sometimes wait. You kind of have to let it mature. Yeah, I mean, and then some. Sometimes the whole like over branding thing can work, like one time, you know, like, yeah, Like like you were saying about Getter. I mean, you know, he kind of hit that because he liked making that based music early on, and that’s why people hurt him and found him. But as he grew up to, because if you remember him in his first releases were like when he was in his. I think mid teens like he was like, 17 or 18 Pretty diverse time for a young adult, you know, he grew up a lot since then. So, like as he began to mature, he started finding other genres of music he liked. But because he was so pigeonholed in that it was difficult for him. I don’t personally think that this tour canceling thing is going to set him back long term. I mean, every artist goes through some sort of later period. I mean, you know, and I actually appreciate the fact that he’s willing to do that, willing to step away from that image of getter, and I started doing his own thing. It’s gonna come with some backlash. I mean, that’s just expected. Unfortunately,
Skrillex was the most hated in most loved producer in 2011 2012 and now I was hard that I loved him, and then I hated him. And now when I saw honestly what it was, I hadn’t seen him live. And I saw him 2015 parody. So when he headlined and one of the best fucking shows I’ve ever seen, I think one of his see DJs went out to Yeah, and he was still Holy shit, dude, that show was just under one of the best ways to close parody. So the to seeing Bassnectar in 2016 I think it was, I think, Yeah, he headlined 2016 Bassnectar and Skrillex the year before. Those were the two best fucking shows I ever saw. A parody. So they were just unreal.
Well, I’m like Skrillex has like, that metal project he does, you know, he’s in a band. And then when he came out with the Jack use stuff, everyone was like, Wow, this is so soft with the fuck like But again, you could hear. For me, being a fan of him is because he’s a great producer. And so yes, here that he was still in the sound, you could still hear him like, even though it was a different genre. He
knows how to write a song. He knows how to write a good song in a catchy one. That’s what’s important. If you can write a good song in a catchy one, you can usually work in these multiple genres because essentially, every yeah, I struggled with this word for so many years. I would always think, Oh, well, you know, I want to make progressive house and trance stuff and they would go Fuck I don’t know how to make electro house. I wish I knew. I really want to make electro And it Donna Me wouldn’t pass like Year two, especially when I started connecting with a buddy of mine who is a fairly big producer. He was. So he’s like, Dude, every genres, like written the same. It’s if you know how to write songs structure and you know how it goes with creating tension and release and creating these breaks. It’s essentially all the same, just with different sounds. Some use more sounds than others, and if you can just figure out how to write a catchy song, right, a catching melody and understand understand song structure, you can pretty much genre hop all over. And if you’re known for releasing multiple like multiple different genres, but you can hear your own unique sound in those different genres. It’s easy to organically get a big following from multiple people who are in different genres and they can go, Oh, you know, like let’s say a base head is following someone. Skrillex is a perfect example. You can hear him in these house here tracks these more softer tracks, and that’s what’s important is if you can hear the artist in that track, not necessarily like the specific genre. But can I hear Skrillex in this song? Because if I can, I’m happy.
That’s what we look for with our artists to a story time. We look for artists that have that sort of uniqueness to where, you know, like with Lamar, and I heard his his like, his band. And then I heard his production, and I could still hear that there was like a connection there. You know, I could make that connection, and I think that just is a sign of strong, you know, personality in an RTs. That’s really what sets people aside. I think artists, at least, um, you know and can help them sort of really become successful in the industry’s when they’re really, genuinely themselves and they know it.
I agree 100%. So how should and let’s say, I mean, I guess Let’s talk to the producers who might not have branding entirely set up. They have the heart. They’ve got a pretty good, unique sound, and you can hear that in their music. How? How should that artists approach you guys as a record label? What would what’s what’s in the best interest of the artists to figure out how they should be? And maybe this isn’t even just for story time. Maybe it’s for record labels in general because I think that’s important to, you know, give give advice to producers that they can take to other record labels. So how should they go about that? Well, I
guess I mean the end of the day, Uh, labels need artists just as much as artists need labels, you know, labels need tohave content to put out. They need to be on the next big thing. They need to be able to continue pushing out content to their fans to their followers. So there is sort of this this relationship that is yearning like it needs to be there. I mean, in terms of, like, what? To send the label. Obviously, you know, like a private soundcloud link is always the best way. Just because, you know, the label knows that, you know, this is something they’ve made it something exclusive, typically something unreleased as well. With story time, we’re kind of different because we do, you know, exclusive releases, which we definitely want to make. Sure you haven’t released this previously. But then we also, since we do marketing support, people can approach us with songs that have been released on other labels and be like, Hey, can we get some marketing assistance on this? Can you guys help out? We do that, too. It’s that is another kind of, you know, differentiator for what we do with our label. But in general it’s just sort of sending emails to these labels and being concise in who you are and what you know you are presenting to them. So, you know, giving them your name, giving them the link to Soundcloud, giving them a link to some social media because they do want to see that and the less work you have to make the label do, the better they’ll be, though. Feel about it. Um, also being polite. It’s crazy how far that goes. I’ve had a lot of submissions. Were people just like send a track link? That’s it. There’s nothing else on. I’m Mike. So do you want feedback on this? Do you want me? Oh, what do you want? Whereas if you say, like, even just like thanking them for their consideration is a huge plus in my book. Even when I sometimes used to pitch songs, toe labels, I would always do that. And I found that more labels will respond to you if you’re just in genuine and nice to them. Um, because again they are looking for music. They’re looking for artists, but they over time they know how to like, identify. You know what is a good submission and what’s not. And to be a good submission, you need to have that link. You need to be polite and kind to the people. You need to include any kind of reference material that tells them who you are. So social media is great. If you have an E p K. That’s great. If you have a website that’s great, include all that stuff. Make it brief, make it concise, But make it, you know, as long as you need to tell them who you are as an artist because you’re basically selling them this pitch of like, Hey, here I am Here’s a song But then also here’s me like, here’s my brand Here is who you’re gonna work with and based off that, you know I mean, we we read and review every single submission we get. I think a lot of labels do. Maybe once you get to the top, you know, the big guys they have, like, the submission forms where you have to pay 10 bucks just to even, like, have them review, which I think is bullshit. I mean, at that point, I guess, you know, they don’t really need any more artists because they you know, if you if you have like a marshmallow on your team, you don’t need to really be bringing on these new guys as often.
Usually at that point to if you sign attract to those labels, you need to be connected to the label like you need to know marshmallows, management team or agency, and they will connect you with, Let’s say, spinning. You know, most of the time they don’t pick up new artists. When they do pick up new artists, it’s usually because that artist is in connection with a bigger one who has signed to the label or they’re connected with the agent or manager.
That’s why I also it’s good to send music toe artists. So like I have ah promo list of like DJs that are affluent in the community. And I always send them my unreleased tracks because you never know what could happen. You send him a track and they’ll be like, This is dope. Do you want to release this on my label? Or like, this is dope? Do you want to release this on this label? You just have to set yourself up for success and kind of at an age where quality is the is the standard quality has to be there no matter what. It’s kind of like the whole you get your degree from school, but it doesn’t get it doesn’t guarantee you a job, but it’s it’s a minimum standard. Now you know you kind of have to have something to get into, like the technical world. Same thing with this. You don’t need tohave like this refined artist image to get onto a label. But you do have to have the standard of this is who I am. Like you know, you have to have a
message, a unique selling point which is, you know, in business. It’s called a USP unique selling point or unique selling position. And it’s all about the message. And you know you don’t like. We’re saying it is important to have this branding set up. Um, but you doesn’t need to be complete. You don’t need to be the full package, but if you have a unique selling point or a message, make that clear and concise because that’s what’s really going to get you sold. Do you have anything else you wanted to any like closing statements or anything? Anything you want Plug?
Um, yeah. I mean, well, I just want to say thanks again for having me here is has been super gray. I look forward to seeing, like, the final product at the end of it all, but no, I mean really in terms of like, you know, for emerging artists and getting on to record labels. You just have to really do your research. Find a big list of labels you know, to my point a few minutes ago. Quality is important. You have to have that standard. But quantity is also important nowadays because there is such a saturation. You do kind of have to be in a lot of places, which means submitting your music to, AH, 102 100 record labels. It’s kind of it’s difficult that you have to do that nowadays, but it’s the standard, and there’s the benefit of the fact that you do have so many labels out there that you can pitch, too. But it just requires more legwork now to actually send them the music. So quality is important. But quantity is also, you know, like a failed proof way to get your music out there, because I have always believed in the ratio of like 1 to 10 for every 10 people you reach out to, one will respond. So if you do the math, reach out to 100 labels, 10 of them will respond and you have 10 labels to choose from, and one of them could be really just exceptionally great. You know, you never know what you’re gonna get. So I would say for artists, you know, just put yourself out there. Continue to send all those emails, send all those messages, take the time to think about your brand. Take the time to think about who you are. Don’t overthink it. Just get to a point where you’re comfortable. Where you feel like this is something you don’t have to force yourself to create, where it feels natural to you and then just keep making good music. You know that the in my opinion, the mixing, the mastering, the technical stuff can come. You know, there are people that canoe that What’s important, though, is that you are unique and you create unique music. Yeah, in something that, like music that you can tell is about who you are. You know, I use read it a lot in amount, a lot of like Subreddit. It’s and I look at those like feedback threads where people are posting their songs and commenting feedback on others. I listen to some of them and, you know, obviously the production isn’t always that great, but like a lot of it just sounds so similar. You know, it’s all just catch, you know, a simple little melody like they try to get over technical with the melody stuff and obviously the mixes in that great but like, there’s no it just feels like everyone is just trying to put put stuff out. And they’re not really, like thinking about how they can make this unique to them. Like what they were right there trying toe appease the standard of commercial music whereas, you know, really, emerging artists and really talented artists are just gonna do whatever feels best to them without this, like they have to meet this standard. So I’d say Just be yourself. Continue making music, continues sending it out there and give it time. I mean, these things do take time. If you were saying the overnight success really has eight years behind them, you know, off of continuous efforts. So another thing, too, I would say, Get out in the community. That’s a big one. I got my foot in the industry because I got an internship at a club and I was around, you know, DJs and eventually started working with touring DJs. And that’s how I got to where I am now, where work with Skrillex and stuff. So, like, just getting your foot out there. You may be difficult, but, you know, find groups in your area that you could be a part of even just go by yourself. I mean, I started going to the clubs by myself, and I was kind of that creeper that was just biased by myself. Like, who were you with him, like, nobody. I’m just, like, hanging out with club. Listen.
So, like, there are people that do that, you know? And I did it, And I’m sure you know, you may do it. And other people that are listening may do it like, just keep doing that. Keep talking to people, find a way to work in