New music, new album
Despite it being April, I'd like to wish everyone a very Happy New Year from all at S40time! I've been beavering away behind closed doors in the darker months and responded to many of your suggestions for the show…
Not everyone has the time to watch a whole episode of S40time (especially 2 hours sometimes) and the way we consume things now is very different from just 5 years ago. I've broken down the episodes into "Shot-sized" digestible chunks of stories or questions, so you can dip in and out more easily. As a result, we've seen a huge rise in subscriptions, views, and likes now, which has helped the channel progress immensely - thank you! Grab a coffee and dive into "Shot-sized" S40time!
I've kept my own album -"Exennial"- very close to my chest this last year (out in July '21), but it's something I'm immensely proud of - I'll be releasing the first single - "Pure Water" on Friday 23rd April, and I'll be documenting the 6 weeks leading up to it, and just after the release too, so this should take you on a journey of everything a musician has to contend within 2021.
From the conception of the song, lyric-writing, making a basic recording on Garage-band on the iPad, to then sending it electronically to producer Dan Burton whilst we were under lockdown, and letting him work on it remotely. Thankfully, last Summer, we had a window where I could go over and record the vocals, backing vocals, and harmonies too. It's certainly been a very different way of recording an album! Then on to the editing, mixing, and mastering which are processes in their own right.
Next, we look at uploading to a Spotify account, distribution, artwork, press releases, making a video, PR, radio, bloggers, influencers, and pluggers - but the biggest difference in 2021 to even a few years ago is the huge importance of getting your house in order with regards to Social Media. There are now whole courses and academies dedicated to this new way in which emerging artists can release their own music now. Gone are the days where record companies commanded the airwaves, and essentially - your career - although with years of experience they do indeed still have the infrastructure, and the certainty of a recording contract (and accompanying advance!) remains the Holy Grail for many aspiring musicians and bands.
Or you could try the DIY approach! I'm going to try and do this mostly by myself - Ok, I'm not going to do my own artwork, etc - I'll outsource as and when necessary, but I'll be documenting how disciplined, diligent and organised I need to be to give it my best shot. Learning skills on the fly, attempting to "spike the algorithms" of Spotify, YouTube, Facebook Instagram, and Twitter to create a "snowball effect" where the momentum becomes such that it's impossible to ignore! Maybe I'll fail, but I'm aiming to succeed and where focus goes, energy flows! It should make an interesting account, whatever happens!
In my time in the early 00's - promoting Underground Club night - Detune - at legendary Chesterfield venue - The Green Room - I met many top DJs and producers from around the UK - who I'm happy to still call my friends. Many of these producers have remixed my single "Pure Water" (there should be 6 different mixes at the time of writing!), which should hopefully broaden the appeal to a wider audience. I'm over the moon with one such mix by Producer Alex Zaphiris - (Sousa) - one-third of Chesterfield DJ Outfit -Purple Gorilla- and, along with globe-trotting Johnny Green, I was joined by the pair at The Olde House on Loundsley Green Road last year. As well as reflecting on the Chesterfield clubbing scene, Jonny discusses their releases with Purple Gorilla, being discovered by BBC Introducing and playing in Ibiza, India, Cambodia, and Hong Kong, whilst Alex is relishing producing and releasing new music again after a hiatus of 6 years since becoming a Dad.
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Words: Aaron Brown